When it comes to watches and watch movements, my Citizen Eco-Drive takes a good proportion of my attention. Quartz movements have a lot to offer if you want a little bit of everything, like absolute accuracy, affordability, with lightweight construction.
But when we look closely at quartz, we see options presenting themselves, and of course, I am referring to Quartz with a rechargeable power supply that recharges using sunlight. That’s exactly what you get when you pick up a Citizen Eco-Drive.
The product line is pretty wide with something for everyone but for the purposes of this post I want to focus on my Econ Drive because it’s here right in front of me. This is a really basic model, with a simple three-handed layout along with a date display.
I suppose you could say it’s a little boring and maybe if was a mechanical wind up you wouldn’t look twice at it. It’s the beating heart of this model that makes the difference, keeping the simple luminous hands and markers visible and display the correct time endlessly. Welcome to the Eco-Drive.
What Is The Citizen Eco Drive?
The timepiece uses solar power to recharge its internal power cell. Charging with a clean renewable energy it’s perfect for an outdoor active lifestyle. Amazingly, the power cell can be charged and left in your wardrobe for up to 5 months and still come out, ready and displaying the correct time. Not only will recharge under solar energy but indoor electric lights, or just about any light source. Bear in mind direct sunlight will always charge the cell quicker.
Although Citizen recommends charging the watch on a daily basis, my citizen lives by the window so it’s always ready to go, and I’ve never had any issue with overcharging.
How Does Citizen Eco Drive Work?
What Does Citizen Eco Drive Have?
My model doesn’t have a chronograph functionality. It is a simple design that makes it easy to know the basics when you’re 6 meters down. The Eco-Drive Series is water resistant, mine being resistant to 300 meters. This depth resistance allows you to wear the watch around the sink, in the pool or even out snorkeling, and at 300M it’s good for recreational scuba diving.
As I already mention there’s a number of ways to power a watch movement, with battery powered quartz being popular. With the Citizen Eco-Drive, you get into something else. True, if you let it power down it just stops. But so what, right?
If you left it for more than 5 months in your wardrobe, then you weren’t using it so it doesn’t really matter that it’s finally run down. But if it were any other watch, you’d probably need to renew the battery if you forgot to stop the movement before storing. With the Eco-Drive, simply take it out of the wardrobe and reset the time and date, and it’s going to start working pretty much straight away. While you are going about your daily business the power cell will charge and no worries. Solar Power, you gotta love it.
Besides, if you have any worries about charging why not let it live on your window ledge, or your bedroom dresser, which is exactly where mine lives. Always charged, always ready.
My Citizen Eco Drive
I really like the simplicity of this model with blue dial, luminous hands and the simplest of markers making easy to read in low light environments.
The Red/Blue bezel in unidirectional for safely, so it can only show a longer passage of time if knocked. The crown is screw down and protected by the casing and the tough rubber strap with metal clasp speaks to rougher-wears intentions. The watch has a distinctive feel when wearing which is perfect because you really want to know you are wearing it, especially if you’re going diving.
That being said, I feel it’s subtle enough for everyday wear if you feel that way in inclined. I’ve worn it while I’m out and about and thought nothing of it, so it’s just as easily and everyday watch. Although, I don’t think I would push the envelope and wear it with a suit. For that, I have some dress watches or even my Seiko Automatic.
I wore the Citizen Eco-Drive around a decent amount to get a feel for it, mostly to the office and around the home (no, this is not one I attempted to wear with a suit). As an everyday watch, it did its job keeping the time. the was no need to sit by a window, but that is either because the solar charge is sufficient or because I live in a very sunny environment. Just remember to keep the witch exposed and don’t hide it under clothing
I can’t really fail the Eco drive because it does watch it says on the tin, and with lots of models, there is totally something for everyone. My Eco does everything I ask of it and it looks good, which is a bonus. Granted, it lacks any of the bells and whistles of the newer and more expensive models, but t under $300 it;s a real good buy and suits my purposes and my wallet.
The only downside is waiting for it to fail so I can update it. It just ain’t gonna happen, so I’ll have to justify buying an updated model for myself at Christmas. Or, perhaps Santa will be kind to me. Only time will tell.
Even if it’s not on your top 10 Citizen is sitting at number 4 of the top ten best-selling watch brands of 2016.
Do you have any comment, what’s your favorite solar-powered watch?
Citizenship: A Little Fun.
As we are talking about Citizen let’s look at Citizenship, and take a walk on the fun side, with Jay Leno on his American Citizenship test. (This is just fun)
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