Citizen Eco-Drive Military Chronograph review

watch01I like wrist watches.  OK, I said it and that probably makes me a dinosaur.  Although I have a cell phone which I can reference for the time, to me there’s nothing like the convenience of having a timepiece on my wrist, and I don’t have to fish it out of my pocket to check the time.  There’s also the aesthetics and the Citizen Military Chronograph is one handsome looking watch.  As an added bonus  it’s solar-powered.I have a collection of about 10 different watches, but my day-to-day timepiece has been a kinetic powered wristwatch.  It’s served me well for over 20 years and in that time I’ve only had it serviced once to replaced the power cell.  However, it’s about time for me to move on and the Citizen watch intrigues me.  This is a masculine piece of hardware and will appeal to the active type man.

Specifications:

  • Model – B620 Analog solar-powered watch
  • Mineral Crystal
  • Stainless steel case
  • Accuracy – Within +/- 15 seconds per month
  • Operating Temperature – -10° C to +60º C
  • Display functions – Hours, minutes, seconds, 24-hour, date
  • Maximum run time – 9 months with 8 days reserve after low power warning

The watch arrived very well packaged.

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This box was pulled out from the cardboard shipping container.

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Then this box was pulled from the previous one.  The last step to gain access to the watch was to remove the cylindrical top and expose the actual item as shown in the introduction photo.  It was like opening Russian nesting dolls and added to the anticipation of what was inside, not to mention that it protected the contents very well.

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The Military Chronograph is outfitted with a canvas band that doesn’t require the removal of pins to change.

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The band slips through the pins  on each side of the watch.

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The watch-face is large and easy to read.  The hour and minute hands glow in the dark.  The small dial on the left is the chronograph and marks off minutes.  It is operated by the two buttons on the side.  The thin hand pointing straight up is not the second hand of the watch, but the 1/5 second hand of the chronograph.  It only moves when the chronograph is running.  The middle small dial is the actual second hand.  The right most small dial is a 24 hour face.

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The back of the watch is stainless steel and shows the watch is rated to be water-resistant to 10 atm.

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It is a big watch and therein lies some of the appeal.  If you’re going to buy a $200 plus watch, you might as well show it off.

The Citizen Eco-Drive Military Chronograph watch functions pretty much like any battery powered watch.  The time and date are set by pulling on the crown to two positions.  Unfortunately, the date function does not automatically adjust for the number of days in a month and will have to be adjusted for the less than 31 day months.

The power for the Eco-Drive series of watches comes from light.  There’s a solar cell behind the watch-face that converts light into electricity that’s used to charge a battery which then powers the  electronics and motors inside the watch.

In the manual they advise that it takes 9 hours of direct sunlight to fully charge the watch, which then could run up to 9 months without additional charging.  This had me a little concerned because here in New Hampshire that’s about all the sunlight we get in a year :-)  I don’t think one should worry about  the watch charging fully.  Besides direct sunlight the charging happens from other sources such as fluorescent and incandescent lighting, although at a slower rate.  If the power does run low, you are notified by the second hand which will go into low power mode.  The hand will only move every two seconds and the chronograph function will cease to work.  It will remain in this state for up to 8 days without any additional charge and then will shut down completely.

I’ve been wearing the Eco-Drive for a while now and it has been working fine.  As a matter of fact, it’s become my day-to-day wristwatch.  It’s easy to see the large dial and I don’t have to worry about winding or shaking to fully charge it.  I spend a lot of time outdoors during daylight hours which keeps me charged up.  However, as pointed out in the manual, if you wear long sleeve shirts and cover the watch, you might want to think about supplemental charging.  Just simply insure the watch is subjected to a light source a couple of times a day.

If you’re looking for an outstanding gift for an upcoming Graduation, the Citizen Eco-Drive Military Chronograph would definitely please the guys on your list.  At the very least he’ll have no excuse for being late to his first day of college or work.

 

Product Information

Price:$315 list, $236.25 Amazon
Manufacturer:Citizen
Retailer:Amazon.com
Requirements:
  • The love of good looking wristwatches
Pros:
  • Stylish
  • Rugged
  • Accurate
  • Easy charging
Cons:
  • None
Posted in: Reviews, Watches, Clocks

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • poqeteer May 16, 2014, 11:44 am

    Heck I’ll admit it, I LOVE watches! That definitely makes me a dinosaur, but they are cool. My father always had the coolest watch so that is where it probably comes from. Unfortunately my budget doesn’t match his so a watch like this is actually out of my price range.

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  • Joe Lim May 16, 2014, 8:33 pm

    Add me as an another Dinosaur for the watches!
    My daily beaters are Casio G-Shock and DeBaufre mechanical watches besides some nicer ones.:)
    my old Citizen blue angel is sort of retired even though it is 90% functional.

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