REG 174A of the CIVIL AVIATION REGULATIONS 1988 states – “An airman must carry an accurate timepiece (clock or watch) indicating the time in hours, minutes and seconds.”
Personally, I don’t trust the clock fitted in most training aircraft (if one exists) and pocket watches, whist distinguished, haven’t been used since the late 40’s. So were left with a trusty wrist watch. Now, I know that a $20 Casio would probably do the trick, however, being the opulent folk that we are, a ‘pilots’ watch is definitely required.
When looking for real pilot’s watches there are a few things that you must take into consideration. For starters, it must sport some blaringly obvious pilot stuff to ensure everyone knows it’s not your standard, run of the mill watch – a slide rule around the edge generally does the trick. It must also display a pair of wings or a small aircraft in the center… All joking aside, since most of what we do is done to a strict schedule or requires precise timing, the most important aspects are accuracy and reliability. I generally spend a bit more and go for the brands that have stood the test of time. Brietling, Timex and Citizen immediately spring to mind. Whilst watches are very much a personal preference item, this review will be focusing on a watch that I wear as my daily watch and have done so for the last 3 years.
Citizen Promaster watches have become the staple for airmen, divers and adventure seekers alike. Their nice styling, reliability and accuracy make them a standout. Whilst the Promaster series covers a few different genres, today we’ll be taking a look at the Citizen Promaster Wingman – JQ8000-50E.
The Road Test
The Promaster Wingman has a stainless steel finished barrel-shaped case with integrated lugs, a three-part stainless steel bracelet with domed links, and a classic Citizen dial layout. The case itself measures 43mm and is water resistant to 100 meters.
The standard mineral glass crystal does suffer from some unwanted glare or reflection and is susceptible to scratching, however, for the most part; the display is quite easy to read.
The tachymeter scale is printed on the underside of the crystal in order to protect it from blows and abrasion. But unlike the tachymeter scale on other Citizen models, this one does not glow in the dark. The hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova to make them glow in the dark; however, the aircraft-shaped tip of the second hand doesn’t receive the same treatment. The watch is also equipped with an internal EL (electroluminescence) lamp function that allows you to read the display in the dark.
A nice addition to the Wingman is the world time feature which allows you to display the time in 30 cities and UTC (universal time coordinated) time worldwide by a simple button operation. In sticking with the pilot theme, it also has a Slide rule rotation bezel which allows you to complete simple fuel, speed, distance and weight calculations. Admittedly, I’ve never used it for this purpose as the slide rule is quite small and hard to read.
Obviously, the Wingman is also fitted with Citizens standard features like a 1/100 second chronograph, Calendar function, Dual alarm, Split time, Dual time and Countdown timer.
All up the Citizen Promaster Wingman is a good pilot watch with a robust and sturdy construction. The aviation features are a nice addition and its price point makes this watch the perfect companion for student or private pilots.
To leave your own Citizen Promaster Wingman Review, please comment below.
Have you used this watch? Rate it!
1. Accurate time piece 2. Solid Construction 3. Glow in the dark and illuminated 4. World time feature
1. Slide rule too small to read 2. Crystal face scratches easily 3. Date only for world time 4. 43cm case is a little small