Citizen Eco-Drive Watches Reviewed.
Everyone’s had a watch in their life that they were absolutely in love with. You probably remember the heartbreak when the battery finally died. Can you remember what you did with it? Does it still poke out of a drawer at you? Did you bin it? Sell it? Whatever you did, the odds are you certainly didn’t take it to a watch specialist and get the battery replaced. Now your old favourite is probably buried, never to see the light of day again.
However, what if you were to learn that there is a brand of watch whos batteries will never die? That you could buy a striking watch that you can fall in love with all over again and never have to worry about shoving it away because it’ll always work for you? Furthermore, it’ll never need to be plugged in, either.
If your attention is piqued, then it’s time to tell you that the brand in question is Citizen and the watch is an Eco-Drive.
What is an Eco-Drive watch?
Firstly, Eco-Drive refers to the process Citizen timepieces use to pull energy from light. Any kind of light, it doesn’t matter. This can be natural or artificial. The energy is harnessed and stored inside a lithium-ion cell that effectively recharges itself. So, in theory, it could run forever. A watch that could potentially out-live you!
Eco-Drive watches are sustainable
Citizen claim that their Eco-Drive watches are directly responsible for a reduction of ten million batteries across Northern America alone. This is certainly huge for the environment and one gigantic step in reducing pollution.
It all began in 1996. These watches offered the industry unprecedented advancement in technology compared to solar alternatives of the time. This modern tech removed the need for those clunky, thickset power cells and replaced them with slimline designs that actually looked good.
The concept of the Eco-Drive comes from its 7878 calibre movement. It was the first of its kind. Solar cells were mounted underneath the dial. This was transparent in order to let light pass-through to create power, thus charging the battery. This watch can keep going for a full 180 days before needing to be exposed to light again.
If a solar watch doesn’t get a light source for a given period of time, a lot of other brands will go into a state of hibernation and the hands eventually stop turning. The quartz movement will continue to track time though. When it’s exposed to light again, the hands will move to the right time and keep going as it once did. If you put your watch away in a drawer for three months and then took it out again, the hands would find the correct time.
Reports from Citizen have shown data from tests that show the solar cells in conjunction with a secondary battery in an Eco-Drive watch will keep going for a decade. They say the lubricants used in the construction have been developed to increase longevity of the watch. The oil doesn’t harden, so you can expect it to go on long past the 20 year mark.
Sometimes, but very rarely, a watch can experience damage through extreme or excessive heating during recharging periods. Citizen advise, therefore, that these watches do not see temperatures of over 140F. You might wonder how this would even happen, but people have been known to hold their watch close to a lightbulb to get a quick charge.
There are tens of Eco-Drive models to pick from. There are many, many colours as well as materials and varying features. Let’s have a look at some of the best-selling models.
This is an analogue Eco-Drive option with a sporty-looking canvas strap in military khaki green. For longevity, it’s lined with leather.
The dial offers the time, day and date. The hour and minute markers are luminous, as are the hands.
The case is stainless steel and it’ll offer 100m of water-resistance.
This one is a bit of a beast. Just one look at the dial tells you the degree of accuracy you can expect.
This timepiece offers atomic timekeeping tech with a synchronised time adjustment for 43 cities worldwide. It has a chronograph with accuracy to 1/100th of a second.
It has an automatic calendar, a 99 minute countdown timer and two alarms. Not that it needs it, but you also get a power reserve indicator.
It has a stainless steel and titanium case offering exceptional durability along with the sapphire crystal anti-reflective glass.
This beauty is such good value for money.
The case is made of titanium with matching titanium bezel. The glass window is made of protective mineral.
The leather strap is soft but tough.
It offers a chronograph, the date and two alarms.
It’s water-resistant up to 200m, so you can enjoy some light water activities or shower in this watch without fear. Diving isn’t recommended, though.
Another automatic timekeeping option here. It’ll recognise up to 26 cities globally.
The chronograph 1/20 second and will measure up to an hour.
The time is offered in both 12 and 24 hour formats and the calendar is perpetual. The dial also tells you how much power is left.
The strap is crocodile leather (not as standard, check the model number) and it’ll offer 200m water-resistance and a tough sapphire crystal window.
Finally, another stainless steel option.
This timepiece has a dual time feature and gives you the date.
Inside is Japanese quartz movement. Outside, it’s protected by protective mineral and it’s water-resistant to 200m.
If you’re looking for a new watch and your goal is to buy one watch that will be faithful to you for the rest of your life, you’ve found it here. It will never need a single charge and it will go on and on, and on. Pure sustainability for anyone looking to do whatever they can to save the planet. However, if you’re looking for something a little more techy you could consider a solar watch
It simply makes good sense.