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on December 12, 2011
I picked this up on impulse during Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals week. I'd had my eye on this and the standard non-blacked-out version for a while. I wasn't expecting much, but i have to admit, i'm pleasantly surprised. Fit and finish is pretty good. Nice matte black non-reflective finish all the way around the case, but i'm terrified i'm going to put a nasty silver scratch in it someday. Day/date wheel is black background w/ white font (red for Sunday) so it blends in nicely, but is still readable. The time is also surprisingly legible. I had a blacked-out watch once before and it was basically a useless fashion accessory. This actually has a small amount of weak lume on the hands and hour indices. I've never actually seen it glow under natural conditions, only when held under a very bright flashlight. The lume does make the hands and indices slightly reflective though, so it's usually still legible with a very small amount of light at the right angle.

The only thing i didn't like about this watch was the strap. The canvas is fine, good quality, and is lined on the inside with like a soft-touch leather or suede or something for added comfort. But i hated the brushed stainless buckle and rings around the holes. This is supposed to be a STEALTH watch. So, i ended up getting a Maratac Zulu 4-ring strap w/ black non-reflective hardware. The finish matches the watch case PERFECTLY, and now i'm totally in love with.
22 comments49 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 16, 2011
Because of the solar feature, I have been looking for a Citizen Eco-drive for a while. I also wanted a black, PVD coated watch. When I saw both features together I was very pleased. The last Citizen I saw and liked (BM8475-00E) sold out in a couple of months last year. This one they are calling the 'stealth' is very good looking and much bolder. Yes, the lack of contrast between the black dial and hands make it a little harder to read in low light situations. The canvas strap is comfortable, but could really use black hardware to match the watch - the eyelets and buckle are uncoated steel and look a little odd and out-of-place. I will probably eventually replace the default strap for black leather or black PVD steel. The lume on the hands is not the usual Citizen blue, but rather black until charged and then it glows a faint green. After getting accustomed to the strong, bright lume of my Seikos, I was disappointed with the weak lume of this Citizen. It seems well built. There seems to have been a lack of attention to some aesthetic detail. I hope it doesn't scratch easily and that the mechanism lasts. It is a very comfortable and good looking watch.
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on May 27, 2012
Yes it has a dark dial and hands and with lower light levels I cant see the numbers but I can still see the hands, so if you can tell time without numbers you are fine. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is the illumination on the hands isn't that good.
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on July 24, 2012
I love how this watch looks and feels. I get a lot of looks and comments on how nice the watch looks. When I was looking for a watch I wanted something with a canvas, rubber, or leather strap. I have never liked bracelet style bands.

When I saw this watch I was instantly drawn to it. The brand, the looks, and the price made me want it. I have had this watch for about a month and have no problems being able to read it during the day. At night that's a different issue all together. This is were I feel that the watch falls short. The hands do not glow enough to tell time in low light situations if you have been inside all day. If I work outside and come into a dark room it has just enough glow to get close to the correct time. If you have not been exposed to a bright light forget about being able to tell what time it is.

What I end up doing before bed or going out at night is I take a bright light like a spotlight or flashlight and shine it on the watch for about 15 secs or so. That charges the hands and then I'm able to see it in low light conditions.

I like the watch and wear it every day and would buy it again but I really would like to see citizen come out with another watch like this just with better low light capabilities.
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on November 25, 2012
When you buy this watch, immediately remove the canvas band and replace it with at least something leather. But maybe some of you will like the strap it comes with even though it doesn't seem to match the rest of the watch.

I've owned a couple Eco-Drives and have had good experiences with their precision, functionality, and longevity. This one is no different. However, the watch can only be read during daylight hours or indoors. Unless you have the visual acuity of an owl while under a full moon, you will probably be frustrated with this watch at night. On top of that, the "glow in the dark" pieces are remarkably dim, and retains a glow for less than five minutes.

This is a good fashion watch. It looks nice wherever you are with whatever you're wearing (provided you've ditched the canvas band). The timing and mechanics are spot on, but CAVEAT EMPTOR: you are better off checking the time on your cell phone rather than trying to read this watch in the dark.
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on September 7, 2015
So, I've owned this watch for about 3 months. I bought it used from someone locally. This is just my review on the watch.

