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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 January 1, 2015
After three weeks this watch had held up nicely. I took the advise of other reviewers and ordered multiple watches in order to be sure I got the best possible watch. This extra process was worth it. I added a different 18 mm band which makes this watch perfect for my use. The function of this watch had been spot on thus far. It has kept time +/- 2 seconds a day. It is light on the wrist and perfect for an everyday watch. Due to the inconsistency watch to watch I can't give 5 stars. I will update later if my opinion changes. However, I hope that it does not because my experience with Eco has been good in the past and I am excited to enjoy this watch for years to come.
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on July 18, 2017
A year or two ago I bought a watch from Amazon when it was on sale for 1/2 price. It was a dandy watch, worked perfect, but it was *huge*, and pretty heavy. It was also pretty flashy, and I'm not. So I wound up only wearing it for "dressy" times, e.g., like church. Finally, the battery died, and I decided I didn't like the watch well enough to go to the expense of buying a new battery and the hassle of putting it in.

So I decided I would buy a new watch that (1) wasn't as big, heavy, and flashy as this one, and (2) didn't have a battery - I hate messing with batteries. So I started researching watches, and when the next Amazon watch sale came along, I found a lovely *automatic* (we called it "self-winding" in the "old days") Seiko in the "military-inspired" minimalist style was that I was looking for. I *almost* bought it, but the rating was a flat 4.0/5, and there were enough negative reviews about stopping working and other problems that it gave me pause. In addition, I doubted that a self-winding watch would work reliably for someone like me who doesn't wear a watch all the time.

So I did some more research, and discovered that there was a 3rd class of watches - solar-powered!! And the "solar" supposedly means any kind of light. I found this Citizen watch that looked almost exactly like the Seiko that I liked and almost bought. It was about 85 bucks, which seemed reasonable, esp. for a watch that didn't require me to buy a battery or even to walk

I've had this watch for about 32 days now. I love the look, and it is keeping perfect time. I still only wear it when I go out (i.e., not around the house), and I've been leaving it in the kitchen where there is usually natural light during the day, plus bright artificial light on and off. So far it has worked fine. I did have to charge it under bright light for something like 12-15 hours initially, so I just left the kitchen light on overnight. I suppose some would say that cost me maybe a quarter, but I can live with that.

The strap is of decent quality, albeit a bit stiff (I'm sure that would have loosened up with wear), but I just didn't like having to futz with securing the strap ever time I put it on (yes, I'm old and set in my ways). This was solved by one of the major life lessons I got from my dad. Along with teaching me how to determine the model year for 50s and 60s Fords and Chevys (back when they *didn't* all look alike, and when unveiling the new model Chevy was an actual event in my small town), and warning me to "never buy a used car, you're just buying somebody else's problems", my dad introduced me to the Spiedel Twist-O-Flex watch band. When he bought me my first watch when I was around 12, the first thing we did was take off the band that came with it and replace it with a brand-new Twist-O-Flex (yes, we had to take out several links to get it to fit my thin young wrist). Heck, I didn't even know you could take the band off a watch, much less change its size !!! This watch has an 18mm aperture (or w/e you call it where the band attaches), and an 18mm Twist-O-Flex fits it perfectly.

The only negative would be the dearth of documentation. Other than a little folder with a few lines in about 30 languages, I was referred to a web site for info on charging and setting, etc. This is standard in the 21st century, but it still chaps me a bit.

I won't apologize for the length of this review. This is the kind of review I like to find when I am considering buying an item, so this is just "do unto others" for me.

Keep it up, Jeff B., you are doing a great job !!!

P.S. I added a couple of pics with the new band, mainly to practice with my new Kindle Fire...:)
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on February 28, 2017
initial impressions

- Light weight, doesn't feel bulky or huge on the wrist. I can hardly notice it's there at times when I’m wearing it.

- Classic utilitarian design with the olive green strap, has a clean minimalistic dial and straight to the point-day/date complication. There’s no extra fuss or unnecessary bling on this watch. Which I personally like, gives it a very classy understatement. Also makes it a very wearable watch with a-lot different outfits and situations.

-Lume is decent and legible but not exactly the best. For the price you really can’t complain. I usually shine it with my 300 lumen flashlight for a couple of seconds before going to bed and it seems to do the trick, gives off a nice shine in the dark!

-Strap is a bit stiff at first, but I can feel it breaking in and becoming more flexible after just the very first week of wearing it, so this shouldn’t be much of an issue in the long run.

-The Japanese Quartz movement is reliable and a practical enough for my time keeping needs. I’m not some NASA scientist at JPL who needs atomic timekeeping down to the very planck-time, I’m just your average joe.

-The fact that I don’t need to worry about changing batteries is what really sold me on the watch, second besides the design of course. This idea of having a perpetual running watch on my wrist powered by light is not only practical but also adds a very cool factor to the watch .

