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Citizen Eco Drive Review - The Epitome Of Solar Powered Watches? [2020 Update]

Citizen is a watch company that knows what they’re doing. They’ve not only been in the game for a while, but they’re revered as one of the best Japanese watch manufacturers around. They’re most known for their Eco-drives. In our Citizen Eco drive review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about them, as well as reviewing some of the best with the movement.

What Are Citizen Eco-Drives?

The watch company produces super accurate pieces. They are pretty good-looking too. You don’t need to look hard at their devices to realize this.

Their Eco-drive movement came into being in 1995. The company released 3 models rocking the movement at first. Today, there are more than 300 of them. They’re sold at all kinds of prices. They look different and have different features.

The timepieces are solar-powered. You won’t find their solar panels on top of their dials. Citizen placed them behind, making the watches more stylish. They last a long time. This is one of the reasons people love them – you won’t regularly be changing batteries.

Promaster Diver BN0150-28E

The Watches - At A Glance

Before you dive in, give the following table a read. We’ve summarized some of the best Citizen watches in our list.

Preview
Our Pick
Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Diver Watch for Men, BN0150-28E
Our Premium Pick
Citizen Eco-Drive Men's BN2029-01E Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter Analog Display Black Watch
The Most Handy
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Navihawk Atomic Timekeeping Watch, JY8035-04E
Our Budget Pick
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Watch, AU1040-08E
Water resistance
660 feet (200 meters)
660 feet (200 meters)
660 feet (200 meters)
33 feet (10 meters)
Case (size)
1.73 inches (44 mm)
2.0 inches (53 mm)
1.88 inches (48 mm)
1.57 inches (40 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Crystal
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral
Mineral
Strap
Rubber
Polyurethane
Polyurethane
Faux leather
Colour
Black
Black
Black
Black
Our Pick
Preview
Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Diver Watch for Men, BN0150-28E
Water resistance
660 feet (200 meters)
Case (size)
1.73 inches (44 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Crystal
Mineral
Strap
Rubber
Colour
Black
More Information
Our Premium Pick
Preview
Citizen Eco-Drive Men's BN2029-01E Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter Analog Display Black Watch
Water resistance
660 feet (200 meters)
Case (size)
2.0 inches (53 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Crystal
Mineral
Strap
Polyurethane
Colour
Black
More Information
The Most Handy
Preview
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Navihawk Atomic Timekeeping Watch, JY8035-04E
Water resistance
660 feet (200 meters)
Case (size)
1.88 inches (48 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Crystal
Mineral
Strap
Polyurethane
Colour
Black
More Information
Our Budget Pick
Preview
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Watch, AU1040-08E
Water resistance
33 feet (10 meters)
Case (size)
1.57 inches (40 mm)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Stainless steel
Crystal
Mineral
Strap
Faux leather
Colour
Black
More Information

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The Watches

Our Pick

1. Citizen Eco-drive Promaster Diver BN0150-28E

Citizen’s Promasters are super durable. The BN0150-28E is a timepiece that’s capable of diving. It’s ISO certified and rocks a resistance rating of 660 feet (200 meters). The fact that it’s so waterproof helps. It’s made from rubber as well as high-quality stainless steel.

The device is big. Its case stretches 1.73 inches (44 mm) across. This is something you want from a diving piece. Its large face lets you easily read it underwater. But if you have smaller wrists, it’d look awkward on you.

The glass on it is mineral. However, it’s the hardened type and can handle the pressures of diving. What’s even better about its front is that it’s anti-reflective. When you’re by the sea, you know how reflective water can get.

As its strap is rubber, not only does it repel liquids, but it’s very hard to wreck.

Citizen says that all kinds of light sources can charge it. They promise that you won’t ever have to replace its batteries.

Its face is luminous. You’re met with thick markers that are the canvas to a lot of lume. The pigment is on its hands too. Something that makes the watch even easier to read is its sharp red hand. Along with the lume it’ll catch your attention in dim settings.

Its bezel rotates. This lets you time yourself when diving. Its bezel is edged well. You’ll easily be able to grip it.

You’ll notice that its crown is in the 4 o'clock position. This is exactly what you want. It won’t bang against your wrist. A lot of diving pieces have their crowns in this position.

Something else that’s in the 4 o'clock position is its calendar. It reads the date. We’re not fans of it being at this angle, you’ll strain your neck.

What makes it special:

The position of its crown.

