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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2006
A very very precise perpetual solar powered timepiece capable of tracking the time in two zones (you toggle between locations using the crown), pretty thin, at a great street price. The hands have nice night time illumination. The leather strap and deployant buckle are pretty plush. Some of the functionality is hard to use and there is a cheap look to the metal bezel (which marks easily; the glass seems tough enough).

This thing is really a time computer instead of a watch; when you change modes, the hands change function in such a way that to get back to the time you must be accessing a computer memory. Also, it has the cute (really) habit of napping when it has been in the dark for some long time. Then when you look at it, it senses light, wakes up and the second hand moves madly to catch up.

The crown:

It is way too easy to pull the crown out two stops into the setting mode, which could cost you the correct time, instead of one stop into the position where you can change modes.

The alarm:

To see what at time the alarm is set, you change to the alarm mode and it may take (really) a minute or more while the hands move to show that time (the minute hand actually goes round and round as the hour hand advances ... its a 24 hour alarm which is very nice, there's a separate indicator keeping track of 24 hour time). Then the same thing in the other direction when you need

the time again. The alarm is very very dim, I would not trust it to wake me up. When the watch is in the calendar mode where the second hand shows the month there is no way to see whether the alarm is on (that hand can only be used to show the number of years to the next leap year ... likewise when it shows whether the alarm is on, it can't access that leap-year function).

The second time zone:

Quite easy to use, its synched to the main time in hour increments. Just don't go to Teheran or any other place where time isn't on the hour, that isn't possible without resetting the main watch time. There's a 2ndary dial which tells you whether the 12 hour hands are pointed to am or pm in either time zone.

And it may take a long time to move to the 2nd time, if you need to check that, see the comments on checking the alarm time.

bottom line: the gaffes probably stand out more just because the good parts are so good. Its almost a perpetual motion machine!
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2006
Verified Purchase
I have owned this watch for nearly two years. The features and functionality are well balanced. The solar panel rarely sees daylight from underneath my shirt sleeves, yet the battery has never depleted. The leather wristband is comfortable and shows very little wear. After years of use, my only complaint is that the metal is very easily scratched. Fortunately, the crystal/glass has remained flawless. I have had many people comment on the beauty of this watch. I will only buy citizen after owning this enjoyable timepiece.

Update: November 14, 2007.
The watch is holding up well as the 5-year warranty comes to an end. It took over 4 years of wearing the watch nearly every day for the first scratches on the glass to appear. The wristband shows minimal wear, and the clasp has not given me any troubles. Still very happy with my purchase!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2005
Verified Purchase
What a fantastic piece of craftmanship. I have had mine for a few months now. Could not be happier. It is powered by any light with a power reserve of more than a year. No more batteries ever. It has all the appeal of an analog watch, with a beatiful classic design without the annoying need to correct the date for odd/even months. It will even correct itself for leap years. Besides date/day of week, it has alarm (soft, not the best if you are a deep sleeper, but useful nonetheless), calendar (showing the month) and dual time zone.

All that plus the Citizen tradition of quality backed by a 5 yr warranty. What else would you want?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2009
First, about the watch: I absolutely love it. Nothing bad to say at all, except maybe if you frequently need to set the alarm, it can become somewhat annoying. When setting the alarm, the hands don't just move directly to the hour and minute of the alarm time, but go round and round counting out the minutes and hours. Also, if you don't care what time the alarm was previously set to but just want to change it, you still have to wait until it gets to the previously set alarm time before it will let you adjust it. Since I plan to use the alarm infrequently, it's no big deal and kinda fun to watch.

Now, to the strap: I bought this watch with a leather strap to keep the watch as light and comfortable as possible. The strap is beautifully made of rich patterned leather, and it's definitely much lighter than the steel bracelet. However, the deployment clasp on the strap was not well thought-out. There are sharp corners everywhere: two on each end of the clasp, and also on the release buttons in the middle. In addition, the ends of the clasp turn up sharply, which means at least one side is likely to cut into your wrist all the time. This is particularly problematic when your wrist is resting on a surface and the weight of the arm rests on the sharp points. (Others with different diameter wrists may have a different experience).

