Customer Reviews: Citizen Men's BV1085-06E Sport Eco-Drive Strap Watch
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on October 4, 2012
Full Disclosure: I purchased this watch after a two year old Wenger wristwatch of mine broke.

The Good:
- The watch's face is extremely visible, day and night.
- The band is made out of durable leather-lined nylon that does a great job of not attracting moisture and odor, and metal eyelets that prevent tearing at the closure.
- The size of the watch face is roughly what I would consider to be standard, and the band can easily accommodate those with very skinny (or very wide) wrists.
- From what I can tell, the watch is fairly accurate, with a negligible monthly change as compared to my radio-controlled clock at home.
- I love the look of this watch; obviously, looks are up to the individual, but this is certainly a contender.
- Internal mechanisms are completely silent
- Extremely clear, solid glass face
- Water resistant

The Bad (which I am going to preface by saying that there really is nothing I dislike about this watch):
- Minor gripe #1: The small second hand dial and the date window are not illuminated.
- Minor gripe #2: The minute hand is large enough to occasionally obstruct the second hand.

The Unknown:
- I haven't been able to determine what a reliable test for luminescence of the hands and numbers might be.
- My watch gets plenty of sun exposure, so I have no way to verify Citizen's "6 months without recharging" claim.

- This is an excellent timepiece for anyone who wants both quality and simplicity. I'm sure that (barring a total fluke) this will be a five-star product for others as it was for me.

If you have any questions about this product or this review that I did not cover here, feel free to comment and I will respond shortly.
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on March 23, 2013
This is a Citizen Eco-Drive watch which is heavily marketed as having the advantage of getting its power from light and never needing to replace the battery. It does have a battery, it's just that it is a solar rechargeable battery that should last far longer than a standard battery. (The watches warranty however does not cover the power cell).

I chose this watch in part because I liked the idea of having a watch that didn't need to have the battery replaced every couple years. Often, unless you replace the seal at the same time as the battery the watch no longer remains waterproof and is quickly ruined. New seals are also not readily available, unlike replacement batteries. I also wanted a large simple easy to read analog watch that could also be read in the dark and preferably with a bit of rugged style.

On the plus side the watch keeps time fairly accurately. It's guaranteed to have an accuracy of +/- 20 sec/month; mine loses 7 seconds every 30 days (compared with the atomic clock).

Also on the plus side this Citizens Eco-Drive watch has a large black face dial that is simple and attractive with large bold numbers and easy to read minute and hour hand. The glow in the dark feature initially has an attractive bright bluish white glow fading later to a more greenish white. The hourly numbers on the dial gradually grow dimmer but stay clear enough to read in the dark for 3-4 hours. After that all you can make out are marks locating the hours. The hands are still easily readable but you need to grip the top and bottom of the watch and position the watch to double check that you are not misreading the hour marks by a hour (for instance 4:30 as 5:30) since the numbers are no longer readable. Being sleepy and not always careful I have still misread the time on occasion. The glow in the dark remains faint but readable for 8-9 hours or more with just normal exposure to indoor lighting throughout the previous day.

The second hand is small and red and doesn't glow in the dark but is easy to see in daylight when not obstructed by the minute and hour hands. This second hand however is for me a major flaw of the watch because it is obstructed much of the time by the minute and hour hand. It is obstructed when the minute hand is at 20 to 40 minutes on the hour (20 minutes/hour; 8hr/day) and when the hour hand is between 4:00 and 8:00 (8hr/day). I didn't realize how irritating it would be to not be able to always easily see and use the second hand at will. It limits its functionality and it is the only major flaw to the design. A large full size red sweep second hand, preferably one that glowed in the dark also, would make this watch near perfect. A more minor flaw of the watch is that the second hand and minute hand are not fully in synch. That is, when the second hand is at the 60 mark (12 O'clock position) the minute hand is not exactly on the minute mark (it seems about 10 seconds out of perfect synch).

The calendar date is a nice feature but it is small, recessed and somewhat shadowed and can require good lighting to be seen clearly. At certain times it is not visible at all because it is obscured by the minute hand.

