Citizen Eco-Drive vs Seiko Automatic


Citizen and Seiko are two of the world’s largest watch companies. Their low-cost watches make it possible to own a variety of different types and styles of watches without breaking the bank. Their commitment to producing and developing watches at an affordable price point with quality that outlasts its value has made both brands popular among people in need of a watch as well as collectors.

Citizen Eco-Drive is ideal for those looking for an accurate watch that is inexpensive to maintain but has a limited lifespan. Seiko automatics are for people who want the romantic idea of a watch that doesn’t use any electronic technology, but they are more expensive to maintain and can theoretically last forever.

The debate over whether Citizen Eco-Drive or Seiko automatic transmissions are superior is lengthy. You can read about the benefits and drawbacks of Citizen and Seiko watches throughout this post.

Which is superior, the Citizen Eco-Drive or the Seiko Automatic?

It is difficult to make a direct comparison between the two brands. Seiko produces some high-quality automatic watches. Citizen Eco-drive watches, on the other hand, are typically in the entry-level range. However, if we stick to the entry-level watches, we must draw a conclusion!

The conclusion is based on what the majority of people looking to compare a Citizen Eco-Drive watch to a Seiko automatic watch would look for in a watch in that price range.

Citizen Eco-Drive watches are better for people who are willing to accept a 20-year lifespan (which is not that limited). The benefit is lower maintenance costs and very accurate timekeeping.

Seiko automatic watches are better for people looking for watches with a rich history and high precision engineering that will last a lifetime. Higher maintenance costs are the price.

The reason a Citizen Eco-Drive will be a better watch for most people when comparing the Citizen to the Seiko is simply because the Citizen Eco-Drive watches are less expensive and require less maintenance.

If properly cared for, automatic watches can outlast Eco-Drive watches. While the Eco-Drive watches have a “only” 20-year lifespan, they will be suitable for most people purchasing a watch in the Citizen’s price range.

If you want a reliable and durable watch, Seiko’s popular model, SKX007, is a solid option that you can find at a great price on Amazon.

When comparing Citizen Eco-Drive watches to Seiko automatic watches, most people will prefer the Citizen Eco-Drive watches. Because of the technology of capacitors and quartz watches, the Citizen Eco-Drive movement has a limited lifespan. In contrast, with proper care, an automatic watch can last forever. Citizen Eco-drive watches are all-in-one watches in terms of durability and usability. Citizen watches are reasonably priced on Amazon, and there is a large selection of watches to suit your taste.

Another factor to consider is that Seiko prefers a more traditional appearance. Citizen, on the other hand, is very experimental in their styles. As a result, the Seiko’s broad appeal and style may prevail.

If I were to buy a Seiko automatic watch, I would choose the Seiko Diver SKX007. It is a popular diver watch, it is visually appealing, and it has a large number of spare parts, making it inexpensive to service (also at the jeweller or watchmaker).

If I had to choose between two Citizen Eco-Drive watches, I would go with the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive. It has a lovely blue dial, as well as a stainless steel case and bracelet. It reminds me of my Omega Seamaster Professional 300M, which I adore and use on a daily basis.

There is no right or wrong answer when choosing between a Citizen Eco-Drive watch and a Seiko automatic watch. It all depends on what you look for in a watch as a consumer. They both have advantages and disadvantages.

Background Information on Citizens

Citizen was first registered in Switzerland in 1918 for watches sold in Japan. The Citizen brand’s mission throughout the 1920s was to make watches affordable to the general public.

Citizen is a large corporation, not just a single watchmaker. Citizen has divided their corporation into numerous divisions. One division handles watch sales (Japan CBM Corporation), another manufactures automotive parts, LCD cells, watch face components, and so on (Citizen Seimitsu Co., LTD.), and yet another manufactures the actual movements (Citizen Miyota Co., LTD).

Citizen Eco-Drive timepiece

Citizen has acquired other watch brands such as Bulova, Frederique Constant, and Arnold & Son while developing their watches. Citizen acquired Bulova in January 2008, making them the world’s largest watchmaker. Citizen acquired the Swiss Frederique Constant Group in 2016.

Citizen was established in 1930 by Swiss and Japanese investors. The Citizen brand took over what was previously known as the Shokosha Watch Research Institute, which was founded in 1918. Citizen received some assembly plants as part of that takeover.

Citizen is currently the world’s largest watchmaker. They earn around $3 billion per year.