Our Premium Pick

2. Citizen Eco-drive Promaster Aqualand BN2029-01E

As it’s another Promaster, it’s a superb diving watch. It can handle up to 660 feet (200 meters) underwater. Its face is huge. It stretches 2 inches (53 mm) across, so you’ll easily be able to read it. However, as its so big, you’ll look awkward with it if you have smaller wrists.

One of the reasons its face is so big is due to its gigantic bezel. As it’s so massive, and there’s great edging, you can easily rotate it.

You’ll see three sets of hands. Two read the time. The other tells you how deep you are underwater. It will read depths up to 70 meters.

As there’s so much going on, you might find its dial a challenge to read.

You’ll love how handy this Eco-drive is. It tells you when your battery is about to die. Its power indicator is on the left side. As it’s an eco-drive, it can charge through all kinds of light sources.

Did we mention the material in its case? It’s high-quality stainless steel. On its strap, there is polyurethane. The material is waterproof. It's durable too.

Its crown is in the 4 o'clock position, so you’ll not slam it against your wrist. But its large pushers may get in your way.

No surprise, there is lume on its hands and markers. As they’re large, there’s ample space for the pigment to shine on. Its hands are bright colours too, and you’ll easily be able to read the device.

There is a calendar on it. It’s in the 3 o'clock position, so you won’t be straining your neck trying to read it.

What makes it special:

It’s a massive timepiece.

3. Citizen Eco Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch AT0200-05E

You’re looking at a field watch. That’s why its face is so wide, and its strap is canvas. It comes with chronographs too, which is widely seen in the timepiece type. Field watches were made for the military to tell them accurate time.

What exactly are chronographs? They are stopwatches. The AT0200 lets you track the seconds, minutes and hours passed. They’re super accurate. You use the large pushers on its sides to work them. The thing with its pushers is, they’re huge. They will get in your way.

The timepiece is easy to read. There are large Arabic numerals that you won’t miss. Unfortunately, there’s no lume in them. However, you’re getting pigment on its hands. Its dial is dark, while its second hand is a sharp red. This makes the time easier to read too.

Canvas can withstand a beating. But it’s not waterproof. If you get it wet, it’ll stay so for a while. If you’re in the wilderness, getting it dirty will not be fun. Its band will get stained.

A lot of canvas straps are NATO. Unfortunately, the AT0200’s is not. It would’ve been easier to wear. It would’ve also been waterproof.

This eco-drive has a calendar in the 4 o'clock position, which you know we’re not fans of.

The glass on it is mineral. It’s the strengthened type we saw in the other 2 above.

Like them, it can be charged from all sorts of light sources. It’ll generally last around 6 months once fully charged.

The watch is very functional. But we don’t think it’s very good-looking, especially the green variant. That’s why we’d pick the blue one up. It seems more regal.

What makes it special:

Its canvas strap.

4. Citizen Eco Drive CA0649-06X

You’re looking at a rather luxurious-looking timepiece. The CA0649 rocks a leather strap. It feels like a dream on your wrist. We, unfortunately, don’t know what type of leather it is. If we had to guess, we’d say calf-skin. The thing with leather is, having a lot of it on your wrist is not fun. You’ll sweat a lot. Thankfully, the watch doesn’t have the thickest strap.

Its face is big, though. It is 1.73 inches (44 mm). The fact that it has massive pushers makes it harder to wear if you have smaller wrists.

What do you think its pushers work? If you guessed its chronograph sub-dials, you’re right. The timepiece reads the seconds, minutes and hours passed.

It is pretty easy to read. You’re met with large Arabic numerals throughout its display. They’re black, while its dial is a light cream. This makes them contrast well.

Not only does it have chronographs, but you’re getting a tachymeter too. It lets you read the distance between two points. Along with its chronographs, you’ll be able to calculate the speed and distance between things.

It is water-resistant. No, you won’t be able to dive with it. It’s capable of snorkeling at most. Its resistance rating is 330 feet (100 meters). Getting leather wet is not fun. It’s not very waterproof like canvas.

We think its crown is handy. It’s shaped well, so you can easily grab it. It looks cool too – it looks like a literal crown.

Yes, the CA0649 looks expensive. That’s because it’s a pilot’s watch. They’re made more luxurious to go with the lavishness of a pilot’s life.

There is a calendar on it, but we’re not fans. Its background is black, with the date being displayed in grey. There’s no good contrast.

