Citizen Eco-Drive Watch Review

Citizen has now gone high-tech with a new line of solar powered wristwatches. These new Eco-Drive watches will never need to have the battery replaced. And they come in a wide variety of styles for both men and women.

My brother first introduced me to these cool watches, and after researching them, I just had to have one! I chose the Solar-Tech 180 TITANIUM, (model AP0410-58H). It happens to be a divers watch, and is water-resistant to 200 meters. This quartz watch has a one-way rotating elapsed-time bezel, a screw-down crown, and date. (Although the only time that I have taken a dive is in a hockey game, I wanted a water-resistant watch.)

The main selling feature of these watches is the solar construction. It’s best described by this diagram that I downloaded from the Citizen web site. (See below)

Sunlight and any artificial light are absorbed through the
crystal and dial. CITIZEN uses special filters which allow a wide range of dial colors and
styles.A solar cell beneath the dial converts any form of light into electrical energy to
power the watch. With regular exposure to light, ECO-Drive continuously recharges itself.

ECO-Drive’s revolutionary lithium-ion rechargeable battery stores enough energy to
power the watch up to sixteen months (depending on model)

Ok, so much for the canned science lesson, now let’s review the features. The lithium-ion battery will probably run this watch forever. My watch, a Solar-Tech 180 is designed to run on a full charge for 180 days, (or 6 months). It takes 3.5 hours to charge fully, in sunlight; and 1 minute to charge for one day’s worth of power.

Although I’m not fond of bracelet watches, this watch, being mostly titanium is extremely lightweight and very durable. The finish on the band is very comfortable. I also like the safety clasp they selected.

There is a fluorescent coating on the dial face for the tick marks and the hands. The marks are easy to see in the dark as well as in daylight. There are 27 different men’s styles and 9 different women’s styles. Out of those styles, there are 9 men’s/women’s matched sets.

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I’m a bit surprised that it has taken this long for someone to develop a solar watch. I guess that the Lithium-ion battery has made it possible for them to run longer, and recharge to full capacity better. The older technology rechargeable batteries, (ni-cad), had kind of a “memory”, they needed to be almost fully drained to recharge fully. These lithium-ion batteries recharge better when not fully drained.

If you like gadgets and also like watches, you have to check out the ECO-Drive watches from Citizen. As for where to purchase it, you can check web sites like www.wristwatch.com for price comparisons, but be sure to go to a reputable watch dealer. You will need to have the band professionally adjusted, most people will not have the tools to do it themselves.

Price: $395 (retail)

Pros:
Never needs a battery replaced.
Titanium case and band is extremely lightweight.
Resists water to 200 meters.

Cons:
Need to have the band professionally adjusted.

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Product Information

Price:$395.00
Manufacturer:Citizen
Pros:
  • Never needs a battery replaced.
  • Titanium case and band is extremely lightweight.
  • Resists water to 200 meters.
Cons:
  • Need to have the band professionally adjusted.
  •  
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150 comments… add one
  • michael ephraim July 14, 2017, 5:06 am

    In the three years I have own my eco drive it has been in repair twice, both times it stop working and now they want to charge me for repairs. For a watch that never needs and battery or can be in the dark for 6 months seems to be a misfact
    I only have wore the watch on special occasions it has been repair more than I have wore it. DISSAPPOINTED in this item.

    • Vanessa Wright July 14, 2017, 6:22 am

      Some research online mentioned the growing problem of failed charge capacitors. Also, there were some service centres that offered to replace the charge capacitor.

      At that time, there were few in existence as the eco drive watches were only then begining to fail en mass.

      We found one in Hockley Birmingham.

      The charge capacitor was replaced and the watch funtioned for 6 months and then stopped again.

      We contacted Citizen again. A nice man at the service centre seemed to be in complete denial of this fault and in fact lied about the need for ‘some’ watches needing this repair. He said that the usual cause for the watches failing were other reasons. Despite the now burgoning industry of centres offering capacitor replacement’s and even online guides and supplies. Nope, he insisted that the service centres were all just ripping people off. Oh, OK……….. Yes he insisted, we were at fault, the problem was NOT charge capacitors, he had NEVER heard of that problem.. The problem was probarly due to water ingress!!! No wonder Ray Mears stopped wearing his!!

      So, how about changing the movement we thought.. No can do, the calibre of the watch has changed even though the new version of the watch looks the same.

      So, that’s it. a watch that cost £440.00 pounds in 2000, has worked for five and a half years, is now useless.

      Against the hype and puffery and claims made for this watch, all of this is a joke. It is the watch know as the ‘Ray Mears Watch’, since he sported one for some time. (probarly until it failed).

      At the time, the claims were that it would never need winding, it was un-stoppable, it would last forever, the claims went on and on.

      On the other hand, I do have a nice lemania 5100 calibre watch No1 designed by Gerry Porsche with PVD coating.

      Unlike citizen, Orfina, the makers of this timepeice, do support the maintainence and service of this watch, even though it dates to 1974.

      Unlike the mickey mouse service of citizens consumer branded toy watches, this watch truely can last forever and will be handed on to one of my children.

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