Inventions by Ordinary People

Citizen was the first watchmaker to release a multi-band atomic timekeeping watch. When synchronised to atomic timekeeping, an accuracy of up to 1 second is obtained within 100.000 years.

Miyota, a Citizen-owned company, introduced the UHF movement in 2010. A quartz movement with a frequency of 262.144 Hz, as opposed to a regular quartz watch with a frequency of 32768 Hz. The UHF movement is said to be accurate to within 10 seconds per year. A sweeping hand, rather than a ticking hand, was introduced as a novel feature.

Citizen desired something that the other kids on the playground did not have with the introduction of solar power. As a result, Citizen devised the brilliant idea of Eco-Drive Technology.

Underneath the dial is a solar panel. The Eco-Drive technology does not rely on a traditional battery, but rather on a capacitor (basically a rechargeable battery). Furthermore, the energy is stored in capacitors that are part of the Eco-Drive technology.

Eco-Drive Technology by Citizen

Citizen Eco-Drive Technology is essentially a solar panel that has been integrated into a quartz watch. However, the technology is more than just a solar panel, as you have never seen the actual solar panel on a Citizen Eco-Drive watch – so where is it?

Eco-Drive technology was first introduced in Asia and Europe in 1995. The main source of concern with Eco-Drive technology is the light-absorbing plate beneath the dial. This means that an unsightly brown/black rectangular solar panel does not detract from the watch’s appearance.

The fact that the actual solar panel cannot be seen is what makes the Citizen Eco-Drive watches appealing. An Eco-Drive watch can run for 6 months without any light sources on a full charge. The Eco-ability Drive’s to charge via natural and artificial light is what makes it so spectacular. A full charge takes only 11 hours on a sunny day (and lasts 6 months in complete darkness). Simply expose the watch to light, any light, to charge it:

With 100,000 lux, a full charge takes 11 hours (equivalent to a sunny day). A full day’s use of the watch requires only 2 minutes of charging time.

With 10,000 lux, a full charge takes 40 hours (equivalent to a cloudy day). One day of full use of the watch requires only 12 minutes of charging time.

With 1,000 lux, a full charge takes 130 hours (equivalent to a dark office). Charging time for one day of full use of the watch is 40 minutes.

With the technology being able to store energy from as little as 1,000 lux, it is safe to say that the watch will not require direct sunlight, even if you spend the majority of your time in the dark corners of the office. Furthermore, the capacitor is never required to be replaced (rechargeable battery, fundamentally).

The energy is stored across a number of integrated capacitors that cannot be changed. Some models have a removable capacitor/rechargeable battery to back up the capacitors, which is used if the integrated capacitors run out of energy. Most Eco-Drive models will indicate when this level has been reached (internal energy storage is low) by the second hand jumping 2 seconds per tick every 2 seconds.

How long does the Citizen Eco-Drive programme last?

Citizen Eco-Drive watches are designed to last at least ten years. On a full charge, the battery in the Eco-Drive watches can last between 45 days and 1,825 days (5 years). Citizen has conducted some experimental tests that show that solar cells and secondary batteries have a life expectancy of at least ten years. Furthermore, Citizen anticipates that the power storage capacity will function at approximately 80% efficiency after 20 years. The secondary batteries in the newer Citizen Eco-Drive watches are expected to last at least 40 years.

The battery life is determined by the model. Models with the power save feature will use the battery more efficiently than models without it. The power-saving feature turns off the watch when it detects darkness (for example, when placed on a nightstand), and when there is enough light again, the watch will remember the time it went to sleep, count the time forward, and automatically adjust.

While Citizen claims that the battery should never need to be replaced, the watches should still be serviced on a regular basis. If the watch is not properly cared for, it will not last more than 5 years. The gaskets that ensure water resistance and the lubrication that protects the gears wear out, and the watch begins to wear out.

Background Information on Seiko

In comparison to Citizen, Seiko is a much younger company. When Seiko was founded in 1881, it was only a watch and jewellery shop. After 11 years, the owner started making clocks. Seiko’s given name was “Seikosha,” but due to supernatural beliefs, the word glory could not be used (the sha part of Seiko-sha). As a result, the name was shortened to Seiko from Seikosha in 1924.

Seiko rose to prominence after inventing the first watch, the Astron. It was the world’s first quartz watch in mass production. In today’s money, the watch would cost around $8,000. Later, on an automatic watch with quartz accuracy, Seiko invented the self-energizing features. As a result, the movement can be propelled by everyday activities. The type of movement was dubbed Seiko Kinetic in 1991.

