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on June 13, 2009

Citizen's BN0000-04H has something unique. It may not carry the weight of a TAG Heuer, Omega, Rolex, or other sport-dive watch (in cold hard $, "prestige", or actual literal heaviness for sure), but it really has charm.

With this watch you get the superior time-keeping qualities of a high-grade japanese quartz movement (quartz always runs on a battery - yes, there is a specially-engineered titanium-manganese battery in there) but without the need for any battery change, ever (at least 20 years by Citizen engineers' estimates). This movement blows automatics out of the water in time-keeping. It doesn't have the fluid sweep of an automatic's second hand (it ticks in 1-second intervals), but for me keeping time is what counts in a watch, right?

This is a set-it-and-forget-it watch. It will keep on trucking about 6-months in total darkness from a full charge. And if it does stop, it'll come out of it to full accurate time-keeping with just 15 minutes in the summer sunshine. It will run a whole 24 hour time-cycle with only 4 minutes of light exposure. Eco-Drive is the new deal in watch movement. [EDIT: Not to mention the battery inside is specially made non-toxic. It's a green machine.]

As to its pedigree, it's a real ISO-rated dive watch. There's an easy way to tell with Citizens: if there's an M after the depth rating on the face, it's ISO-rated. This isn't just my theory, this is from Citizen's own product info. This watch wants to see dive time.

The watch face, which some call cramped, feels to me like looking through a porthole in a submarine or something. It's a little deep. I can tell the time just fine. The hour dots are legible in all kinds of light situations. The lume is about as good as Seiko's lumibrite, which is to say, pretty darn good. But it's no Luminox to be sure. [EDIT: The lume, in my tests, lasts well over a 12 hour cycle in total darkness from just 15 seconds of direct charging with a flashlight. Don't think it's bright at all after those 12 hours, though. But it does have a really nice greenish glow when charged.]

The mineral-crystal is domed, but you can see the time even at a pretty sharp angle. I like the dome, goes with the porthole feel. The face also bears a really nicely done little pyramid-shaped grid pattern. That might be the solar cell, but either way, it's beautiful the way it picks up light.

With the hands, some say they're "phallic" but I think they look more like lit candles. Haven't seen hands like them anywhere, and I get bored with all the pointed-arrow and straight-line designs. And they're nice, fat and visible in the dark. Furthermore, everything's outlined in chrome. Has the look of quality engineering.

[EDIT: The second hand lines up almost perfect with the little markers on the beveled inside edge. It's perfect, spot-on precise 50-59 seconds out of a minute on mine, but it isn't perfect every single time. And it varies from minute to minute which 1-10 markers it misses (but it always nails 30-60 for some reason). You'd never notice, however, unless you put the watch right up to your face and stare at it like a crazy person like I did before writing this. That's a very small amount of play in the movement, and for this price, is impressive. You get the same movement in even the more expensive Eco-Drive divers, by the way (for example, the one with the bright blue face, and the famed "Eco-Zilla"). The minute and hour hands, however, are exact on this, every time.]

As to the date window, I like it small. Generally I know what day it is. I don't need that information taking up half of my watch face. But I even like the font used on it. Looks like it could be used on a Navy decompression table.

The bezel is 60-clicks, compared with Seiko's 120, so it feels a little rough. But I like having it at 60. It's more precise. I'm not going to need to time a half-minute of anything with the rotating bezel, ever. [EDIT: I make perfect pasta by using the bezel, by the way. Impresses the girlfriend. Thumbs up here. Also times parking meters. No more tickets for me. Furthermore, the bezel "breaks-in" after a little while and the spring doesn't feel so choppy.]

The band is really soft. It's not hard or stiff, like others say. It feels like high-grade dive rubber. But I have smaller wrists, it could press into some bigger guys'. The watch looks great on smaller wrists, by the way, due to it's smaller size. Doesn't make me look like a wuss. Big plus there. [EDIT: And due to the friction grid-pattern on the back of the band, it doesn't move around on the wrist at all. It's planted on there now.]

And did I mention the case IS ONE SOLID PIECE OF STAINLESS STEEL? I can't get over that. I haven't seen that on any watch in any price-range. [EDIT: The case is specially cast in a mold from molten steel, not machined.] Just cool. Citizen is so confident in their engineering, they make it that much harder to open. And for water to get in, remember, 300M = 1,000 ft.


