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on November 26, 2005
I ordered this watch from Amazon and it arrived before the estimated delivery date. I love the watch, and it looks much better in person than in pictures on the web. Quality is very good and the hands line up perfectly. The luminova is evenly applied and lasts longer, actually all the way through the night, which I didn't think would be the case. The only feature I don't like is the canvas band, which I found uncomfortable. I'm sure it's fine for others, but still a black leather band for less than (...)(any jewelry store or online store) compliments the watch very well, and it no longer looks like a 'weekend watch'. One small point about the Eco-drive that some other reviews I've read overlooked: Citizen Eco-drive models DO have a battery. The solar cell stores energy in a rechargeable mangenese-titanium battery. The battery should last a very long time according to Citizen engineers who project that even after 20 years the battery should retain 80% of recharge capacity (on their website), but only time will tell... no pun intended. Speaking of time, the watch is pretty accurate. I've had the watch for one month and during that time it has lost less than one second when compared to the US national time ([...] In sum: this is a very well constructed watch that I feel is worth the money.
10 Year UPDATE: Just realized that I missed the 10 year mark several months ago. At 10 years the watch still works perfectly. The solar cell is maintaining the state of charge on the rechargeable manganese titanium lithium battery. I haven’t been wearing the watch much the past year, so I put it on my dresser where it gets about 10 minutes of sunlight through the window each morning. I haven't yet seen the low charge indicator (the second hand jumps in 2 second increments to indicate low state of charge). At that point the battery is supposed to have enough capacity to run the watch for only 4 days, which I think represents a 2% state of charge - based on full charge running the watch for 6 months - just a guess. Note: the low charge indicator just means that you need to put the watch under a lamp or in sunlight to recharge. After 10 years, the conclusion is that this watch and its solar charging mechanism is durable and very well constructed. In the attached photo you can see my 10 year old watch getting it's daily dose of morning sunshine.
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on November 11, 2011
I completely do NOT understand the nay-sayers and their nagging critiques of this Citizen Eco-Drive.

"The band is too tight (or too short.)"
"The sweep second hand doesn't hit the marks within an atom's width."
"The flat crystal is too easily scratched."
"The luminosity isn't a neon sign like Indiglo!"
"It's too ugly to wear in the Boardroom."
"Why can't I set the day/date anytime I want?"
"The dial face is so small it makes me look gay."

I own a Hamilton Moon Watch, a Tudor Chronograph, and a Rolex Explorer II GMT. I bought the Rolex as a reward for myself in 1992 when I made Chief in the seagoing service and was still taking position star sights with a sextant. It has been my "daily driver" every day since ... except every three-to-four years when accuracy becomes erratic and I have to send it away to Rolex Dallas for a month for $750 service oiling, upkeep, and rehab maintenance. Now in the drawer waiting until I have funny funds for yet another service.

Once I received this Eco-Drive with two-day Amazon+ free delivery I put it on my wrist in direct sunlight for a few hours, set the time, and away we went. Set the day and date within seconds once I was outside the 9PM - 4AM window specified by the manual. Never take it off now. For a watch in this price range you can't engineer a set of switching gears for day/date change that can also handle an owner messing around with the settings by pulling out the crown at the same time. So wait until morning to do it. What's the big deal?

The luminous hands glow brightest just after you turn out the lights, which is perfect because at that time your eyes are still burnt out from staring at the LCD screen all night surfing Amazon reviews. When I wake up at 3:23:19 AM and my eyes have dark adapted again I can still see the hands including the sweep second hand. The Citizen canvas band is stiff until you wear it enough to break it in to the shape of your very own wrist, and then it sits very well when you wear it in Real Life® rolling your ulna and radius reaching for another beer. Just try to find the right-size jeweler's screwdriver to remove links from the Rolex diver's band to fit your wrist! (Even the damn band is multi-hundred$)

I am not NFL lineman big, but 6'1" @ 200 lbs. and nobody has made whimpering noises at me for wearing this watch. This is the kind of tough, no-nonsense, utilitarian looking time utensil that Abercrombie & Fitch made back in the day when Hemingway was finding leopards on Kilimanjaro or pulling in bluefin off the Finca before they sold out and began outfitting punkers and 1%ers on Wall Street. The Explorer II crystal hangs out enough MMs from the stainless case that it had a noticeable chip out of it before a year was out and I learned how it catches every steel rail or rock outcrop in sight. The 24-hour bezel paint flakes off EVERY YEAR wearing it in salt water or just your shower. The Citizen fits close, feels light, and catches nothing.

