Best Citizen Watches Review: Are Citizen Watches Good Quality?

There is no doubt that Citizen is a big watch brand.

And they’re loved all over the world!

And the fact that you’re here with me today means you’re thinking about buying a new Citizen watch, right?

If that’s true, then I know this review of mine will be of great help.

Below, I will highlight the most important things you need to know about this brand, their iconic Eco-Drive series, their reputation, and more.

I’ve also included a quick list of the best Citizen watches out there you should know about.

Just in case you’re in a hurry.

Now, let’s get going.

AT A GLANCE: MY TOP 7 PICKS FOR THE BEST CITIZEN WATCHES OF ALL TIME
  1. MY TOP PICK: Citizen AT4010-50E Eco-Drive Titanium PCAT Watch
  2. Citizen BM8180-03E Nylon Strap Watch
  3. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver Watch
  4. Citizen JY8035-04E Navihawk Atomic Timekeeping Watch
  5. Citizen AW1361-10H Watch with Brown Leather Strap
  6. Citizen AT8020-03L Blue Angels World Chronograph Watch
  7. Citizen AT4008-51E Mens Perpetual Chrono A-T Watch

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History Of Citizen Watches

citizen watches review

Currently, Citizen is one of the top watch brands in the world, known for its functionality, practicality, and affordable price.

The company traces its beginnings all the back to 1924 in Japan when a pocket watch with the “Citizen” tag was used by the then-mayor of Tokyo.

The watch was given the name as it was the key to making a watch, which at the time was a luxury item, available to the masses.

However, the company officially was founded in 1930 by a combination of Swiss and Japanese investors.

While the company took a while to kick off, the brand Citizen got a headstart, being registered in 1918 by Robert Schmidt, a Swiss watchmaker who sold watches in Japan.

Since then, Citizen has stayed true to its original vision, providing affordable, stylish, and functional watches for the everyday person.

Top (10) Best Citizen Watches Chosen by Customers

Product imagesProduct namesMovementWater resistanceEditor's ratingPrice
BM8180-03E Nylon Strap Japanese Quartz WatchJapanese Quartz330 feet4.9 out of 5 starscta
AT4010-50E Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono Atomic Timekeeping WatchJapanese Quartz660 feet4.9 out of 5 starscta
BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver WatchJapanese Quartz660 feet4.8 out of 5 starscta
JY8035-04E Navihawk Atomic Timekeeping WatchJapanese Quartz660 feet4.8 out of 5 starscta
AW1361-10H Stainless Steel Watch with Brown Leather StrapJapanese Quartz330 feet4.8 out of 5 starscta
AT8020-03L Blue Angels World Chronograph Atomic Timekeeping Watch with Day/DateJapanese Quartz660 feet4.7 out of 5 starscta
AT4008-51E Mens Perpetual Chrono A-T WatchJapanese Quartz660 feet4.7 out of 5 starscta
BN0150-28E Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch with DateJapanese Quartz660 feet4.7 out of 5 starscta
BJ7000-52E Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time WatchJapanese Quartz660 feet4.7 out of 5 starscta
AT0200-05E Men's Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas WatchJapanese Quartz330 feet4.7 out of 5 starscta

The Citizen Eco-Drive Technology

By far, the most popular of Citizen’s innovations is the Eco-Drive movement seen on a lot of their watches.

The Eco-Drive movement is one that gets all the great qualities of a quartz movement while eliminating its biggest caveat: having to change the battery.

On the dial of all Eco-Drive watches is a solar panel that is used to recharge the battery and keep it ticking with the impeccable accuracy of a quartz watch.

The technology doesn’t even need direct sunlight as any light that the watch is exposed to can be used to power the watch.

That means that if you want to keep the watch ticking for a long time, all you’d have to do is make sure to wear it and charge the battery.

The Reputation of Citizen Watches

Citizen has a reputation for being a people’s brand.

This is because their watches are of very high quality, with high-precision, accuracy, great designs, and employ modern technology.

