I had always had Timex watches before I bought this Citizen Eco-Drive watch because Timex watches were inexpensive and reliable. I replaced the battery on my own so I wouldn't have to pay for the service, but buying and replacing the battery was a hassle and I ended up scratching the back up pretty badly. I'm a big environmentalist, so when I learned about Citizen Eco-Drive watches, I was intrigued, but kept my Timex. Then, one day, my watch's battery slowly died while I was at the store. I didn't realize my watch had fallen behind, so I didn't realize the time and I missed the last bus of the day. I had to call my roommate to pick me up. Irritated at my watch's battery failure, I decided I had to try out Citizen Eco-Drive.
I chose this watch because it seemed a good marriage of form and function. I wanted a pretty dress watch that would allow me to tell time easily. I was delighted when my watch arrived in the mail (the box it comes in is recyclable!). It looks just as it's pictured and the face is large and easy to read. The gold hands on a black background, white tick marks, and large Roman numerals make the watch easy to read at all angles, even with moderate glare. The leather band fits my petite wrist (I'm 5'3" and 115 lbs), with holes to spare for larger and smaller wrists. The band was very stiff at first, but is more comfortable after some breaking in.
When I first took the watch out of the box, it wasn't running. I left it under a window, and, after a few minutes, it started to tick! Setting the time and date was straightforward. According to the manual, the battery should be able to run at least 6 months on a full charge. In bright sunlight, the the solar-powered battery will fully charge in 11 hours. On a cloudy day, the battery will take 40 hours to charge. Under a lamp, it takes 130 hours. If the battery runs low, the watch warns you by having the second hand jump in 2 second, instead of the regular 1 second, increments. I haven't seen this in action, as I'm a bit obsessive about charging. I leave the watch under a lamp or window whenever I can conveniently do so. The manual claims that with regular use, the watch should get enough light throughout the day that you shouldn't need to intentionally charge it. This sounds plausible, as long as you don't work in a mine.
I've had the watch for a little over a month now, and I'm very pleased with it. I wear it with casual and dress clothes. The watch and band seem pretty durable. No scratches on the face yet, even though I wear it every day and have banged it a few times. A couple scratches on the back somehow, but I think I'm rather tough on my watches. The watch comes with a limited 5 year warranty, so we'll see if I have to use it.