The nylon black canvas looking band that comes with the watch is made in Thailand and has a nice rugged look and fits well (my wrist is 7.5" around and the band could easily fit both smaller and larger wrist sizes). The band has a thin glued and mostly sewn in inner liner (a 1/2" portion by the buckle is not sewn, just glued). This inner liner is smooth and looks like leather or synthetic leather. The toggle(?) that moves and adjusts to hold the end tip of the band in place appears to be the same nylon canvas like material as the outer part of the band but has no corresponding inner wrist side lining. For the first couple months the band was comfortable and I never noticed any rubbing or irritation despite wearing it 24 hours a day, day in and day out. Then all of a sudden for no apparent reason the band became painful and itchy. After removing the watch to see what was wrong I discovered a blood blister had formed and ulcerated just underneath the all nylon canvas toggle; it was the mirror image of the toggle. I also noticed a small rash had formed elsewhere on my wrist under the inner liner of the band. I suspect that chemical(s) from the manufacturing process gradually leached from the nylon canvas band after repeated immersions from washing and showering and caused a skin reaction. I've never had this happen with any previous watch band (all worn 24 hr/day continuously). I had to stop wearing the watch until my wrist healed and I could replace the band. Until this occurred I felt very positive about the band with my only complaint being that it can be a lint magnet when wet. Showering with it I noticed that after toweling dry the band became covered in lint from the towel. The lint came off easily and it was not a big deal to me. The canvas looking material also dried reasonably quickly and the band was not uncomfortable when wet.

This watch is covered by a 5 yr Warranty but is partly negated by the fine print that you don't become aware of until you buy the watch. The warranty does not cover the power cell, the case or its components (including crystal, stem & crown) or the watch band and its parts. These are of course the parts on the watch that are most likely to fail.
The warranty on the rest of the watch is also voided if the watch is not returned to a Citizen service center every 2-3 years, at the owner's expense, to have the watch tested and resealed. Most people simply would not remember to ship off their watch after 2-3 years had gone by. And if they did returning the watch to the factory would mean being without a watch for at least a week and perhaps much longer if the service center is back logged. Not to mention the cost of shipping, insurance and service.

All in all I like this watch and feel it's worth the price I paid ($113 online).
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on November 23, 2013
I started looking at watches on Amazon to replace my Wenger (which I really liked). The Wenger was starting to get battery issues and even after changing the battery it would slow down (or stop) regularly. After a discussion with a watch repairer, who said I may need to replace contacts etc for about $200 - I decided to look around for another watch. I still wanted to stay with a Swiss mechanism as I am sick of cheaper watches only lasting a short while.

After a career in Law Enforcement, where I was really tough on watches - I still look for something that will go the distance. I have had a succession of GShocks etc, but have always been underwhelmed by them. I went back to an analogue face a few years ago for everyday wear and have a Timex Ironman for running and workouts.

For me, the test of a watch is you put it on and it just becomes part of your daily routine - in other words you don't notice it until you need to tell the time. When the Citizen BV1085-06E arrived, I took it straight out of the box, put it on and it felt comfortable straight away and I have worn it daily since.

OK, so down to the nitty- gritty. Here my observations on this watch.

The face and characters are really clear and it has good luminosity at night. As many reviewers have commented the only minor (and it is minor) annoyance is the minute hand sometimes blocking the second hand. Although I can't think of a time this has really been an issue. If you need chronograph functionality, then buy a chronograph.

For everyday use, I have found the face of this watch to be very clear and easy to read. I have biggish wrists and I like the size of the Citizen face. The only other issue is that the date can be hard to read at times as it is sunk lower than the face, but in all honesty I am using he calender on my phone so much that a date function on a watch is almost redundant.

The strap is fine, but I have also bought a 5-ring Nato strap as back up and because some reviewers on Amazon recommended it. I live in the tropics and the watch strap is subjected to a good amount of sweat each day, it has been fine so far. In fact I went through leather straps on my Wenger every 6-8mths as the sweat would eat up the leather.

With the Eco Drive - I won't have to worry about battery issues again. I like the assurance that this brings in my line of work, where you need to get timings right first time.

The big thing for this watch is the value for money, I was looking around for a while and had resolved myself to having to pay about $500 for what I wanted. When I saw this Citizen watch, I thought it must be too good to be true. I do not endorse products very often, but in my opinion I challenge anyone to find better value for money in a watch of this quality.

Citizen and have well and truly hit the sweet spot on this one.
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on July 18, 2013
This watch has a distinctive look and a large and exceptionally readable face. No bells & whistles, just a simple, attractive, accurate quartz watch.

The date window is recessed well below the watch face - I think that's an accommodation for the solar-power surface of the face. Not having to ever worry about batteries is a plus. But, that also makes the date a skosh more difficult to read, so that's a (small) minus.

Not thrilled with the strap that came with it, so I replaced it with a 22mm black-on-black nylon military style one-piece strap ($19). That really improved the look of the watch, in my opinion.

Very happy with this watch!
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on February 11, 2014
Let me get one thing out of the way first. I'm not a huge fan of the strap. It's not bad but it's not great and even though there is an attempt at style, I would prefer more plain and practical instead when it comes to this watch. However, despite my lack of excitement over the strap, my 5 star review reflects my initial impressions of the watch itself which is so far very impressive.

