Citizen Pilot Radiocontrolled 2020-2021
Each time we review a Citizen watch, a Citizen Pilot, case in point, we step into a territory whose technologies are exclusive to the Japanese brand. Whether you're opting for Eco-Drive, SuperTitanium™, Atomic timekeeping, or GPS operated timepieces, Citizen's array of patents make it's offering a one-of-a-kind value proposition. That's why we were quite surprised at discovering that the brand just released its first-ever smartwatch earlier this month.
The Citizen Pilot Atomic Timekeeping product portfolio is Citizen's bread and butter in Europe, and in Italy especially, where it boasts a considerable following, whose budget is between 400 and 600 Euros (available in steel or SuperTitanium™); target buyers are seeking for outstanding accuracy paired with ease of use. Citizen has unstoppably improved the collection, and the 2020 Pilot is the most refined in ages.
Citizen Watch is a leading manufacturer of atomic timekeeping and GPS-operated timepieces (i.e., the Satellite Wave GPS). As far as GPS watches are concerned, its fiercest competitor is Seiko with class-leading GPS Astron; atomic timekeeping is Citizen's specific instead. Atomic timekeeping might look outdated, yet it's less expensive and ensures a stunning accuracy given the timepiece adjusts itself by syncing to atomic clocks displaced across the globe.
This technology allows a Citizen Pilot Radiocontrolled 2020 to quickly sync with the closest atomic clock and adjust itself as you're unboxing the watch. Each Citizen Pilot Eco-Drive Radiocontrolled comes standard with enough power to get it up and running unless yours is stored for too long into an AD's warehouse.
Despite being less attractive, on paper, atomic timekeeping is less expensive than its GPS sibling. From a technical standpoint, an atomic clock signal conveys time, day, and date. Based on this signal, the Eco-Drive powered H145 caliber provides complications like a perpetual calendar and World Time across 26 different cities.
Citizen's atomic timekeeping had belonged to the Promaster series since 1993 when Citizen introduced the first multi-band radio-controlled timepiece. The first Citizen Pilot appeared in 2005 instead. As said, Citizen has relentlessly improved the technology and paired with the state-of-the-art Eco-Drive, thus ensuring a two-year power reserve. The design has undergone a lifting process, with new variants in SuperTitanium™ popping up in 2020 to celebrate the first-ever titanium wristwatch's fiftieth anniversary, along with redesigned steel-on-steel and steel-on-strap options.
It's hard not to find your Pilot watch, despite titanium and steel variants differing from each other more than ever before. What they share instead is the analog slide rule operated by the crown placed at eight. Specifications include a 200m water resistance making for the quintessential multi-purpose sports watch.
Please place the 2020 Citizen Pilot alongside the outgoing Citizen reference AS2020 in steel or AS2030 in titanium. Aesthetically, the case size has reduced by a mere millimeter, now measuring 43 mils across; thick Arabic numerals filled with plenty of luminous material have replaced most baton indexes, as long as the 2020 Pilot in steel concerns. The SuperTitanium™ has barely changed. The steel one now glows in the dark far more than the old one, whose glowing power was relatively low, in comparison.
The old ones shared the style, not the full equipment, with the titanium adopting a sapphire crystal to replace the steel pilot's mineral crystal. Conversely, 2020 titanium and steel Pilot are different from each other, yet they both come with a sapphire crystal. Whether you're going for SuperTitanium™ or Steel, you can opt for the handsome three-link bracelet whose end link's profile resembles an airplane's wing. Technically speaking, the 2020 Citizen Pilot is a game-changer since it now adopts a 5-channel signal, syncing to atomic timekeeping powered towers located in the USA, Europe, Japan, and China. A Citizen Pilot AS2020 could exclusively connect to the German signal, thus working as a standard multi-function quartz watch when operating outside the area covered by that signal.
The Citizen Pilot Radiocontrolled, 2020-2021, retails between 428 and 528 Euros and comes in five steel options and two in SuperTitanium™. The first group includes a blue or chocolate dial, either on a leather strap or bracelet. A black PVD-treated steel option is also available. Please find product codes and prices below:
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Super Titanium CB0230-81E - 528 Euros
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Super Titanium CB0230-81L - 528 Euros
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Steel CB0240-88E - 428 Euros
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Steel CB0240-88L - 428 Euros
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Steel CB0245-84E - 448 Euros
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Steel CB0240-29X - 398 Euros
Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Steel CB0240-11L - 398 Euros
The Citizen Pilot Radio Controlled Titanium watches are my favorite choice if you ask me. They offer a polished finish and superior scratch resistance; the midnight blue dial is just stunning. I'd prefer Citizen Watch to explain further the kind of SuperTitanium™ these timepieces offer, given the number of options available and how they perform.
The brand has an unusual approach in marketing its core collections, whose product codes may consistently vary from one country to another, making it harder to understand what kind of timepiece you're getting. I suggest the brand add as many details as possible when listing new and current watches on their websites. Finally, if you're going for the steel Pilot 2020, make sure you treat yourself with the steel option; I guess you won't dive with a leather strap during the summer season.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®