Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: Opinion and review

The Citizen Pilot Steel and Pilot Super Titanium are two of the Japanese brand’s most appreciated collections for their spectacular dial design and good functions. 

That is why we have reviewed the Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L, one of its best examples: Super Titanium, radio controlled, Eco-Drive… it has all the things you love about a Citizen watch along with a face that you fall in love with.

Within these collections with the same dial design, you will have to make a tough decision that will influence the price and the manufacturing materials:

  • It has the Pilot models in Steel with leather strap and stainless steel bracelet: CB0240-88L (blue dial and steel bracelet), CB0240-88E (black dial and steel bracelet), CB0240-84E (black dial and stainless steel bracelet). in black), CB0240-11L (blue dial and leather strap), CB0240-29X (black dial and leather strap).
  • You have the Pilot Super Titanium, a much lighter and more expensive scratch-resistant material: CB0230-81E (black dial) and CB0230-81L (blue dial).

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium Watches Prices range from less than 300 dollars to more than 700 dollars. Models with Super Titanium are the most expensive. For the quality offered by these watches, the price is very tight. 

Or you can take a leap in its range and go to the spectacular Citizen Watches JY8030-83E Eco-Drive Navihawk A-T Satellite Wave GPS Sky Premier with a connection via GPS to update the time and all kinds of premium materials. This model has a stunning chronograph design, like the Casio Edifice EF-527D-1AVEF.

The good thing about the Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L is that the dial design is very clean, quite the opposite of previous models. And the color blue is very, very striking, especially in sunlight. It is a matter of taste if you like one watch or another more.

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Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: Box and Presentation

Well, It has a typical black box that is removed laterally. This box is where the watch is inside another black cardboard box with the instruction manual. Everything is very tight.

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: Opinion and review

Don’t be scared by the size of the manual. It’s typical of citizens’ watches. If you finish it, you end up in the bones.

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: Features, Design, and Manufacturing

Citizen Radiocontrol CB0230-81L Pilot Super Titanium Eco-Drive Watch
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Citizen Radiocontrol CB0230-81L Pilot Super Titanium Eco-Drive Watch
  • Citizen Men's Analog Watch
  • Blue Titanium Round Dial with Quartz Movement
  • With sapphire crystal
  • Titanium strap in silver color
  • Water resistant to 10 bars

  • Eco-Drive H145 with 6-month charge reserve (2 years in energy savings)
  • Calendar.
  • Load reserve display.
  • RADIO CONTROLLED: Signal reception from Japan, USA, Germany, and China. Automatic selection of the broadcasting station.
  • Summer schedule.
  • Worldtimer 26 cities.
  • Perpetual calendar until 2/28/2100.
  • SUPER TITANIUM case and bracelet
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Water-resistance WR 10 BAR
  • 42.4mm case diameter
  • 100-gram weight
  • Instructions

What is the first reason you would buy this Citizen watch? It’s clear. The design of its sphere. It is a very well-designed Pilot’s watch, with a blue color that stands out especially in sunlight, with beautiful indices and striking hands.

  • The design is very similar to the Citizen Skyhawk models that have become so famous among fans of the brand, but we do not find the word Skyhawk anywhere on the watch.

The crystal is sapphire: has excellent transparency and very good resistance to scratches.

On the dial, we see two Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock, the signal reception indication at 9 o’clock, the date indicator at 3 o’clock, and the summertime indicator between 4 and 5 o’clock.

In addition, you have the possibility to calculate the speed and the amount of fuel of the plane during your trip with the moving inner bezel.

  • The inner bezel that moves with the wheel on the left can be moved in both directions: what is it for? To calculate things as interesting as the gasoline used based on the kilometers traveled, flight speed, or simpler things such as the percentage of quantities, multiplications, divisions, or conversion of units. Or simple rules of three.
  • I have calculated 15% of a tip from a 20 euro bill. You set the outer ring to 1.15 (with the button to the left of the watch case), which represents a 15% tip. You find 12 in the inner ring, which represents 20 euros, and just in front, the outer ring the number 23, which is 23 euros in our example. You give a tip of 3 euros.

If we go further inside the sphere we find the names of the cities to adjust the time of the clock. It is not the worst model to be able to correctly visualize both numbers and acronyms of cities.

And all this is surrounded, both on the case and on the bracelet, by Citizen’s Super Titanium, which in this case is very similar in color to steel, unlike the one present in the CB5908-57E

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L is a more expensive model that has a SUPER TITANIUM DURATECT DLC + MRK which gives it a darker greyish appearance and is more scratch-resistant.

Thanks to Super Titanium, the watch is really light and much more comfortable to wear than its stainless steel versions. It is the main reason to spend a little more on this model. It is lighter and you avoid scratches on the case and strap that will drive you crazy if you buy the steel model.

If we continue to go through the case, we see that on the left side, we have a crown at the bottom (at 8 o’clock) that is used to move the inner bezel of the watch. The crown turns well thanks to its serrated surface.

On the right, we have the crown in the center that has three positions to change the functions of the watch. Then we have a lower button on the right side that is used to check the power reserve and a few other things. In this case, it is smooth.

Both the hands (which are quite wide and large) and the indices have a fairly good lumen. It lasts all night and is quite flashy (although no better than the one found in some Seiko diver watches like the Seiko Prospex Diver SPB143 ).

