Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Leaked" Photo of the New Upcoming Citizen Attesa Direct Flight


This appears to be the yet to be released Citizen Attesa Direct Flight model BY0040-51F
(Photo courtesy of Journal.mycom.co.jp)

This is the first "Real life" photo we have seen of the new Attesa Direct Flight models since the Citizen press release at Basel World '11 in March. The watch has a release date of June 2011 in the Japan domestic market, but was informed by a reliable source that due to the aftermath of the Japan earthquake tragedy in early March, the watch release has been pushed back to August, 2011.


The new case appears to be smaller in diameter (Likely 43mm vs 45mm on the older version) and the bracelet is now integrated into the case (Forget about aftermarket strap changes on this one). This case reminds me of the one used in the 2007-2010 Citizen Attesa ATV53-283X series watches with the Ana-Digi U600 radio controlled module. I have to say it is a very handsome design and the bracelet appears to have a better fit/tapering and looks better proportioned as it flows to and from the case. The nice "Bridged" crown design of the original 2009 Attesa Direct Flight models has been removed completely and the crown itself and buttons/pushers are smaller as well. The lug to lug length of the case also appears to have been shortened over the old model to provide a more comfortable and stable fit over the wrist. There are also very interesting surface cuts and bi-leveling on the sides of the case but the finish seems to be of even higher quality than the previous version.

One small disappointment is the lack of a full DLC version. While DLC adds a substantial cost to the price of the watch and the darkened look is certainly not for everyone, it is a nice choice nevertheless due to the high scratch resistant properties of watches treated with Diamond Like Carbon processes. Looks like the 2011 Attesa Direct Flight will not carry over the 2009 full DLC version still being made in Japan, model number ATD53-3012. However, these being made in Titanium, we expect that Citizen's Duratect high wear resistant coating will be standard issue in the new models.

The polished areas of the case in these new watches are supposed to feature the labor intensive "Zaratsu" blade polish mirror like finish. Zaratsu is difficult to achieve in stainless steel surfaces and more so in Titanium. I suspect that most of the price increase over the 2009 and 2010 models has to do with the higher level of finishing.

Not sure if it is the ambient lighting effect, but the bezel appears to be darkened which indicates the presence of DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) scratch resistant treatment. The sapphire crystal appears to be flat but it is difficult to tell from the angle in which the photograph was taken. One lovely design aspect of the 2009 model (ATD53-3011 and ATD53-3012 in full DLC) was the slightly dual curved sapphire crystal that was optically distortion free when viewed at a full 180 degree angle.

The dial looks carryover for the exception of the City disc display window on the 4 o'clock region of the case. Now there is a thicker "Chrome" frame that highlights the current date and the selected city. You can still see the city names right before and after the one selected via the crown.

I am not sure if I like this new model better. The 2011 Attesa Direct Flight is without a shade of a doubt a more grown up and conservative model than the decidedly more sporty and a bit more risque in terms of design 2009 release.

The H610 radio controlled movement used in this series is excellent. Solar (With 4 years power reserve), 4 world region radio control sync capability (US, Europe, Japan and China), perpetual calendar, full automatic time zone DST settings, 24 hour alarm and solid build quality.


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