The solution: I closed one side of the clasp at a time and put that side only into a vise (after wrapping it in thick paper to avoid scratches). By slowly tightening the vise, I was able to take most of the curve out of the clasp. The entire process took maybe 5 minutes. The clasp is immeasurably more comfortable now, and I'm finally 100% satisfied with the watch. Thought I'd share this strategy with anyone who might run into the same problem!

** Update as of January 2013:
I've now had this watch for a few years, and I still love it as much as I did when I first bought it. The leather strap finally gave up the ghost and disintegrated completely a few months ago. Citizen wanted some ridiculous amount for a replacement, so I got one at a Dakota kiosk at the mall and it looks not much worse than the original. No other problems whatsoever - the watch is a keeper.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2008
I just got this watch, and it's hard to take my eyes off it. I looked at the Calibre 8700 with the blue dial and stainless strap (which a Citizen rep told me is one of their most popular models) but really found the white dial and silver accents, very striking in this model. And I like how the band sets off the face.

I really looked at every Citizen watch on their website, and kept coming back to this one!! The watch is very nice in person, the dial has some detail to it, so it catches the light especially with the silver accents.

As mentioned in other reviews, there are four basic modes that you can switch to:
1. Time
2. Calendar
3. Local Time (i.e. time zone #2)
4. Alarm

since it's not a digital watch (and we don't want it to be since it looks great as an analog!) the hands have to show you all the stuff. So if the Time is set to 3p and you are traveling and are in Singapore where it's 3a, then when you switch the modes, it's going to spin the hands around for 12 hours to show you. This is not good if you want to check and see what time it is 'back home' but is great if you travel, and don't want to keep resetting your watch. When you get back home, just change the dial back to Time and you're back in business.

There are three dials on the watch, in addition to the main hour/min hands, one is a 24 hour dial, with an 'hour' hand that points to the corresponding time in 24 hour mode. Basically this will help you distinguish AM and PM times on the dial, and is important when using the local time (i.e. time zone #2) and alarm modes to keep AM and PM straight.

Next there is the mode dial that points to TME, CAL, LTM, or ALM to let you know what mode you are in (time, calendar, local time, alarm). And lastly there is a dial that points to the day of the week, can let you know if the alarm is set or not, and can also let you know if this is a leap year, or how many years it's been since a leap year ;)

The watch also has a day of the month indicator at the 4 o'clock position, and this is a perpetual calendar, so regardless of 30, 31, or 29 days in the month, it will always be right!

As mentioned earlier, the watch has an energy saving feature which, when in the dark for about 30 minutes and not getting enough light to charge the watch, will stop the second hand at 0(12) to save energy. When light hits the dial, it will move the second hand rapidly to where it should be :)

I will add that yes, this is a cool watch with lots of cool features, and you might have to do a bit of reading to figure them all out if you want to use them, but basically Citizen tries to make that as easy as possible. They give a detailed instruction book, they give interactive lessons on a free CD that comes with the watch, and you can go on their website and they will visually demonstrate the features to you too! What more can you ask for?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2011
I have owned the Citizen Calibre for a couple of years now. I have only worn it as a dress watch. The stainless steel scratches easily and quickly loses its luster. The real issue, however, is that the computer will no longer keep the date correct. I have system-reset the watch several times, but it just keeps showing the incorrect date after a month or so. Now, in calendar mode, it will not even allow December to be set. I guess it needs another reset. I would have to say that the watch just did not meet expectations commensurate with price. Initially what appeared striking and gorgeous, now simply a paper weight. Alas.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2008
I received this as a Christmas gift and agree with previous reviews that it is a visually stunning watch. I think the "complications" of this watch make it even more interesting and compelling as a timepiece. I also think the clasp wristband for leather is innovative; I think it will prolong the life of the wristband as the band itself is not getting tugged each time I put it or take it off.

I will say that the mini-dvd that comes with the watch is very helpful and it covers most features of the watch and watch settings in a very user friendly way (although there are a few minor features that are only covered in the user manual). Some may find the size of the manual imtimidating and I have seen some reviews indicate the watch is too complicated. Fear not! Once you understand that the watch is either in a "mode" (1 pull of the stem) or setting (2 pull outs of the stem), the meaning and operations are straightforward. Just use care to do only 1 pull out (not 2) when attempting to set the mode; if you do two pull outs by mistake and are in time mode, the watch's time will be stopped.

