I’ll be the primary to admit to mechanical watch snobbery — ever since studying concerning the historical past of watchmaking and the engineering and artistry that goes into creating these anachronistic machines, I’ve gravitated towards computerized and hand-winding watches. But ignoring what a top quality quartz watch provides can lead to a myopic method to look at appreciation (responsible as charged). For me, sporting the Citizen Chandler chronograph over the previous few weeks has been an eye-opening reminder of simply how refreshing (and helpful) a quartz chronograph will be.
Driven by Citizen’s Caliber B642 Eco-Drive motion, the one energy the Chandler wants is a bit of sunshine to run precisely for months. Bright gentle, dim gentle, soul-crushing overhead fluorescent lights — it doesn’t matter; the Eco-Drive will energy up and maintain operating for as much as six months. For somebody used to the morning routine of selecting a stopped watch and having to set the time and date earlier than strapping it on, grabbing the Chandler from the dresser was a refreshing change.
Those of you who’ve transcended mechanical watch snobbery are seemingly rolling your eyes. But for the remainder of us not-quite-enlightened (or mechanically inclined), spending time with a top quality quartz watch is usually a not-so-subtle reminder of simply why quartz watches almost decimated the normal watch-making trade: they’re inexpensive, sturdy, and correct and, within the case of Citizen’s Eco-Drive, don’t even require a battery change. But none of that issues if it’s not a top quality watch that you simply get pleasure from strapping in your wrist. For many customers, the Citizen Chandler might be a watch that they’ll put on every single day, in all conditions. So, that’s precisely how I wore it: indoors, outside (together with on some double-black bike trails that actually examined its shock-resistance), within the pool (it has 100m WR), in town, you identify it. Before I get to the way it holds up as an on a regular basis watch, let’s check out among the particulars.
The stainless steel case of the Citizen Chandler measures 43mm — a measurement that shocked me once I went to look it up. If you’d requested, I might have guessed 41-42mm as a consequence of the way it wears on my 6.75” wrist. This perceived smaller measurement is because of a number of components, together with a lug-to-lug measurement of ~50mm, a flat caseback, and generously sloping lugs that present a cosy, wrist-hugging match. Likely extra necessary, nevertheless, is the visible impact created by the polished, sloping bezel and internal (somewhat than bezel-mounted) tachymeter scale. These components work collectively to attenuate the efficient dial measurement, creating the impression of a smaller watch. Ultimately, this leads to a watch that wears barely smaller than its measurements would counsel, having loads of wrist presence, with out wanting outsized.
When it involves the dial, Citizen seems to be channeling basic two-register chronographs from the 1960s and 70s. The dial incorporates a deep, saturated blue, with two silver sub-dials: a 60-minute register at 12 o’clock and operating seconds at 6 o’clock. The orange central chronograph hand provides a pop of coloration that completely enhances the darkish blue hue of the dial (somebody was learning their coloration wheel). Combined with a framed date window at three o’clock and minimal branding at 9 o’clock, the Chandler is properly balanced, if not symmetrical. To choose nits, the date window is a bit small and inset.
While the general impact pays homage to the previous, it’s not overtly neo-vintage like so many re-issues at present cropping up available on the market. With the combo of brushed and polished surfaces, utilized markers and high-polished hands, the Chandler nudges towards the fashionable aspect of the classy-sporty spectrum. And, I believe that’s precisely what Citizen was going for with the Chandler — a classically styled chronograph that may work simply as a day-in-day-out watch, whether or not you’re on the seaside in shorts and a t-shirt or in a piece surroundings.
Around the surface of the dial runs a tachymeter scale, however for higher or worse, the dimensions is distorted at most angles by the highly-domed mineral crystal. Personally, I believe tachymeters are somewhat pointless for a overwhelming majority of us (however hey, so is a watch with > 100m of water resistance), so the magnification and distortion truly present a somewhat enjoyable visible impact. However, for those who’re truly attempting to make use of the tachymeter to, say, measure your canine’s operating velocity, then it might turn out to be a difficulty. Tachymeter apart, the watch is sort of legible, with properly proportioned hands, distinguished utilized markers, and beneficiant lume. Though it’s a bit ridiculous if you concentrate on it for a minute, telling time on chronographs can typically be a bit difficult (ahem, Rolex Daytona), so I used to be very joyful concerning the legibility of the Chandler.
