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Discussion Starter #1
I'm really liking a few models:

AQ4020
+Beautiful dial, love the washi paper simplicity
+Slim and trim dimensions
-Monochromatic... so maybe a tick hard to read at a glance?

AQ4024
+The brushed gold tone aids in contrast and makes the dial a little warmer
-My wedding ring is platinum so the gold tone bezel would contrast
+/- Duratect is fantastic... but when it eventually wears can the bezel be replaced or re-finished?

AQ4041
+Gorgeous sunburst (picture stolen from forum member, thank you!)
+Love the bracelet
-Much thicker than the 4020 series

Right now I have them in rank order, but it's a pretty marginal preference. They all look amazing. Haven't been able to find too many pictures of the 4020-03E (black dial washi paper, no lume), and I'm assuming ordering it on a titanium bracelet would entail an extra expense? That's also sort of in the running. No ability to see these in person so relying entirely on forum pictures! What say you, WUS?

AQ4041.jpg AQ4020_4024.jpg AQ4020.jpg
 

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4024 much easier to read and pops more than the monochromatic, but very fluid and elegant 4020. The 4041 looks pretty sweet in that photo. None of this helps your question, however. :D
 

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I'm really liking a few models:

AQ4020
+Beautiful dial, love the washi paper simplicity
+Slim and trim dimensions
-Monochromatic... so maybe a tick hard to read at a glance?

AQ4024
+The brushed gold tone aids in contrast and makes the dial a little warmer
-My wedding ring is platinum so the gold tone bezel would contrast
+/- Duratect is fantastic... but when it eventually wears can the bezel be replaced or re-finished?

AQ4041
+Gorgeous sunburst (picture stolen from forum member, thank you!)
+Love the bracelet
-Much thicker than the 4020 series

Right now I have them in rank order, but it's a pretty marginal preference. They all look amazing. Haven't been able to find too many pictures of the 4020-03E (black dial washi paper, no lume), and I'm assuming ordering it on a titanium bracelet would entail an extra expense? That's also sort of in the running. No ability to see these in person so relying entirely on forum pictures! What say you, WUS?
I have the AQ4020-03E, but I prefer my watches to be as thin & lightweight as possible & I'm pretty conservative when it comes to styling, especially when it comes to color (no neon orange or green for me). I also got the AQ4020-03E specifically to be part of my semi-dress watch rotation that I could wear w/a suit. I don't have the best eyesight & have hit the bifocal age bracket, but don't have any problems reading the time except in true darkness. The light weight from the titanium & the thinness of the case are a nice change of pace from the steel tool watches I usually wear. I've posted photos of my AQ4020-03E on WUS (e.g., https://forums.watchuseek.com/f905/wruw-citizen-january-2019-a-4860373-post47914251.html#post47914251) & https://forums.watchuseek.com/f905/wruw-citizen-march-2019-a-4902583-post48437519.html#post48437519), but they aren't exactly high-resolution close-ups. In real life, IMHO, it's just as pretty as comparable products from Grand Seiko, like the legendary snowflake. As far as accuracy, it's been +1 seconds over a little more than 3 months, so within spec.

I did get the bracelet as an add-on, but must warn you that you are correct that, like most other watch companies, Citizen (or at least my retailer, Higuchi) charged considerably more for it as a la carte option than when it comes w/a watch, like on the AQ4020-54Y.

Like you, I had never seen any of the Chronomasters in the metal, but took the risk of ordering online & I'm very satisfied w/my purchase.
 

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GMT how do you like your 4020 on the strap? Do you have a photo on wrist?


I have the AQ4020-03E, but I prefer my watches to be as thin & lightweight as possible & I'm pretty conservative when it comes to styling, especially when it comes to color (no neon orange or green for me). I also got the AQ4020-03E specifically to be part of my semi-dress watch rotation that I could wear w/a suit. I don't have the best eyesight & have hit the bifocal age bracket, but don't have any problems reading the time except in true darkness. The light weight from the titanium & the thinness of the case are a nice change of pace from the steel tool watches I usually wear. I've posted photos of my AQ4020-03E on WUS (e.g., https://forums.watchuseek.com/f905/wruw-citizen-january-2019-a-4860373-post47914251.html#post47914251) & https://forums.watchuseek.com/f905/wruw-citizen-march-2019-a-4902583-post48437519.html#post48437519), but they aren't exactly high-resolution close-ups. In real life, IMHO, it's just as pretty as comparable products from Grand Seiko, like the legendary snowflake. As far as accuracy, it's been +1 seconds over a little more than 3 months, so within spec.

I did get the bracelet as an add-on, but must warn you that you are correct that, like most other watch companies, Citizen (or at least my retailer, Higuchi) charged considerably more for it as a la carte option than when it comes w/a watch, like on the AQ4020-54Y.

Like you, I had never seen any of the Chronomasters in the metal, but took the risk of ordering online & I'm very satisfied w/my purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Very very helpful, thank you! Those pictures are excellent. I've owned a few Grand Seikos (a few high beat GMT's, a few 9F's), and it looks to me like Citizen really isn't giving anything up to them. I really dislike being huge premiums for the bracelet so I'm afraid the -53E is going to be disqualified on that basis alone. Shame really, because it looks great.

Any thoughts on the white 4020 vs 4024?
 

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GMT how do you like your 4020 on the strap? Do you have a photo on wrist?
I actually have yet to put it on the strap. I had Higuchi send it to me w/bracelet already installed & I left the strap in the box w/the warranty papers. It's a nice strap, though, w/a deployant clasp. Somebody posted in another thread a photo of the same model on a rubber strap & it looked fine, so I'm sure it will work on others (19mm straps are more difficult to find, however).

