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Top 10 Citizen Eco-drive watches

Posted on September 07 2020

Top 10 Citizen Eco-drive watches

  

An alternative source of power

 

Citizen watches have always been synonymous with forward-looking, inventive, and innovative timepieces for the modern era. Though the Citizen watches that I know that I’ve grown up with have traditionally been bland, affordable solar-powered watches, there’s a lot more to the brand that meets the eye. With impressive technological innovations like their Satellite wave GPS, Super Titanium, and of course, Eco-drive; which is what we’ll be looking at today. For me, Citizen and Eco-drive practically go hand in hand with each other, granted the brand is known for its other innovations too as I mentioned above and many more, but the Eco-drive technology has solidified the brand’s prowess in technological innovation. Being the first to create a light-powered watch in 1976 is no small feat, and though mechanical and battery-powered watches are still the norm in the industry, solar watches have left a not so insignificant imprint in the history of watchmaking and it shows.

 

For me at least, when I come across the brand Citizen, the next word that comes to my mind automatically is Eco-drive, and I’m willing to bet that it’s the same for most of us too. Much like how Rolex and Submariner pretty much mean the same thing to most people outside the watch circle. A reputation like this isn’t one that is received via dumb luck, it’s the fruition of years of testing, R&D, and of course, developing and selling great watches. And that’s what we’re here to take a closer look at today, with a vast array of models in the Eco-drive inventory, choosing the right one for you might not be as easy as it seems. This is why we’ve taken the initiative to narrow down ten brilliant Eco-drive watches that we think, you’ll be very happy to see on your wrist or in your collection.

 

CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE SATELLITE WAVE CC3075-80E MEN'S WATCH

 

We’re starting off pretty strong with this one, the CC3075-80E, a watch that combines 2 of Citizen’s technologies into a compact, handsome package that will sit nicely and proudly on your wrist. The  ) which is essentially a power reserve indicator showing the amount of charge left in the watch, world timer, and of course the Eco-drive system. The CC3075-80E is a handsome watch, coming in at a hefty 44mm in diameter it is by no means a small watch, but it’s no brute either. It is fitted in a nice black PVD stainless steel case, with a matching bracelet as well which gives the watch a very futuristic and stealthy aesthetic. The acid green accents on the watch are certainly what makes the look work overall, adding a splash of colour on an otherwise stealthy monochromatic black watch and I have to say, though I’m not the biggest fan of the colour green, this shade really does go nicely with the dark theme of the watch. Overall, if you’re looking to get a taste of Citizen’s higher-end and more innovative watches, the CC3075-80E is a hefty slice of that properly delicious cake.

 

Key Features

  • Robust futuristic design
  • Highly precise, reliable and technically advanced eco-drive caliber
  • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
  • Movement Type - Eco-drive
  • Materials - Stainless steel 
  • Water Resistance - 10 bars
  • Case Size - 44mm

 

CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE BX1001-89E MEN'S WATCH

 

The Citizen BX1001-89E, like the CC3075-80E we looked at previously, is a timepiece that features two innovative technologies but with a major difference. While the CC3075-80E cases that technology in a design that is incredibly forward-looking and futuristic, the BX1001-89E has a more refined and subdued approach in its design. Coming in at a modest 41mm in diameter silvered stainless steel case, the watch has a much more traditional design, but one that is still modern and timeless nonetheless. The watch features a world-timer, perpetual calendar, insufficient charge warning function, and of course the Eco-drive system as well. Functionally, it is a great traveller’s watch, design-wise, it makes for a great every day wear as well. I do like the globe motif that takes up most of the center of the dial with the city ring lining the periphery, it really is a nice complement to the world-timer complication that is the watch’s party piece. The inclusion of a perpetual calendar is a nice touch too, with no need for adjustment until its programmed deadline which is the year 2100. The BX1001-89E is a nice glimpse into the technological prowess without having to break the bank.

 

Key Features

  • Modern yet traditional design
  • Highly precise, reliable and technically advanced eco-drive caliber
  • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
  • Movement Type - Eco-drive
  • Materials - Stainless steel 
  • Water Resistance - 5 bars
  • Case Size - 41mm

     

    CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE ROSE GOLD STAINLESS STEEL BJ6483-01A BROWN LEATHER STRAP MEN'S WATCH

     

