Citizen Titanium Perpetual Chronograph BL5551 (mvt. E820)

April 2, 2022 Off By jaykayenn

I have chronographs, I have perpetual calendars, I have Eco-drives. Today, I get all in one watch.

Part of Citizen’s Brycen branding, the BL5551 runs on the E820 movement. This piece of electro-mechanical wizardry crams 5 micro-motors and all the functions of a digital watch into a solar-powered package. That’s chronograph, perpetual calendar, alarm, and dual time zones in a titanium case, making for a lightweight yet robust piece. The hands and the numerals are lumed, which make the watch highly legible, despite the somewhat busy dial. Overall, it presents a rugged field/tool watch aesthetic, but the diver-style bezel seems a little odd given that it doesn’t rotate.

Lumed hands and numerals

How does this super do-it-all watch compare to others with only 1 or 2 headline features? A true jack of all trades, the Citizen BL5551/E820 is a master of none.

To actually use any of the functions, you need to pop the crown out, rotate to select a function, then pop it back in. This means that you can’t immediately use the chronograph or switch time zones at the click of a button. For those like me who wear their watches on their right hand, switching functions becomes even more awkward.

If you have no urgent need to use a chronograph or switch timezones often, the BL5551 is perfectly adequate. You still get a solid analog timepiece with all the functions of a digital watch, and never have to worry about batteries. In conclusion, the Citizen BL5551 (or any E820 based model) serves as a great pick-up-and-go daily driver, especially if you plan on cutting down the size of your collection. A great analog alternative if you aren’t into the aesthetic of G-Shocks.

The Citizen BL5551 was released in 2018 and is now discontinued. The BL5558, with dark blue dial instead of black, remains in production in 2022.
https://www.citizenwatch.com/us/en/product/BL5558-58L.html