First impression:

Again, I bought the watch used from someone locally, so when I received it, it did not have the original packaging. It was a little larger than expected, but still a very nice size. A good weight to it, but that's a personal opinion, as I like heavier watches. Visually, it's quite striking. The black on black on black was something I had been looking for, but couldn't find anything other than a movado that matched, but wasn't utilitarian enough. This definitely had the look I wanted.

Setting the watch:

Setting the time is straight forward, but the date gave me since problems. I did like the fact that the days were dual language. It took me a couple days to get it right. The date changes pretty quick, but the day takes between 11 pm and 4 am to change. I do suggest you do a full rotation to find out where you're at within 24 hours, then set the date. This will just about ensure that you'll only have to set the watch once.

The Strap:

I'm not actually a fan of canvas straps, but I do like the leather backing of this strap. It is a bit stiff (this was even after someone else wearing the watch for 2 years), but the leather/suede backing also holds onto dirt grime and dead skin. I had to scrape and wash the strap a few times before I felt comfortable wearing it. If you have a pin tool, you'll definitely need the thin section to remove the strap. I immediately swapped the original strap with a black leather strap I bought from strapped for time, then a zulu strap, and now have a rotation of NATO straps that I use on the watch. I do suggest NATO or zulu straps for this watch, just because it looks good with everything.

Nighttime Viewing:

People complain about seeing it at night. First, you should have known that before you bought the watch. Everything is black. Use some common sense. Second, don't expect the lume to last forever. Even on top brands, the lume won't remain very bright for long. And if your eyes aren't adjusted to the dark, you're not gonna see it anyway. Now, I do wish the lume was brighter, but I'm assuming that covering it in black stifles the amount of light absorbed/admitted. It's one of those things you just have to suck up and deal with. If you expected it to be perfect out the box, you're an idiot.

Overall impression:

I like this watch. It can be worn with everything. Aside from the strap, it's wonderful. I do recommend you get a NATO strap, if you don't want anything conventional. It's a great watch. I gave it 4 stars because of the strap. It's almost required that you change it.
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on April 27, 2015
I bought this watch 3 years ago and even though it today broke on me (after 3 years of heavy military field use and wear in a machine shop) I have some complaints about it I still give it 5 stars. The complaints I have are as follows.
1. The heavily knurled, easy to pull crown is almost too easy to pull resulting in me inadvertently adjusting the time on my watch. I am not the kind of person who wears a watch but uses a cell phone for timekeeping so this has resulted in my lateness and absurd earliness from time to time.
2. The lamination seems to fade quickly even with spending a majority of the time out in direct sunlight with sleeves up.
3. The cloth band seemed, unbeknownst to me but apparent to my wife, to hold on to the fragrance associated with strenuous labor (If I can have it repaired I may attempt to run a steel band.
Over the time I had it, I seldom removed it even if it meant subjecting it to salt water exposure (prolonged submersion at ~20ft), being blasted with metal flakes from using a grinding wheel and repetitive not so gentle impacts resulting from hard labor. That being said, it is appropriate to be worn at just about any occasion and still receive compliments on its simplicity and clean look (black hides dirt and grease well)
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on December 10, 2013
I wore this watch for six month and then happened to have to take photos for work. This is a handful of good angles on how it holds up.

Only a scratch or two on the coating.
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on February 12, 2013
It's a good looking watch, obviously unique having everything all black with the exception of the band loops and date. I originally thought people were being too critical about being able to actually read the time indoors, but found myself agreeing. It is incredibly hard to see the dials indoors. Without a direct light source on it, forget it. The dials and numbers do light up, however its incredibly weak. You will not have a watch glows in the dark when you need it. The only way I've seen the glow in the dark feature was by holding the watch up to my halogen light for a few seconds. The glow disappeared within 10 seconds. How's the effective?

Seems more like a piece of arm jewelry more than a watch, yet for the price I can't find it worth it. The band is very stiff and assume will loosen up, but every has said it should be replaced. That further drives me to want to return this. I really wish their was a button to light the dials. This would change everything and make this an effective watch.
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on December 21, 2011
Good looking watch but its a little hard to read indoors. Eco drive feature is nice so you never have to replace the batteries. Would have been nice if the strap was blacked out as well.
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