Sunday, June 22, 2014

A diver's professional tool: Citizen Autozilla NH6930-08F

Watch fits for GoDzilla!

Was watching Godzilla in theater last month..... felt a bit disappointed..... Maybe my expectation too high.... Somehow, I felt this time around Mr Godzilla gained a fair bit of weight despite Worldwide economy recession. Heheeeeeeeeee the King of Monsters is doing pretty fine. I must say this movie's story line is more loyal to original Eiji Tsuburaya's creation. I hated the fact that it was like watching Ultraman's movie with Ultraman being replaced by Godzilla......

Citizen Professional Diver Promaster AutoZilla 1000m NH6930-08F

This is a watch nicknamed Autozilla. I believe "Auto" as in Automatic movement of this watch, "Zilla" as an association with the monster Godzilla, perhaps due to its ultimate size of 55mm in width and 48mm in length and 19mm in thickness. Or maybe this watch can withstand a water pressure of until 1000m and Godzilla is of aquatic origin. 

I first wrote about this watch in a posting titled "Looking forward into 2014".... This is one of the three watches I was eyeing for this year. A motivation drive to accelerate myself in work and life.... and a little something to pamper myself.....

This brand new watch arrived on 10th June from Hong Kong. After a meeting, I had to rush from one side of the town to the other, just to pick it up from the local Postal service warehouse. The Citizen Autozilla was first released in early 2000's and is one of the holy grail of the professional diver's watches. It is rated as one of the top diver watches in the world with ISO 6425 International Standard compliance. Testing diving watches for ISO 6425 compliance is voluntary and involves costs, so not every manufacturer present their watches for certification according to this standard. Moreover, every single watch has to be tested. 

The watch comes in a huge black leather box.... not really too sure whether is PU or leather thou. Nicely stitched and with a Citizen wording stamping in the middle. The box is opened and closed using zip.....  

Although it is rather nice and classic.... I would prefer if it comes with a casing like Citizen Aqualand, i.e. the oxygen tank such as below.... Well, life ain't perfect....

Inside the box, the watch comes with an instruction manual, an international warranty, an extension wet suit band is also included and a spare bezel spring. 

The case of professional diving watch like Autozilla have to be constructed more stoutly than normal watches, because it needs to withstand excessive water pressure and endures corrosive seawater environment at depth. As a consequence diving watches are relatively heavy and large compared to dress watches.

Despite of its size, this watch weighted merely 135gm. This is due to the case is being made of titanium and its band is of rubber. Citizen employed a revolutionary technology which involves a special treatment on titanium to harden the surface. Citizen called this, Duratect. Applying this technique Citizen has achieved a hardness 5 times higher by penetrating carbon from the surface in order to distort the crystal of the metal. The result is a scratch-resistant hardness for daily use.

To conform to ISO 6425 standard, the Autozilla's case must also provide an adequate degree of protection against external magnetic influences and shocks. Autozilla is tested for magnetic resistance by 3 expositions to a direct current magnetic field of 4,800 A/m. The watch must keep its accuracy to ± 30 seconds/day as measured before the test despite the magnetic field. The antimagnetic feature is stated clearly at the caseback.

Shock resistance is tested by two shocks: one on the 9 o'clock side, and one to the crystal and perpendicular to the face. The shock is usually delivered by a hard plastic hammer mounted as a pendulum, so as to deliver a measured amount of energy, specifically, a 3 kg hammer with an impact velocity of 4.43 m/s. The change in rate allowed is ± 60 seconds/day. This watch is fitted with a thick 6 mm sapphire crystal. Dome shaped crystal is used to enhance the pressure-resistance of the watch and to improve the watch face legibility under water. Anti-reflective coating is also applied on the crystal for the same purpose.

The Autozilla has a black plain dial that is adorned with long-lasting, super-luminous large hour markers. This enables reading the time in dim light situations with ease. The markers for 3, 6, 9 and especially 12 o'clock and the zero marker on its unidirectional rotating elapsed time bezel are conspicuously styled to prevent disorientation induced read out errors under the darkness of the seas. There is a day-date display at three o’clock position. The day and date of this watch can be quick-set. 

The rugged looking rotating bezel have a minute scale going up to 60 minutes with a marking at every 5 minutes interval. It is easily detachable for cleaning after a dive. For a diver's watch the rotating device shall be protected against inadvertent rotation or wrong manipulation. The Autozilla also has a register ring clamp locking lever near its crown. 

For diving purposes, an indication that the watch is running in total darkness also has to be present. The Autozilla employed a running second hand with an arrow luminous tip. It also has a large, easily identifiable bright orange minute hand.  The hands design is also in such a way that no hand can totally overlay and hence obscure the position of another hand to prevent read out errors. Both minute and hour hands are heavily non-radioactive, photo-luminiscent treated.

This watch has a titanium screwdown crown at the 9 o’clock position. The crown is longer than usual and has mesh surface finishing. Most watches with crown on the 9 o'clock position are considered as for the left handed. This is however to reduce discomfort from the crown touching the wearers wrist. 

There is a Helium escape valve in this watch at two o'clock position. A helium or mixed breathing gas release or escape valve is to prevent the crystal from being blown off by an internal pressure build up caused by helium that has seeped into the watch case in helium enriched environments (helium atoms are the smallest natural gas particles found in nature) as the watch and diver adjust to normal atmospheric conditions.

Watchstraps for diving watches are generally made of materials that are adequately water (pressure) resistant and able to endure the galvanic corrosiveness of seawater. The Autozilla used the Silicone rubber band that have rippled or vented sections near the attachment points. There is no lugs on this watch. The band and the spring bars are concealed inside its case. This is to minimize the chance of losing the watch due to a spring bar or attachment point failure.

The buckle and strap lead are also made out of titanium with Promaster clearly stated.

There are four screws at the back that needs to be opened before changing the watchband. The titanium case back of Autozilla is a beauty! It is a screw down case back that operates somewhat like a submarine hatch. The center of the caseback is engraved with an atmospheric diving suit with the word Duratect clearly stated. The caseback of Autozilla is full of information about this professional watches..... We have the serial number of the watch, the movement number and the case number (I believe), Citzen watch co, Japan, case material, Antimagnetic 4800, "Diver's watch 1000m For Mixed-gas diving", and Don't open/ Service Center Repair Only.

The Autozilla is powered by the Miyota or Citizen in house 8203 movement. This is the same movement used in Citizen 200M automatic diver. This movement debut in 1977. It is an automatic, unidirectional winding 21 jewels movement operating at 21,600 bph. Power reserve is approximately 45 hours. Although it has handwinding capability, it is non-hacking. Accuracy is rated at -10 to +20 seconds per day. The B variant used in Autozilla is of higher grade. It has a black coloured heavier rotor and the movement is hand polished and fully assembled in Japan.  

From any angle this watch stands up for itself..... Something that you can't ignore........

I must say the Autozilla built quality is unquestionable. What makes it even more appealing is its affordable pricing. Nothing roar likes a Godzilla...........


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