The screw-down crown. Don't get me wrong, it has a quality feel (doesn't wobble when pulled out) and does it's job. But I'm not going to lie, it's hard to get it screwed down and hard to get it unscrewed because of the steel lip that surrounds it. Seiko's design on the classic SKX007K, for example, is better. However, remember that quartz movement? You'll only need to unscrew that crown about 5 times a year, to set the date for the months without 31 days.

The bezel has printed numbers. These seem pretty durable, whatever they're made of, and I haven't scuffed them yet even after some direct hits. But how much harder would it have been to have the numbers pressed into the bezel?

The crystal is not recessed in the bezel much at all. It'll pick up dings/surface scratches. But hey, it's an affordable watch. It deserves some character. Do not get that crystal anywhere near a brilo-pad though, say, when washing dishes. You'll regret it. It ain't sapphire. [EDIT: And it ain't 2K so who's complaining?]


All in all, great watch with a lot of character. Keeps great time. Comfortable = Not one sharp edge on the thing. Not heavy = forget it's even there. No battery change! One piece of steel! Eco-Drive is fail-safe technology. This watch will give you at least 20 years of maintainence-free time-keeping. And look good doing it.
1010 comments148 of 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 4, 2009
Bought from Amazon 4/8/08 : Reviewed 5/19/09: Great watch. Works great. Accurate time. Used it when swimming and not a drop of moisture ever gets in. Just make sure the crown is screwed down tight before you go into the water. The moderate size of the watch is really nice. It can be worn for dress or sports. My wife has the smaller womens version and she loves it also. I hope this watch or an upgraded version is around when this one wears out.

Update 8/18/09 - Watch still working great. Went on vacation to many different hotels and swam with watch for hours. Still no moisture has been seen under crystal. Great watch which keeps accurate time within 1 minute per year.
Update 10/8/09 - My watch and my wife's watch continues to be accurate and waterproof. Great watch and looks great too!
Update 2/8/10 - The watches are still working fine. Still no problems with water getting in while swimming. Just a pleasure to have.
Update 4/20/10 - Still working great after 2 years of owning it. Hope it is still around when I need another one. Watch is same price now as when I first bought it @ 165 dollars.
Update 8/20/10 - Still working great. Went on vacation and watch continues to keep water/moisture out 100% ! Even went into a hot whirlpool and exposed it to the water jets for a couple of minutes and NO moisture was seen under the glass! Amazon reduced price to $145, what a steal, I may buy another just in case the one I have breaks down in the future!!!
Update 11/22/10 - Still working great. Still no moisture has gotten under the crystal. Time stays accurate within a minute per year. My wife has a ladies version that is also working fine. Happy Thanksgiving to all !!!
Update: 2/21/11 - Still working great. No problems at all. Fantastic watch. My wife also loves hers. This solar powered waterproof watch is all the watch you will ever need. It will soon be 3 years since the date I bought it,on 4/8/08, and I am sure happy I did!!!
Update: 3/9/11 - Bought one for a birthday present for a relative and he just loves it. Sent it to him gift rapped - 1 day mail. He called me and told me it was just a beautiful watch. This watch is really a hit everywhere I go. I hope they keep making it. The one piece solid steel case back is unique and being solar powered makes it a rare watch indeed. It is the most comfortable watch I have worn. The photo on Amazon does not do it justice. It is really a handsome watch. Citizen ECO-Drive 300 meter is a far better value than any divers watch out there. I should know, I just bought the new Rolex Deep Sea. It is one impressive piece of watch. It is the only watch in existence that can withstand a water pressure depth down to a tested 16,000 feet. The crystal is virtually unbreakable. The $9800 sticker price is ridiculous and I was able to get the authorized dealer to sell it to me for $8800 including tax. Just a great price for this type of collectable iconic watch. But the Citizen ECO 300 meter, price for performance, with same basic look but much thinner and lighter is a far better deal for the average watch wearer who wants a high quality diver watch for a very reasonable price.
Update: 5/1/11 - Watch still working great. No problems at all. Just a great quartz watch. My wife's women's ECO 300 is also working fine.
Update: 1/2/2012 - HAPPY NEW YEAR! My ECO-Drive diver's watch is still working great and so is the one my wife has. Price still the same as when I bought it on 4/8/08. It is just a great watch and I have not had any problems with it nor has my wife. I Have bought two more of these watches as presents for relatives and they just love these watches. The solar driven mechanism and 300 meter diving ability make these watches unique! May you all have a healthy & happy year!
Update: 7/25/2012 - Hello everybody. My watch is still working great and so is my wife's. What a winner is this watch. See you after the Summer.

