on April 26, 2006
I upgraded to the eco-drive from a watch that recharged by wrist motion. So far I'm a lot happier with the eco-drive. It holds a charge a lot longer, so it's not a problem to leave it unworn for a day or two. I didn't like the green military style band on this one, but it was easy to swap for a leather 20mm band. The stock band was a tad small for my wrist. I would expect a lot of men would need to swap it. The numbers look big in the picture, and they're big on the watch. I like the big numbers, others might not.
May 2008 Update:
I still like this watch as much as the day it arrived! It works perfectly, never runs out of battery and looks good. For those of you who haven't paid for a decent watch, you might not realize you're missing out on a good quality glass / crystal face. Mine still is scratch free. The watch looks pretty much brand new, even though I wear it every day.
on July 31, 2007
This is my 2nd Eco-Drive Watch. Eco-Drive is by far my favorite watch brand. My other Eco-Drive is a moon-phase Calibre that I wear to work everyday. I wanted another watch that was less dressy, and was happy when I found this watch at a low price. However, this watch looks very nice, despite its price. Some reviewers don't like the watchband. I agree that a leather band would make it look more expensive, but this is a military watch and the band is quite appropriate. Although the description calls this a canvas strap, the inside is coated so that it does not absorb sweat. Also, I have small wrists and Eco-Drives are the only watches that I can wear without modifying the strap. It's VERY easy to set. It is more like a traditional watch; you only need to adjust the main crown. The other two buttons north and south of the crown control the chronograph. Seconds tick by on this watch on the small dial located just above the "6" on the watch face. The large second hand that you normally associate with the sweep second hand is part of the chronograph. By the way, the chronograph is EXTREMELY easy to operate. One of my favorite features of this watch are the extremely large, easy-to-read numbers on the dial. Only downside is that the three small dials on the face are smaller and more difficult to read, but I think that is an unavoidable consequence of the design. Overall, this is a great watch!!
on March 1, 2008
If you, like me, are considering this watch because it is simple, has a rugged appearance to it, happens to be a Citizen Eco-Drive model, and is reasonably priced, then you may want to know the following.
Pros: This watch is easy to set up and holds time well. It can be dragged across brick surfaces and airplane exteriors without blemishing. It can be taken in the shower and swimming pool without leaking, and the watch band dries before getting a chance to leave wet spots on your trousers while you drive to work. The fit is comfortable and the watch is not heavy or bulky. The chronograph is incredibly easy to use after looking at the instructions once. The hour and minute hands have a nice, subtle glow sufficient for telling time in dark places.
Cons: The chronograph maxes out at 60 minutes and then turns off. And I once turned it off accidentally when the back of my hand pushed against the watch. So be careful if you're timing anything serious--like a ninja mission.
Notes on fit: I'm 5'9", 170 pounds, and a fitness nut. This watch JUST fits my wrist. So as other reviewers have said, if your wrists have a little padding, plan on replacing the watch band--which is an industry-standard size and easy to replace.
Notes on the Eco-Drive battery life: I have done nothing beyond my normal routine to keep this watch exposed to light. I don't avoid wearing long-sleeved shirts or hold my arm out the window while driving home. And so far I have had no issues with the charge. From the time I took this watch out of the box, it has just kept on telling time and taking abuse.
Great value for the money.
on March 16, 2008
Saw this watch while searching on net for solar type watches. Was so tired of having to pay to get batteries. Found out about Citizen Eco-Drive and the wheels began turning. Ordered the watch originally from another retailer on Amazon who stated that the watch was in stock. Well it wasn't so I had to cancel the order. Amazon had the watch in stock so I got it from them. If ordering make sure you contact whatever or whoever is selling and find out if they have the watch. OK enough soapboxing...
The watch is spectacular. The face is large enough but not to big. The band feels great it is however a little on the smallish side. I currently wear it on the second to last hole and I do not have large wrists by any standard. But that is easily fixed by another band. (Really how much band tail do you want hanging? ) The chrono feature is cool and amuzes my kids when the reset button is pressed and the hand whizzes around to zero. The date window is unconventional but it so easily located. It is not in the way like other watches in the 3 hour spot. It is very military looking which is exactly what I was looking for. Citzen also has a 5 year warranty which is outstanding in the industry. I would highly recommend this or any Citzen Eco-Drive. Hope this helps.
on March 30, 2009
This is a great watch! But instead of my opinions I will write some details here that might help you with your decision.
Here are some observations that you can only get by observing the watch firsthand:
The watch case has a brushed finish on the sides, but the bezel ring and caseback is polished. So this is not for people going for the anti-reflective look!
The back is a screwdown back.
The big second hand (the long red one in the pictures) is only used for the chronograph. In regular timekeeping mode, it does NOT move. Instead, the lower subdial keeps track of the seconds. The upper right subdial keeps track of the 24 hour time, and the upper left subdial is reserved for the chronograph only.
Here's how the chronograph works:
1. The big second hand sounds the seconds, and the upper left subdial keeps track of the minutes.
2. The chronograph can only count in whole second intervals! If you need 1/10th or 1/100 chronograph, look elsewhere.
3. The chronograph can only count upto 1 hour. After that, it will simply stop counting (it will not keep going)
4. You press the top button to start/stop the chronograph. When you first push this button, you will feel some resistance and hear "click" when you push. There is definitely some kind of internal mechanism that gives you a tactile feedback. Once the chrono is going, this tactile feedback will disappear until you reset the chrono.
5. You "reset" the chrono by pushing the buttom button. Pushing this resets both hands to zero. Again, the button will give you tactile feedback, but the feedback will disappear until you start a new chrono measurement.
