The unique Citizen Promaster Nighthawk was one of many early darlings amongst on-line watch lovers, and it was ceaselessly a prime advice on varied boards because of its feature-packed design and budget-friendly worth level. At its core, the Nighthawk is a dual-timezone pilot’s watch with a slide rule bezel and photo voltaic Eco-Drive motion. Nonetheless, with a extremely legible show and more-than-generous water resistance, the Nighthawk finally garnered a various following of devoted followers amongst quite a few totally different demographics who all appreciated the look ahead to its function-forward design and rugged development. After greater than a decade of manufacturing, Citizen lastly up to date the Promaster Nighthawk in 2020, and whereas the brand new mannequin presents a lot of the identical core package deal with regards to its performance and specs, it additionally represents a major aesthetic departure and contains numerous notable modifications.
Whereas the unique Nighthawk supplied a reasonably conventional total case profile, the brand new Citizen Promaster Nighthawk (ref. BJ7138-04E) attracts its design inspiration from stealth helicopters, and it options thick angular lugs with brushed sides and huge polished prime surfaces. Crafted from chrome steel, the case itself measures 42mm in diameter by 13mm-thick, with a lug width of 22mm (Citizen truly lists this measurement as 21.97mm), and an total lug-to-lug distance of roughly 47mm. Identical to the unique Nighthawk, the brand new model incorporates a mineral glass crystal defending its dial, whereas the reverse facet of the case will get fitted with a strong screw-down chrome steel caseback. Personally, I might have most well-liked a sapphire crystal, though Citizen has a behavior of becoming mineral crystals to a lot of its Promaster sports activities watches, regardless of utilizing sapphire crystals on different fashions at considerably lower cost factors. One principle I’ve heard is that that is deliberately completed because of the barely increased influence resistance of sure kinds of mineral glass (regardless of being much less scratch resistant), though I believe most collectors would nonetheless desire to have a sapphire crystal every time potential.
The bezel fitted to the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk BJ7138-04E incorporates a black PVD end and distinguished diagonal grooves operating round its perimeter. All the pieces about its look means that the bezel would rotate and be used to function the inner slide rule scale situated on the underside of the crystal, much like how the bezel operates on one thing like a Breitling Navitimer. Nonetheless, the outer bezel is definitely mounted, and rotating the inner slide rule scale is as an alternative completed by turning the secondary crown situated on the facet of the case on the 2 o’clock place. Whereas the crown for the inner bezel is unsigned, the opposite crown on the 3 o’clock location is engraved with the Promaster assortment’s double arrow brand, and it’s used to entry the motion. Moreover, even though the time-setting crown doesn’t screw down on the brand new Citizen Promaster Nighthawk prefer it did on the unique mannequin, the watch nonetheless presents an ample 200 meters of water resistance, that means that it’s greater than able to surviving nearly any aquatic actions you would possibly encounter.
Whereas the dial fitted to the brand new Citizen Promaster Nighthawk presents a lot of the identical core format because the one fitted to the unique model, its look has acquired a major aesthetic overhaul. The middle of the dial nonetheless incorporates a double arc-shaped 24-hour scale that’s used together with the extra double-sided hand with color-coordinated, airplane-shaped suggestions for designating AM versus PM hours. On the unique mannequin, white and purple have been the 2 colours that have been used for the secondary timezone show, whereas the brand new model of the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk swaps out purple for orange however retains the identical elementary design. The fashion of the hour markers has additionally been up to date to a printed fashion of largely Arabic numerals with a big triangle at 12 o’clock and batons for the remaining cardinal level. Moreover, whereas the secondary 24-hour timezone show doesn’t obtain any luminous markings, all twelve of the indexes, plus the hour and minute hand are completed with lume that emits an aqua blue coloured glow to supply easy accessibility to the time in low-light settings.