I am not sure of the press-fit crown and WR 100 meter rating, this is not an Oyster case and screw-down crown, but this is also not a $5,000 timepiece. I have not been swimming or diving with the Citizen. The quality of the rest of the watch is enough to give me confidence it will perform as advertised, and if it should not, I can buy another <$100.

This budget watch is thousands of miles and light years and many dollars ahead of any of its' true competition. I don't want a rubberbound button-filled busy ultramarathon Ironman digital display gizmo. I want a tough good-looking analogue watch that keeps excellent time, and I believe the promise that the Eco-Drive will keep it going, and going, and going ... while the rest of the stable appreciate in value on their way to or back from service.

I want a watch to tell me precise time, and maybe the day and date while it is at it. Not jewelry. Seriously, buy this watch.
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on July 24, 2009
This is my second eco-drive. I broke my fist eco-drive swimming in the ocean. I read a few negative reviews about this watch before I purchased it, but I decided to take a chance anyway. So far I am very happy with this watch.
The following are a few reviews I would like to address:

"my second hand is a few hairs off." - I do not have this issue. My second hand is spot on.

"The mineral crystal appears to be pretty thin. I haven't scratched the glass yet (that's what it sounds like) but I suspect it'll scratch pretty easily." - I have not noticed this. My first eco-dive never had a scratch and I worked construction while wearing it. *edit* One year later this watch has scratches all over it.

"The crown does stick out just a wee bit too far." - I had the same problem with my first citizen watch, and this one is about the same, but it does not really bother me.

"the inside of the sleeve is NOT sewn, but GLUED" - This is true. I have not had a problem yet, but I know how to use a needle and thread if something should go wrong. *edit* One year later and the band is still in pretty good condition. I do have a little wear on the end, but I wear this watch every day, all day.

"Second hand moved in 2-second increments rather than one second movements" - Read your instructions. This happens when the watch is not getting enough sunlight. Set it out in the sun for a few minutes. Problem solved.

"Could not set the day of the week on the day/date calendar." - Again, read the little booklet that comes with the watch; it explains how to change the day/date.

Adding a little bit to the list of complaints--The band on this watch is a little bit uncomfortable. It is rigid and causes a light abrasion on my arm. It is not really an issue, but if you are a bit of a pansy; I would avoid this watch. That being said, this watch is suited more for girlie men because the strap is very small. I have small girlie wrists and this strap fits me perfectly. I would avoid this watch if you have large wrists.

Overall I really like this watch, but it is probably not for everyone.
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VINE VOICEon April 17, 2008
Watches are some of the most personal things that we carry around with us. We look at them constantly, rely upon them to be accurate, easy to read, and to say something about who we are. That said, this watch fits all of the above criteria (and more) for me. The size is perfect for me. I have relatively thin wrists, so I didn't want a Russian commando diver watch that would look like I'm wearing an alarm clock on my wrist. It does have some weight, though, but I kind of like that. It feels like there's substance there; that it will last a while.

The face is really easy to read at a glance; the numbers are not overly large, just a nice bold typeface on a black background. A real bonus is that the hands and numbers will glow all night with one good strong shot of light before turning the lights out. Another bonus is the day AND date display.

The band is a nice olive green color (the photos I put into the gallery are pretty close to the shade it actually is) and the adjustment holes are rimmed with metal grommets. Some have complained about the glued parts on the band coming apart. I have been through a lot of watchbands and I have never seen a band that was totally stitched without the use of glue, so I really don't see that as a deal-breaker with this watch. Another reviewer complained that the second hand doesn't register with the tic marks on the face. Look, if you're gonna time sports events or something, maybe you ought to get a decent stopwatch!