Update: 5/21/2013 - Watch finally stopped working. No known reason. Just does not charge up anymore. Got over 5 years of use. Never had a problem. Bought another one. These watches run on a solar battery and you just cannot change it. It is out of warranty so I just bought another one. Hope I can get another 5 years at least!

Update: 9/16/2014 - Watch started up again. After it stopped working I put it away in its box for around 16 months. I came across the box while cleaning out my closet and decided I would just check to see if it miraculously might work? I pushed the crown back down and the second hand started moving. WOW I said. Put the watch on the window sill for around 2 days to recharge it and it now is keeping perfect time! Will update in 3 months!

Update: 12/21/14 - Watch still working and keeping perfect time. Just amazing that this watch started up again but electronic equipment is buggy that way. By the way my wife's Eco - drive is still working. Great watch and now I have two. I put the new one I bought away and I am using the original this one purchased 4/08/2008! Bye, Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

Update: 8/10/15 - Hi again - Watch still working - I suggest to keep the watch exposed to indoor direct sun light for a couple of hours per day and it will probably keep running much longer than the 5 year average life span many owners have experienced.
Mine has been going for 7 years. I believe that it stopped on 5/21/2013 for lack of sufficient sun light. Having it under normal incandescent room lighting might not fully charge it.
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on March 17, 2008
I got this watch about 5 years ago in Nassau. I am a very active person and I have worn it 24 hours a day since then and subjected it to high abuse. I have only taken it off occasionally to set the date, time, etc. I have used it to scuba dive dozens of times in fresh and salt water, to over 100 feet depth as well as snorkeling, wearing it in the pool, shower, etc. It has been exposed to soaps, detergents, solvents, scraping across concrete and rocks, dropped on a hard surface, etc. It keeps very good time and never misses a beat. The band loops that hold the excess band broke off a couple of years ago. I replaced them with 2 O-rings slid over the strap on the buckle end to secure the excess strap. I have scratched the crystal pretty badly and worn the numbers off the bezel and the dive tables off the strap. The stainless steel case doesn't show much abuse but the rest does. The strap is cracked through the edge to the little holes in the sides a few places and needs to be replaced.

Pro's: The things I really like about it are the durability, maintenance free battery (eco drive), accuracy, and low profile. I have been in the dark for most of a couple of days and never had a power failure from lack of light (it is supposed to last 180 days from a full charge) and never paid special attention to exposing it to light except for holding it under a flash light or aircraft/vehicle overhead light some times for a few seconds to get some illumination from the hands at night. It seems very thin compared to other watches the same thickness (11 mm)due to the edges of the bezel being rounded and beveled to be unobtrusive. I like the small diameter low profile and light weight that keep it out of the way.

My only complaints are: the strap is $45, I wish the bezel had the numbers engraved instead of printed on it (for cosmetic reasons due to wear), I wish the crystal was harder, and the hands more luminous. All these things are pretty much par for the price point. A replacement sapphire lens for a dive watch costs as much as this watch.

I am looking for a replacement due to the cosmetic wear and the band costing $45 and the fact that I haven't had much luck with cheap replacement bands in the past for other watches. I am considering a Seiko or Luminox to get more durable cosmetics on the bezel, a tougher sapphire crystal, and better night illumination but they all feel thicker and heavier. If this just had an engraved bezel I would get another one and maybe will anyway.

I recommend this watch and rate it highly especially considering the price.