Citizen is also known for being one of the best brands in the price range, with a lot of watch lovers saying that their watches can sometimes be on par with timepieces that are way more expensive.

However, Citizen is also known for having subpar Customer Service and after purchase care.

Contacting the website for help or services may be a bit tricky, but since Citizen always delivers withe their watches, this is just a small hurdle you might not even need to jump through.

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Reviews of the Top (10) Best Citizen Watches

1. BM8180-03E

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The first time I read about Citizen’s Eco-Drive movement, I instantly became a fan.

For years, Citizen has been providing us with quality, functional, and practical watches and this Eco-Drive technology is a perfect example of that.

The movement on this watch is perfectly designed so that you will never have to worry about battery changes or inaccuracies again.

Instead of a battery charging this incredibly accurate Japanese Quartz movement, it is powered by light, and not just sunlight, but artificial light as well.

This means as long your watch is exposed to light on a regular basis, it will not stop ticking and stay accurate.

To add to all that, the simple black dial with white details blends perfectly with the military-esque green strap.

For those who want a simple, stylish watch that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, this watch is the one for you.

2. AT4010-50E

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Citizen is famous for always moving forward.

And with this watch, they did just that by adding the unrivaled accuracy of atomic time-keeping with their Eco-Drive movement.

This watch uses radio signals every night to sync it to the atomic clock in Colorado.

To add to that incredible accuracy is beautiful dive-watch design.

The dial comes in a black and silver colorway, with three dials for the watch’s perpetual calendar and one-second chronograph, which blends perfectly with the silver-colored titanium case and strap.

I love how the watch looks sleek enough to be worn with my best suit, but it’s also relaxed enough to be worn on a smart-casual day.

Other detailed reviews:

3. BN0151-09L

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On the surface, this piece looks very simple, but that’s far from the case.

For starters, it uses the lauded Eco-Drive technology of Citizen, which promises convenience and incredible accuracy.

To add to that, the watch also has 200m of water resistance, which is impressive even for a dive watch.

While the design may seem simple, closer inspection shows all the subtle details that are stunning.

The blue dial serves as the perfect background for the beautifully designed silver-colored markers.

And the red details on the minute hand make reading the time extremely easy, no matter where you are.

The watch also has a polyurethane strap, which is incredibly comfortable even when worn for long periods of time.

This watch is definitely for those that love comfort as much as they do style.

4. JY8035-04E

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If you’re on the hunt for a utility watch with a plethora of functions, then you should really consider this incredible piece by Citizen.

This watch has atomic timekeeping, a 1/100th of a second chronograph, a perpetual calendar, two alarms, a countdown timer, a digital display, an analog display, UTC display, a slide rule dial ring, and a power reserve indicator.

Basically, whatever functions you can think of, this watch has it, LOL!

My usual complaint when it comes to utility watches like this one is that the dial is way too complicated to read.

However, the way Citizen laid out all the functions on this dial, makes navigating super easy.

This may also be attributed to the color choices, as the white and orange accents truly stand out next to a black background, which allows you to easily distinguish the hour markers and hands from all the other functions on the dial.

5. AW1361-10H

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It would be hard to find a watch I love more than one with a simple, classy, and vintage design.

This watch is just that, with its orange and tan details on a black background to perfectly complement the brown leather strap that comes with the timepiece.

The round, silver-toned stainless steel case measures 45mm, which is a bit larger than most of the watches back in the day, which gives this vintage design a slightly more modern feel.

On the dial is also a date window and a 24-hour time display, giving this watch more function while also adding to the overall aesthetic.

6. AT8020-03L

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Sometimes, it’s nice having a watch that isn’t your typical “everyday” timepiece.

And this Citizen piece is far from conventional.

It uses the company’s signature Eco-Drive movement, has three sub-dials, a date window, a slide rule, and atomic timekeeping.

But a lot of this watch’s uniqueness stems from the wild bright yellow and blue color choices.

I know, these loud colors may not be for everybody.