Identical to the unique model, the dial fitted to the brand new Citizen Promaster Nighthawk incorporates a date window on the 3 o’clock location, and whereas there are quite a few small updates to the assorted fonts and textual content that seem all through it, one of many largest modifications is regarding the inside slide rule bezel that sounds its perimeter. Quite than having the inner monitor of the slide rule scale printed alongside the outermost fringe of the flat part of the dial, the whole slide rule has been moved to the big angled chapter ring. The angled part now incorporates the interior mounted monitor for the slide rule, whereas the outer rotating monitor seems on the part of the chapter ring that sits parallel to the underside floor of the crystal. With all the markings on the flat part of the dial now devoted to the 2 totally different timezones, the up to date design for the brand new Citizen Promaster Nighthawk is finally in a position to supply higher at-a-glance legibility.
Powering the trendy Citizen Promaster Nighthawk ref. BJ7138-04E is the model’s Eco-Drive Cal. B877 photo voltaic quartz motion, which is the very same caliber that may be discovered inside the unique Nighthawk watch. Like different Citizen Eco-Drive calibers, the B877 is able to charging itself with both pure or synthetic mild, and it’ll keep operating in whole darkness for as much as six months at a time as soon as totally charged. Providing set-it-and-forget-it timekeeping efficiency with known-quantity reliability, the solar-powered nature of Citizen’s Eco-Drive vary implies that routine battery replacements aren’t a necessity, and Citizen is well an trade chief with regards to light-powered expertise. Personally, I’m an enormous fan of Citizen’s Eco-Drive actions, though this explicit one has one severe downside with regards to the quickset adjustability of its fingers and date show.
When working the Citizen Eco-Drive B877 motion, pulling out the crown to the primary place and rotating it in a single course will bounce the native 12-hour hand ahead in one-hour increments, whereas turning it within the different course will advance the date show. The issue right here is which you can solely transfer the hour hand ahead (not backward), and the date show modifications when the native 12-hour hand passes midnight. Which means setting the Promaster Nighthawk to a timezone that is only one hour earlier requires you to leap the hour hand ahead practically full rotations — after which, as a result of the date show has additionally superior by this level, you have to to rotate the crown in the wrong way to advance the date practically a full month till the earlier worth seems as soon as once more. The shortcoming to leap the hour hand backward is the important thing downside with this design, and I might actually think about the Nighthawk to only have a twin timezone show (one thing for monitoring a single fixed timezone equivalent to UTC/and many others.), slightly than truly providing both “caller” or “traveler” GMT performance.
Fitted to the 22mm lugs of the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk ref. BJ7138-04E is a two-piece olive inexperienced leather-based strap that’s impressed by the colour of traditional army uniforms. Tapering from 22mm on the lugs to 20mm the place it connects to an extremely chunky signed pin-buckle, the strap itself is pretty thick; nevertheless, the fabric is decently gentle and cozy proper out of the field, with little or no break-in time required. All issues thought of, the strap in all fairness good and fairly a bit higher than many different choices at this worth level, though I do query whether or not or not leather-based is probably the most applicable materials for this explicit mannequin. Whereas the Nighthawk isn’t particularly designed for aquatic use, it does supply the identical depth ranking as many purpose-built dive watches, and since there is no such thing as a specific point out that the leather-based strap is waterproof, it might have been good to see a unique materials used right here as an alternative that will enable customers to reap the benefits of the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk’s surprisingly beneficiant water resistance.
There’ll inevitably be some individuals who desire the unique Nighthawk because of its barely extra conventional design, however that mannequin had been in manufacturing for greater than a decade, and this new model represents sufficient of an replace to the purpose the place it feels just like the Nighthawk has advanced in a tangible method. That mentioned, slightly than primarily updating its aesthetics, including a sapphire crystal and a brand new motion with a correct independently adjustable hour hand would have made the brand new Nighthawk an absolute residence run, and you can even justify the removing of the screw-down crown on the grounds that it makes it simpler to rapidly replace the native timezone. That mentioned, with an official retail worth of $495 USD, the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk ref. BJ7138-04E stays firmly positioned on the reasonably priced finish of the spectrum, and it’s usually even accessible at a reduction with a small quantity of looking. Though there are different watches which are extra sensible for journey and holding monitor of a number of timezones, the Nighthawk nonetheless represents an extremely compelling providing because of its feature-rich design and sturdy development. For extra info on the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk, please go to the model’s web site.