When you look at its markers, you’ll realize that there’s no lume to them. However, there is pigment on its hands.

What makes it special:

Its leather strap.

The Most Handy

5. Citizen Eco Drive Men’s Navihawk JY8035-04E

You might be intimidated when you look at the timepiece. After all, a lot is going on with its dial. Don’t panic, they’re there for a reason. We think they make it the handiest entry we’ve reviewed.

The Navihawk is a pilot watch. That’s why it’s got a luxurious look to it.

One of its outer rings is a slide rule. You’ll use it to do calculations when in the air. Another ring tells you the directions – it’s a fixed compass.

There are a bunch of subdials on it. But only one of them is its chronograph. It’s the one in the 12 o'clock position. It records the time up to 24 hours.

As you might find its face hard to read, there’s a sub-dial that tells you the digital time. It’s large, so you won’t be straining your eyes.

The digital display on the left side reads what city you’re in. As a pilot, something like this is very handy.

The sub-dial towards the 10 o'clock position is its power reserve indicator. It’ll tell you when you need to charge the Eco drive again. Of course, all kinds of light sources get the job done.

You’re looking at a massive timepiece. Its case stretches 1.88 inches (48 mm) across. Its large pushers make it even larger. There is strengthened mineral glass on its large face. It’s anti-reflective, so you don’t have to worry about blinding yourself.

Its case is made from ion-plated stainless steel. This makes it look chic. It’s super durable too. Speaking of durable, you’ll have a hard time banging its strap up. It is polyurethane, which you know is very waterproof.

The timepiece can handle quite a bit of water. Its resistance rating is 660 feet (200 meters). Although it’s capable of diving depths, you’re advised not to. It can handle snorkeling the most.

It is a vision in black. If you’re not a fan, you’ll love to know that it comes in a silver option too.

What makes it special:

The number of features it comes with (slide rules, city display, digital as well as analog time, etc.)

Our Budget Pick

6. Citizen Watches AU1040-08E Eco Drive Watch

The timepiece looks drastically different from the others we discussed. It’s more minimalistic, which is a testament to how diverse Citizen’s pieces are. They place their Eco drive movement into all kinds of watches.

The AU1040 is minimalistic, so it’s a great dress watch. It’ll complement almost all outfits. This is especially true as it’s black. This makes it chic.

Being a dress watch, it’s no surprise that it’s smaller. Its case stretches 1.57 inches (40 mm) across. If it was larger, it would draw more attention than what you’re wearing.

It doesn’t have the most durable window. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering the type of device it is. It is a regular mineral. No, you’re not getting an anti-reflective coating.

There are small markers on its display. They’re grey, so they don’t contrast against its dark dial that easily. No, there isn’t any luminous pigment to them. There’s a bit of pigment on its hands. However, they’re small, so you don’t get a large canvas for them to shine on.

One of the reasons the watch looks so classy is its strap. It’s dark leather but not real. It is faux. That being said, it feels like the real deal. It’s thin too, so your wrist won’t drench with sweat. The fact that it’s embossed makes it better. It’s very reminiscent of alligator-skin.

Just like regular leather, you probably shouldn’t get it wet. The material soaks a lot of water up.

Speaking of water, you might be wondering how much the device can handle. The Citizen Eco drive dress watch has poor water resistance. It can only handle 33 feet (10 meters). Considering how anti-waterproof its strap is, hitting the pool might not be on the top of your list.

Citizen says that with such resistance, brief splashes are the most it’s capable of.

Like its siblings, there is a date feature. It’s in the 3 o'clock position, which you know we appreciate.

Depending on the lighting you’re in, the timepiece may look more intriguing. There is a metallic effect to its display.

Did we mention what material its case is made from? It’s high-quality stainless steel.

What makes it special:

Its minimalistic face.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to Citizen’s watches, they know what they’re doing. The company is one of the leading watch manufacturers in Japan for a reason. Their Eco-drives are world-known for being some of the best solar powered pieces around.

If you’re wondering how long Citizen eco drive lasts, a full charge will get you around 6 months. In general, the timepieces will be by your side for up to 10 years.

The solar movement is in all kinds of watches. When remembering the type of watches we reviewed, this is hard to protest.

All the watches on our list are great in their own way. Whichever one you pick up, you’ll be making a fabulous purchase.

But if you want to check more timepieces out from the brand, you can check our Pinterest out! We regularly post about them, and their competitors.

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