As you probably know if you read my web site, one of my favorite models is the Citizen AT, which I have had for several years now (2010). I love it because I travel a great deal and it is easily one of the simplest of watches to use for different time zones. Simply pull out the crown, turn the second hand to the time zone required and push in again – job done. All you have to know is where you’re going!
Citizen CC3005-85E Solar, GPS – about as good as it gets. . .
Now with my new purchase (on it’s way!) I don’t even need to know that! Citizen’s new GPS model takes care of that with the advent of new and superior GPS technology, which supersedes even Radio Control which I naively thought was the ultimate! But my old AT of course was dependent on Radio Transmitter location, so conceivably could be out of contact. :-(
GPS offers so much more, yet the earlier GPS enabled Citizen watches didn’t really do it for me, as they had that angular case shape left over from the Attesa series, which if small to average wrist size, they never quite fitted as snugly as I wanted. That all important lug to lug size being just that little bit too long.
But now this latest model CC3005-85E is a different ball game altogether. It goes back to the more conventional and in my view a sensible case shape, which fits my wrist just fine and although cased is 44 mm x 13 mm, has that a shorter lug to lug dimension.
Now where my older AT model was great, this new GPS model is exceptional and it really comes into its own in all respects. Using the new F150 movement, it has an increased accuracy out of the box and even without GPS or Radio Control is within +/- 5 seconds per month, which is really, really good. Add in the GPS function and with one push of the upper right pusher, it synchronizes the exact local time in around 3 seconds. This is a lot quicker than any Radio Control models I’m used to.
When traveling it can now automatically locate (previous models did not have this feature) which out of the 40 time zones you are in by a quick push of the upper right button and calibrate the exact time using 4 satellites within about 3 minutes. No need to do much of anything again except push a button – so ease of use (so often the enemy of super complication watches) is quite amazing. You can however also set the Time Zone manually by pulling out the crown to Pos 1 and turning to the zone required and push the crown in, just like the AT.
Simple display plus complication technology a sure fire winner.
I like the fact this model not only calibrates and shows the Time, Day and the Date, each of which is shown on the dial, but displays in analog on a simple and clear, easy to read dial. I am really pleased that Citizen have achieved what I have long been an advocate of – a simple “display v complication” ratio – and this model manages this to perfection. The Solar cell internal charging system is also nothing short of spectacular (updated yet again) and can operate for a day after just 3 minutes in the sun. I find this extraordinary and coupled with the fact that, once fully charged, if you chuck it in a drawer, it will manage via its Power Save function to keep ticking away internally for up to 7 years! Even without Power Save activated it will run happily for around 2 years.
Now I have to ask myself if I actually need all this technology, as being perfectly honest, my current AT model does just fine, but HEY! This is techy done right! And I collect watches, so it was a no brainer that I was going to get it – wasn’t it!
Practically I like the fact it has decent luminosity baton markers and hands and the dial is uncluttered, very clean, clear and easy to read. There is also a Battery Charge and Power Generation indicator around the right segment of the dial in the form of 6 line markers. The lower one at 1 indicates around 24 months Battery Charge and the lower line at 6 around 5 days. It has also 7 levels of Power Generation indication if you really want to be pedantic.
Clever indications of Power Reserve and Power Generation.
These functions are activated by a short push on a button and the hands swing to indicate the results.
Nice deployment bracelet – which I might change to silicon . . . but we’ll see . .
Sapphire glass is used so few scratches will ever bother you and with its Perpetual Calendar until February 28th 2100 should also see me out (if not it means either I’m rather unique in my own right, or my watch has got a problem, and I know which one is likely to falter!).
And perhaps best of all, for me, is the fact that this wonderful technology comes in a familiar, yet considering the technology, an understated style and looks as unobtrusive as my Solar AT model. Citizen have definitely got this one right – improved and upgraded technology in almost every department and managed it all in a sensible case size. To then display that technology without an F16 cockpit dial set up is also to be applauded.
I love it and I love this one too.
There are competitors out there of course not least Seiko, but I’ve had a look at them and so far they don’t do it for me! They all tend to look a bit cluttered and look complicated and I have the impression the technology seems to be shoehorned in to the case. And on the wrist they are just not that super easy to read.
But Citizen with this model have very successfully merged technology and simplicity together in a very sleek and dare I say conventional watch – complicated yes, high tech yes, but super simple to use.
Now for me that’s real progress.
Images – I’ll post more images when I finally get the watch in my hands in an update to this Post. I’ll also update any conclusions reached here once I’ve tried it out for a week or so and if I do decide on a different strap, then I’ll show images of that too.