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The Ultimate Ultimate Techno-Watch Review

Francis Vale

Citizen Blue Angels Edition Skyhawk Titanium Watch

 

Of course, everyone knows by now that a merry band of geeks deep in the Mojave Desert have triumphantly kicked NASA's big bureaucratic butt. Burt Rutan, of innovative home built aircraft design fame, may be the ultimate aero-geek. His small company, Scaled Composites, successfully launched a man into space for a fraction of the typical government giga-buck cost. This pioneering, small team effort was financed by mega-geek Paul Allen, the original co-founder of Microsoft—Call it Geeks In Space.  And what better watch to wear as you blast into orbit aboard your own home built SpaceShipOne than Citizen's $575 (MSRP) Blue Angels Edition Skyhawk Titanium watch?

If you have stashed enough weightless M&M's on board to sustain you for travel between planets, which can take a year or three, then it's really good to know that Citizen's unique light-powered Eco-Drive Energy Cell stores enough juice to generate power for your watch for roughly four years! The watch never needs a battery, so rest easy and start your Skyhawk's 99-minute countdown timer to blastoff.

The Skyhawk sports a rotating slide rule bezel that can really come in handy when flying about. For example, SpaceShipOne's one and only flight computer momentarily conked out on one of its initial voyages into orbit, leaving the hapless test pilot sitting atop a flame spewing supersonic bullet with nothing but his Mark I eyeballs for attitude guidance—Systems redundancy is for NASA astronaut wimps.  But if our SpaceShipOne hero had been wearing a Skyhawk, he could have twisted that bezel around and calculated his estimated flight time, speed, fuel remaining, difference in altitude, rate of climb and descent. He could have even done a few square root, multiplication and division calculations; like, how much am I getting paid for this doing this crazy space shit divided by my life insurance policy times Burger King promotional deals if I ever get my terrified little ass back on the ground.

But should you happen to make a petite flight planning error and instead plunge straight down into the ocean it's good to know your Citizen Skyhawk is water resistant down to 333 feet. Of course, you will eventually be squashed and spit out of the water like a crushed olive pit, but hey, what price space explorer glory.  Meanwhile, all of us solid and sensible folk back here on good old earth can mark your truly spectacular descent down to 1/100th of a second by using our Skyhawk's chronograph. But if you should somehow manage to swim to shore, next time, Bunky, fly Virgin, which has inked a deal with Scaled Composites to develop commercial spaceships to become the world's first space tourism operator, called Virgin Galactic.

You will be able to check what time and day it is at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport no matter where you are on the planet, as the Skyhawk has time and calendar functions in 22 time zones, with world time displays for 30 cities.  You also get three world time alarms to announce launch times. The watch also sports an analog second, minute, and hour hand, as well as displays digital time in one of its two LCD's. The Skyhawk has an option that lets you display analog time, say, for New York, and digital time for another city, like Tokyo. You can switch back and forth between the two time keeping modes by simultaneously holding both watch buttons down on the bezel. In other words, NYC now displays time in digital mode, and Tokyo in analog mode. It's also pretty cool to watch the analog hands automatically spin around as they reset for each city.

 

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21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com

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