    No list talking about the best watches you can get will be complete without including a proper traditional 3 handed dress watch now, would it? And coming in at a svelte 37.2mm in diameter with a slim case, the Eco-drive BJ6483-01A looks and feels like a proper old-school simple dress watch. If it wasn’t for the otherwise modern design and the second hand ticking away on the dial, it will be easy to ‘mistake’ this for a traditional vintage dress watch. With a silvered multi-layered dial (the inner ring finished with a clean sandblasted pattern and the outer ring with a nice circular graining), slim applied indexes in rose-gold matching the case and hands, and a simple minute ring along the edge of the inner dial, makes for a clean, contemporary and almost Bauhaus design without a date window throwing the symmetry off, really makes the watch a versatile everyday dress watch. The reliable no-nonsense Eco-drive caliber powering it will also ensure that it’ll run practically without fault or a need for servicing for a very long time. Everyone should have a dress watch in their collection and if you haven’t already or a looking for another one to add into yours, then the Eco-Drive BJ6483-01A is certainly a worthy contender.

     

    Key Features

    • An elegant luxurious design at a very affordable price
    • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
    • Movement Type - Eco-drive
    • Materials - Stainless steel
    • Water Resistance - 5 bars
    • Case Size - 37.2mm

     

    CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE ROSE GOLD STAINLESS STEEL BU4022-81E MEN'S WATCH

     

    Everyone loves a good sports watch but there’s nothing quite like a smart timepiece to spruce up a suit and tie. Though if you’re the sort who looks at a traditional 3-handed dress watch and thought; can there be more to this than just the time (and occasionally the date)? Then the Citizen Eco-drive BU4022-81E is certainly the dress watch for you. Firstly, it’s not the conventional svelte 3-hander mounted on a leather strap. Its case is angular, with slim yet protruding lugs linking to an angular and equally slim bracelet as well. It’s a futuristic-looking piece, that, on paper sounds brash and flashy but the execution is much subtler than that. In fact, its an elegant looking piece finished in gold PVD stainless steel with a lovely dial layout as well. We’re all familiar with the day-date function, displayed through two windows for most watches however, this Citizen BU4018-11H displays those two functions in a more, traditional sense through sub-dials and hands. And that gives this simple functioning watch a more complicated yet sensibly subdued look. Overall, it is a really well-balanced yet unconventional look, easily legible and of course powered by Citizen’s Eco-drive movement means that it will essentially run itself. If you’re looking to smarten up your wardrobe with a smarter looking timepiece that’s a little more intriguing to look at, then the Eco-drive BU4022-81E is certainly for you.

     

    Key Features

    • An elegant luxurious yet sporty design at a very affordable price
    • Protected by immensely durable mineral crystal glass
    • Movement Type - Eco-drive
    • Materials - Stainless steel
    • Water Resistance - 10 bars
    • Case Size - 42mm

      CITIZEN PROMASTER SKYHAWK A-T JY8078-52L MEN'S WATCH

       

      So far, we’ve looked back at Citizen’s history of traditionally made watches, now let’s look at where they are now with the modern and innovative ‘Blue angels’ Skyhawk JY9078-52L. The Citizen Promaster Blue Angels A-T is a dedication to the team and is equipped with radio control signalling to provide precise atomic timekeeping in 43 cities. This Promaster Blue Angels A-T appears in a stainless-steel case measuring 46mm diameter and comes with either a steel bracelet or a leather strap. We review the version with the steel bracelet. The case itself is round with a brushed finish, with massive lugs on either end. The bezel carries yellow accents over the dark blue base with white inscriptions. The dial is also in dark blue. The hour indices are large bars, with Arabic numerals for 3, 6, 9, and an arrowhead for 12. The dial is inspired by cockpit instrumentation, with the case having a resemblance to the fuselage. The dial is rather busy, with a mixture of LCD windows and printed analogue displays with hands to indicate the plethora of information it is required to show. A manually operated mechanical slide rule, makes the bezel look very complicated and alongside the other features include a chronograph, perpetual calendar, dual time, alarms, countdown timer, digital backlight and UTC display, and power reserve indicator. Secondary indicators also crowd the dial to indicate the signal information from radio transmitters. The Blue Angels logo also adorns the printed nomenclature on the dial alongside the brand name and model designations. All in all, the JY8078-52L is a worthy testament to the innovation and technology that Citizen is more well known for these days and is undoubtedly a great addition to anyone’s collection

       

      Key Features

      • A masculine and timeless, sporty design at an affordable price
      • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
      • Movement Type - Eco-drive
      • Materials - Stainless steel
      • Water Resistance - 10 bars
      • Case Size - 42mm

         

        CITIZEN SATELLITE WAVE CC9009-81E MEN'S WATCH

         