But if you’re looking to shake up your style a bit, don’t be afraid to experiment with some unorthodox or unique designs and colors.

Who knows, you may end up loving it!

7. AT4008-51E

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It’s no secret at this point that Citizen knows how to design their dials.

They have a way of perfectly placing all these elements on the dial in a way that catches attention and looks great while not distracting from the main dial and making time difficult to read.

With this one, Citizen decided to keep it simple.

With a gray textured background, white hands, and markers, and red details to make the other elements in the sub-dials really pop out.

Combine that with the atomic timekeeping functions that this solar-powered Eco-Drive watch has, and finding a better watch in this price range will turn into a difficult, if not impossible task.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 200m (660ft), which means that you won’t have to worry about taking it off the next time you go for a couple of laps in the pool, or even for your next snorkeling trip!

8. BN0150-28E

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This another one of Citizen’s minimalistic diver’s watches.

With it’s simple, straightforward dial design, and light-powered movement that does nothing but catch my eye whenever I stumble upon it.

This watch is water-resistant up to 200m.

That basically means you can wear it in the shower, while swimming, and even for snorkeling.

The black polyurethane strap makes sure the watch stays on your wrist no matter what the occasion, while also serving as the perfect color to pair with the minimalistic black and white dial design.

If you need a straightforward, simple, and functional watch, then you might need this piece by Citizen.

9. BJ7000-52E

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This watch is another testament to Citizen’s incredible designs.

They always seem to find a way to seamlessly merge all these elements without making the dial feel too cluttered or messy.

This watch is part of their Nighthawk line of pilot’s watches.

With all the features you would expect from these types of watches such as the slide rule, dual time display, a date window, and an inner chapter ring.

The one unique feature, however, is that this watch runs on Citizen’s light-powered Eco-Drive technology.

The dial on this watch is full of great details such as the red airplane silhouette on the second’s hand, or the beautiful logo placed right next to the date window at the 3 o’clock position.

Those of you with an eye for pilot’s watches will surely appreciate everything about this piece.

10. AT0200-05E

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While everyone easily falls in love with the flashy watches with a lot of functions and intricate dial designs, sometimes keeping it simple brings in a nice breath of fresh air.

Simple is exactly what you get with this timepiece, with an Eco-Drive movement, chronograph, and a 24-hour time display.

Aside from those features, you have a regular 100m of water resistance.

With a quality green nylon strap, which, when paired with the black dial with red details gives this watch an authoritative military look.

If you want to take a break from all the complex and feature-heavy watches out there, this simple military watch may be the perfect choice for you.

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Citizen Watch International Warranty Policy

Citizen has two warranties: a three-year policy and a five-year policy.

The three-year warranty is what comes with all of Citizen’s automatic and quartz watches.

The first year of the warranty is a one-year international guarantee, but it is also a limited warranty that starts on the day of purchase.

The five-year warranty, on the other hand, is what comes with all Eco-Drive and Promaster watches, it also has a one-year international guarantee and is a limited warranty.

These warranties will cover any defect in the craftsmanship and workmanship of the watch, however, to make sure that the warranty isn’t void, only purchase from authorized Citizen dealers.

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FAQ’s

Are Citizen Watches Good Quality?

Yes, Citizen watches are considered good quality by a lot of the people in the watch world.

In fact, Citizen watches are largely considered one of the best in its price range because of its innovative technology and lovable designs.

Where Are Citizen Watches Made?

Citizen watches and their components are all made in Japan.

This is where the company started with its target audience being the average Japanese person.

And now that the brand has grown exponentially, they now cater to people all around the world who want affordable and highly functional timepieces.

Are Citizen Watches Valuable?

Citizen watches, while they are on the more affordable side of things, are still pretty valuable.

That’s because they retain most of their value, especially when cared for properly.

They won’t be fetching prices like Rolex or Patek Philippe, but that’s because that was never the goal of the brand.

How Can I Tell If My Citizen Watch Is Real?

There are a couple of visual cues one can look at to determine whether or not a Citizen piece is real.

