Citizen BM8180-03E Review – Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Watch

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Citizen released the Eco-Drive movement with one idea serving as its foundation: a watch that never needs a battery. This is because unlike the ever popular Quartz, automatic, and mechanical movements the Eco-Drive is powered by light.

And in this Citizen BM8180-03E review, we take a look at how Citizen perfectly fused innovative ideas with classic watch design.

Setting The Time

Before diving into this watch, you first would have to set the time. As with most analog watches, the time and date are set with the crown.

Simply pull the crown out one click to set the date, and two clicks to set the time. The BM8180-03E’s crown is the perfect size as it’s easy to pull out, while not being too large that it looks imposing on the wrist.

Military-Influenced Design

Citizen BM8180-03E close up

At its core, the BM8180-03E is a military style watch. But unlike the big, bulky watches that are rising in popularity, the BM8180-03E keeps things small and sleek with its 37mm case.

In fact, it’s one of the smallest men’s watches you can find today. The size is about perfect for people like me, who have small wrists and generally prefer the small, sleek look.

The polished, stainless steel case blends perfectly with the green canvass strap that the watch comes with. Pair all that with the watch’s mineral crystal and you have a sleek, but sturdy looking watch.

Classic Dial

On the BM8180-03E’s dial, you get a classic, military style dial, that is simply a joy to look at.

There isn’t one thing that stands out with the dial design, but the proportions and the layout of everything are perfect.

Giving off a very balanced feel to the design. The black dial, with the white markers, skeleton hands, and red seconds hand, has a beautiful contrast that makes the reading the time a very convenient endeavor. The fully numerical markers are large enough to be read easily but not too large that it looks tacky.

On the right side of the dial is the day/date window provides the watch with even more functionality. To add to the sleek dial design, the watch also has full lumination on its hands and markers.

The fact that Citizen put lumination on the markers makes reading the watch in the dark just as easy as it is to read during the day.

Good Water Resistance

If all that wasn’t enough for you, the BM8180-03E is also water resistant up to 100 meters, which means you can wear it for most water activities.

However, as this isn’t a diving watch, I do not recommend using the watch for diving or even just frequent swimming.

Because while the watch can hold its own against 100 meters of water pressure, the gaskets are not designed for frequent or sustained water pressure.

An Eco-Friendly Movement

Citizen BM8180-03E on wrist

Probably the biggest selling point of the BM8180-03E is its innovative movement, which has been dubbed by Citizen as the Eco-Drive movement.

Citizen’s Eco-Drive movement is arguably the most respected solar-powered movement in the horology world and has been proving it’s worth for over 20 years.

It works by converting light energy (sunlight or artificial) into electric energy using solar cells placed at the back of the watch. Because of this movement, you won’t have to get the battery replaced yearly like with quartz watches, but you will have to replace the battery eventually.

All the light energy converted into electrical energy gets stored in a small rechargeable battery in the watch that Citizen has claimed to last 10 years before needing replacement (better than annual replacements, if you ask me).

No More Changing Battery Regularly

By far the best part about this movement is that you will never have to worry about the battery suddenly dying.

When fully charged, the battery has around 6 months of power reserved and only needs 12-45 hours (depending on the intensity) of light to get to a full charge again.

However, unlike automatic movements you don’t have to wear this watch every day to sustain its battery since it has a lot of power reserved from charging, so even wearing this watch once a week would be enough to keep it charged!

In Conclusion

The Citizen BM8180-03E is a watch with a strong and sleek design that can go well with both casual and formal wear. Citizen has mastered the art of fusing two different concepts with the Eco-Drive collection, and the BM8180-03E is definitely a highlight in the collection due to how flexible the design can be.

The watch has everything that you need in a watch and keeps in a small, non-imposing case, and if your taste is like mine and you prefer the small watches, this watch should be at the top of your list of what watch to buy.

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Citizen BM8180-03E
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My name is Rob, and I'm a watch enthusiast by heart. I love writing about impressive watches that could make people stand out. And I'm also an amateur collector who loves to share his collection with everyone. Feel free to connect with me whenever you want.