Update: 2/2014: I got a Seiko Dive Watch with a sapphire crystal a few years ago. I don't wear the Citizen much any more, but still keep it around for abusive situations. It is still running, keeping good time, and a great watch for the money. I have replaced the band on both watches a few times. The rubber bands probably last two or three years for me. I have replaced the battery once on the Seiko, but the crystal is much harder and the unpainted bezel holds up much better cosmetically. I wish the crystal was harder on the Citizen.
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on August 9, 2008
I just bought this watch to replace my Seiko Diver's (quartz movement model- quite frankly the only way to go...don't even think about perpetual or automatics) and I can tell you that I'm quite pleased with my new purchase. It will have some pretty big shoes to fill since the Seiko has lasted me 24 years (and still looks and works great!). If you own or have owned a Diver's watch you'll know the pains of having to deal with the jewellers - either it's a battery issue (they don't install the proper battery or if they do it lasts a year because it's shelf life expired the moment they installed it), a ridiculous service charge ($45 to $100 and often weeks before you can get it back) or they simply don't want to touch it because it's a "Diver's".
This watch will solve all these problems. It looks as rich as the Seiko but not quite as large or as heavy. The rubber band is made in China and I know that I'll have to one day replace it (just like I had to with my Seiko) but this aside the watch itself does look of equal quality. The date works just like any other analog watch and its size is just right for this model (remember we're not diving for days at a time). Also, a lot of people forget that the date changes at twelve AM and fail to distinguish am/pm when setting the time, and, like any other analog date watch, it will cycle through 31 days (so for months that don't have 31 days, yes you will have to manually reset the date). Overall, for the value, this is a great watch to buy!
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on January 12, 2012
The Citizen BN0000-04h diver arrived yesterday, and it has really exceeded my high expectations. Here is a brief review:

- Looks: The watch simply looks awesome. Pictures I've seen online don't always do it justice, it is really beautiful.
- Size: Yes, the watch is smaller than most divers, but for my 6.5" wrists, it's PERFECT. If your wrists are larger, you'll only like it if you prefer a mid-size watch.
- Quality/Finish: I can't believe I paid only $165 for this, it has the quality of watches that are much more expensive. The second-hand and the bezel line up perfectly, the bezel clicks nicely, overall finish is outstanding. I love this: when you're setting the time, pushing in the crown does not cause the minute hand to jump. This watch is just flawless.
- Band: Reviewers hate it. I don't think it's that bad, but I am a fan of NATO and Zulu straps, so I put it on a 20mm NATO right away and that's the way to go.
- Crown: Reviewers point out that it's tough to use the crown due to the guards. Yes, it's a little tougher than with my other diver, but it's not a big deal at all. Ideally, I'd say this watch ought to have a bigger crown displaced at the 4:00 position, but the current configuration works fine and it does look good.
- Lume: Very bright when the lights go out, still legible after 7 hours!
- Legibility: the minute indices on the chapter ring, coupled with long indices on the bezel, make it very easy to tell time and elapsed time accurately at a glance.
- Date Window: Small, as mentioned by others, but no problem for me personally. I really wish this watch had a day/date function, but just date is ok.
- Durability: This watch gets 5-stars for toughness. I dropped it on a paved road and it survived the impact without missing a beat!

Overall, I am really, really impressed. This watch is beautiful, functional, accurate, and it exudes quality. I love it.
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on April 5, 2012
I bought this watch for my husband to replace is old dive watch. The Eco-Drive is what caught my attention, if you have to change a battery in a dive watch it has to be sent out and resealed...for the cost, you may as well just throw it out.
While my husband loved the watch; after less than a year when he went to change the time for Standard Daylight savings time; the stem and crown fell out. So, we sent the watch back to Citizen and even though they have a 5 year warranty refused to cover it under warranty. The repair cost was $60. What a rip off, my husband pushed back at Citizen but they basically told him they would not cover it. EVEN THOUGH THEIR WEB SITE says the warranty COVERS THE STEM. I read another review that had the same issue; shame on you Citizen!
I will never buy another Citizen product, if they won't stand by their products any better than that .. I will spend my money on other brands.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 4, 2011
I like the Citizen Eco-Drive models - they are basically maintenance free. This Eco-Drive is a decent mid-sized model. If you like big dive watches, then I recommend the Citizen Men's BJ8050 Diver watch.

This Citizen Men's BN0000-04H Eco-Drive Professional Diver Black Rubber Strap Watch is a true dive watch with a unidirectional bezel and super bright luminous dial. It even has a convenient No Decompression limits (NDL) table printed on the high quality rubber watch band.


Like all the eco-drive models, this is a 'set it and forget it' watch. This is great if you are watch collector, or you don't use your dive watch every day.