Overall I’m pleased that I made the decision to purchase the watch. Probably one of the best field watches you can buy for the money at this price point. I’m planning on using it as my daily driver for the long haul and I’m sure it will hold up to whatever I throw at it. Lets see how she does!
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on May 24, 2017
Wonderful watch, & suitable for years of use. I live a VERY active life: hiking trails through states, climbing, snorkeling & diving, working with knives & cutlery, mechanic bays, etc. Quite varied & this watch has taken all of the abuse. Excellent craftsmanship by Citizen. With all of the abuse I gave this watch in my 20's, only some scratches on the Quartz face tell the story. The band is just about disintegrated (after 4 years of full use). Overall, this is definitely a watch I would wear in the field, & in casual environments. I additionally like the option of Spanish days for the day calendar. A sound Timekeeper.
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on January 15, 2016
I was going to get a dive watch but after wearing my Dad's old Omega I got used to a smaller lighter watch so decided to go with a non bezel. Once I saw this one I knew it was the ticket. Small, only 37mm (Omega was 35) and easy to read and of course I liked the looks of it. I wear it in the pool to time my swims and the second hand is very easy to see. I needed a waterproof watch and this fits the requirement well although I probably won't take it freediving. Love that I do not have to change a battery, ever! I ended up trying a couple bands but did not like having a clasp or buckle so I got a Speidel twist o flex. Put the band on myself and adjusted the length by removing links using the instructions from Speidel. Very easy. Really like the look now, and feel. For me an analog watch works much better. Date and Day is a nice bonus. Keeping time and have not had to reset it yet. Thumbs up all the way.
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on August 13, 2017
This small watch is a perfect fit for my small 6-3/4" wrist and the readability is excellent. It is very lightweight at only 48 grams (1.6 oz), so it is hardly noticeable when I'm wearing it. The quality appears to be very good and the second hand is aligned perfectly with the tick marks.

On the negative side, the band is stiff, rough and cannot be adjusted properly due to the large spacing of the grommet holes, so it is either too tight or loose. I'm on blood thinners and bruise easily, so I'm forced to adjust it loose. A new band will be ordered.

The instruction manual was missing from my box, so I needed to download the generic pdf manual from the Citizen website. This manual applies to multiple models and is missing some information such as setting bilingual (English/Spanish) day of the week. It also prints out as one small booklet page per 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, instead of muliple pages per sheet as Casio does with its manuals.

Update on 10/14/2917 - I finally got around to replacing the stock band with a super comfortable Hadley Roma silicone rubber band that is actually a woman’s size, but fits my small wrist with two buckle pin holes to spare. I can now wear this watch on a regular basis without major discomfort.
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on June 9, 2014
Owned this watch for 1-1/2 years now. Its getting a little boring to look at but it is to date, the absolute most reliable & accurate watch i`ve ever owned. Every couple months I advance the date to 1. Other than that it stays on and always does what it was designed to do; shows the time. I use it for work (electrical/construction) every day and has been beaten, banged, dropped, sweated on and submerged in water and other liquids. Its scratched a little, and I`m on my 3rd band but works perfectly. I have since purchased another Eco Drive and will likely get more. No nonsense, low maintenance time keeper.
And, If you have issues or questions about with you masculinity, then get you one of those wrist-clocks that has "Navy Seal" or something stamped on it. Otherwise, this will do fine.
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on January 28, 2017
A low profile, classic and functional watch. I changed the strap to leather, which makes it pass as a dressy watch while retaining the field watch qualities. I dislike wearing bulky watches (unless it's a multi-functional outdoor watch), so this was a perfect choice. The eco-drive feature is also a huge plus.
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on January 17, 2018
The Good:
- Second hand lines up precisely with the tick marks on the face (not a big deal, but some reviewers complained about this
- Great size (not too big, not too small)
- Love the simplistic look
- Date/Time/Day is very easy to set...once you go to the website to learn how to do it
- Hands shine fairly bright without "charging" them with a light, more so than I expected so it was a nice surprise
- VERY quiet movement (you have to put it up to your ear to hear it)

The Bad:
- The band is okay, but shows signs of wear after about 2-3 weeks
- The adjustability on the band is pretty crude so it is hard to get a perfect fit
- Doesn't have military time, but instead the seconds

I bought this after looking for an everyday watch that was simple yet could be worn with a suit if I swapped the band out. I was torn between this watch and the Seiko 5 Sport Automatic (water resistance similar to this watch). I'm glad I went with this watch because after checking out a few of my coworker's Seiko 5 (non-sport) watches I like this one much better. If you're hell-bent on having an automatic watch then I understand the choice of the Seiko, but the loss of accuracy over time isn't for me. That and the idea that you wouldn't have to replace the battery in this watch was a major plus. The overall quality is very good for the price and I'd definitely buy it again. I haven't just yet gotten it wet to see how it stands up to the water resistance, but I'll update this post once I do. The only ding for the rating is due to the watch band as I'll likely replace it very soon.
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