271 of 278 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Watch!
I am what many would call a watch nut and own over 30 ranging from Timex to Rolex. For me to buy a watch there has to be "something there" for me to get excited about. At $240, this is one of the very best buys on a fantastic watch that you can find! I was so impressed with this watch I purchased a second one as a gift for my father in law who by the way, was very...
Published on June 11, 2008 by Charles R. Carroll
124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great but not perfect.
As others have said, this is a wonderful watch for many reasons. Made of Titanium and steel, it is a proper large size man's watch, but not heavy to wear. The leather band attached to it is heavy duty and will last, and the watch is beautifully designed and eye catching. The bezel (outer ring) is a little loose but easy to turn, and the dial is surprisingly clear and easy...
Published on April 8, 2009 by Axel
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271 of 278 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Watch!,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)I am what many would call a watch nut and own over 30 ranging from Timex to Rolex. For me to buy a watch there has to be "something there" for me to get excited about. At $240, this is one of the very best buys on a fantastic watch that you can find! I was so impressed with this watch I purchased a second one as a gift for my father in law who by the way, was very impressed with the watch himself.
Before getting into all the things I like about this watch I want to point out one of the other reviewers posted a problem with the buckle on his watch having some "points" on it that dug into his wrist and made the watch uncomfortable to wear. This must be a factory defect as this is not the case with either of the two that I purchased. While the watch strap is not usually covered by warranty I know from 1st hand experience that Citizen has a dedicated and friendly customer service department and I believe if he contacts them he will find a new strap coming to him rather quickly. Also as to the strap, I have been disappointed somewhat in the past when purchasing a watch and the strap that comes with it is not substantial in length. I have a 7.25 inch wrist and this has not caused me a problem but I would readily notice if someone had a larger wrist they would have to go out and purchase a new and larger strap to be able to wear their new watch. The strap that comes with this citizen will allow someone with a larger wrist than mine to be able to wear this watch with the strap that comes on it. This is very good as I believe the supplied strap is very handsome on this watch.
The BL5250-02L is a marvelous little piece of technology at a very good price! At a suggested retail of $400 I have routinely found the watch at local authorized dealers at around $300. My watch was purchased on line for $240 with free shipping and for an additional $5 you could have "next day" shipping.
This watch comes to you very user friendly right out of the box. Along with the user manual also comes a mini disk that when played will have you understanding all the features, time settings and adjustments. You will have your watch set and on your wrist in about 10 minutes. Also, if you lose this information you may go to Citizen's web page and pull up the same info on an interactive video.
The Echo Drive models have a power cell in them that is charged by available light so there is no battery change ever! The perpetual calendar allows you to set the watch once and then it recognizes short months along with leap years so there is no further adjustment for that. Also, there is a duel time zone feature. I use this for setting the second time zone to address the yearly time change of one hour. Doing this with the simple turn of the dial my watch snaps into Daylight savings time mode and then back with another turn when the time comes to go back. It just does not get easier than that.
The rotating bezel certainly may be used for more than just looks. One of the ways I use mine is when I plug a parking meter. I just rotate the bezel so my minute hand moving toward the marker allows me to quickly see when I need to be back at my car. The alarm function works but it is not very noticeable. I have two Seiko's that have a very audible and piercing sound. In this area I have to say Citizen could improve the watch. However, I do notice it if I am awake. I just don't know if it would wake me from a deep sleep.
The finish of the watch is very nice and the strap is very comfortable to wear. The watch while feeling very solid is not as heavy as you may would expect and it wears very nicely on the wrist. The watch is advertised as a "deep blue" face and that is an understatement. For all purposes except in direct sunlight it is black. This does not bother me at all because it looks great and again, in direct sunlight it does have a blue hew that looks good also. Besides great function and price another strong point on this watch is the luminosity of the hands and markers. With over 30 watches my Seiko's seem to have a lock on that area but this citizen comes in a very, very close second. After being outside all day I can read my watch all night long from my darkened bedroom.
Last but not least, this watch comes with a five year warranty and as I stated before, Citizen has great customer service.