The green that I'm most enthusiastic about is the Eco-Drive mechanism. True, there IS a battery in this puppy, but you'll never have to replace it. It's a small step towards reducing our ecological footprint, but every step counts.

1-YEAR UPDATE: I have worn this watch pretty much every day for the past year and am still pleased with my purchase. The wristband has not fallen apart or stink (as others have reported}. It keeps accurate time too.

2-YEAR UPDATE: So far no complaints; keeps great time and the battery has not needed changing. However, the sliding loop (strap stay) that holds the strap did come unglued and fell off as others have reported. Not bad after 2 years of use and the strap is in good condition (doesn't stink).

8-YEAR UPDATE: Well the wristband gave it up a couple of years ago, but the watch is running just fine. It keeps time like brand new and I have never replaced the battery!
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VINE VOICEon November 29, 2007
I would give this watch a 5 star if it were not for the band. While bands are replaceable this is a review of the item as it is sold. I wash my hands probably a hundred times a day and try as I might the band gets wet. After a full days work the leather and canvas traps the water and sweat and begins to smell. It is like a cast on your arm for 6 weeks smell. Leather (Inside) Canvas outer trap the water and sweat and no matter how you dry it, it still smells.

Beyond that,

This watch is awesome! I love the no-battery replacement. I love the crystal and it has only 1 minor scratch after a full year of ownership.
I had bought 3 timex/casio watches in 3 months that were destroyed at work due to scratches cracks and bands breaking.

Overall if you are outdoors type playing in the river or swamp then this watch band should be replaced with an all rubber one. It is very water resistant and a pleasure to own.
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on March 5, 2006
For the money, you can't go wrong with this model. In terms of comfort, convenience, and accuracy, I haven't seen anything in the market that even comes close.

Comfort: Very comfortable; it would appear to me that Citizen may have reduced the size of the setting crown somewhat, comparing my particular model to the the one shown in the picture above, making it less obtrusive; no problems for me!

Convenience: In my opinion, the best in the industry, as most other watches will either require routine maintenance or at least a change in battery more often than not (even the so-called "kinetic drive" systems, made by a different manufacturer, require this, as stated in their own instruction manual!) As another reviewer has stated, it's quite a novelty to purchase a watch that will last for several decades without any need to open the case! In terms of readability, the high contrast hands and dial are a plus for me.

Accuracy: Here is an unexpected benefit - the second-hand lines up well with the indices, and there is no evidence of the minute or hour hands being out of register whatsoever. In addition, the day and date indicators line up perfectly through the window opening! Finally, my particular model gains only about one second per 3-week interval.

About that "Olive Canvas Strap": although very comfortable, I must agree, while being of a subjective nature, may give some pause with regard to being "stylish". It would seem that replacing this strap would be easy enough if so desired. Then again, this could be the next fashion statement!
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on July 11, 2009
I'll give you the summary at the top of my review: The watch is a quality timepiece in look and feel. It is accurate by just over a second fast per week. The second hand is almost perfectly aligned with the minute marks but so close that the difference is inconsequential. I bought it and am happy with it. The band I ended up replacing.

Now for the in-depth review: I stumbled upon this watch because I was looking for a green canvas watch band. I guess that is a little backwards when looking for a watch. I wanted a watch with a military look, sort of like an Army field watch. I wore the watch for a week with the canvas band but I found it to be scratchy. The band is thin too. Some people commented about the band smelling over time. Wash the band if this becomes a problem. I washed it to see what would happen and I had no problems.

The watch looked a little classier to me once I got it compared to the pictures, and the band, the very thing that attracted me to the watch, just didn't match the finish of the watch. I gave it a week but I ended up replacing it with a brown leather band from Speidel at Sears. This totally changed the look of the watch making it look more refined but surprisingly still military. Think WWII aviator style in looks. (Speidel 18mm, TrailMaster, SKU Number: 70527520)

The watch is very easy to read in all light conditions. The high-contrast white on black is great in all light and the luminous coating on the numerals and hands is excellent at night.