        Of all the watches on the list, this one’s probably my favourite in terms of design, even more so than the crazily impressive CC7005-16E, but we’ll be taking a look at that later. Back to this; the CC9009-18E, which is part of Citizen’s Satellite wave line of highly modern and technical watches. I like to call these analog smartwatches, and yes while actual analog/hybrid smartwatches do exist that are much more capable in terms of functions compared to these, there’s still an impeccably mechanical feel to the Satellite wave line of watches that you just don’t get in a smartwatch. The watch is styled visually after the sports watches from the 70s, with angular case design with an integrated bracelet, though this one dials the angles up to eleven with the top and lower half of the case angling off into 3 different facets. Seriously, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single flat surface on this case (minus the crystal of course). The pushers are nicely skeletonized and sleek as well adding more to the very contemporary and modern design that this watch has. Functionally, it is capable of — Time, UTC, SET, LLI (Light level indicator/power reserve), CHR, ALM. And as the name implies, is capable of setting itself based on the time zone that you’re at or have designated it to read. The CC9009-18E is a proud celebration of modernizing a traditional tool, integrating current technology with an old-school (albeit timeless) design and display that makes for an incredibly interesting and intriguing wrist experience.

        Key Features

        • An intricate, angular and sporty design
        • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
        • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
        • Movement Type - Eco-drive
        • Materials - Titanium
        • Water Resistance - 10 bars
        • Case Size - 45mm

           

          CITIZEN SATELLITE WAVE CC7005-16G MEN'S WATCH

           

          As we mentioned before, Citizen is a powerhouse in engineering and innovation within the watchmaking industry, and with the limited edition CC7005-16E the brand is finally flexing its muscles with what it can offer with a modern watch. The Satellite wave line is Citizen’s answer to Seiko’s Astron and though the price gap between the models may be significant, you’re not short-changing yourself with anything from the Satellite wave line of watches. And that brings us to the CC7005-16E a 1500-piece limited edition that houses Citizen’s proprietary Satellite wave technology in the Caliber F990, capable of a slew of features that we won’t go too in-depth with here (we’ll be here all day if we did).  ), CHR, ALM. The watch, as the name suggests is capable of setting itself based on whatever time-zone that you are at or choose via GPS. The design of the watch is certainly one of the biggest factors of why this is such a likable piece too, with a box/domed sapphire crystal with printed indexes and numerals on it, giving a larger sense of depth to the already very 3-dimensional dial, a satellite antenna surrounding the periphery of the dial and a 2 piece super-titanium case as well. The case is remarkable design as well, with the main housing of the watch sitting on the case-back were a pair of lugs protrude from and curve towards the case of the watch but never actually reaching it, making it hollow and giving it a futuristic, skeletal vibe which I love. And that same skeletonization can be found on the pushers as well, adding more points to the overall cool factor that the watch already has. All in all, it’s an immensely impressive timepiece, and despite being an avid lover of mechanical watches (my collection of 8 with only 1 being quartz and the rest mechanical should speak for itself) I do find myself liking this one a lot. It may not be a mechanical purist’s dream watch, but it’s certainly the perfect modern-day alternative to a smartwatch.

           

          Key Features

          • An intricate, and uniquely futuristic design
          • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
          • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
          • Movement Type - Eco-drive
          • Materials - Super Titanium
          • Water Resistance - 10 bars
          • Case Size - 49mm

             

            CITIZEN SATELLITE WAVE CC7015-55E MEN'S WATCH

             

            Next up on our line of Satellite wave watches is the CC7015-55E Promaster Air, and it is what I imagine a ‘smart’ Breitling Navitimer on prescription steroids would look like. It shares the same F990 caliber with the CC7005-16E, so functionally, it is identical to that with similar complications and operations too, aside from an internal rotating bezel that can be actuated with the 8 O’clock crown. So, we’ve got the brilliant functionality out of the way let’s get on to the looks, and boy does it look good. I’ve never been a big fan of the Navitimer design until recently and this CC7015-55E embraces the spirit of that functional and practical design and adds a few modern twists and even more functions into the mix. With large bold hands, distinct and contrasting markers set against a busy dial, legibility is still relatively uncompromised thanks to the contrasting colours. The dial also features 3 sub-dials for the different modes and functions, as well as an internal rotating tachymeter bezel and (appropriately enough for a Pilot’s watch) an air emergency signal code on the outer bezel too. There’s really a lot of information on display on this watch and it might seem dizzying at first glance, but once you’ve got your bearings on the functions and displays, reading and using it becomes a breeze. Though the chances of this watch are used practically to its fullest extent by a pilot or professional may be slim, it is still a great traveler’s watch and overall a brilliant accessory to have as well.