I have just touched on the many features of this finely made watch and for you that do not like straps and would prefer a bracelet, Citizen offers the same watch on a bracelet as model number, BL5250-53L. It retails for $500, local price around $400, web price $300.
I rate this watch a solid 4 out of a possible 5 stars. I would have given it 4.5 if the alarm were more noticeable. I am very picky and I did not even rate my Rolex 5 stars. I highly recommend this watch and would but purchase it again. In fact, I did when I purchased one for my father in law. If this watch appeals to your eye buy it! Price, functions, ease of use, warranty, and customer service is just icing on the cake!
124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great but not perfect.,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)As others have said, this is a wonderful watch for many reasons. Made of Titanium and steel, it is a proper large size man's watch, but not heavy to wear. The leather band attached to it is heavy duty and will last, and the watch is beautifully designed and eye catching. The bezel (outer ring) is a little loose but easy to turn, and the dial is surprisingly clear and easy to read due to the strong design of the sword hands. The luminosity is brilliant too, as these things go, and will last a decent period. (You will be able to read the watch for the first few hours at night after you switch the lights off. No watch, from any company, luxury brands included, really lasts very long.) It has a perpetual calendar, so once set, you never have to think about it again, as long as it gets enough light.
The watch does have some quirks. You require patience to set it. As others have pointed out, changing the settings requires you often to wait until the hands travel back or forth from whatever time they're currently set at, to the new function you're changing to. Be careful of date setting. Depending on the setting, you have to wait for a few revolutions of the smaller hands before the date window moves, one date. If you're changing the date from the 2nd to the 29th, you'll be there a while. This watch requires commitment! The alarm is not only soft, but SHORT! About 15 seconds at best. The watch is a not really a chronograph. Those extra sub-dials you see don't really function in that way. Yes, there is a limited chronograph function but it is so poorly designed so as to render the watch useless for that function. The second time zone is handy but the alarm is not sychronized to it.
On the plus side, the watch is accurate, never needs to be fiddled with once it's set AND as long as it gets regular light, is very comfortable to wear and gorgeous on the wrist. I changed out my stitching for a Hirsh carbon black strap with white stitching, and it looks fantastic. The lesson is, buy this watch if you'll wear it regularly and don't really care too much about the fiddly details. If you're likely to forget it in closets or cupboards for long periods, beware!
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Date setting discrepancy,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)First off, I got the watch a couple days ago. The look, feel, and accuracy are all spot on.
However, it appears that Citizen has changed a few things about the setting of the watch, and NOT changed the documentation. I had to experiment in order to figure out how to set the date, it was nothing like the instructions. In order to change the MODE (time, chrono, alarm, local time) you now have to pull the crown out to the first position, then rotate it. This means that the first position can no longer be used to set the date! (like the instructions say) Now, in TIME mode, with the crown pulled out to position two (where the time is set) the "A" button toggles between all of the time AND date settings (the selected hand does a little dance to let you know it's selected), and twisting the crown adjusts it.
Personally I LOVE this change (once I figured out how to set it). Other reviewers had complained about inadvertently changing the mode when pulling their hand out of a pocket, etc. Now, clicking the crown in the zero position does NOTHING. Which is how it should be. It looks like Citizen listened to user feedback, which speaks miles about them. They now need to update their documentation to match.
Great watch, we'll see how it does with more time on the wrist, but I wanted to let everyone know about my findings ASAP!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Watch and a Primer on Setting,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)I debated as to giving this watch 4 or 5 stars, I decided on the four, albeit a STRONG four star, to be explained in a minute. Prior to puchasing this watch on Amazon, I read many of the reviews. The overriding concern, or complaint was that the instruction manual was incorrect. The manual is not incorrect, but it does have instructions for two models. So make sure you read only the instructions for this model. The other complaint was that the older version of this watch did not require the crown to be pulled out one position to change the modes, you merely had to spin the crown in the closed position which meant the mode could and occasionally would change while wearing the watch. This problem has been eliminated by the newer model as the crown now has to be pulled out one position in order to change modes. This is a big improvement no doubt. So here is a very abbreviated primer for setting thie watch:
With the watch in time mode, pull the crown out all the way, you will see the second hand rotate.