The body has both polished and brushed metal and the crystal is not recessed. This is my only concern with the watch since I tend to bang into things. If I were able to redesign the watch I would have made it all brushed metal with a recessed crystal and a different band. Don't take that as a regret. I would still buy the watch if I were able to hold it before buying it.

The watch is totally silent. No ticking. I have very good hearing and I couldn't detect any sound. Perhaps with a stethoscope...

The watch needed charging when I got it so I ended up walking around during lunch on a bright sunny day while wearing the watch. For my watch, five minutes was enough to get it going. However I kept it bright sun for a few hours the following day and the watch got rather hot.

The accuracy is now stable but the first two days it seemed to gain time by a second a day. I think this is because the watch got hot and temperature can affect the internal crystals accuracy. Also, the battery voltage was changing by a large amount and this probably also affects the accuracy. Now that I wear the watch normally and it is fully charged the accuracy is great. It gains a about a second every seven days. Not bad.

Some people remarked that all the hands don't line up with the marks on the watch face. You control the alignment of the hour and minute hands when you set the watch. The seconds hand accuracy is a matter of manufacturing. Mine is almost perfect. I'm very picky (obsessed) about this sort of thing usually so I did notice that it wasn't absolutely perfect. It is close enough that any non obsessed person wouldn't even notice. I find it acceptable. Your mileage may vary.

I wanted this watch for the band but ended up replacing that part. I would have given five stars except for the band. However, replacing the band can change the look of the watch to suit your style. I may end up changing the band to one of carbon fiber. Amazon sells one from Hadley-Roma (MSM840RA-180) Very cool looking.

The watch was supposed to be delivered second day but was delayed two days. Amazon made it right by refunding the extra fee I paid for second day delivery. I've never had a problem before so I chalk this up as a glitch.

If you are on the fence over this watch, get it.
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on June 27, 2005
This watch is for your days off. The mineral crystal and the water resistant features ensure this.

The band is crafted of a military style nylon khaki with riveted type holes for adjusting the band to accommodate your wrist. Inexpensive but finely crafted. Instead of buying the Timex look hard at this watch because it has a better movement and it doesn't require a battery! Large numbers enhance the dial with luminous hands. The day and date are also displayed in English and Spanish.

A five year warranty on the movement (only) gives your peace of mind. A must have for those leisure days.
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on February 9, 2012
Wow! This is a nice looking watch.. Just the right size for my smallish wrist.
It's the same size as my dress watch, but much easier to read.

The band is great, but my wrist size seems to be, right between the hole adjustments. Too tight or too sloppy.
Only took me a few minutes to install one of my favorite 18mm SS bands.
It's got a fine adjustment fit that feels real good on my wrist.
I own a few other 18mm bands that I might try later on.

I was a tad disappointed the second hand didn't line up perfectly with the marks,
but after watching it go around twice, I got over it.

The Lum is great. I was able to read the time (in total darkness) without my glasses. This is was not possible with any of my other watches.

Even with my farsightedness, I can see the secondhand (in normal lighting conditions),
well enough to take my pulse. With my glasses on, this watch looks like a work of art.

I will be checking the time against and will edit in the timekeeping results later. Hope I got a good one!

Edit 2/11/2012
I found the RTC in the PC (after sync) is not 100% accurate, (varies a couple secs)
so I've been using the clock in a GPS unit as my master reference.
The GPS and the Fios cable box run exactly 3 seconds apart. (I'm sure the GPS is more correct).
I've been watching the cable box roll over on the minute, right when my second hand moves past 12 o'clock mark.
I'm not sure if this is normal for this type of watch, but after a couple of days,
I figured there would be at least a second or two of error.
So far, I'm not seeing any error at all. I'll post again, when I see the error.
(There must be some error)!

Edit 2/13/2012
The 3 second gap was stable, so I synced the watch to a GPS.
Will try to upload a short video of how close I got it.
This watch has still not shown any noticeable time error.

Edit 2/27/2012
It's been two weeks since I posted the video. The Citizen is 1 to 1.5 seconds slow now.
Right now it looks like it's going to slow, by 3 or 4 seconds a month.
I'll re-synchronize to the GPS during the Daylight Savings change on Sunday, March 11 (Spring Forward).
If the rate of error changes after that, I'll post again.