You can replace the strap/band with any 20mm strap/band. This watch needs no expensive proprietory replacement band that only the manufacturer stocks. Great!


The numbers are painted on the bezel - so, they would eventually wear (etched on numbers would have been better).

The date window is tiny but still readable.

The small recessed screw down crown is a bit cumbersome to manipulate.

In all fairness, you only need to unscrew the crown to set the date 5 times for the year (for the 30 day months and Feb).

I gave this watch 4 STARS. Despite the limitations, I like this watch. It's an attractive, quality Citizen Eco-Drive dive watch that is well priced.
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on July 10, 2007
I have owned this watch for five years, and it is still running and very accurate. Solar powered watches are great. It charges up easily by sunlight or even putting it under a lamp overnight. I have done several dives with the watch and it performed as expected. It is not my main dive watch, I use a Casio G Shock most of the time, but if you prefer an analog with a one way ratcheted bezel this the way to go. My only criticisms, and they are minor, are that the date is way to small to read, they should have just not had a date and it would be better with a more anti reflection in the crystal, also it is on the small side, around 40mm without the crown, as larger faces are the style now. This is a tough watch and I highly recommend it!
For more information and discussion of Citizen divers go to watch freaks forum:
There is special board dedicated to Citizen Watches.
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on July 29, 2012
I received this watch as a present from my wife for Christmas and have been very pleased with it since then. It looks great, feels good on my arm, and most importantly, keeps perfect time. It's amazing how many dive watches fall down on that last part.

Many dive watches are automatic winding/mechanical and suffer from an unfortunate and inherent lack of accuracy. Many manufacturers accept the accuracy issues with automatic/mechanical set-ups because the watch needs to remain sealed at all times to ensure it stays waterproof and the mechanical set-up removes the need for the watch to be opened to replace a battery. This means you end up having to adjust the time on the watch at fairly regular intervals depending on how often the watch is worn. Citizen gets around this problem with the ingenious (IMO) Eco-Drive system. The watch has a super accurate quartz/battery set-up, but removes the need to ever replace the battery by essentially making the face of the watch a solar panel to recharge the battery. This allows the watch to be MUCH more accurate than any automatic watch could ever dream of, but still allows the watch to be completely sealed and rugged. In fact, the entire case is machined from one solid piece of metal, with no openings other than the screw down crown. I love this design, as it reduces the number of potential failure points for water to seep in.

Even though I've been very pleased with the watch for the past six months, I held off rating the watch until I could really put it through its paces under water. After all, it's a dive watch and it should work while diving, right? What good is it otherwise? Any watch can tell time and stay "waterproof" in a shower or a pool, but I wanted to be sure it would work at depth before reviewing it. I finally got to test it in its "natural environment" a few weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. I took the watch diving with me off the coast of North Carolina and it functioned flawlessly. I strapped it on as a backup timer to my dive computer and took it on four wreck dives to depths of approximately 75 feet for about 30 minutes on each dive (and, as the handy dive table on the strap will tell you I remained compliant with NDL limits at all times. ;-) ) It kept right on ticking throughout the dives and the hands were very easy to see in the murky water, even though visibility on the dives was only 10-15 feet due to recent storms that had blown though and stirred everything up. In addition to the diving, I also wore the watch all week while on the beach and in breaking surf, with no ill effects to the functioning of the watch.

In short, this watch does absolutely everything you should expect it to and outperforms the automatic watches costing twice as much or more. That rates a five star review from me.
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on February 16, 2009
This was one of Citizen's first "eco drive" watches and is still in production! Mine is the "Diver's 200m" and somewhere along the way Citizen upgraded it to 300m without changing the design. It's worked perfectly for me for over 10 years and remains one of my favorites due to its brushed steel finish, textured dial, raised hour markers and unique hands. Keep in mind that this is one of the smallest mens dive watches on the market to choose. The case measures 40mm diagonally, however, the outer bezel ring measures 38mm across. So by the time you work your way into the dial, the watch appears to be smaller than other 40mm watches and the trend today is to produce dive watches much greater than 40mm. However, I haven't bought into wearing the new HUGE styles and think this watch is the right size. I ditched the rubber band right off and have worn various 20mm bands with it. I've been waiting for Citzen to come out with stainless steel watchband for it to dress it up. It has a classic minimalist style with a unique look that doesn't try to copy any other brands.
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