Shop Auto Winter Products Beauty Best Kids Books of the Year Black Friday Deals Week nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc New album by Tim and Faith Electronics Gift Guide Starting at $39.99 Try it first with samples Handmade Gift Shop Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon Prime member deal on Amazon Video: 50% off select Pixar movie rentals Prime member deal on Amazon Video: 50% off select Pixar movie rentals Prime member deal on Amazon Video: 50% off select Pixar movie rentals  Three new members of the Echo family Save $50 on All-New Fire HD 10. Limited-time offer. $30 off Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop Now HTL17_gno



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.
review image
814 helpful votes
815 helpful votes
|
3232 comments|Report abuse
on September 14, 2017
I wanted a simple inexpensive field watch that would free me from buying replacement batteries every 2 years or so.
This exceeded my expectations.
It is solar powered with up to a 6 month reserve once fully sharged.
I don't have big wrists so the diameter was just right.

The band is excellent. It has rivets in the holes so your usual hole that will be used for a long time won't be worn out. It is not leather so one's sweat won't discolor it and eventually break it down.

The contrast and lettering is such that it's easy to read.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on January 27, 2015
This has become my new daily watch. This watch has a beautiful simplicity (no shenanigans... time, day, date) and is totally care free.

Pros:
- Eco drive technology means the watch is quartz and powered by light and won't need a battery change for a long time. If I am not wearing the watch on a given day, I just leave it by the window. The benefit of quartz over automatic is that quartz is more durable. I can hit this watch around and it won't suffer damage to the mechanism inside.
- Perfect size. I'm not a fan of the new trend of big old clunky watches that hang off your wrist. This watch is a perfect size and will fit well on any wrist.
- Accuracy. Being a quartz watch, this Citizen is accurate to +/- 10 seconds a month. I just set it to official US time (time.gov) on Jan 1, 2015 and will check back at the end of the year.
- Versatile. The simple black dial will go with almost anything. I put the watch on a brown calfskin band from crownandbuckle.com. This would also go well with a black calfskin/leather band, NATO bands, or the stock band. When it comes to pairing with clothes, it is hard to do it wrong.
- Good water resistance. This watch has a water resistance rating of 100m. This doesn't actually mean you can bring it down to 100m below the surface. It means that you can swim with it, maybe even snorkel. You can definitely shower with it and it will absolutely be fine in rain and through splashes.
- Great lume means that this watch is easy to read at night.

Negatives, of which there are just a few:
- Poor band. The stock band is not very good. It's stiff and has unnecessary metal parts that make it annoying to use. I quickly swapped it out for a calfskin band. You can take off a band easily using a spring bar tool ($5 on Amazon) or just a pocket knife.
- Possibly not for large wrists. I have average sized wrists (6.5in circumference) and this watch fits me well. I also happen to have a more vintage taste in watches (I prefer watches that are small rather than large). If you have larger wrists and you like your watches to be bigger rather than smaller, this may not be the watch for you. This is a military style watch and those were always designed fairly small if that matters to you. If you have average sized wrists (6 - 7in), I think dial size of 36-42mm will work.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on March 4, 2013
I've been pleased so far. Bought in early December, I noticed the time went off by a few seconds slow in the first month. So I waited till today three months later to see what it's really losing - around 5 to maybe 7 seconds a month, good enough for analog, I think! Note I do -not- have the problem some have mentioned with the 2nd hand... mine lands on the dot, so just send it back right away if yours doesn't. The watch band doesn't stink yet but it will by the end of summer; what do you expect from a non-steel band? Synthetic or cotton, it will happen, leather lining or not. It's true about the band's size: I have small-to-medium wrists and I'm at the next to last hole on the band, so if you're big-wristed plan on needing a bigger band. Running out of charge hasn't been a problem, just give it some sun once in a while or even just take it off to shower and place it right under a light. The complaints about the size of day and date are true, it's so small it's pretty much useless without magnification. Another con: whatever they are using for faux-tritium on the hands and numerals gives up it's light quickly but will get you through most of the night if given some light before it's needed.

Overall, it's a medium quality watch for a medium price but if it lasts for 10 or 12 or more years without needing service then it's worth 5 stars, not the 3 I'll give it for now.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on May 21, 2014
I wore this watch when I ran the Tough Mudder mud run and I'm proud to say this watch survived it all with barely a scratch. I was wading through mud, jumping over walls, falling off obstacles, had to wade through a tank full of ice cubes and salty water and just getting abused in general. It also survived a couple of beach trips before that, which was amazing.