Seiko Diver’s Watch

Don’t be too surprised, but Seiko earns $35 billion per year. In comparison to Citizens’ $3 billion, Seiko has a significant advantage here. Seiko, on the other hand, has a plethora of other businesses that do not directly sell watches. Aside from watches, Seiko also manufactures shutters for cameras, production equipment, integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing and marketing, wholesale marketing of lenses and frames for glasses, and so on.

Seiko has a number of product lines. The Seiko 5, Presage, and Grand Seiko are the most well-known.

The various watch categories are used to segment customers. The Seiko 5 is one of their most well-known entry-level mechanical watches. Grand Seiko, on the other hand, is known for their high-end watches. The Seiko 5 is the most common wristwatch seen around the world. The Credor, on the other hand, is not widely known in the United States and Europe.

The Seiko 5 is a collection of numerous watches. Divers, strap options such as leather and steel, transparent or steel case backs are all available. In essence, a product line with a high degree of adaptability. The Presage is also regarded as an entry-level model by many. However, the price is slightly higher. Finally, there is the Grand Seiko, a luxury brand. When Seiko announced their intention to produce luxury watches, Grand Seiko encountered a lot of pushback. The criticism arose because Seiko was known for producing affordable entry-level watches of respectable, but not luxurious, quality.

Automatic Seiko Movements

In comparison to the Citizen Eco-Drive Technology, the Seiko is far less innovative and elegant. Since the 1770s, automatic watches have been in use. In contrast to Citizen, Seiko focuses on automatic movements rather than quartz. As a result, Seiko has focused more on automatic watches than quartz watches.

While Seiko is a low-cost brand of automatic watches, their movements should not be underestimated. They are extremely strong and long-lasting. You’re unlikely to hear a Seiko owner complain about the watch’s movement. Seiko watch owners are well aware that Seiko isn’t the most precise brand when it comes to automatic watches. They are, however, inexpensive to service, inexpensive to maintain, and long-lasting.

The 7S26A movement has been used in numerous watches and has withstood the test of time. The movement has been well received by many users. It has, however, been retired and replaced with a new reference number: 4R36. The 4R36 was introduced in 2011, replacing the 7S26A, and modern upgrades such as Seiko’s Diashock and movement hacking were added to the new 4R36 movement.

The Seiko Diashock system is a shock resistance system that increases the watch’s durability. Not that you should drop the watch all the time, but it should be able to withstand a few drops without being damaged. These watches are extremely long-lasting.

Seiko watches are popular among divers. For starters, they are inexpensive, so if something were to happen to the watch, it would not be as costly as using a Rolex Submariner. Furthermore, Seiko is known for producing extremely durable watches that can withstand a beating.

Automatic movements are built to last a lifetime because they are made of metallic components that can be replaced when they wear out. However, this entails service. The services should be performed every 3-5 years to ensure that the watch functions properly. However, the cost of servicing is what makes automatic watches more expensive than Citizen Eco-Drive watches.

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Seiko Automatic Watch?

If the owner(s) treat their Seiko automatic watch properly, it can last virtually indefinitely. This means that service intervals, abuse, and general watch care should be followed. An automatic watch can last indefinitely. Seiko is well-known for producing long-lasting automatic watches.

There are some good rules of thumb to follow when owning an automatic watch to ensure that it performs optimally for as long as possible:

Avoid objects that are highly magnetic. While a watch can be demagnetized, a full overhaul of the watch can be quite costly.

When setting the watch, stay out of the danger zone. The “danger zone” is defined as the time between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Most watches at the time had a date mechanism, and setting the watch could damage the components.

While many modern watches can withstand large shocks and everyday wear, they are not designed to withstand direct abuse. You should consider not wearing a watch if you are working on a high striker (carnival sledgehammer game).

If the watch is running 1 minute per day, it needs to be serviced by a jeweler/watchmaker.

Service intervals of 3-5 years are recommended for automatic watches of Seiko quality. The service should be as simple as a doctor’s check-up. Every ten years, the watch should be overhauled, which includes disassembling the watch, relubricating every part, replacing worn parts, and replacing gaskets.

AK Iqbal

A University of London’ student with a passion for writing. Clocks have always intrigued me and the importance that they have in our lives is way beyond phenomenal. So, on this site, I write everything about clocks, everything from answering any clock-related queries that you might have along with recommending some of my favorite clocks accordingly. Moreover, I will also be conducting some researches on clock related topics and sharing the things that I learn. So stay tuned to ohmyclock for all the fun clocks related content

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