Citizen Signature Grand Touring Sport – Review – NB1031-53L (HR & EN captions)

Citizen Signature Grand Touring Sport – Review – NB1031-53L (HR & EN captions)

Hi and welcome to another Watch Geek video. Today I will be doing a review of a Citizen
Grand Touring Sport Diver, which has been lent to me by a very generous forum member
at Portal Satova, so thank you Miki. This watch is part of the Citizen Signature
line, which is considered to be a mid-tier line of Citizen placed between their regular
offering and the high end Campanola and The Citizen watches. It was released in 2014. And was a bit of a reboot of the line, as
Signature line used to be all quartz and not very successful, so Citizen made a mechanical
version. This was also one of the models that introduced
the 9012 movement which will become the Miyota 9015 for third parties, that is now found
in many microbrands as an ETA alternative. The watch came out in two color combinations
including this, blue with orange accents and black with rose gold parts. This is the one I find the most striking and
the one I would go for. At the moment of release it was priced at
about $1.150 which many considered too high for a Citizen but if you look at what this
watch has to offer, I think the price is more than OK. When it comes to the specs, this watch is
very large and wears large. It is 44mm in diameter with a relatively reasonable
lug to lug of 51mm or if you include the T-shaped end links it goes up to 55. the thickness is 14mm and the weight a pretty
bulky 200g sized for my 6,9” wrist meaning that with the full bracelet it would go up
to 250g. The problem with the size is that the watch
actually wears larger then the size would suggest, mostly thanks to the HUGE crown guard
in the style of Panerai. So the watch really has a LOT of wrist presence. For my 6,9” wrist and my taste, as you might
expect it is way too large, but on any wrist over 7” it would look great. The bracelet on this is just in a different
league compared to what I usually review. Massive with all the right ingredients, solid
links, solid end links and a machined clasp, and it’s beautifully finished with the combination
of brushed and polished surfaces. Although I always like to say how there are
different tiers of bracelets and clasps based on the way they are constructed, meaning machined
vs. stamped or folded, there are actually differences within the same tiers, a tier
inside a tier if you like. This one is one of the nicest in that upper
tier that I handled. It even uses screws to hold the links together
unlike the more common friction pins, which is considered a sign of premium build quality
by watch people, although, I personally prefer good quality friction pins, as I have seen
way too many loose screws that end up being glued with thread lockers. They do however give a feeling of sturdiness. The clasp is a work of art and just as beautifully
finished as the bracelet. Everything operates smoothly and is nice to
the touch. It does lack a safety latch and it has no
diver’s extension which is weird for what looks like a diver’s watch. The case is a modern interpretation of a cushion
case and is a real stunner with its combination of polished and brushed surfaces. I actually like the fact Citizen took their
own stab at this legendary shape, instead of taking the easy road by just copying proven
designs. As the price would suggest the finish is incredible
with clear and sharp transitions between different finishes and surfaces. The bezel has 60 clicks and although I prefer
120 click ones, even 60 clicks, when done right, which this one most definitely is,
can feel amazing. The resistance is just right, with clear,
precise clicks into position with almost no play and everything lines up perfectly. The insert is anodized in beautiful blue colored
aluminium and I really like this inner polished ring which reminds me a lot of the Omega Planet
Ocean bezel. The crystal is sapphire as you would expect
at this price range, has a slight curve to it and has Anti-Reflective coating on both
sides. Although that is considered as the highest
level when it comes to crystals, and offers a reflection free look of the dial, I am not
a fan of double-sided AR coatings. In fact I consider them to be one of the dumbest
decisions in watchmaking history. To me it seems like there was a race where
nobody had AR and then someone came up with AR, which made everyone do it. Then someone decided to do double AR just
so they can say they have MORE which should mean BETTER, and soon many followed, despite
that being wrong, at least in my opinion. The reason behind my hate for double sided
AR is the fact that you just payed a premium to get a virtually scratch proof crystal that
has just been painted over with easily scratch able coating. So you pretty much just canceled the best
advantage Sapphire has over mineral and acrylic crystals. It’s true that your crystal is not the one
that’s gonna get scratched, it’s the coating, but the result is the same, your crystal will
look scratched up. I understand I might be in the minority here,
but a sapphire should come with only inner AR or no AR at all, like what Rolex does. And yes, I know AR coating can be re-applied,
but that is just unnecessary cost added to the overall service cost that could have been
avoided in the first place. The dial is simply mesmerizing to look at
and I am afraid I am unable to catch the full beauty on video. It really plays with the light as you get
this radial effect of gradient shades of blue from the center outwards and then in some
light you get a sunburst effect as well. All these effects are very subtle and elegant,
which makes me think this dial background would look incredible on a dress watch. The dial is also a modern take on a sandwich
dial but with added applied indices. So in a way it is a combination of both. The Citizen logo is applied to match the markers
which are very complex and also have a combination of surfaces and finishes in the spirit of
the case. Beside the Citizen logo the rest of the text
is kept to a minimum, something I always like. The hands are an original design and go well
with the dial, especially the orange minute hand that looks great in combination with
the orange background for the first 15 minute markers. These minute markers are not the only “sandwiched”
part of the dial, but the date cutout is also part of this structure which adds to the overall
feeling of depth and multilayering of the dial. It just makes it look cool in a modern, industrial
way. Although I like the dial a lot, it is not
without sin. The first one is the chapter ring. Why does it have minute markers if there are
already ones on the dial. It’s pointless and reminds me of modded
Seiko SKX’s where people leave the stock chapter ring with markers and then use a dial
from a Seiko 5 or some other model that also has minute markers making it just too much. They should have made it either/or, not both. In the case of this I would keep the sandwich
markers as the ones on the chapter ring are too far away from the hands. The lume is great, as you would expect from
a Citizen watch with 300m water resistance, and lasts a long time making it easily readable
in all conditions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the best
lume out there, but it is more than adequate, The fact Citizen went for the green and not
their usual blue means they were going after functionality as their blue lume is slightly
weaker. The crown is massive and protected by an even
bigger crown guard that adds to the overall look of the watch, but unfortunately also
adds to the size of the watch forcing you to wear it a little higher on your wrist. Surprisingly it doesn’t make operating the
crown any more difficult despite being huge. The crown itself is very smooth and screws
in precisely with almost no feel of possible cross threading. In the closed position it is used to wind
the movement, while pulling it to the first click allows you to change the date. Pulling it all the way out stops the movement
so you can set the time. Flipping the watch over reveals an exhibition
case-back and allows a clear view of the 9012 movement that actually has some nice decoration
on the bridges as well as the winding weight. Although I am a fan of exhibition casebacks,
especially when the movement is as good looking as this one, on this watch, because of the
size of the case, it kind of looks off, because it reveals how much bigger the watch is compared
to the movement. If they went with a solid caseback, despite
still knowing the movement is in a way too small, that fact would be hidden away from
us and not as obvious. The movement itself is great and like I said
Citizens in-house version of the Miyota 9015. It has 24 jewels, beats at 28.800 beats per
hour which gives the seconds hand a nice smooth look, has both hacking and hand-winding and
a power reserve of more than 42 hours. The winding is one directional which makes
the rotor spin quite vigorously. The already mentioned decoration that gives
the movement the looks to match the performance. The rated accuracy is -10 to +30 seconds a
day, but from many posts I read from owners of these watches one can expect a lot better
results. To conclude I have to admit I like Citizens
effort on making a nicer mid-tier mechanical sports watch that on paper pretty much eats
the competition for breakfast at this price range. It’s an original take on the classic watch
shape and I wish Citizen keeps adding more models to their signature collection. Objectively this watch punches way above it’s
price range and is impressive in every way possible, the design, the execution, the quality,
it’s all there. When it comes to a more subjective opinion,
I would make certain changes to make it more suitable for me. These changes would be a size decrease to
about 40 to 41mm, the crown and crownguard would have to be moved to the 9 o’clock
position, the chapter ring would be replaced by a brushed stainless steel ring, and the
outer AR would have to be removed from the crystal. With that version of the watch in my mind
I would like to thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed, if you did, please like
and subscribe by pressing this button right here, and until the next video, bye!


