When I think about Citizen watches, the first timepiece that comes to my mind is Citizen Nighthawk. Arguably, it’s the most iconic modern Citizen watch. And there is a reason for that. This timepiece is very unique with it’s sliders, scales, GMT function and affordable price point. Today we are going to have a closer look at the brown version of this watch ref. BJ7017-17W, also known as Nighthawk Havana.

Citizen is very well known and recognizable watch manufacturer, which also happens to be the main Seiko competitor as both companies are located in Japan. Citizen mastered their solar powered Ecodrive movements, which became their main selling point. And it’s hard to deny that Ecodrive watches are extremely convenient to use because they don’t need any maintenance at all, are reliable and their timekeeping is very accurate. The Ecodrive can be found in almost entire lineup of Citizen watches, including the Nighthawk. The Nighthawk series is a collection styled to be a Pilot’s watch but the truth is is a great everyday watch for anyone, not just Pilots. It has some interesting features that might be helpful for everyone. And now we are going to have a closer look at this unique timepiece.

Case

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W has a very distinctive case. It’s a stainless steel case which measures 42,5 mm in diameter and only 47 mm lug to lug. This puts Nighthawk on rather small side measured by today’s standards. However, keep in mind that the front of the watch is almost entirely occupied by dial and sliders which makes the watch feel bigger than it actually is. I have no problem wearing in on my above average, 7,5 inch wrist. The watch doesn’t sit tall due to it’s 12 mm height. It means it should fit even under the cuff of your shirt if needed.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

The case feels geometric if I could call it like that. There are a lot of straight lines across the whole build, they feel really sharp and tool-like. However, the case is nicely finished, everything fits together and has this brushed finishing all over the place. When you feel the watch in your hand, you know that’s supposed to be a professional instrument rather than a fashion timepiece. And that’s what I like about this watch. To further emphasize this feeling, there are two knurled technical looking crowns located at 3 o’clock and 8 o’clock. The crown at 3 o’clock is a screw-down type, which allows you to set the time, date, and GMT hand. The crown at 8 o’clock is responsible for operating the inner slider, which happens to be a logarithmic scale. The logarithmic scales helps you to convert some units. i.e. kilograms into pounds.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

When you flip the watch over, you will see a screw-down caseback with Citizen Promaster logo. I have to say that the quality of the engraved logo is way above what you usually see at this price point. Perhaps it’s not the best design to look at but the quality is certainly there. The engraving is deep and has a nice looking texture to it.

It’s worth noting that despite being a Pilot’s watch, Citizen Nighthawk is water resistant to 200 m thanks to screw-down crown and caseback. I think it’s a great feature to have on a such a versatile watch.

Dial, hands, lume

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W and its dial is something you need to come to appreciate. I know that many people are put off by its extremely busy design with a lot of markings, dashes and what not. As usual, not every watch will suit everyone out there. The busy dial of Nighthawk Havana is something that makes it truly unique. There is a lot going on there but I can ensure you that everything has it’s purpose. Probably the most of the cluttering comes from the logarithmic scale. When you move your eyesight towards the center of the dial, things are getting more clear. The applied silver indices add some class to the watch. The edges of these indices are lumed, just like the hands. The blue Citizen lume is extremely strong for a Pilot style watch, it could easily be used in a dive watch as well.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

When you move even closer to the center, you will notice that there is additional scale and another weird looking hand. The scale is used to display 24 hour time or to set a second timezone. There are actually two scales, one shows 1-12 hours and second shows 12-24 hours. In conjunction with the hand that has two small airplanes at the opposite tips, it can show you the second timezone. For example, if the white airplane shows 10 at the lower scale it means it’s 10 A.M. in the second timezone. It’s really an unique solution and I haven’t seen anything like that before.

The dial has nice shade of brown with a subtle sunburst effect. I’m guessing the brown color is associated with Cuban cigars hence the nickname Havana.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W uses a classic sword style handset. I think it suits the watch nicely and with all the cluttering going on the dial it ensures a minimum legibility needed to read the time easily in most conditions.

The whole front of the watch is protected by a flat mineral crystal with no AR coating. I really wish Citizen opted for a sapphire instead which would make sense for such otherwise rugged timepiece.