The leap year indicator is interesting and important for the perpetual calandar. I also think the day of week pointer and scale is pretty cool. I think the high contrast black-on-white makes it easy to read and makes the watch dressy enough for the office, but also casual enough for anytime use.

I have purchased my share of low end watches only to have them fail for one reason or another. My Timex didn't even take a licking and it still failed (the stem no longer works, in order to set the time I have pull it out and stop the watch until the time of day catches up with its setting). I am hopeful that this watch will serve me for many years; i'll update this review each year let y'all know.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
This watch is really good. Looks great, is pretty accurate (I've only had it for a month now). The only issue is that if you have to set or check the alarm, it could take a couple of minutes to do so depending on the current time and when the alarm is set. This is particularly not useful for quick setting. Also, if you want to set your "other" time zone, can only be done in 1 hour inc/decreements. So forget about 30 min differences.

But these are trivial issues, the hour/minute have very good visibility even in low light conditions: reflected light from these hands make it easier to read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2009
I've owned this watch for about 3-4 years now. My only complaint was the band. The crocodile band wasn't really me. Plus after about a year, the band, where it attached to the case began to break apart. I replaced the band with a plain, black leather band. I think it looks better than the original band, and a little more comfortable. All in all, good watch. Keeps the time well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2013
I purchased this watch back in October of 2005 from a gift shop whilst on a cruise. I didn't know or care back then about it's special features (Eco Drive, Perpetual Calendar) but hey, it looked good! So I bought it without truly understanding the watch and fully respecting its craftsmanship.

I set the time, date, calendar, etc and used it (without thinking about how well its construction really is). I used it from time to time and then I would put it away. I would then take it out of the drawer and use it again and this process repeated itself. I wasn't really a "watch person" (who needs one anyway, we have cellphones! Right?) but occasionally, I would dress up with it and move on with my day.

Eventually, the watch was used and slightly abused (scratched here and there) but over time, it was left to sit in my drawer. It stayed in the drawer for years and years and years.

Fast forward to today...

I realized how important a watch really is. Sometimes, you really need to know the time and date and using your cellphone isn't an option (for whatever reason). It dawned on me that I had this wonderful Eco Drive Calibre 8700 sitting in my drawer! I pulled it out and lo and behold, the watch was "dead." It really wasn't dead...all it needed was some direct sunlight. Three days later, after absorbing a lot of sun light, the watch was fully operational. Every bit of the watch worked like new (the second hand, the minute hand, the hour hand, the date, the leap year function and the alarm function all worked).

After performing an "Zero Position Check" (look it up in the manual), I realized that this watch had to be fully restored to it's original zero position. As per the manual, I then set the zero position and then went along in setting up the date, time, alarm, etc.

The Downside to this specific Calibre 8700: The band deteriorated over time. The leather detached from the part that is attached to the watch itself and there was significant (and I mean ugly!) cracking on the inside lining. Replacing the leather band with an original Calibre 8700 black band would have cost around $90. I went with a band made by Speidel ($32). The nice part is that the original metal attachment method that is used on the original Calibre 8700 bands can be used with the ones from Speidel. So even if the band is replaced with a third party brand, you can still use the same "clasp" mechanisms to secure your watch!

One other downside: I've realized how easily the watch scratches. It's got a lot of scratches on the silver bezel lining and a few scratches on the crystal glass itself. I'm not too worried since you need to be about 8-10 inches from the watch to see the scratches, but they are there and it's pretty easy to scratch it up.

Long story short: I've realized how wonderfully made these Citizen Eco Drive watches really are. After multiple years of periodic use and then multiple years of storage in a drawer, the watch still works. Sure, the leather band was totally useless after those years but the clasp mechanism from the original band was easily attached to a third party leather band.

This watch is like a rock. Nothing will seem to come close. Bought it back in October of 2005 and it runs as if it is brand new.

Definitely a 5 out of 5.
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