This Citizen Eco-Drive watch review is not focusing on any part of the collection, I just wanted to look at the technology behind citizens version of solar powered movements, known as the Eco-Drive. For those of you who can’t be bothered reading all this guff, then settled down and watch this short video courtesy of Citizen.
Eco-Drive: How It Works
The Eco-Drive Story
For those of us with a few years on the clock, the Energy Crisis of the mid-1970s is something we will never forget. For those of you who never knew it, then rejoice knowing that the hardship of others ushered in a new future for the generation to come. The gift of energy awareness and environmental responsibility is your gift from us. You’re welcome….
In amongst the hardship and the tales of individual hardship, there were many small steps being taken at the time that would eventually become part of our established consciousness. One of these projects was Citizens’ quest for viable alternative energy sources.
The 1970s brought about the ‘Quartz Crisis’ which although painful for the Swiss watch industry, it was a big step for the environment. Battery-powered quartz watches had established the dominant market position for the Japanese watch market, they were accurate, well made, and cheap, while the Swiss were inaccurate and expensive. Only one thing remained a challenge for Citizen, namely, a limited battery life, which required periodic battery replacement, and the subsequent environmental impact of disposable batteries.
First Light-Powered Analog Watch
Solar cells were bulky and delicate but by 1974, Citizen had their first prototype of a light-powered analog watch with a solar cell embedded in the dial. Only two years later the Crystron Solar Cell, the world’s first light-powered analog watch, was launched.
Battery life, however, remained short so a continued push for improvement saw Citizen produce the first battery to run for up to 200 hours o a full charge. Thinner solar cells that could utilize both artificial and sunlight with more resilient double-layer capacitors inspired engineers to improve light-powered watches, so by 1995, Citizen added a secondary lithium-ion cell for power storage, resulting in a light-powered analog watch that runs for six months or more on a full charge. The Eco-Drive was born.
-Recharges on Natural and Artificial light
-Do not require any battery replacement, charging or winding to maintain constant operation.
-Citizen power saving function makes it possible to develop watches that can operate for up to seven years without light.
This ring-shaped solar cell wraps around the dial and also converts light into energy efficiently. It allows more design flexibility on the dial, as the dial surface does not need to be transparent to allow light to pass through.
This is the most commonly used solar cell in Citizen’s watches today. It converts light into energy with high efficiency because it sits under the dial.
Citizen has dedicated itself to improving its technologies for energy saving watch movements. Our pursuit of innovation has allowed us to bring to the market many light-powered watches with advanced functions and designs.
Insufficient Charge Warning
When an Eco-Drive watch with this feature has an insufficient charge, the second-hand jumps in 2-second intervals. Once the battery is fully charged, the second-hand returns to normal operation.
Power Saving Function
When an Eco-Drive watch with this feature is left in the dark, the hands stop in order to save energy. Once light hits the watch, the hands move quickly and automatically to catch up to display the current correct time.
CITIZEN invented the world’s first* Light-Level Indicator for analog watches. It detects the intensity of light striking the dial and displays the electricity generation level at the moment, allowing wearers to easily gauge the charge level in any given situation.
So, if your question is “are citizen watches good quality” then the answer is an outstanding yes when you take into account their pioneering work from the 1970s to the present day. And if you were asking which is the best citizen eco drive men’s watch, which is a perfectly good question, but I’m afraid I’m not the one to give you and answer.
The truth is, Citizen is a mature and highly evolved watch manufacturer that offer leading technology and build quality at a great price. What you consider the best or worst in their collection is only down to personal taste and financial restrictions, if any.
All Citizen’s watches are top quality and full of the best quality moving pieces. Your job is to narrow down the most attractive model to you, based on your requirements and the aesthetics to crave. Good luck and happy hunting
For more information about where to look for your favorite watch brand why not read my watch store reviews to get a better idea where to look?
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