Push the upper button and move the hands with the crown to the proper time of day watching the 24 hr. dial for am/pm reference.
Then push the button again and you'll see the leap year upper right subdial move slightly. Use the crown to move the indicator to "0" or straight up for a leap year like 2012, or the "1" position for 1 year past the leap as in 2013, or the 2 for two years past as in 2014 or three indicator for 3 years since a leap year as in 2015.
Then push the button again and you'll see the second hand move about 1/4 turn then return. Use the crown to move the second hand to point at the corresponding month, example 12 for Dec. 4 for April, 8 for Aug. etc.
Push the button another time and you will see the date move up and down slightly. Move the crown to the proper date. If you only need to move the date a few days away spin it slowly, but if you have to go from say the third to the 28th, spin the crown very rapidly then let it move by itself until you are at the day before you need, spin the crown slightly the other direction and it will stop. Then slowly move the crown to the right date. Push the crown in all the way and you are done.
One special note, my watch came pre-set with the time being only one hour off, but I went thru all the steps just to figure it out. Be aware though that once you set the time, then move to set the other functions into memory, the time will stop so you will be at least a half minute or so off which will necessitate resetting the time again if you want it exact. I hope this helps.
Now the watch. The watch face is deep black, not dark blue. The luminosity is very good although it does diminish somewhat rapidly. The dial contains no silver accent, they're all white in the day and glow bluish green at night if exposed to light. The watch has a sleep function that shuts down the second hand after a bit when it is nearly dark and stays in sleep mode until exposed to light. When again exposed to light, the second hand spins quickly to the correct position for accuracy.
The 24 hour subdial is very useful as is the lower mode subdial. To me the other subdial, officially the 20th sec. dial is useless except to set the leap year, which if done right should only need to be set once in the life of the watch. The chronograph is practically useless, except maybe as a toy if you get bored. But you'd really have to be bored.
The watch case IS Titanium, the caseback is stainless. The watch is to me not heavy but also not super light as some titanium watches. It is a lot lighter though than all stainless. The watch is 200 meters water resistant. The band is of medium to high quality and made of pig skin. The watch is very sporty in looks and is quite good looking. As Amazon states the case is 43 mm wide and high and 13 mm thick.
Now, the reasons I decided to give 4 stars is because of the crystal and the alarm. The crystal is mineral glass, and since it has a titanium case I think it should have been a sapphire crystal, although a plus is that the mineral crystal is anti-reflective. Most of us no doubt would probably have paid another $30-$40 for sapphire. The alarm should be louder as many stated, you may not even hear it if the room is not dead quiet and the watch is not very close to your ear. Seriously, the alarm is just not loud enough. One final thing, the case is all shiny metal except the top side of the lugs which are brushed. Amazon states the lugs spacing for the band is 20mm, but in fact they are 22mm.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Eco-Drive watch. But wow !!,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)I can honestly say that I have a small number of watches in my collection, and believed that I had reached my peak on finding watches that really caught my eye. But this was one watch that I had already been eyeing for quite a while. I had to buy it, and I did. And it is stunningly beautiful. One of the most attractive watches that I have. Citizen however, has always made some of the nicest watches I have ever seen. But this was one that I was hoping it looked as great as it did on the website. Powered by light and being perpetual, I believed I would have a difficult time setting it to the correct date. But nevertheless it was a breeze. Now it will never need a battery. One of the most power robbing features of any watch would be the alarm which I use constantly. But I certainly will not worry about this one. I can use it all I want since it will recharge itself again, and again. Just a typical day at the office (or outdoors), will recharge it to operate for several weeks, if not months. Unbelievable !! And at a 200 meter water resistance, I can use it swimming, snorkeling, and it may work just as well for scuba diving. It will look great whether you are relaxing by the side of the pool, at a classy dinner, or at a formal business meeting. Several people have already told me to take it off so they can look at it. I feel great whenever somebody says that. Its a really beautiful watch. Worth the price. Maybe it is my love for watches with brown leather bands. I don't know. But if you do so, I would highly recommend it.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great all around watch!,
Like the other reviewer mentioned the bezel is a bit too shiny depending on the light which can make it look like cheap chrome. Not exactly bad and it depends on how the light hits it, but it may not be your thing.