Edit 3/25/2013
The watch is so accurate, I've stopped trying to follow the error.
When the calender change occurs, I just have to tweak it a few seconds.
It still looks great and I've only got one small scratch on the crystal.
I have not worn my Casio Databank watch since getting this Eco-Drive.

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on November 29, 2009
If you're tossing up whether to buy this watch or its AT0200 chronograph "big brother" from Citizen, don't hesitate to buy this "little brother". (Or maybe you'll be tempted to buy both, as I did!)

I first bought the AT0200 chronograph (I gave it 4.5 stars) and thought I'd get the BM8180-03E as a "poor cousin" for everyday use at work etc. Was I very pleasantly surprised! As other reviewers have said, it looks far better "in the flesh" than in pictures. The level of features, detailing and finish is very impressive, even considering its bargain price. (Why buy a $40 El Cheapo when you can have the real deal?) Somehow it looks far more refined than in the pictures, but still with a practical military look. (Maybe the polished finish helps here too, rather than the brushed low reflection finish traditionally found on military watches.)

With this watch you get a screw-in back, a 100-metre water resistance rating and even a luminescent tip on the second hand. There are many watches out there that call themselves "military" that do not have these features. Instead all you get are snap on backs, 30-50 metre ratings, and non-lume second hands.

The numbers are finely engraved and not too big. The dial is jet black (chrono is more charcoal) and has a similar beautiful red second hand to the "big brother" chrono. I wish the minute hand was longer so it indexed closer to the minute/hour markings, but that may not bother many users. It's still very readable at a glance, and the second hand indexes perfectly with the markings. (Some reviewers have said otherwise so maybe Citizen has a QA issue here.) Night time luminescence is good. The movement is eerily quiet; if you try REALLY hard with it hard against your ear, you might just hear a feint ticking. The crown and guard are well executed and the crystal is very clear and distortion-free. Even the case back is beautifully laser-etched with the maker's logo and model details. (The "cheap sticker" that some reviewers complain about is a removable protective film only.)

I believe that if Citizen gave it longer second and hour hands and gave the case and bezel a brushed satin finish and fixed lugs, it would come as close as you could get to a perfect military watch. A longer band wouldn't go amiss either. But even as it is, I believe it deserves five stars just on sheer value for money.

The case size is just right; not a "clunker" but with enough depth and diameter to feel substantial enough. Accuracy is very good and the day-of-the-week feature is a useful bonus. (BTW, day and date are more legible than on the chrono model.) The Spanish day you see during change-over in the wee-hours adds to its charm, although Spanish-speakers can of course adjust it so that English appears as the "minor" language in the early hours. How many watches can claim to be bi-lingual? Ole!

Yes, I know, the green canvas band will not please everyone. For me it was too short (used last hole) and the riveted holes are too widely spaced apart; can be either too loose or too tight. But that can be forgiven as in every other respect, this watch is fantastic value and it's not hard to find an inexpensive band to replace it. Mine looks great in an inexpensive and quickly fitted down-and-under one piece nylon band with adjustable buckle: for me, olive green for weekends and black for work. A black and grey striped "James Bond" NATO band looks very good on it too. If you wanted a dressier-looking leather band, this watch has the looks to carry it off at the office. And there's even a matching Citizen metal bracelet available if you want to go down that road.

There's no need to be obsessive about making sure that it's getting enough light. Just don't keep it in permanent darkness and everything will be fine. There's so much reserve of power that just an ocassional burst of sunshine keeps it topped up. Maybe Citizen's excellent accompanying booklet does too good a job in reminding you that Eco-Drive depends on light for topping up the rechargable battery. Mine has never gone into the 2-second skip low battery warning mode.

I have quite a few watches in my little collection, and this is my wear-everday-everywhere favourite: right size, right looks and right feel, all with accuracy and the reassurance that with Eco-Drive, the power won't suddenly die on you in the middle of nowhere!

Larry (Sydney, Australia)
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