Seeing as that is, in fact, a chronograph, let’s get into the way it capabilities. The decrease register at 6 o’clock offers a operating seconds hand, whereas the higher register offers a 60-minute counter. A fast push of the highest pusher begins the central timing seconds hand, which sweeps at 5 beats-per-second. A second push stops the timer and the re-set is activated by the decrease pusher. Like most quartz chronographs, the seconds hand re-sets easily and shortly however with out the speedy snap-back you expertise with a mechanical watch. Similarly, the pushers present first rate suggestions however with no robust optimistic click on when engaged.
As talked about above, the Chandler wears fairly comfortably and that’s additionally due partially to the 22mm Milanese strap, which is actually infinitely adjustable with out the necessity for micro-adjust pins or a Dremel device (like some mesh straps). Simply open the clasp, pop up the closure, slide to the place it matches, and pop it again on. Mind you, it’s not the sort of adjustment that’s simple to make on the fly like a glide-lock clasp, however a couple of seconds with a small screwdriver does the trick. The draw back to this mechanism, nevertheless, is that the bracelet comes totally open so the drop danger is elevated — not less than for clumsy individuals like myself. That mentioned, it’s a quartz watch, so, for those who drop it, you’re unlikely to wreck the motion. Regardless, the strap is sort of snug and a stable match for the model of the piece. The Chandler would additionally look sharp on a brown leather strap or dressed down on a gray NATO.
At simply over the $300 mark, the Citizen Chandler is a watch that I might simply suggest to associates who aren’t as far down the mechanical watch rabbit gap and are searching for a cultured, sturdy, and dependable chronograph. For these extra mechanical-watch-inclined, the one sticking level could be the rise of watches on this value vary using Seiko’s mecha-quartz motion. The essential benefit to the mecha-quartz being a mechanical module is that it that enables for satisfying pusher motion and instantaneous re-set. Two choices that come instantly to thoughts are the Undone Urban Vintage ($265 USD) and the Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chrono ($260). Both provide an identical throwback aesthetic in a wide range of colorways and a variety of customization choices within the Undone. So much comes down as to if you worth mecha-quartz or the battery-less Eco-Drive.
It’s been some time since I constantly wore a quartz watch, however the Citizen Chandler has been reminder of how good it may be to have a worry-free grab-and-go quartz watch in your assortment. I’m not one to child my watches and, frankly, I believe the fragility of mechanical watches is usually a bit overblown. That mentioned, there’s no means I’d be taking a mechanical watch downhill mountain biking. The Chandler? Sure, why not!
Personally, I believe Citizen nailed it with the Chandler. The measurement and form are going to work for a variety of wrists, the Eco-Drive motion is time-tested and dependable, and the dial is restrained and engaging with simply the correct quantity of coloration pop. I do want that Citizen had simply foregone the tachymeter observe, given the distortion created by the field crystal, however since I by no means use the perform, it’s not a significant gripe.
I can see the mesh bracelet being a bit divisive, however it’s snug and fits the aesthetic of the watch. With the high-polished hands and indices, the Chandler has a cultured vibe that may gown up and down with ease. This watch could be a stable alternative for anybody trying to have a grab-and-go quartz chronograph within the assortment (one thing I now undoubtedly worth) but additionally an important advice for anybody searching for an inexpensive, high-quality, on a regular basis watch. Learn extra at citizenwatch.com.
Necessary Data>Brand: Citizen>Model: Chandler Chronograph>Price: $395 MSRP ($316 checklist value at citizenwatch.com)>Size: 43mm-wide, 22mm lugs, and ~50mm lug-to-lug distance.>When reviewer would personally put on it: As a grab-and-go once I want a watch that can work nearly wherever.>Friend we’d suggest it to first: Friend on a finances searching for a top quality quartz watch they’ll put on every single day.>Best attribute of watch: Versatility and dial styling.>Worst attribute of watch: Mesh strap gained’t be for everybody; distortion from the crystal.