            Key Features

            • A timelessly modern and functional design 
            • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
            • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
            • Movement Type - Eco-drive
            • Materials - Titanium
            • Water Resistance - 10 bars
            • Case Size - 47mm

             

            CITIZEN PROMASTER LAND CB5037-84E MEN'S WATCH

             

            For the last of the Satellite wave watches that we’ll be looking at today, the CB5037-84E is the most conventional and sporty looking one on the list so far. And if the CC7015-55E is a pilot’s watch on steroids, then this one is a field watch on the same enhancements. Powered by the E660, a downsized version of the F990, it shares similar functions with its bigger brothers in the Satellite wave line such as a chronograph, alarm, UTC, dual time-zone indicator, a perpetual calendar, and of course, GPS tracking as well. Aesthetically, the watch looks like a conventional field watch, with large bold hands, blocky indexes with 3 sub-dials for the functions, a tachymeter scale, and a city-ring on the chapter ring too. This is a field watch, and more thanks to Citizen’s innovative technology powering it and it’s not merely gimmicks either. The practical applications and operations of its functions are 100% applicable in the real world too. I’m writing this as my own Seiko SRPD31K1 compass field watch is on my wrist and suddenly it looks like a dinosaur compared to this. This with its radio-controlled time setting, mine with a self-winding mainspring and an internally rotating compass bezel. But then again these are very, very different watches, and I’m very happy with my old-school dinosaur of a watch, and if you find yourself fancying the Citizen, then I can safely say that you’ll be very happy with it.

            Key Features 

            • A sporty modern take on the traditional field watch design
            • Offers an incredibly high level of fit and finish for the price
            • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
            • Movement Type - Eco-drive
            • Materials - Stainless steel
            • Water Resistance - 10 bars
            • Case Size - 44.6mm

             

            CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE ONE AR5044-03E MEN'S WATCH

             

            Lastly and certainly the least (in terms of mass at least) is the Citizen Eco-drive One. In terms of mass and size, it is certainly the most delicate here, but then again it should be, it is the thinnest light-powered watch in the world after all. The quest of making the thinnest watch in the world is a trial that has been taken by many of the biggest names in the watchmaking industry. Whether it’s the thinnest mechanical wristwatch; With the likes of Piaget, Bvlgari, Jaeger LeCoultre competing for the throne. Or the thinnest quartz-powered watch (oftentimes the thinnest watches in the world) which is the Concord Delirium coming in at only 0.98mm thin. The creation of the thinnest watches in the world mechanically has always been more of a test of material and technical extremism than to create a practical watch. With the Eco-drive One, however, Citizen has created an ultra-thin watch that is not only the peak of technical innovation and skill but a practical wristwatch that you can easily wear day in and day out. Powering the watch is a solar caliber that comes in at an eye-watering 1mm thick, and as is often the case with ultra-thin watches, the case is as critical as the movement in shaving millimetres of the thickness (what little there is) of the watch. The case is two-piece construction that is held in place by the 4 visible screws on the watch and it is made of Citizen’s proprietary ceramic-metal-composite (Cermet) treated with a Duratec (DLC) coating. On the wrist, at 2.98mm x 39mm wide, the Eco-drive One practically disappears, offering an incredibly unique and one of a kind wearing experience. It’s not one that is purely classical, but it is very close. Being a watch that combines the best of fine traditional watchmaking and modern technological innovation, the Citizen Eco-drive One is a must-have for the avid collector, as it ties up the divide between modern and traditional watchmaking in a beautifully thin package. 

             

            Key Features

            • It's the thinnest solar powered timepiece in the world
            • Highly precise, reliable and technically advanced eco-drive caliber
            • Protected by immensely durable sapphire crystal glass
            • Movement Type - Eco-drive
            • Materials - Ceramic-titanium (cermet) 
            • Water Resistance - 3 bars
            • Case Size - 37mm x 2.98mm

             

            The future of watches?

            With sustainability being the way to go for whatever that we do, it seems only logical that solar-powered watches are the way to go for the future of watchmaking. But are they? Well, I think this statement is half true, let’s take a look at why it might be untrue first. Watchmaking as a whole is generally more of a work of engineering art than actual practicality. A good number of collectors buy watches, or more specifically mechanical watches exclusively because they enjoy the craftsmanship and the old-school-ness of these machines. It’s the same sensation of turning on your turntable, warming up the amp, and enjoying your music from a vinyl disc, the same is very true for mechanical watches. And a solar watch, no matter how advanced it is, can ever replace that sensation. And that’s fine, it was never meant to, why it could be the future is for the majority of quartz/battery-powered watches out there that could make a turn towards using solar power as a means of powering their watches reliably and sustainably.