Citizen Nighthawk Black Review 2018: When Form Over Function Ain’t That Bad

(Last Updated On: October 31, 2018)

The Citizen Nighthawk might be considered old news for many people but it’s a product line that I personally enjoy. It’s been around for many years now and it has gotten plenty of attention from casual fans to watch enthusiasts alike.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the CITIZEN Eco-Drive Nighthawk, particularly the CA0295-58E model number.

Citizen Nighthawk: At a Glance

 

The Citizen CA0295-58E Nighthawk Chronograph watch is a fairly unique timepiece with an aesthetic that stands out integrated with a bold design. One of the first things you’ll notice about this fully functional chronograph is the all-black color, from the watch face to the bracelet.

Before we get into the specifics, let’s check out the Citizen CA0295-58E Nighthawk’s key specs:

Model Number CA0295-58E
Material Metal, Stainless Steel
Type Divers
Strap Color Black
Dial Color Black
Bench Type Banquette Bench
Water Resistance Depth 200 Meters
Case Shape Round
Assembly Assembly Required
Band Type Bracelet
Case Diameter 42mm
Case Thickness 13mm
Caseback Type Screw-down
Closure Type Fold over Clasp
Dial Window Material Mineral
Movement Eco-Drive, Japanese Quartz
Product Features Tachymeter
Set Includes 1 Piece
Strap Length 8.25 Inch
Strap Width 22mm Strap
Warranty 5 year Manufacturer

Packaging

The watch comes in the standard black Citizen watch box with the Eco-Drive logo on top. Inside, you’ll find the familiar cylindrical Citizen tin box which houses the timepiece itself. Inside the tin box is the watch and is secured by a durable foam. The box also comes with the usual documentation like a guarantee card, a multi-lingual instruction booklet, and a registration card.

As far as packaging goes, the whole package gets the job done of securing the Nighthawk watch and getting me excited to unbox the whole thing. However, outside of the presentation, there isn’t really much to it. I would have preferred to have a travel zipper case or watch roll so there’s more utility to the packaging rather than just plain eye candy but that’s just me.

Overall, the packaging looks great and it brought me the watch in one piece, so it’s hard to complain.

Citizen Nighthawk Design Elements

As you can see, the Citizen Nighthawk Blackout watch is more of a fashion piece rather than a functional one. The blackout design really lends itself to a wide range of uses from casual wear to dressy events.

Below, we take a closer look at some of the more prominent design elements of the Citizen Nighthawk watch.

Watch Face

When looking at the watch, it’s hard not to notice the total blackout design of the Citizen CA0295-58E Nighthawk. I have always been a fan of watches with dark faces, so it was easy for me to warm up to this watch. The watch is also referred to as the “Stealth Nighthawk” obviously in reference to the retired F-117 Nighthawk aircraft. As a flight inspired timepiece, this doesn’t really come as a surprise.

While the watch is labeled as “Nighthawk”, it’s not the same piece that most people associate with the name. Those who are familiar with Citizen watches are probably thinking of the model BJ7000-52E which is known for its information-laden dial.

While they are both pilot watches, the CA0295-58E is a different beast. The Stealth Nighthawk is a celebration of the color black with a black iron-coated stainless steel case, black dial, black hands, pretty much black everything. The only design elements that are not black are the sub-dial hands and the logo which are in dark blue.

The watch case features a ribbed edge which is quite similar to a dive watch. However, it looks like the bezel seems to be internal along with the Tachymeter. The Arabic numerals and the hands are more of dark gray in color than black. The hands, numerals, and sub-dials all have a raised texture to them for better legibility.

Citizen Nighthawk Blackout_2

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the watch lies with its black on black aesthetic. To be specific, the watch face is very difficult to read in low-light conditions. Sure, the hands and Arabic numerals are illumined but unfortunately, it’s just not bright enough especially when it’s really dark. So it’s definitely not a very utilitarian timepiece as it sports a design that favors form over function.

Bracelet

Citizen Nighthawk Bracelet_2

The watch comes with a matching black stainless steel bracelet that looks great and has a nice weight to it.

At the clasp, you’ll see the etched Citizen logo. It’s pretty much your standard Citizen bracelet which is a good thing since I found their bracelets to be quite comfortable. The clasp works as intended but there’s the lack of adjustment options that you can expect from other luxury watches like Rolex.

