*** Setting instructions ***
If you don't have an instruction manual or would like to know more about how to set and use the functions on the Navihawk, you can see an abbreviated set of instructions in Acrobat Reader format by clicking on this link. More comprehensive instructions (and an interactive video!) can be found at the Citizen of America webpage Settings.
[Update 28 Feb 2000: I received a communication from Keith Surowiec, a pilot in the USAF. This is what he says:
"You brought up an interesting point about the g-forces resetting the watch that I can confirm for you. I fly F-16's in the USAF and I, like many of my fellow pilots fly with the Navihawk, because of its versatility and convenience. However under the strain of combat level G-forces 8-9 times the force of gravity the watch does come a little unglued. For example the last time I had a malfunction the UTC hand time and digital time refused to match. On another occasion the analog time refused to switch to the digital time upon pressing the A and C buttons. Both of these problems were solved by doing a master reset and reloading the current UTC time. I'm not sure if it is the actual G-forces or the pressing of the plungers simultaneously in some fashion or a combination of both that cause these problems. Nevertheless it is a great watch and has served me well since 1996."
Another correspondent (also a pilot) is of the opinion that the Navihawk's chip can become 'confused' after many button presses, requiring a reset to get it back on track again. Whilst this may be so, all I can say is that so far this hasn't happened to me (touch wood).]
To sum up, in the 2½ years I've owned the Navihawk it's done its job extremely well. Nothing has fallen off or gone wrong, all the functions work well, and it's continued to run extremely accurately on its original battery. It has practically every function I could wish for, and has proved especially useful and convenient when travelling. I must confess I haven't got it wet yet, but judging by my other Citizen quartz 100m WR, I'm sure it would hold up OK. [Update 28 Feb 2000: I have taken a dip in a pool with it on, and am pleased to report everything is A-OK. I was more worried about scratching the face on the side of the pool than its water resistance.]
I believe it was overpriced at its original price point, but at the price I paid it's a bargain. (I found out later this was approximately cost price.) And in spite of my fond feelings for mechanical watches, I have to admit there are some things that only an electronic watch can do. Its reliance on a battery is obviously a disadvantage, but realistically only a minor inconvenience every three years or so. And to counter that inconvenience, there's the advantage that you can leave it in the drawer for months at a time whilst trying out new additions to the collection, then dig it out with it showing the correct date and time. An interesting thought is that had I set the time correctly when I got it, then put it away for 2½ years, it would now be only 3 minutes fast.
So, how could it be improved? Well, for starters it would be nice if it knew the time zone where I live. Secondly, a backlight of some description would be handy, because the luminous material isn't all that wonderful on the hands, and anyway they tend to get lost in the green of the subdials on my particular model. In an attempt to improve legibility I had the space in the hour hand filled in with luminous material also, but it hasn't made much difference. A later model which some call the 'Navihawk 3' (but I believe is really the 'Wingman VI'—see photo left) does have its LCD displays backlit, but it doesn't have the ability to automatically set the hands or switch analogue and digital times, which to me is the great attraction of the Navihawk. Oh yes, one other thing. How about a power reserve indicator or signal to let you know the battery will expire in one month? Now, that would be handy...........
|Here John is about to disembowel my beloved Navi in order to instal a new battery. Interestingly, the old one kept powering the watch until the voltage dropped to 0.4 volts, which is a far cry from its original 1.55 volts.|
|And here's the gubbins, surprisingly more complex than I thought it would be. Zero jewels, but three coils (one for each stepper motor) in place of the usual one in quartz movements. Note the battery under its diamond-shaped cover, and the circular initialising instructions (in English and Japanese) pasted onto the inside of the caseback.|
|The business end of a Navihawk minus the battery. The plastic spacer enables Citizen to fit a square peg into a round hole.|
|Here's what the initialising instructions say:
"(1) After installing a battery, short (AR) and (+) of the battery twice.
(2) Set mode hand to "CHR" or "RACE" mode and pull (M) then set to ZERO."
I don't know about you, but even with the instructions I'd be terrified of shorting out the wrong thing and rendering the whole shebang useless. I think I'll just leave the battery changing to John.
|The new battery is in, the ALL RESET has been performed, and the final adjustments are being made. I'm glad he knows what he's doing.|
The In-between Timezone Problem
I mentioned above my frustration at finding out that despite being programmed for 22 timezones, the Navihawk doesn't recognize my local timezone, Australian Central Standard Time, which is GMT+9.5 hours. However, I've found a partial solution to the problem, which may also help other Navihawk owners living in timezones offset from GMT by fractions of an hour.
The solution lies in doing an ALL RESET, and then adjusting the hour and minute hands not to zero (midnight), but (in my case) to 11.30pm. I then set the timezone to Sydney, which is GMT+10 hours, and input the current Sydney time and date. The result is that all the digital times for the various cities around the world are now correct in relation to each other, and the analogue hands display local (Adelaide) time. The only drawback is that when switching between timezones (say Adelaide and New York), the new digital time is correct but the analogue time is ½ hour slow. Still, I suppose you can't have everything. (If you clicked on the link to get here, use your browser's BACK button to return to near top of page.)
The March of Progress...
The second development is that Citizen have continued to refine the Navihawk concept resulting in new models, notably the Eco-Drive Skyhawk, the titanium Eco-Drive Navihawk, and the latest addition to the stable, the Navi Hawk 2000GT. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages compared to the others.