The lume (glow in the dark paint) is very weak on this watch. It only lasts for a short while in the dark (~minutes), and it needs to be exposed to intense light to glow at all. Plus it is only applied to the minute/hour hands and as tiny tiny dots on the outer dial. The big numbers are NOT painted with lume! :(
The strap is REALLY short. It's the shortest stock strap I have ever handled, and if you have wrists 7.5 inches and above, you'll need a new strap.
on March 23, 2007
This is my fourth Citizen watch, but my first Eco-Drive. I wasn't sure I'd ever own one, as I'd seen them in stores at retail price, and they were much more expensive. Yes, they were shinier and had nicer watch bands, but to get an Eco-Drive at this price is terrific. The watch band is the same length as my two Citizen watches with leather straps- almost 9-1/2 inches. The strap seems well-made and even has an interior lining of a softer material- to make it more confortable I assume. And is was comfortable from the very first wearing. Oddly, the instruction manual seems a little too concerned with keeping it in light to make sure it's charged. One major selling point is it "never needs a battery", so why be so concerned about it? Relax and enjoy the watch. It will let you know when it needs light. This is a great watch, and in my opinion, you can't go wrong buying this or any Citizen timepiece.
on November 9, 2006
The watch is terrific- I replaced it with a black 20mm rubber swiss army brand band at my local jewelery store, and now it looks like the swankest watch in town. Big numbers, clear readout, never needs a battery. This is thin enough to go under work shirts, but the big face is nice and masculine.
on May 3, 2008
This watch is currently with me serving a tour of duty in Iraq, and it's performing beautifully. So far, there are some very minor scratches on the casing, but the glass is extremely scratch-resistant. I haven't had any problems with the watch keeping a charge; it came charged out of the box and has been so ever since. The stopwatch function works great, but I would have liked it to keep time longer than an hour. However, I seem to rarely need to keep time longer than a few minutes so this is a mute point. My only complaint so far is about the watch band. The band looks good in uniform and it's very comfortable, but it's developing an odd smell. I fear that I'll have to replace it in the next month or two if I continue to wear it every day.
on February 23, 2011
Many reviewers comment on the shortness of the strap. I have small wrists and the strap is no problem for me. If I lay the watch completely flat it measures 22.5cm from the buckle to the last hole on the strap. That might help others check the fit for themselves.
There are two loops to secure the strap once it is buckled up. The loop closest to the buckle is sewn into the strap, but the other one is free to slide to the preferred position. The fixed loop is very close to the buckle, which makes it a pain to do up the rather inflexible strap, so I often don't use it - I just pass the strap over it and into the sliding loop. In fact, I may eventually cut the fixed loop off.
The date is deeply recessed into a tiny "hole" and the tiny faint numbers are difficult to read because they are in "shadows" - unless you are in bright, direct light. Pretty useless if the date is important to you and you want to see it at a quick glance.
The date is based on 31-day months, and you have to manually correct it for months of 30 days and for February. That is also a pain.
The 24-hour hand (top, RHS "circle") is pretty useless. I think most users will know the difference between night and day without this reminder - unless you live close to one of the Poles! Professionals like international pilots who want to keep their watch on one time zone will want a better 24-hr display than on this watch. It is just there for cosmetic reasons I think. It should be scrapped and replaced with a decent date display.
The chronometer function is often unusable because either the thick hour or minute hands of th enormal time display obscure the graduations on the edge of the chronometer minutes dial (top LHS dial), making it impossible to actually read the minutes. This is a common defect of all watches with similar layouts.
Apart from those points, I love the simplicity of the adjustment functions. They are all so intuitive you hardly need the manual at all, certainly not after a few moments familiarisation. In fact you could quickly figure it all out without any manual.
I travel a lot and it is extremely simple to adjust the time and date to different time zones. The chronograph is also simple to use - subject to the display shortcomings noted above.
An excellent watch for everyday use if you only want the time - and even attractive enough for "dressy" wear. I wear it all the time.
But if the chronometer function or the date display are important to you, then this watch is not good value & I would look for another.
on March 28, 2008
I have owned this watch for about a year now, and I love it. The time is very accurate, the eco-drive is solid and reliable, the weight is great and the price was right.
-Easy to read, day or night. The luminous hands are bright without being obtrusive.
-Large face, but lightweight with the canvas band.
-The timer is accurate.
-The tick is silent, I can't hear it in a quiet room even next to my ear.
-Very durable, no scratches on the face or body even after all I have subjected it to. This is not the watch I wear for dress occasions, it has seen combat, been underwater, been covered in dust, dirt, mud, been through dozens of pressurizations and depressurizations, been dropped, smacked into all manner of walls, bulkheads, gear and equipment and it looks as good as the day I got it.
-The band is awful. It is canvas on top, but the inside part is leather so it takes a while to dry out after a workout or shower and tends to take on the smell of whatever soap, solvent, sweat or whatever it was most recently subjected to. I have to take extra care to rinse out the band for that reason. The holes are metal-lined and while they are durable, they do not allow for fine adjustment and the watch sits just a little too loose (or a little too tight) for my wrist. I'd have replaced it long ago, but the band I want will not ship to my location.
I wish the military time could be adjusted independently from the normal time. It only tells the military time for the main time setting, which is a little pointless when much of what I do is in zulu/GMT time and not local...
Update May 2014: Finally killed it. Up to the end, this watch continued to work great, hold its charge, and started working quickly whenever it did deplete. The face remained scratch free though the case body showed quite a lot of wear. I dropped it while putting it back of after an airport security line, it fell probably 5 feet onto concrete floor and didn't restart. The timer stopwatch and second hand subdial still go, but the main timekeeping dial refuses to move. Guess it landed right on the adjustment wheel. Still extremely happy with it and I'll probably be getting another one to replace it.