I was concerned this watch might be too thick because of a review of this watch with the metal band - but I found it to be in the same range as other watches I own. Certainly not as chunky as a Casio Atomic Solar G-Shock. The titanium is quite light. I tend to like watches with some heft so for me this might be a slight drawback, although I like the idea of extra strength. Not that I ever have or expect to break a watch case!
I don't know how other chronometers work but I expected the dials to spin more. On this one they don't - the second hand does most of the main timing with a smaller dial keeping track of the minutes and if a button is pushed, the fractions of a second in 0.2 sec increments. I thought all the dials would spin simultaneously but maybe that is how chronometers work.
When I first set up the watch I thought the function dial was broken. Turns out all it needed was a full charge. So don't despair until you've charged the watch up fully. The manual was short, but I found unlike the other reviews, that it had as much as I needed to know in it including how to center the date in the date window.
The watch has a great and unusual combination of solar power, perpetual calendar, plus chronometer and alarm. The alarm is too quiet and not practical to wake up to as others have said. It might work if you're awake and cooking something.
I got this watch from the Watch Spot which delivered it really really fast with no problems.
Update on 4/16/10: I decided I really didn't like the original brown leather band no matter how much I tried, it just seems like it is made of cheap leather. So I replaced it with a 20mm black Kevlar band found on Amazon for around 20 bucks, and presto - it looks fabulous and like an entirely new watch! I love it now: Kevlar, titanium and steel what more do you want for under $300? I always loved the midnight blue face of the dial and with the modern band it looks like a much more expensive Breitling now, with great solar functionality. I'm also considering a black waterproof leather band with the dual raised ridges as an alternate band. If you get this watch I'd really recommend springing for a better band.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite watch,
This has been just a terriffic watch, and I'm extremely satisfied. It has exceeded my expectations in all particulars!
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice timepiece!,
Let's face it, a Timex will provide accurate time but it's the look & style that really matter and this watch has what I wanted (a Brietling appearence) but could aford. It's a masculine and classy watch all the way. I have no need for the alarm or stop watch functions so that doesn't matter to me.
looks distinguished, well made, great value, easy to read (day or night), nice functions, and best of all- you don't have to let some moron man-handle your timepiece when changing the battery on a regular basis!
be aware that the bezel is highly polished which means that it looks a bit like "chrome" or cheap "bling". It doesn't look like a Brietling or Tag, you know? I'm looking into having the finish buffed but I might be asking for trouble. This is kind of silly to mention but the luminescent is so strong that when I come from outside the face hands look green because of the glow, and I don't like the look. After a while it dissapates. The other issue for me is that the date window is very small and I usually can't read it.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this watch!!,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)I purchased this watch in December of 2010 as a dress watch for my travels within and outside the US. I am a watch lover and do own a very nice, fine, expensive watch, but due to the places I travel and also the current economic conditions, I prefer to wear a watch that will not catch too much attention.
Not sure if I will not catch attention as this watch has quickly become one of my favorites. I have gotten so many positive comments and I've only been wearing it for one month. I agree with those who have stated that for all intents and purposes this watch has a black face and not blue. It takes quite a bit of sunlight at the perfect angle to make the blue tone make its appearance.
From a functionality standpoint, this watch is not meant to be either a chronograph or an alarm. The chronograph is way too complicated and cumbersome to set and activate. By the time you pull out the crown and move the bottom indicator to CHRONO mode, the event you want to time may be over. As for the alarm function, it's not loud enough--at least for me. The rotating bezel is a very useful tool for measuring approximate time spans. I use the bezel quite a bit when I'm taking meds every few hours.
If you plan on using this watch for time and date only, it really is a magnificent tool. I love the fact that it is an analog watch, and my favorite part is that is has a perpetual calendar. When you set the date and time, you actually use the "second" hand to set the current month. Then you use the "chronograph" hand to set the year in relation to the last leap year--1 year after, 2 years after etc.... This means that if you keep the watch powered up, it will keep the correct date on display until the year 2100! I love having an analog watch that doesn't make me check if it's the 31 or 1 of every month.