Comfort and Wearability

I am not the biggest fan of leather straps, so it’s a good thing that Citizen used a stainless steel bracelet for the Stealth Nighthawk. While it’s a chronograph, I am happy to report that the weight of the watch is just right, not too heavy or too light which is just the way I like it.

It’s a 42 mm timepiece so it doesn’t look that large when it’s sitting on my wrist. The bracelet is easy to size and it feels secure while worn, thanks to the two-button safety system on the clasp. This feature is much appreciated since the watch is quite pricey.

On the downside, the crystal face does present some durability issues. So it’s not a watch that I would recommend for more rugged uses. Although it’s not technically a dive watch, the Citizen Nighthawk is water resistant to 200 meters. Personally, I haven’t tested the waterproofness of the piece but I have no reason to doubt such a claim by Citizen. So feel free to shower or swim while wearing the watch.

Overall, it’s a fairly comfortable watch that you won’t mind wearing for daily usage.

Timekeeping Features

So what makes the CA0295-58E so appealing when it comes to timekeeping?

Well, you can’t really talk about this watch without mentioning the impressive Eco-Drive technology to power itself.

Like with other Citizen Eco-Drive watches, the Stealth Nighthawk doesn’t require batteries. The watch utilizes a lithium capacitor for power and it stores charge through solar power. There’s actually a solar panel just under the dial of the watch which absorbs light energy and converts it into electrical energy. However, it’s worth noting that the watch charges not just from solar energy but from other light sources as well.

The very same Eco-Drive technology also ensures that the watch works flawlessly for 20 years.

Citizen Eco-Drive Movement

Like with all Citizen Eco-Drive watches, the Nighthawk is powered by the B612 movement. The watch also features a chronograph, date display, and AM/PM indicator. I am rather a big fan of Citizen’s Eco-Drive movements due to the fact that it requires little to no maintenance. The movement is also known for its longevity and reliability.

Since the Nighthawk is solar-powered, you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries.

Pricing

The Citizen Nighthawk watch leans more on the high-end side, and the price definitely reflects that.

In terms of design, the Nighthawk really nails it with its bold form and aesthetic. I am quite a fan of dark/black watches so it was not hard for me to like the Citizen Nighthawk. Both the look and style of the watch are a home run by Citizen.

I also appreciate the versatility of the design since the watch can be easily dressed up or down by simply swapping the bracelet. The overall design also lends itself well to a wide range of use. Whether it’s for a sporting activity or a dress event, this watch will make you look good. Personally, I found myself using the Nighthawk during formal events.

As far as features go, the watch is quite flawless. The chronograph works as intended and I’ve had no problems operating the watch. The Eco-Drive feature is also standout and should please those who require a watch with less maintenance. It’s pretty much a “wear and forget” piece. Durability and reliability are also on-point which means that you’ll be having this watch for a long time.

So is this watch well worth the price? Well, considering what you’ll be getting out of the box and the quality of the watch itself, it’s well worth the price. It looks great and works as intended, sometimes, that’s all you ever need.

Should You Buy the Citizen CA0295-58E Nighthawk Watch?

For the price, this watch definitely doesn’t count as an impulse buy. This is a fairly high-end watch and it comes at a price that might be too steep for many people, especially when it’s essentially just a standard chronograph.

However, if you’re looking for a watch with a black watch with a bold design, the Citizen CA0295-58E Nighthawk comes highly recommended. The pictures don’t really do it just justice. You would have to see it in person to appreciate just how good-looking this timepiece is. The versatility of the watch also adds a lot of value to the package.

The build quality is above average and it features a movement that is both accurate and reliable. It also requires little to no maintenance and you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries from time to time. It’s also water-resistant to 200 meters which is a nice plus.

However, if you’re looking for a true utilitarian watch, you might want to look elsewhere. The black on black design rears its ugly head when it comes to overall readability. In low-light conditions (or sometimes even during well lighted environments), you will struggle to read the watch face. Again, this is a watch that favors from over function.

The Bottom Line

The Citizen CA0295-58E Nighthawk is a very solid watch. The blackout design is clearly a polarizing feature but it if it’s your thing, then this is the perfect watch for you. Mine is still going strong and I’ve had yet to encounter any problems with it.

Just don’t expect this watch to perform hotly in the dark.

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