Customer Reviews: Citizen Eco-Drive Men's BM8475-26E Stainless Steel Watch with Leather Strap
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on March 29, 2015
This is a tough review to write. For the first two months of owning this watch I loved it. It really looks striking in an understated way, and the engineer in me likes the easy-to-read watch face. I was getting serveral comments a week about it, and from a largely engineering crowd, that's saying something. The leather strap is also much nice than most leather bands - this one wears much better, is thicker, and doesn't develop a sharp crease at the buckle point.

But after owning it for about three months, I started to notice the black anodizing next to the bezel was starting to scratch off. Not evenly wear, but develop a myriad of fine scratches in it that was allowing the bright steel body to shine through. Curiously, the body was not affected at all. More problematically though is the crystal covering the watch face. I've never seen a glass watch face scratch as easily as this. I don't wear it when doing anything rough - just teaching/research as a college professor, yet after three months it was covered with so many minute scratches the face actually looks fuzzy and is becoming difficult to read. It is this network of scratches that is starting to make the watch both unattractive and gradually unreadable...none of my cheaper Timex's or any of my previous Citizen's have had anything like this happen to them.

*** UPDATE ***

After owning it for 9 months the crystal is so scratched it become almost unusable. See photo. I sent it in for warantee repair, at 9 months into a 5 year warantee. The warantee was denied, saying scrached crystals are specifically disallowed, and the repair bill would be $60.17. I let them keep it; I am not interested in owning a watch that will need to be repaired every 9 months.
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on July 1, 2014
Very easy to read watch face, I was looking for one like this with white numbers, indexes and hands but only saw the one with the green face and didn't care for the look. The strap was actually pretty nice, but I'll change it out with a black one with white threads.

About the only thing I'd like would be to have the crown a screwed down crown but I haven't had it that long to see if it's a real issue.

Funny thing, the day and date, this morning as I looked to the watch on my nite stand, the day and date appeared as one of the hands since the hour and minute were at 6 ;) then I realized, well I also didn't have my glasses on, that it was the day and date and not a hand at the 3 position. For me, I'd like it better to just have the date, but, ya get what ya get.

Packaging on this was pretty good, my last watch from amazon wasn't packed quite as good but it did make it safely.
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on August 4, 2012
I just purchased this watch today after spending hours scouring the internet and the local mall. I wanted something sporty looking, but very functional, for daily wear. This watch caught my eye, and between its fantastic looks and low price, I just couldn't resist. It feels very well made, as you would expect from a Citizen, maybe even a little better than you'd expect from a Citizen. Compared to the Fossils that you'll find at the mall, this has fewer features for the price, but much better quality. The second hand, for example, points precisely to the markings, rather than falling somewhere in between, as it invariably does when you look carefully at a Fossil. If you appreciate precision, you'll appreciate this watch. Although the numbers are orange, the luminescence is green at night, but very bright, with the 12, 3, 6, and 9 fully luminescent, in addition to the minute and hour hands and in between markings. You may not notice in the pictures, but there are also 24 hour markings on the outside of the dial, so you can easily convert to 24 hour time. The strap looks very good. It feels a bit like vinyl, but is stamped Genuine Leather on the inside (despite Amazon's product info). It is quite a thick strap (approximately 3-4 mm), which perhaps contributes to the "stiff" feeling noted by other reviewers, but it is not stiffer than other high-quality leather straps I've seen. The strap also squeaks a bit on the lugs and at the clasp if it's moving around. This doesn't bother me, and it will probably go away over time, but it may bother some.

In short, it looks great (unusual without being over the top), feels great, and has no battery to change. Not sure you could ask for any more out of a watch for this kind of money.

Update: I've now had this watch for about two weeks, and I can report that the squeaking from the strap is almost entirely gone. I'm also pleased with the accuracy--it's good enough that it's hard to measure the drift accurately using a website clock such as over a couple of days. That's expected from a quartz, but it's good to see nonetheless.
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on September 28, 2012
This watch reminds me of a Bell & Ross Vintage Heritage BR 123 watch I rrreaalllyy want but can't afford at this moment.

But when I saw this Citizen watch, I realized its similar aesthetics to the BR 123 (but without the hefty price).

-Essentially, the Swiss mechanical automatic movement is replaced with a eco-drive Japanese quartz movement,
-the anti reflective ultra curved super hard sapphire crystal is replaced by an off the shelf mineral crystal,
-the sand colored beige leather strap and markers/hands are replaced by a general orange,
-the thin case of the BR 123 is replaced by Citizen's bulkier case,
-the second hand is not subsidiary (like the BR 123), but part of the hour and minute hands (like most watches).
-However, the citizen adds a day indicator whilst the BR 123 does not.