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    Very nice color combination!  Excellent education on the double AR coating.  I agree unnecessary for the reasons you cited.  It eats the competition for breakfast, huh? I think it would taste too metallic for my breakfast taste.  I prefer cereal and milk.  😁👍

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    I am fairly hard on watches and I have say Ive never scratched the outer AR coating on either of the ones Ive had that had it . Maybe just luck , IDK , but I actually love the clarity of the dial it offers.

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    alfred yu

    Very nice intro!! Its a classy watch , kinda a big but can get use to it lol.glad black fridays is getting close!! Thank you sharing n Happy Thanksgiving!!! 😀

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    It seems there were no holds barred in design and production of that Citizen watch. And the bracelet is something many a renown brands should be envy of. Impressive technical watch ! P.S. Up to the point remarks on double AR coating. Bear in mind that optical glass can have several layers of coating including AR and scratch resistance. Could it be that watch brands use the same anti scratch coating over AR coating, on the outer side of sapphire glass?

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    I think the Excalibur is a better looking, better sized watch than this, with much of the quality. Plus I'm a fan of Eco-Drive.

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    Interesting to know about the AR… it does seem pointless having double, but how does this perform under water, maybe it performs something special? Fantastic in depth review, and as always a huge thumbs of support 🙂

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    Alex Godinez

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    Channel Q

    Another great video! I found one of these at the Citizen Outlet in Las Vegas awhile back. It was on clearance for around $550. I was absolutely FLOORED by the fit and finish of the watch. I had no idea Citizen made something so robust. Had to get it.

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    Ramiro Puente Jr.

    Really nice review. Thank you. I don’t agree with your AR theory but still a great video. I’m highly considering purchasing this beauty.

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    I have the other version with the black sun burst dial – Grand Touring Classic.
    I really love this watch and it is a definite keeper. This one also looks really cool and I am almost tempted.
    BTW the accuracy is awesome.

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