I also use the "L-TM" feature to set it to daylight savings time or to other time zones. I keep my "Time" setting to my local non-daylight savings time. This way when I travel, I simply go to the local time function and set the watch to that zone. When I come home, I simply set it back to "Time" setting and it automatically adjusts back. If it's daylight savings season, I simply use the "L-TM" setting for local and adjust the watch backward or forward when I travel. The beauty of the "L-TM" function is that all adjustments are in hourly increment, not minute by minute. Meaning when you arrive at a new time zone, you don't have to look around to make sure you have the minutes accurately set.
Well, I tried giving you some of the pluses and minuses of this watch. One thing I will say is that to get going, you will need to review the instruction manual. I found that the one on the CD included with the watch is the simplest and most straight forward. Once you get this watch going, I think you are going to love it. Did I mention it really looks good on my wrist?
Good luck selecting a watch you enjoy. For me it's a hobby to get good watches at decent prices. I feel I got a steal with this one.
Still loving this watch. Haven't had to adjust at all--other than for daylight savings. I did replace the watch band with a black rubber one. Looks even more awesome now. BTW, the correct size is 22mm NOT 20mm as stated on the spec list on Amazon.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice watch with room for improvement,
This review is from: Citizen Men's BL5250-02L "Eco-Drive" Leather and Titanium Watch (Watch)First the summary: I really like this watch for what it is but I am also glad that I read ALL the reviews before I ordered it so I was prepared for most of its quirks. Since I have owned it only for a short period of time I cannot comment on its long-term reliability. It keeps the time to within less than 1s error per week. I like the very low weight for a watch of this style & size and in contrast to one of the other reviewers I don't think that this contributes to a cheap look-and-feel, rather the contrary. The white hands on an almost black background make it easy to spot the time on a first glance. All indicators including the small additional function hands and the date window were precisely aligned upon delivery and stay so in normal use. The date does not start shifting around 11pm as it happens with other watches but it simply switches at 12am, ensuring that one can always easily recognize the correct date at any time. Setup from scratch can be a bit cumbersome during the first time. So, yes, you sure need the manual but it isn't rocket science either. As for the looks of it, it is more shiny than the official Citizen images suggest, you get a more realistic idea by looking at the photographs provided by other amazon customers. But again, I don't agree that this necessaryily gives it a cheap appearance. It is simply a matter of personal preference and I like to look at it. The things that kept my rating down at 3 stars are the following: 1) Switching between alarm setting and time display modes is indeed a pain in the neck. While it still has something charming to it when the hands are making their rounds when switching between the alarm and time modes, I don't understand why the hands are not always taking the shortest route between the two settings. For example, instead of going 9 hours backward (CCW) they spool down 15 hours forward (CW). I haven't figured out yet why this is the case since the hands can run in both directions, CW and CCW. And one thing that is really disturbing is the fact that even if one does not want to change the alarm setting but only switch the alarm on or off, one still has to wait (sometimes for minutes) until the watch has completed its entire multi-roundtrip to display the alarm time setting. Only then can the alarm be switched on or off after which the watch has to make it all the way back to the time display. Now to my taste this is pushing it a bit far. 2) The alarm is as quiet as many others have described it. You don't want to use it as a spare travel alarm clock or as a meeting reminder in any other but the most quiet office environment. It is the quietest alarm that I have ever found in any watch. 3) If a watch has an alarm and a second time zone mode, I think the alarm should also refer to this second time zone if desired. Unfortunately this is not the case for this watch. Second time zone, yes, but the alarm setting always refers to the original zone. Kind of limits the practicality of the second time zone mode. But then if you can't use it as an alarm clock anyway...So in the end I don't regret it at all that I bought it. In fact I like it a lot for its overall design and apparently fine engineering. And last not least the idea to use light and a non-toxic battery to power it. But if any of the abovementioned downsides are of any concern, one should think twice before getting this watch. These quirks are real with no workaround in sight.
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