One of my favorite watch complications is the GMT hand: a separate (typically fourth) independently settable hand marking 24-hour time. It’s extremely useful for people like pilots, travelers, and businesspeople who not only need to be able to switch between different time zones easily, but who also need to be able to keep track of two time zones simultaneously.
The addition of the GMT hand came in the mid-1950s when Pan Am worked with Rolex to create a watch for pilots flying transatlantic flights. You can read more about the history of GMT watches in Christian’s review of the Rolex GMT Master II. But for now, back to Citizen.
I recently learned that Citizen has added several new GMT models to their Attesa line of high-end quartz watches. I was particularly struck by the unique, stark, and tough look of the Attesa ATD53-2903. Of course, as is typical of most of the coolest Japanese watches, it’s only available in Asia, but since watches know no borders, I was still able to find plenty of information:
- List price is ¥68,250 (about $600 USD as of 12/21/07).
- 39mm in diameter, 10.9mm thick, and 47g heavy.
- 24-hour indices on the chapter ring.
- DLC coated titanium case (read more about Diamond Like Carbon).
- Eco-drive (solar-powered quartz).
- 100m water resistant (about 330 feet).
- Atomic Radio-set (but only receives the Japanese time signal — bummer).
- ±15 seconds per month (with no radio reception).
- Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
- Calf skin band (would really love to see a matching DLC titanium bracelet option).
I really like the look of the Citizen Attesa ATD53-2903. I like the clean and readable face since I find that jet lag reduces my comprehension, and I get very grumpy about unreadable watches while traveling internationally. This Attesa has the sort of clutter-free face and clean, distinct hands (plus nice little touches like anti-glare sapphire crystal) that make for a great travel companion.
There aren’t a lot of affordable (i.e. quartz) GMT watches out there, so I’m pleased so see such an attractive new entry from Citizen. If only if were 5-band atomic like the new Oceanus 5 Motors, I think Citizen would have one of the best looking affordable travel watches out there.
By Paul Hubbard