I started wearing Citizen watches some thirty years ago. After the realization my first lasted me 10 plus years of daily wear, I made a point of it. I'm almost 60 now. That first one was a water resistant chronograph model good to 330 feet under water, and it really saw rough treatment as I never took it off much for other than baths. I even once smashed the mineral glass crystal and had it replaced. I also had to have the metal bracelet segment pins replaced once as they had worn out. Still, no other watch I've ever owned has been able to stand up to such abuse for more than a year, such as the abuse I gave that first Citizen. I've owned all types, expensive Swiss jeweled movement and quartz, and not so expensive, and none of them has ever approached giving me the service I've gotten from my Citizen watches. Nor has any of them kept the correct time so well as my Citizen watches. Citizen watches actually keep better time in constant wear, and mine have always stayed within plus or minus two seconds accuracy per month. I've never needed to reset them beyond daylight savings time changes, or when traveling to another time zone.
My previous Citizen watch came from Amazon retailer associate, Princeton Watch. It was the 2003 America's Cup Titanium Sailhawk offered in 2002, rated for 330 feet of water (WR 100), and also known as the Stars&Stripes model (JR4000-55L). I purchased it directly due to the reliability of the first two Citizen watches I had, but I have enjoyed it much more as it is also an ECO model that never requires a battery. It also looks much like this newer Skyhawk model and has never needed any service. The mineral glass crystal and its sliding bezel are very scratched and worn now after almost nine years of constant wear, but it still looks great in spite of this. Sure, the titanium metal shows scratches easy if you rub it across something abrasive - but I learned early on how to take an abrasive pad and to lighty touch it up now and then for a return to its original great appearance. A few side benefits are titanium is extremely light and much stronger than stainless steel. It is also non-allergenic and won't cause a skin rash like other metals can. That lighter weight of titanium is also important in larger watches such as these, along with the strength. My Sailhawk also has time zones and many of the same functions of this Skyhawk. So, a Skyhawk model was the next logical choice for long service.
Since my Sailhawk is still giving great service, I intend to send it in to Citizen for standard cleaning and sealing service and a new crystal and bezel, now that I have this new Skyhawk Blue Angels ECO-radio controlled model. I'm sure Citizen will be able to return it to its original pristeen condition. That means it will be getting worn for many more years when I'm not wearing this new Skyhawk Blue Angels model.
I again purchased from Amazon retailer associate, Princeton Watch, but I purchased from them directly on their Online store - as I missed the Amazon link to their store when I returned here to purchase. The price was the same as here at Amazon's link to them and they gave me free one-day shipping. Had it not been for that, you would have seen the Amazon purchase confirmation on this review. You can find that Princeton Watch link here, but you have to look for it at times for some reason. At any rate, Princeton Watch is a great retailer on the Amazon list of dealers.
On to my use with this new Skyhawk JY0050-55L:
I've had this new JY0050-55L for about a week now. It looks so similar in size and configuration to my older Sailhawk, no one in my office has really noticed it. But, others always do notice it just as they have my Sailhawk. It's not uncommon for a stranger to just notice and comment, "Nice watch.".
This Skyhawk is larger than my Sailhawk by 4mm in case diameter and 1mm in case thickness (48mm x 16mm). That doesn't sound like much and it isn't. But, the size of this watch may be too much for smaller people. I'm 6'3" and 215, so it still fits and looks right on my wrist. The band actually accommodates larger wrists well, so I removed two bracelet links, just like I had done with my older Sailhawk, for a perfect fit. Had this watch been the cheaper stainless steel model, I'm sure I would have noticed the unfavorable added weight. As it is, I'm always aware it is there. The difference in weight from my titanium Sailhawk is not noticeable. From my use of stainless steel watches in the past, they are much heavier for their size and their metal bands wear out and break much easier. Titanium is almost indestructible. Hopefully, I'll never need it, but this new watch has the same great Citizen five-year warranty I had on my old Sailhawk - never needed to use that warranty.
This feature is the major difference from my older Sailhawk other than the bezel. This watch is most always showing a strong signal has been received, at my Alabama residence, at every update. This has also been so while I was wearing the watch during an update. First time set up was really easy as I used the Citizen Watch Company website with its interactive guide, but a small CD is also supplied. The provided small paper book manual is also easily understood. My only complaint here is an inadvertent long press of the "radio update check" feature can trigger an automatic radio update. These updates can take up to 15 minutes. The only way to back out of that is to quickly pull the crown out one position and to then return it. At least an accidental long press is not something that should happen often.
Going for an extended stay in China or where there's no atomic clock radio signal?
This Skyhawk does the radio control act in the US, Europe, and Japan. Where the signal isn't available, it works just like a standard quality timepiece. If you want radio control where it's available in China - well, you'll need to up the ante considerably for a Promaster from Citizen.
The crown is an improvement over my older Sailhawk as it has two positions. The first is for changing modes. On my Sailhawk, the mode was always getting inadvertently changed as this is done on it without moving the crown outward first - even though both crowns are well-protected by the case design. I find the crown easy to use when needed, as I only use it with my watch off of my wrist. That's no different from my Sailhawk or any other watch.
The settings buttons:
Again there is improvement over the older Sailhawk. The buttons are smaller but easier to snag and collect dirt on the Sailhawk, although I've never had any problem cleaning them with an old soft tooth brush and mild soap - per instructions for both of these watches. The new Skyhawk Blue Angels design of the buttons is unopen on the wrist side, and the machined and polished button angles will not allow anything to snag or pull at them.
The slide rule bezel:
Okay, I have 20/15 vision, but I've got to admit the numbers are small enough to make one look more closely to use it. Yeah, us older guys tend to lose that close up vision also. Really though, how many times will the slide rule bezel be used? It is novel and looks nice, but most of what it does I can do in my head. Again, there is another improvement in the bezel movement over the bezel on the Sailhawk. The bezel feels as if it has a fine "click" positioning to hold it in place, whereas the bezel on the Sailhawk slides almost too easily.
This dial at the 12 O'clock position is not available on my Sailhawk. It continuously displays 24-hour time in hours and minutes for the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).
This is always displayed on the 2 O'clock dial by hour. The display is about half the size of the one on my Sailhawk, but I find it to be no problem.
The lighted dial:
This works quite well at night for the LCD displays. It only stays on for a few seconds even if you continue holding the button for it down - evidently to conserve the solar charge. My only complaint here is it really doesn't light the full dial but rather the LCDs. In my use, I like to keep the mode in "CAL" instead of "TME", so the date is displayed in the LCD instead of the time. Fortunately, the hands and dial markings on this model are much easier to see at night than they are on the Sailhawk - another great improvement.
This has never been a problem with any Citizen watch I've owned. The rating on this one is double what I had with the others - WR 200 (660 feet).
If you read the Citizen website PDF manual for this watch, I'm sure you'll be better apprised of what it will do and its operation. It is a great watch even for the rather large price - but then, we still aren't talking Rolex prices and you have to remember this model approaches the more costly Citizen Asian and European Promaster styles - without their higher cost. Other than not having a sapphire crystal, I'm not so sure the Skyhawk isn't better than the Promaster - and I know I like they style better. One more thing, I find this Blue Angels model very collectable for the ceramic inset on the case back (like my America's Cup Sailhawk has). Also, I'm expecting this Blue Angels Skyhawk Titanium, radio-controlled watch, will last just as long as my other Citizen watches have lasted. That's the true test of any great watch. So far, Citizen watches have lived up to that test with me.
Addendum: The DAY/DATE feature
This right-hand LCD feature window has always displayed the CORRECT day and date for the time zone city I set to display in the left LCD window.