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Seiko Vs Citizen

Who’s The Better Brand? [2020 update]

Watch enthusiasts have been pitting Seiko and Citizen against each other for a very long time. You’ve probably wondered which of the two is the better brand yourself. It’s a hard question to answer, but we have attempted to try to come to a conclusion on this.

Seiko Vs Citzen - At A Glance

Before we dive in, it’s only right that we take a closer look at the two. 

Seiko has been making watches for a very long time. They’ve been doing it since the late 1800s, making wall clocks. They produced their first wristwatch in 1913. The wristwatch wasn’t just their first, it was Japan’s first. Seiko kept breaking records as they created Japan’s first diving watch in 1965. Ever since then, the parent company has expanded, giving way to sub-brands like Orient. Recently, Seiko announced that their Grand Seiko line would become its own entity. 

Citizen has been around since 1918, and was also founded in Japan. That being said, its first owner was Swiss. Like Seiko, Citizen has broken records. In 1993, they gave the world its first multi-band atomic watch.

The Similarities And Differences

Movement

Seiko and Citizen differ quite a bit when it comes to movement. Citizen has a love affair with solar-powered watches. They have an extensive range of them in their Eco Drive collection. Although Seiko has solar watches, they can’t compete with Citizen’s.

The fact that Citizen utilizes solar-powered watches is great, but this doesn’t answer what type of mechanism they use. Well, Citizen famously produces Japanese Quartz watches

Meanwhile, Seiko is known for their automatic watches. This doesn’t mean they’ve only put out automatic watches. 

Both Seiko and Citizen have released atomic watches. If you’re curious, they’re the Seiko Astron and the Citizen Satellite. 

Accuracy

Citizen watches are more accurate than Seiko’s. Why? Because Citizen is not a fan of automatic watches. Although automatic watches are cool, they’re very inaccurate when compared to their Quartz counterparts.

Quality

Frankly, Citizen and Seiko put a lot of effort into their watches. It’s very hard to figure who wins in terms of quality. 

That being said, we did promise you an in-depth guide, so see below: 

Seiko has the Grand Seiko line. It hosts its most high end, quality watches. Citizen doesn’t have a line that can compete with the Grand Seiko. So, technically, you could say that Seiko produces better quality watches.

Appearance

Both the brands have put some pretty great-looking watches out there. You’d find it hard to find someone who’d disagree with this.

In terms of their watches, they look extremely well put together, having a well-rounded finish. We believe Seiko puts out watches that are more classic looking. Having more classic watches doesn’t mean Seiko produces better-looking watches, but to us, it does. 

On a side note, Seiko and Citizen do not use precious metals or gems in their watches. But there is an exception to this. The Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW252 comes in gold.

Pricing

Seiko watches can be very expensive. Some of their most expensive pieces are around $70,000. This doesn’t mean all of their watches cost an arm and a leg as some of them are around $100. 

Most of Seiko’s expensive watches are in its Grand line. They usually start at $1000 and go up, so get ready to max out your credit card. 

In terms of Citizen, their watches are also expensive. However, they are not as costly as Seiko’s. Citizen’s most expensive watches are around $20,000. The cheaper ones start at around $100. 

Citizen’s most expensive watches aren’t as expensive as Seiko’s due to their quartz movements. Quartz watches are cheap to produce compared to automatic ones. So, in a way, Citizen’s most expensive watches could go head-to-head with Seiko’s.

Diving

In terms of diving, both Seiko and Citizen are great. They have watches made from mineral glass. Of course, you’d see Seiko’s favorite Hardlex crystal used (their version of mineral). Mineral is impact resistant, making it excellent for diving. 

Most of their dive watches come with stainless steel straps. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any with polyurethane as we prefer rubber over stainless steel any day. 

The majority of Seiko and Citizen’s watches come with 200 m (660 feet) of depth resistance. Although great, this is a pretty standard rating. 

That being said, you could say Citizen is better at producing dive watches. They have the Citizen Promaster which can withstand depths up to 1000 m. Unfortunately, Seiko’s answer to this, the MarineMaster is a lot more expensive than the Promaster. As we’re all for saving, we’d reach for the Promaster any day.

Seiko Vs Citizen - A Closer Look

With that out of the way, let’s put what we discussed to the test. Below, we’ll be running through some of Seiko and Citizen’s best watches.

Citizen Watches

Citizen Watches BN0150-28E Eco-Drive

The watch is Quartz. It runs with a Japanese Quartz mechanism in it, so you know you’re always on time. 

It’s water-resistant quite a bit. The watch can withstand depths up to 200 m (660 feet). This is as it comes with a mineral window and a sealed body. Its polyurethane strap also help with diving. 

It’s one of Citizen’s many Eco-Drive watches. This means it’s powered by a light source. 

According to Citizen, the Eco-Drive BN0150 utilized a ‘Fusion Of Technology And Beauty’. That being said, it looks quite classic to us.

Citizen Men’s BJ8050-08E

It’s an extremely water-resistant watch. It can withstand depths up to 300 m (990 feet)

It comes with a Japanese Quartz movement and is powered by sunlight as it utilizes Eco-Drive technology. 

The display is quite odd-looking and not very classic. It has a noticeably large bezel that surrounds a small dial that is black with a bright orange clock hand. 

The Citizen utilizes a mineral window. It’s amped up by being curved, so it’s less likely to reflect light.

Citizen Watches AT0200-05E

It’s not the most water-resistant watch out there. It can only last up to 100 m (330 feet) underwater. This is why its strap isn’t stainless steel or polyurethane. Instead, it’s a canvas band. 

Like the other two citizen watches discussed, this one is powered by sunlight as well. It is also a Japanese Quartz. 

It isn’t that classic looking as it has a military style display. Its shift from a classic appearance is seen in its side as there are 3 unusual looking crowns popping out. 

Last but not least:

It has a mineral window like the majority of Citizens’ watches.

Seiko Watches

Seiko Men's SRPA21 Prospex X

The Seiko watch is automatic. It comes with the 4R36 mechanism which means it has a 40 hour power reserve and has 24 jewels inside of its gears

It comes in a completely stainless steel body. You’d expect a silver body but its rotating bezel is coloured red and blue. This is to help with diving as the watch can last up to 200 m (660 feet) underwater. 

If you were expecting a Hardlex display, it is present.

Seiko Men's SKX007K2

The SKX007 looks identical to most dive watches out there. It has a completely stainless steel body with a black bezel. 

It can be used up to 200 m (660 feet) underwater and has a Hardlex display. 

The watch is automatic. Unlike its brother discussed above, the Seiko SKX007 comes with a 7s26 movement. This allows it to have a power reserve of 40 hours. In terms of its gears, there are 21 gems in it.

Seiko Men's SNKN37

So far, this is the only Seiko watch that isn’t water-resistant up to 200 m (660 feet). The SNKN37 is resistant up to 50 m (165 m) underwater. 

It’s automatic, coming with a 7s26 movement. This means it has 21 jewels in its gears and comes with a 41-hour power reserve. Being an automatic watch it’s not the most accurate. The SNKN37 has an accuracy of +-15 seconds a day. 

It comes with Seiko’s favourite Hardlex crystal. And unfortunately, it doesn’t have a stainless steel body. Only its case is made from this material. The strap is made from nylon.

Is Seiko better than Citizen?


Citizen is the better brand as they offer many of the same features that Seiko does, but at a lower price. They even excel in a number of ways, like accuracy and diving.

Do you agree with our pick? If you didn’t, tell us why below!

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