Movement

As I mentioned before, Citizen Nighthawk is powered by Citizen’s own Ecodrive movement. It’s basically a quartz movement but instead of being powered by a replaceable battery, it’s powered by Solar energy stored in the capacitor. There are obvious advantages to this solution: it’s eco friendly, it’s maintenance free, and it has advantage of quartz movement being extremely accurate. The particular movement used in the Nighthawk has a date function as well as GMT hand which can display a second timezone.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

Ecodrive movements have also one more really important advantage. Despite being more hi-tech than a regular quartz movements, they are still quite cheap to produce on a mass scale. That means it helps to keep the price of watches powered by them in check, including the reviewed Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W.

Straps and wearability

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W comes on a brown, high polished strap. I have one comment on that strap. Throw it away ASAP. It’s so bad I didn’t even take a single photo with the original strap attached. In fact, I bought this watch with already attached aftermarket strap, a brown vintage Diloy strap. And now we’re talking. It fits the watch perfectly, it’s thick and sturdy and color matched the dial.

Other variants of the Citizen Nighthawk come on a stainless steel bracelet. I highly recommend getting the bracelet separately if you prefer the Havana version. The bracelet is really well made and matches the watch so much better than the provided leather strap.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W is a very versatile watch. It will feel good on leather, metal, or nato strap. I’ve even seen people wearing it on rubber straps but perhaps it’s little bit too far for my taste. At little above 42 mm, the Nighthawk will suit a variety of wrist both smaller and slightly bigger just like mine at 7,5 inch. I think it’s a perfect watch for anyone who is into outdoor activities as the Nighthawk is very rugged tool-watch, which is even more than capable of going into water with its 200 m water resistance.

Conclusions

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W is a little nifty watch. It’s a perfect timepiece for people who enjoy outdoor activities and people who like to have more functions on their analog watches than just telling the time. At around $200 you can’t go wrong with this timepiece. It’s well made, excluding the stock leather strap which is terrible, it has unique design, and it’s packed with features. It’s extremely reliable due to Ecodrive movement. You basically never have to worry about battery replacement or any other kind of maintenance. It also attracts attention with it’s unusual look. My boss in my day job, who usually wears much more expensive watches, noticed me wearing it and even bought one himself as a summer watch.

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W

My only real concern about the watch is the crystal. This rugged timepiece screams for scratch resistance sapphire. Especially that the crystal is not protected at all in oppose to diver watches which often have protruding diving bezels. I would be glad to pay a little extra for the convenience of a sapphire crystal.

PROS:

+ great build quality

+ unusual and interesting design

+ maintenance-free

CONS:

– lack of sapphire crystal

– terrible stock leather strap

Model Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Diameter 42,5 mm
Thickness 12 mm
Lug to Lug 47 mm
Lug width 22 mm
Crystal Flat mineral crystal, no AR
Movement Ecodrive, solar powered, GMT, date
Water resistance 200 m
Price ~$200

 

Image Gallery

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W
6.5 Good

Citizen Nighthawk Havana BJ7017-17W is a little nifty watch. It's a perfect timepiece for people who enjoy outdoor activities and people who like have more functions on their analog watches than just telling the time. At around $200 you can't go wrong with this timepiece. It's well made, excluding the stock leather strap which is terrible, it has unique design, and it's packed with features. It's extremely reliable due to Ecodrive movement. You basically never have to worry about battery replacement or any other kind of maintenance. It also attracts attention with it's unusual look. My boss in my day job, who usually wears much more expensive watches, noticed it and even bought one himself as a summer watch.

My only real concern about the watch is the crystal. This rugged timepiece screams for scratch resistance sapphire. Especially that the crystal is not protected at all in oppose to diver watches which often have protruding diving bezels. I would be glad to pay a little extra for the convenience of a sapphire crystal.

  • Design 8
  • Watch quality 7
  • Strap quality 3
  • Value 8
  • User Ratings (3 Votes) 8.3
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About Author

Watch enthusiast who loves to take photos of his watches, blogger, and founder of Lug2Lug.

  • dennis

    Again a lot of watch for the buck. Citizen is the king of eco drive, i have a Citizen eco drive
    titanium 200 m dive watch that i bought in 1997, and she is still running to this day, 20 years
    later and up to specs.Again cudos to you for reviews on these watches for the average guy.

    • My pleasure. It’s a lot of fun for me running this blog and a great way to keep the record of my watch journey.