I find the bracelet to be very comfortable, mainly because it's titanium & very light (not that the bracelet isn't very well-made). It lacks any micro-adjustments, but has 1/2-links--I had a local jeweler size it because I lacked the right double-screwdriver tool. While I appreciate the quality workmanship that Rolex, Damasko, etc., put into their solid-link steel bracelets, they're all too heavy to be truly comfortable. My favorite steel bracelet of all time is the '60s-70s NSA-type w/the spring expansion in the clasp (sadly, I think only Rado uses that design today & they only offer it in 18mm), w/Fixoflex expansion bands as the runner-up.

As to wrist-shots, no, I don't really do them. As a photographer, the cellphone ones all look horrible to me. Just like any portrait, to get the right proportions, they should be taken from a distance using a normal or telephoto lens & I just can't bring myself to go to that much trouble working w/another photographer or doing a wrist-selfie using a tripod.
 

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Very very helpful, thank you! Those pictures are excellent. I've owned a few Grand Seikos (a few high beat GMT's, a few 9F's), and it looks to me like Citizen really isn't giving anything up to them. I really dislike being huge premiums for the bracelet so I'm afraid the -53E is going to be disqualified on that basis alone. Shame really, because it looks great.

Any thoughts on the white 4020 vs 4024?
You're welcome, happy to help. Per my earlier post, I haven't seen any of these except my 4020-03E, but if you prefer the white dial I say go for it & get it on a bracelet. Sakura has the AQ4020-54Y on sale right now for a little over $2200 (sakura watches) which is just $200 more than the strap version & significantly less than what I paid for my -03E on a bracelet (though it still came w/the strap). I'm personally not a fan of 2-tone watches, but the 4024-53Y is the same price from Sakura as the 4020-54Y.
 

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To me the best choice is the AQ4020. I like the AQ4041 but I don't like at all the bracelet. The AQ4024 comes third by far since I don't like gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just out of curiosity, does the bracelet have Grand Seiko style bracelet adjustments (two tiny screws and a solid bar between them... each screw is removed independently) or the awful style which requires you to use two screwdrivers simultaneously? The former is fine, the latter is a huge PIA to size!
 

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Just out of curiosity, does the bracelet have Grand Seiko style bracelet adjustments (two tiny screws and a solid bar between them... each screw is removed independently) or the awful style which requires you to use two screwdrivers simultaneously? The former is fine, the latter is a huge PIA to size!
I believe the 2nd, PITA, style (I didn't watch the watchmaker make the adjustments). When I turned 1 screw using my 1 jeweler's screwdriver that fit, the 1 on the other side turned.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I believe the 2nd, PITA, style (I didn't watch the watchmaker make the adjustments). When I turned 1 screw using my 1 jeweler's screwdriver that fit, the 1 on the other side turned.
:( Yep, that's definitely the second type where the screws go directly into the tube, rather than just blocking it. Actually makes me think the strap option is worth a longer look, since I'm a skinny guy and my wrist size changes a lot. It's not so bad with micro adjust bracelets (or even easy to re-size half links), but this type is a lot harder for me.

Any recommendations for rubber straps with a titanium buckle?
 

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:( Yep, that's definitely the second type where the screws go directly into the tube, rather than just blocking it. Actually makes me think the strap option is worth a longer look, since I'm a skinny guy and my wrist size changes a lot. It's not so bad with micro adjust bracelets (or even easy to re-size half links), but this type is a lot harder for me.

Any recommendations for rubber straps with a titanium buckle?
Unfortunately, my only exposure to rubber straps are heavy-duty 20 & 22mm ones that came w/my big dive watches, e.g., Seiko waffle-style & Isofrane, & I think they would be too hefty for any of these Chronomasters. Also, 19mm bands might be difficult to find, though I suppose 20mm could be squeezed in.
 

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Just out of curiosity, does the bracelet have Grand Seiko style bracelet adjustments (two tiny screws and a solid bar between them... each screw is removed independently) or the awful style which requires you to use two screwdrivers simultaneously? The former is fine, the latter is a huge PIA to size!
I believe it is 2 screwdrivers. One to hold the screw and the other to unscrew.

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Discussion Starter #16
You're welcome, happy to help. Per my earlier post, I haven't seen any of these except my 4020-03E, but if you prefer the white dial I say go for it & get it on a bracelet. Sakura has the AQ4020-54Y on sale right now for a little over $2200 (sakura watches) which is just $200 more than the strap version & significantly less than what I paid for my -03E on a bracelet (though it still came w/the strap). I'm personally not a fan of 2-tone watches, but the 4024-53Y is the same price from Sakura as the 4020-54Y.
Getting closer to a decision. Do you have any experience w/ Sakura? I've bought from "shoppinginjapan" before, and there are lots of forum references for Seiya and Higuchi. The Sakura website seems legitimate and they are a few hundred dollars cheaper...
 

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Getting closer to a decision. Do you have any experience w/ Sakura? I've bought from "shoppinginjapan" before, and there are lots of forum references for Seiya and Higuchi. The Sakura website seems legitimate and they are a few hundred dollars cheaper...
I have no experience buying from Sakura, though they were helpful in answering some email inquiries last year. I went w/Higuchi because he happened to have the AQ4020-03E in stock early (maybe because he's located in a smaller city) & I wanted to get the watch before leaving on a trip.
 

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I like my AQ4020-54Y but I notice my dial has a small brownish mark under the letter m of Chronomaster.


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