The Eco-Drive Skyhawk is a big, heavy watch—so much so that among the watch fraternity it has gained the affectionate nickname of "BAS", or "Big Ass Skyhawk" (I don't make up the names, I just report them). Despite its bulk and weight it is comfortable to wear (unless you have small wrists), thanks to its integrated bracelet which is far more substantial than that on the original Navihawk. The Eco-Drive movement, once fully charged, will keep correct time for up to 4 years even in the dark, and of course never needs a battery change. (Citizen claim the rechargeable secondary battery will still be able to provide 80% of its original capacity after 20 years.) The movement's phenomenal accuracy (30 seconds a year or better) initially led me to believe it was thermo-compensated, but it isn't. (For further information, see my in-depth review of the Skyhawk.)
As can be seen from the photo, the Skyhawk's dial is reminiscent of that of the Navihawk, but with subdials at 2,6 and 10 instead of 6,9 and 12. This has necessitated a reduction in the size of the digital readouts, with a consequent reduction in legibility. (The watch in the photo needs its hour hand aligning correctly—luckily this is easy to do with the 'hands zeroing' procedure.) Functions are selected by rotating the crown in either direction (without pulling it out), which is probably more efficient but also has the disadvantage of easier accidental operation. Analogue and digital time are still interchangeable à la Navihawk, but the change is slower. The hands don't retract to the 12 o'clock position however. The slide rule bezel is both harder to see and to turn. (Interestingly, the Australian Skyhawks have the inner scale—the 'D' scale—with white numerals on a black background, but every US Skyhawk I've ever seen is as shown in the photo, with both scales having black numerals engraved onto the steel bezel.) [Update—the newer models have black slide rule bezels.] Dial and hands luminosity is improved over the Navihawk, but there is still no backlight. Water resistance remains the same at 100 metres. There is the ability to program in a city of your choice, but only if its timezone differs from GMT by a whole number of hours, which doesn't help Adelaideans, Darwinians and Newfoundlanders (plus a few others). The Skyhawk is also available in titanium, which overcomes the 'heaviness' factor of the steel version.
With the titanium Eco-Drive Navihawk, it seems Citizen is having a bet each way. It still employs the same super-accurate quartz movement, but this is housed in a titanium case complemented by a non-integrated titanium bracelet. This makes the whole watch much lighter than the BAS, and more comfortable for those who don't like heavy watches. The dial layout is basically that of the Skyhawk (minus the arabics at 1,3,5,7,9,and 11), but the slide-rule bezel is pure Navihawk. Again, the bracelet is much improved in quality over the original Navi. There is no backlight, although night-time visibility is reportedly superior to both the Skyhawk and the original Navi. Adelaide gets left out of the list of cities on this one, too. Higuchi-Inc, the well-known Japanese dealer, also offer this model on a kevlar/leather strap, and very smart it looks too. (Pictures from Higuchi-Inc website.)
And here's the latest of the Navihawk derivatives—the Navi Hawk 2000GT. With this all-stainless steel model Citizen has gone back to big and heavy (although with a totally redesigned integrated bracelet), and a conventional, battery-driven quartz movement. It still has the basic Skyhawk dial layout and case design, but with one very important addition—a small pusher on the lower left of the case. This controls the electro-luminescent (EL) backlight, which illuminates the digital displays for 3-4 seconds per push. Analogue and digital times are still interchangeable, and there's a warning when battery life is coming to an end (presumably the second hand moves in 2-second jumps). There's also something called a 'destination timer' according to the catalogue, which is nothing more than a rather complicated count-down timer which can span several days. Mode selection is done by turning the crown. The slide-rule is easier to see than on the Skyhawk, but still somewhat awkward to use. And guess what—Australian Central Time still doesn't get a mention.
Other Navihawk Variants
It seems there's quite a few Navihawk clones about, all using the Citizen C300 movement. I'm including some photos of these for interest.
First, an Accurist (scan by Pat Clarke). I saw one of these in a shop window in London.
Next, an Elgin. This is available in the U.S. for $99 through a home shopping catalog. Note sculptured case and skeletal hands.
A no-name Navihawk, with unusual temperature conversion bezel and oyster-link bracelet. This one looks to have a backlight, unless it's just a reflection.
A genuine Citizen this time, but the lugs have been beefed up and so has the bracelet.
So where does that leave us?
Well, almost all of my improvement "wishes" have been addressed in one or more of the new models. The 2000GT has a backlight and a battery end-of-life indicator. The Skyhawk and the titanium Navi have that wonderful, super-accurate Eco-Drive movement. But my biggest gripe, the lack of an Adelaide timezone, remains unanswered and, it seems, is destined to remain so.
These are all good watches. Which of them you choose is going to be coloured by personal taste, the functions you deem desirable, and the depth of your pocket as the newer models are somewhat more expensive than the original Navihawk. I know of at least one person (who shall remain nameless but he knows who he is, don't you Mark?) who agonized for weeks over whether or not he should trade in his Blue Angels Navihawk for a Skyhawk or titanium Navi, and ended up owning all three (as I warned him he would). As for me, I would like to see a Skyhawk with the Eco-Drive movement, larger digital displays, Navi-style slide-rule, improved luminescence on the hands and markers that lasts through the night (eg LumiBrite or Superluminova), backlight, AND AN ADELAIDE TIMEZONE. Are you listening, Citizen?
Any corrections or comments? Then please... send me an email!Last updated 27.January.2004