Now subtract about $3,069 (original price $3,200) and you get the Citizen BM8475-26E ($131). What really sold me to the Citizen was the eco-drive technology. Although it does not compare to the Swiss mechanical automatic movement of the BR 123, knowing that if you keep good care of this watch, you shouldn't ever have to replace the battery. Which makes me wonder if this watch lasts as long as light exists (forever?... I question that. I guess time will tell)... The colors are also great and unique. The orange markers and hands against the black dial make it desirable since orange and black are one of my favorite color combinations. You can't really find a classic looking watch like this in orange.

The only things that concern me after I purchased it was the date adjust... You really have to be gentle and gingerly with it or I feel like it may damage the movement. Pulling the crown should also be done gingerly. It's tricky to get it to the right spot and takes practice to master. The band squeaks a bit, but goes away after a week or more of daily wear. All in all the price and design of this watch makes it very enticing to purchase and own, which I have no regrets doing. This watch doesn't make you wonder, "does this watch come with insurance?" like you do with high end time pieces. With this price, and this eco-drive technology, I feel like it's a worthy and economic (and ecological?) investment.

Oh, and I just realized the luminescence of the hands and dials are not as strong as some of my other watches... but it doesn't bother me as much, because I don't find myself in a situation where I'm in super pitch darkness and then wonder... "that time is it?".
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on December 14, 2012
This was an impulse buy. The watch looked great on the computer, so I jumped at it, especially as I have had a Citizen eco-drive for the past 4 years and am nothing but pleased. I have had the new watch for several weeks now. The contrast between the orange and black is striking and caused me to quickly hit 'Add to cart'.
Impressions - The watch seems darker than it appeared on Amazon's site. Where is the lumenesince? My watch does not seem to be so blessed and is a near disaster in the dark. At the time of purchase, I was unaware of this feature so did not use this to downgrade the product. I have had several positive comments regarding the appearance of the watch. The band...It says genuine leather, however on a leather scale of 1-10, I would give it about a 2. It is quite stiff and does not feel all that comfortable on the wrist. I plan to replace it. Regarding the day date feature...Why is it that whenever I look at it, the time always seems to be 15 minutes past the hour thus rendering this feature as fluff, with the minute hand playing the role of Mr. obstruction. It is a bit difficult to read when unobstructed so those of us older people with less then 20/20 may have a problem. I found that setting the day/date feature kind of a pain. The second detent was not particularly ergonomically designed. No matter, I don't care about that as I didn't purchase the watch for that feature. The thickness of the case is a tad too thick for my taste but Amazon did present that data up front.
Bottom line--When all is taken into consideration, it is just okay for me. I believe the watch to be priced reasonably and would not hesitate to recommend it, assuming that the downside is not an issue. Once again, it is all in the eyes of the beholder.
If anything changes, I will update this review as necessary.
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on July 15, 2012
The watch is great. Excellent materials and nice matte finish on the bezel. The only negative is the brown leather band is very stiff. By no means is it soft. For me I have to pre-bend it before putting the watch on each day. Other than that it's a great watch. Keeps excellent time and I love how the orange markers are easy to see during the day and even in low light. Don't let the band issue keep you from getting it! Oh ya, the clasp matches perfectly to the watch bezel so finding a replacement band is nearly impossible. I have a black NATO band with matte black clasp but the band is too thin and cheap looking for this watch.
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on October 26, 2012
Easy to read, stylish and maintenance free. Leather band is a bit stiff but, it will become more supple/softer with wear. Color contrast between numbers and dial face enhances appearance and lends to quick view of time, without any difficulty.
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on June 25, 2013
My daughter and wife, together, bought this watch for me for Father's Day. It looks absolutely on my wrist. The brown leather band fits my wrist to a "T". The second hand hits every marked second right on top of the marker. The dial glows brightly enough in the dark for most of the night. The unique reddish-brown numerals are very attractive. I am very satisfied with the appearance and functionality.
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on November 10, 2013
This watch is good as advertised. The functions of the watch make it a major consideration. Powered by solar not
requiring a battery is a plus. The illumination requires positioning the wrist correctly and how dark the surroundings.

I suggest changing the band but what are you going to replace it with? Not leather which will cost half of the watch
discounted price. The canvas bands appear the best option.

The day of the week and date are useful functions that you will be happy with. I had to adjust the date and day two
months in a row but was most-likely because of the 31 not being in one of the months.

The Citizen brand is a reliable watch. We are looking at different styles in the Citizen's Eco-Dirve because of this
watch. This watch is a good buy.
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on August 11, 2014
For the price, this is far and away a better watch than most others on the market -- it's hard to get an eco-drive for less than 150.00, and this not only has that technology, but keeps excellent time, is easy to see in all conditions (it really does flouresce at night) and is large, but light so it's easy to wear
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