- Don Barzini
- Watchlord WIS
- Posts: 1270
- Joined: February 17th 2012, 11:00pm
- Facebook ID: 0
- Location: US Southwest
[Forgot Pictures – use your imagination]
The Astron pictured here is a titanium case and 45mm diameter, 50-51mm lug end to lug end. It’s 22mm lug width is ideal for switching to straps. The Wave is stainless steel, 44mm diameter, and 49mm lug end to lug end. Unfortunately, Citizen opted for an odd 23mm lug width which lessens strap choices nearly to nil. Both are reasonably thin and well done. The Aston is better finished. The Wave has somewhat duller edges typical to less expensive watches. Still, the Wave case is nicely done overall. Both have fixed bezels with city codes, but the Astron's bezel is ceramic. The Astron case looks higher end and higher finished and it is, which may be due to its price. The Astron retails at $2,300 and the Wave at $1,150.
Advantage - Seiko Astron
The Wave has a clean, eminently legible dial. The dial is two levels and the indices simple, large, and functional. The rehaut has a step off. The offset subdial is both a power reserve and day of week function for the perpetual calendar. While I am normally a fan of symmetry, in this case I like the offset dial at 7:30. Though highly lumed, it fades quickly except for the hour and minute hands. The dial combined with the case creates a simple, classic look that fits with jeans and a T-shirt to formal wear.
Obviously the Astron is busier because it is a chronograph. In person, the dial is just stunning. It's is deep and multi-leveled. The metal indices are faceted and glisten in light. They hang above the dial creating a pleasing 3-D effect. The black sub dial surrounds set off the blue tones which alternate from dark to medium blue depending on lighting. The lume is sub-par.
I like the Wave dial. But, the Astron dial is its own special breed.
Advantage - Astron
Both are sapphire, flat, and have A/R. The Wave's A/R is weak. Seiko says it's crystal has some "super hard" coating. I don't know about that, but whatever they use, the rest of the watch world needs it. Not once, not under any lighting conditions, nor any orientation of the watch have I ever seen the crystal - it's invisible and that further highlights the stellar effects of the dial. I've had a few Breitlings, known for their heavy A/R, but nothing compares with what Seiko is using. Plus, the dial isn't a fingerprint magnet.
Advantage - Astron by a mile
Leaving aside the material difference - titanium versus stainless steel, the Wave bracelet is very comfortable and easily adjustable with a micro adjustment in the push button clasp (the Astron clasp is essentially identical). But the bracelet's appearance is ... well ... nothing special and has more finish lapses than the case. On the wrist it doesn't detract from the watch, but it doesn't add anything special. Any of the Citizen A-T bracelets would add to the Wave.
The Astron has a gorgeous bracelet, with thin polished bits sandwiched into the brushed titanium. Like the case, it is simply more highly finished, suiting a higher end timepiece.
Advantage - Astron, not close.
**GPS/TIME ZONE FUNCTIONALITY**
Both watches have an easy learning curve. GPS reception is easily acquired in all conditions outside. The Wave requires a quick push and 2 second hold of the 2:00 pusher and the second hand move to RX-GPS. The new F150 movement is supposed to have the quickest GPS reception on the market. It also will change to local time anywhere in the world with a push and 2 second hold of the 2:00 pusher. This takes up to 30 seconds to acquire the necessary satellites. A push and hold of the 4:00 pusher directs the second hand to RX-Time to adjust time accuracy on demand. This is lighting fast - 2-3 seconds max. The time zone can be changed manually by pulling out the crown which sets the second hand to the current time zone, then rotating the crown to the time zone/city desired. The DST function is a simple on/off.
The Astron GPS and time zone adjustment function nearly identically. It has no quick time adjustment feature. It takes longer to sync to the 4 or more satellites it requires, but the running seconds sub dial at 10:00 becomes a satellite indicator during GPS reception; showing you how many satellites are connected.
Advantage - Surprisingly Citizen seriously upped the ante in 2015 after some issues with earlier GPS movements. The new movement surpasses the Aston. Advantage Wave.
The specs for the new Wave movement say it is now the fastest charging with the longest power reserve among solar powered watches. Okay. But, this technology isn't new and even the Astron will stay charged if worn now and then and has a 6-month power reserve. Kudos to Citizen, but I don't see how it makes a difference.
Advantage - ever so slightly to the Wave.
You can't go wrong with either the Citizen or Seiko. Yes, the Seiko has a higher end look, but it costs nearly twice as much. The dial is busy. In the looks department the Citizen isn't exactly an ugly step-sister. It has its own legitimate styling appeal - a simple, uncluttered, pleasing dial appropriate for any occasion.
So, which one is better? Doh! It's a nice apples to lovely oranges comparison. I can't compare these - a 3 hand versus a chrono? A discount price of $1,700 versus $850? The Wave is the better deal. But each piece is well done within its price range and the function differences. Where it counts - the GPS and time zone functionality, the difference is barely perceptible.