I own two citizen watches and my girlfriend owns one. My oldest BM6400 is my EDC beater watch that I've had for around 5 years. The battery has held up fine in that time despite me letting it die once when I didn't wear if for a few months after getting my second Citizen watch. Needless to say, I'm a fan of Citizen watches and their eco-drive technology.

When it comes to this watch, it's about what you pay. At roughly $160, you get a great looking watch that keeps excellent time and is able to change many forms of light into usable energy. This watch is for my dad and what he was looking for was a nice watch that could be casual or somewhat classy, good time keeping, solar powered, easy to read, and high quality.

The watch is a great casual watch that can match a variety of bands. While it isn't maybe ideal for some of the classiest of occasions, it has enough style to wear to most events. Being a Citizen I expect it to be pretty accurate and by that I mean losing or gaining no more than maybe 20 seconds a month. My other citizens gain roughly 5-8 seconds a month. In the time that I've used eco-drive I've always been satisfied and I don't expect this watch to let me down but I will add to this review should this watch have any issues. One of the main things for my older father was a watch that was easy to read. The watch has a large face at about 43mm, large numbers, large hands, great lume for the dark, and a great contrast between the black dial and the white numbers, minute markers, and hands. Again, it is very easy to read.

Finally the quality in general is high as usual and the seconds hand lines up well with the markers. You will have to take care not to bang it against anything too hard as it only uses mineral crystal glass which will scratch and I have no doubt that you will see the stainless steel beneath the black coating if it is scratched hard enough. If you were paying over $200 I might hope for sapphire crystal and more features but its priced nicely in my opinion.

Something that might concern others is what I have seen others mention. The date window is a little small and can be harder to read than other watches as well as being blocked by the hands completely when the hands cover the window. The seconds dial and hand can also be blocked by the minute and hour hand but for me and my dad, it is worth the trade-off for having large easily readable hands. If these two things concerned me personally more, I might have rated it 4 stars instead of 5.

In the end it has met all expectations so far and I'm even considering buying another one for myself. This review is based off my initial impressions with the watch but I will add to this review if I find anything else that I like or dislike about the watch. If you are considering this watch as a basic but stylish and easily readable watch for a reasonable price, I cannot recommend this watch enough.
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on December 25, 2012
I have skinny wrists and thought 42mm watch would be too big. It isn't. Its perfect! The face is large and clear, able to read at a quick glance. It has a nice cool blue glow that lasts all night without holding the watch up to a light source prior to lights out. The band is a little stiff out of the box, but it breaks in fairly quick. I bought a maratac mil-NATO band and I think it adds to the character. I'd say its a semi "militaristic" type watch. Plus it charges itself!
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on February 21, 2013

- All-black style looks impressive (bezel is polished, case is brushed, face is flat black)
- Big, easy-to-read dial with large numeric markers and wide hands
- Relatively thin case
- Good blue lume on hands and numeric markers
- Big, distinctive, two-detent crown has a precision feel to it
- Second hand alignment is quite good (some others have complained about misalignment)
- Solar-charged battery, so no battery replacements needed
- Overall build quality seems very good


- Eyelets on band are too widely spaced (size adjustment not granular enough)
- Minute and hour hands can obscure the second hand
- Date window is too small, and is prone to shadowing


- My first sample of this watch had a faint, semicircular scratch on the flat black face that was quite
visible in bright light. The replacement watch has no such flaws.


- The watch is accurate (within about 1.25 seconds per week)
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on May 24, 2012
Unique and sharp looking watch. Very light although large dial face.
Very easy to read in day and night condition, even without glasses (For the elderly among us)
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on June 14, 2012
I was really looking for a watch I could wear casually and around the office. The all black (gloss bezel and matte case) color scheme is really clean and works great for all occasions. I like how simple this watch is. No timer or anything on the bezel not too complex looking. I also really like the large font used. It is very easy to read.

The nylon strap seemed a little stiff at first. After a week of it being on my wrist it has already started to loosen up and get more comfortable.

The crown is cool looking too. Its kinda big and knobby so its easy to grab and set the time/date.

It is completely silent. No ticking noise at all even if you are holding it right up to your ear.
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on February 26, 2012
This was a Valentine Day present that my wife gave me the option of choosing. It is a new favorite that goes with my 33 year old Citizen CQ watch that just had a new battery installed. Both Citizens elicit favorable comments from adults and the fashion conscious middle schoolers that I teach. I like the black band, black stainless steel case, and face. This is a watch that fits in at a formal gathering or outdoors on a hiking trail. Unless either watch fails, and my old favorite seems to suggest they will not, then I should have many years from a quality watch. As a 20 year old college kid in1979, I never thought I would get a new Citizen to compliment a 33 year old watch. Amazon reviews of newer Citizens seems to indicate quality still remains high, and these are lifetime watches.
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