Citizen AO9030-05E Eco-Drive Avion watch review

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We have featured quite a few time pieces here on the Gadgeteer, including smart watches and funky Japanese watches with unusual displays. Those styles of watches may be unique and packed with features, but if your idea of the perfect wrist watch is more old school, you should check out the Avion from Citizen. The Avion is an Eco-Drive watch, which means you will never have to worry about the batteries going dead as long as the face of the watch gets exposed to light. Let’s get back to basics and check it out.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.


The Avion comes packaged in a nice presentation box, with a couple instruction booklets.


The design of the Avion is a vintage-inspired timepiece reminiscent of transatlantic fights from the 1950’s. It features a camel colored brown leather calfskin strap with contrast stitching and metal rivets.

The watch itself has a brushed stainless steel 43mm in diameter case with oversized luminous numbers on a black dial. The watch hands and numbers are white with  copper colored edges.


The case is 11mm thick, giving the watch a chunky retro look. The weight and thickness can be a concern when it comes to the comfort of wearing it on your wrist. This watch is considered a man’s watch, but that doesn’t mean women can’t wear it too.


That said, I wore it for a short time and found it to be too heavy and bulky for me. But then, I have puny girl wrists and had to use the last hole in the strap.


The large size of the Avion’s watch face and numbers really make it easy to see what time it is in all lighting conditions.


It also helps that the numbers and hands are luminous when they are charged by bright light. Holding the watch under a lamp for several minutes will cause it to glow brightly in the dark.

It is very easy to set the time and date on the AO9030-05E Eco-Drive Avion Watch by using the crown which pulls out to 2 positions.


There are two dials on the face of the watch. The left dial is the day of the week and right dial is the day of the month.

This watch does not have a stopwatch feature, but it does have a sweep second hand that is also the indicator when the Eco-Drive battery needs to be charged with light. You’ll know it needs charged when the second had starts jumping in two second increments instead of one second increments.

The Citizen AO9030-05E Eco-Drive Avion may look like an old-fashioned watch, but it hides a very accurate Japanese quartz movement that has an ultra-convenient and eco-friendly charging design which is powered by light – any light. It never requires a battery change and will charge in the sun, in the house under fluorescent lights, anywhere where there’s ambient light. When fully charged, the watch will run for up to 6 months. Light is absorbed through the crystal and the dial where a solar cell converts the light to energy.

Wrist watches like the Citizen Avion watch remain very popular, even in the current age of smartwatches and smartphones. They make a great gift for anyone who wants to look great while being on time.

The Avion watch is also available with a black leather band. The MSRP is $250, but you can save about $84 through Amazon.


Product Information

  • Internal battery is charged by light
  • Easy to see
  • Water resistant
  • Stylish
  • None

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1 thought on “Citizen AO9030-05E Eco-Drive Avion watch review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Love the simple layout. I like Tokyo Flash’s innovative designs, but simple easy to read is my daily driver. Also like the big numbers. Gotten to that age…

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