Firstly, you can take a good look at the case back, if you have a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe, it would help you greatly in this. 

Some Citizen models will have a serial number on the case back, but all of them will have a model number.

Another thing to look at is the dial, all Citizen watches are supposed to have the Citizen logo on the dial, so if one’s missing, it might be a fake.

Are Citizen Automatic Watches Good?

Citizen automatic watches are good timepieces, which has surprised a couple of people.

When compared to Seiko, another Japanese brand known for their automatic watches, Citizen definitely holds up.

The movement that they use is one that won’t fail, and when that’s paired with Citizen’s designs there’s no way you’ll have a sub-par watch.

Are Citizen Watches Swiss Made?

While the company was registered by a Swiss watchmaker, most Citizen timepieces and components are made in-house, in Japan.

However, there is an exception.

The Campagnola watches of Citizen are made by La Joux Perret, a brand based in Switzerland.

Are Citizen Watches Luxury?

The short answer is no.

Citizen watches, while great timepieces that are praised by a lot of connoisseurs and collectors all around are still mid-range watches.

That means that they don’t have the same prestige as other designer brands out there.

That being said, Citizen still has a rich heritage, deep history, and a lot of love from the horological community. 

What Is The Model Number Of My Citizen Watch?

The model number of your watch can be found at the case back of any Citizen piece.

All Citizen watches have a model number that can be used to check the legitimacy and also be used to access the settings instruction manual on the Citizen website.

Do Eco-Drive Watches Last Forever?

While it might be nice to have a watch that lasts forever, the Eco-Drive sadly doesn’t last forever.

However, this watch can still last an incredibly long time.

Citizen claims that the battery and solar panel on the watch can serve the user for up to 10 years before needing a change.

Aside from that, the lubricants inside the watch are designed not to harden for up to 20 years.

That means that if you take care of the piece right, you’ll have a Citizen Eco-Drive watch to last you decades on end.

Do Citizen Eco-Drive Watches Need New Batteries?

While the solar panel is there to regularly power the watch, the battery on an Eco-Drive model will still need to be replaced after some time.

However, the difference is, while most quartz pieces would need a replacement every three years or so, you will only have to replace the battery after about 10 years on an Eco-Drive.

Are Citizen And Casio The Same Company?

While they are easily confused and mixed up, Citizen and Casio are completely separate Japanese watch companies that are popular worldwide. 

A lot of the pieces of these brands share similarities, but Citizen watches are more for those who enjoy a more analog look and Casio watches are for those that prefer a more modern and sleek look.

Are Citizen Watches Cheaper In Japan?

Depending on where you live, Citizen watches could be cheaper in Japan.

But this isn’t because of a drastic price difference but more because of the volatility of the Japanese Yen.

Do Citizen Watches Have A Lifetime Warranty?

No, Citizen watches can come with one of two warranty policies.

A three-year limited warranty with a one-year international guarantee, which is the standard warranty that comes with all their quartz and automatic pieces.

The other one is a five-year limited warranty with a one-year international guarantee, which is usually reserved for the Eco-Drive and Promaster models of Citizen.

Do Citizen Watches Have Serial Numbers?

This will depend on the watch you have.

Some Citizen watches out there do have serial numbers, which can be found on the case back.

However, if you can’t find one on yours that doesn’t mean that you have a fake because not all of these watches have serial numbers.

The more important thing to check out is the model number, as all of Citizen’s watches have one.

Do Citizen Eco-Drive Watches Need Servicing?

While the technology on Eco-Drive watches is different from most watches, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it serviced.

Getting a watch serviced every 3-5 years is standard watch care that every watch lover should know.

Just remember to only bring the watch to a licensed professional or a shop that is very well-trusted to make sure nothing goes wrong and no mistakes are made when servicing the watch.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve finished reading through my Citizen watches review, have you been able to pick up any model yet?

I hope that you have.

And don’t forget to share with me which model you would settle upon.

I’m always eager to hear!