Ready For Take-Off: Hands-On With The Citizen Promaster Nighthawk
Inspired by military stealth helicopters, these pilot's watches feature an updated case and plenty of useful tools.
Fall is in the air, and the time seems right to strap on a nice, rugged-looking pilot's watch. It is the perfect watch for outdoor activities when the air feels more bracing, and the skies are just a little bluer.
This season, Citizen is adding two new timepieces to its Nighthawk series (read HERE) from the Air family of its Promaster collection (read HERE). But instead of taking inspiration from a jet plane, these pilot's watches reference the uniforms and rank insignias worn by US Military helicopter pilots. They also recreate the glow of a chopper cockpit on a nighttime mission. And to make them stand out even more, the new Nighthawks feature an updated, angular case design and leather strap.
Here are the mission details.
First, the Promaster Nighthawk Ref. BJ7135-02E is presented in a 42mm black stainless-steel case with a black dial and bold white accents for legibility. Naturally, this "all-black" model comes on a black leather strap.
As for the second version, the Promaster Nighthawk Ref. BJ7138-04E has a two-tone grey case, also 42mm, and has the same dial colors of the “all-black” edition, except with hi-visibility orange accents on the scale and on the hand of the dual-time-zone display. To add an extra level of comfort, it also comes mounted on an olive-green leather strap.
The display on both models is refreshingly readable with a clean, rational layout. There’s a date window where you expect it, at 3 o’clock, but it’s nicely integrated into the luminous index. All of the markers, as well as the arrow-shaped hands, are well-lumed for low light legibility, and the dial is protected by a mineral crystal.
Besides, even if you’re not going to be piloting a military chopper in real life, a nicely configured dial always adds to a watch’s wrist presence.
Any pilot watch worth its stripes has got to be a useful tool. So, with that in mind, the inner ring of the Nighthawk’s black ion-plated bezel operates as an aviation-style slide rule to make vital in-flight calculations such as division, multiplication, and the conversion of various distance units.
Other practical complications include a dual time zone and water resistance up to 200 meters.
While there’s much to admire about the new Nighthawk’s good looks and fun functions, most buyers will be attracted to the reliability and value proposition of these pieces.
Both versions of the Promaster Nighthawk contain the quartz-powered caliber B877. This movement never needs charging as it is powered by light using Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive technology.
The caliber also has an accuracy of +15 seconds per month, within a normal temperature range of +5°C/41°F to +35°C/ 95°F, and a frequency of 32,768 Hz.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)