Back of the watch? Well, the truth is that it has a very good design (polished). It is completely flat, which means that the watch is not very thick (only 13 mm), which contributes to the good aesthetics of the watch and to the fact that it is so comfortable to wear. 

You don’t even notice that you’re wearing it, and you can even leave it on when you go to sleep.

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We can see a world map in the center, around CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE, and then all the benefits of the watch such as its resistance to water, movement, antimagnetic 4,800 A/m, Radio controlled, and something important. That you do not remove the cover on your own and you take it to the brand’s technical service.

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: how it looks on the wrist

In the photos you can see it on an 18 cm doll, so you can get an idea. It’s perfect. We had to remove two links and proceed with a micro-adjustment (you have three).

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L review

Be very careful when removing the links because the pin shoots out and you can easily lose the small piece that adjusts the pin to the link Inside the chain you can see an arrow that tells you where to press the pin in order to shorten the chain.

Being the Super Titanium chain, it weighs practically nothing and is very comfortable to wear. 

Much better than if you buy the steel model. The premium feel is throughout, and the closure is very secure.

It is a watch that looks great with brown leather straps. Keep that in mind.

The strap is 22mm wide. It may interest you: What size watch should I buy for my wrist?

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: functions

It is a very complete watch. It is the typical Citizen watch that you buy and forget about it. It maintains itself thanks to the fact that it is charged with solar energy (Eco-Drive).

The first thing you should do when you take your watch out of the box is to check the battery charge. You have to press the bottom left button. When the watch has a low charge, the second hand rotates a quarter-turn counterclockwise. If the charge is very, very low, the secondhand moves at 2-second intervals.

In the following table you can check how long it takes to charge the watch:

AroundLuminance (Lx)Charging time for one day of operationCharging time to start normal operation when the rechargeable battery is discharged
In direct sunlight or on a cloudy day10,000 to 100,0004 to 12 minutes40 minutes to 1 hour
20 cm from a fluorescent lamp (30 W)300040 minutes2.5 hours
Interior lighting5004 hours14 hours

When the watch is not exposed to light for more than 7 days, the minute and second hands will stop automatically to save power.

The clock is also radio-controlled, which means that you also forget to set the time if you get it to connect to the radio frequency station located in Germany, something that can be complicated if you live in the south of Spain, but it is possible to get if you live from Madrid upwards.

The same. You take the watch out of the case and by pressing the button for a moment, the second hand will stop at the signal reception indication (OK/RX/NO) on the left side of the watch face.

If it stops at OK, everything is correct, if it stops at NO, you can imagine. You can try a manual receive by holding down the lower right button until the second-hand stop on the RX.

You have to leave the watch near a window facing north at night: Receive the signal every day, at 2:00 a.m. If the reception has failed, the watch will try to receive at 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. You can always get the antenna that Citizen sells to improve reception (it comes with many models of the brand).

How can you set the time and date manually? You pull the crown out to position 2 (all the way). Press the lower right button (A), and turn the crown to set the minutes. You press A again and set the time. You press A again and set the date. If you press A again you adjust the month and year (better look at the instructions to see how to do it).

  • Clock accuracy remains within ±15 seconds per month, using it at normal operating temperatures (+5˚C and +35˚C)
  • It is water-resistant to 200 meters.

What is missing from this watch? Well, compared to the Citizen Nighthawk models, we lose the dual time (GMT). It does not have the small airplane-shaped hands of this feature (known as a “complication”) that serve to indicate another time on these watches on a small dial on the left.

Read about Citizen’s BM8476-23E Watch Review: A Durable and Sustainable Timepiece

Difference between Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L and CB0230-81E

CB0230-81E is a super titanium watch with automatic movement and a black color dial whereas in CB0230-81L you get quartz movement and a blue color dial. Other than these two differences mentioned above, Both watches have the same specifications.

Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L: Is this watch worth buying?

Yes, clearly yes. It has one of Citizen’s best dial designs. It has solar charging, it is radio-controlled, and it is made of Titanium.

It is a very light, comfortable watch that will last you a lifetime if you take good care of it. The value for money it offers is tremendous.

The only doubt you may have is whether it is worth getting the watch with Super Titanium or if you can save a few dollars by choosing the stainless steel model with a leather strap.

The other model that people usually choose is the cheapest of all, the Citizen CB0241-00L (with a blue dial and light brown leather strap). Visually, it is tremendous and you can save about 300 dollars on your purchase. What do you lose? Titanium in bracelet and case.

Do you want a more resistant and shockproof pilot’s watch? You have to go to Casio G-shock: Casio G-Shock GW-9400 Rangeman or Casio G-Shock GWR-B1000 Gravitymaster.

In favor:

  • Excellent quality-price
  • Excellent dial design with a very striking blue color
  • Very light and comfortable
  • Made of Super Titanium (scratch resistant)
  • With Eco-Drive and radio-controlled
  • Sapphire crystal on the dial
  • 200-meter water resistance


  • Difficult to decide between the different models in the range
  • No dual time (GMT) like Nighthawk models
  • Somewhat small inner bezel letters and numbers (but not the worst we’ve seen)

If Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81L is not available you can easily buy its alternative model Citizen Pilot Super Titanium CB0230-81E. It has almost the same specifications and is very reliable as well.

Yes, with the help of Citizen’s surface-hardening technology, Duratect™, and the use of solid titanium (grade 5) have made the super titanium watches are resistant to scratches. It increases surface hardness by five times that of stainless steel, allowing Super Titanium™ to achieve both scratch and rust resistance.

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