Aside from toughness, I'd recommend getting a more comfortable or more fashionable strap for this watch. The strap that comes with it has some smooth leather or plastic material sewn into the underside of the straps where it touches your wrist. The combination of the stitches and the leather/plastic is more than enough to irritate your wrist after a while. So definitely get a rubber or silicone strap if you want to use it for physical or every day activities. Of course the straps that came with it isn't SO bad that you really need to replace it, but that's something to think about.

Time keeping is pretty consistent. I haven't really been required to adjust the time aside for Daylight Savings and the like. You obviously have to make sure the date is correct because it doesn't keep track of the month, only the day of the week and the day of the month.

Update 7/6/17: It's been 4 years since I got this watch. I've only worn it on and off, mainly because my go-to watch is now the Sony SmartWatch 3 ever since it came out. I would only break this out for when I go on an adventure that might bang up my watch or if I want to look fancy. So far, I've gone hiking, running, going to the gym, and even went swimming at the beach with this thing and it is still in great shape. Time keeping is still pretty accurate, although I did adjust it for Daylight Savings and the date. The day of the week has never been changed. There was this one time I left it in the dark for a long time and the second hand started skipping every other second, indicating that it was running low on power. I just left it at the window on a sunny day and it was back to normal. It's so stupidly reliable.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on June 3, 2016
Shipped fast. Love the Eco-Drive technology. Was ticking away when I opened the box. Easy to follow directions, Easy to set. Filled out on-line registration and received an extra year warranty. Put in full sun the next morning while I showered and have worn it every day since. It's gets a little sun everyday and artificial light while in the office. I hope this is enough to keep it going. The numbers are easy to read without my reading glasses and the band is comfortable. I'm not a real big guy but am using the last notch so the extra band loop holder thingy is useless. I imagine there's fellas out there with larger diameter wrists and then this band wouldn't fit. Hopefully I'm still happy with it in a few years. No pun intended but, only time will tell...
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on May 4, 2015
The watch is a nice size - my husband has small wrists and it's hard to find a watch that does not make him look like a kid wearing a grown-up watch. We normally buy Skagen watches for him, this is comparable in circumference, but is a bit thicker. I can see where it would be difficult to fit on a large wrist, as the band is on the small side.

The numbers glow nicely with only a few seconds of light. The band is comfortable after the first day or so of wear. There is a thin layer of leather on the inside of the canvas, which I was not aware of... hopefully it won't get all smelly when he sweats in it.

LOVE the fact that this will never need a battery - he's got 3 watches right now that are all in need of batteries (Skagen watches have to be sent away for battery replacement). All in all, very happy with the purchase. It's great for camping, outdoor activities, etc. but doesn't look sloppy for every day wear.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on January 12, 2015
When I first received this watch, I was not impressed. It seemed too small & too light, like a ladies sports watch. I wanted to return it. But after wearing it for a couple of days, I found that it kept excellent time and was easy to read in spite of its smallish profile. Reminded me of an old style military watch I once had in a previous life. The dial's face is jet black and makes the white numerals and indices pop. The hands & numerals are lumed with a nice shade of light blue glow paint and the minute hand is red making for a satisfying presentation. The canvas strap that comes with it, on the other hand, is wholly inadequate. It's so wafer-thin & rough that it uncomfortably rubs against the skin almost cutting into it like sharp cardboard. I have since ordered a plush, padded leather strap that makes the whole watch look like a million bucks.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on May 29, 2014
Really, this is the first time I've ever spent more than $40 on a watch, so it's nice to me. Little things though: I don't understand why they can't just use a "12" instead of a triangle; as many say, the band is quite short, but so am I so it's about right on my wrist; of note, the band in the picture looks very black to me, but it arrived with an olive drab band, but I like the color anyway so no biggie. However, if your thought is "ooh, this looks kinda 'tacticool'" then forgetaboutit, the case is rather shiny stainless steel, which lessens the "military inspired" elements of a macho watch with black face and black / OD band.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
|
0Comment|Report abuse
on May 2, 2017
I like this watch but after wearing it for a short time, I find the dial face a little too small. I haven't shopped for a watch for several years so when the measurements for dial size were given I wasn't really sure how large I wanted. My previous watch was just the right size for me and I was looking for something similar. The band is very stiff too. If I were to keep this watch I would replace the band.
1 helpful vote
|
0Comment|Report abuse