If you’re looking for good quality yet affordable watches then you’re likely to run into the Citizen brand. The company has been making watches for more then a 100 years and is therefore well established in the world of watchmaking. However, many people wonder how good their watches actually are? Let’s find out!
Are Citizen watches good? Yes, Citizen watches are good. That’s because the company uses good quality materials. Furthermore, the company is on the forefront of affordable innovation. Finally, their watches sell for between $100 – $450 which is excellent value for money.
Now that you’ve gotten a quick answer it’s time to dive into a bit more detail. Let’s first find out why Citizen watches are actually considered to be good watches. After that we’ll see if Citizen watches are reliable and if they hold their value. Finally, we’ll review some of their best watches to see which ones are actually best.
Why Are Citizen Watches Good?
In order to see if a watch is actually good we’ll have to look at different aspects of the watch. In this subheading we’ll look at the use of materials, craftsmanship, the movements that Citizen watches use, their innovation and also their general price point.
Use Of Materials
Let’s first start by examining the kind of materials that Citizen uses to produce its watches. Since this Japanese company mainly sells watches in the $100 – $450 range I wouldn’t expect any luxury materials.
Indeed, that’s also not the case. Citizen watches normally have a stainless steel case. This case is attached to a strap (genuine leather) or bracelet (stainless steel). On the higher end of the spectrum you’ll find Citizen watches that are made out of titanium which is a very high-quality material.
When you buy a watch that is made out of stainless steel and/or leather then the cover of the dial is most likely made out of mineral glass. Mineral glass is a good material because it’s a lot more scratch-resistant than acrylic glass which is used in some cheaper watches. If you opt to go for the titanium watches you can expect the mineral to be changed for sapphire crystal which is probably the best material that can be used to protect the dial.
When we look at the craftsmanship of a Citizen watch it becomes clear that this isn’t its strong suit. Because of their price point Citizen watches are mass-produced. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since Citizen is a brand that is considered to make very high-quality mass-produced watches.
Since Citizen is a Japanese brand most of their production takes place in Japan. However, Citizen also has many other watch brands in its portfolio (such as Bulova, Campanola, Q&Q and many others). Because the company owns so many other companies its production also takes place all around the world.
For example, Citizen watches that make use of a tuning-fork are primarily made in the United States. Furthermore, France is responsible for the brands electrical watches while Switzerland produces the watch jewels. Also, they have other production plants in countries such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany, India and Mexico.
Luckiliy, the strict quality control of Citizen makes sure that all watches that they produce are of high quality for a mass produced watch. However, if you’re looking for a timepiece that was put together with great detail and that has had a lot of human interference then a Citizen watch most likely isn’t going to be your top pick.
Now, let’s move on to the movements of Citizen watches. As one can understand a watch brand that mass-produces watches has to have some sort of special advantage. For Citizen this has been creating innovative and practical movements.
For example, Citizen has their Eco-Drive watches. Eco-Drive watches are watches that are powered by any form of light, whether this be artificial of natural light. This is a huge advantage compared to quartz watches of which you’ll need to replace the battery after a certain amount of time.
This means your watch will never run out of charge and you’ll never have to change the battery. Therefore, Eco-Drive watches last an incredibly long time of 10 years or more.
Because of this, and their affordable price range of $100 – $200, Citizen watches are very popular. Also, because Citizen has invented this movement and also has the patent to it, they have a unique selling point compared to other comparable brands like Seiko.
Citizen was first founded in 1918 which means the company has been in business for more then a 100 years. Normally a company can only achieve that if they’re able to innovate and meet the demands of the market. Luckily for Citizen that’s exactly what they have done throughout the years.
For example, in 1956 the company introduced their Parashock watch which was the first Japanese watch with a shock absorber. In 1959 they followed this up with the Parawater which was Japans first waterproof wrist watch.
In 1962 the company kept innovating by introducing the Diamond Flake, an officially certified chronometer and at the time it was also the world’s thinnest men’s wristwatch with center seconds. Only two years later they followed this up with the X-8 which was Japans first electronically regulated wristwatch.
In 1976 the company laid its foundation for their move into solar-powered watches with the introduction of the Cryston Solar Cell. This was actually a worlds first. In 1981 they introduced the worlds most water-resistant watch (up to 1300(!) meters) with the Professional Divers watch.
In 1987 they produced the worlds first voice controlled watch which was named the Voice Master. After that the company started focussing on their production of Eco-Drive watches and the technology that goes into such a watch.
The final reason why Citizen watches are considered to be good watches is because of their price. As was already said earlier, Citizen watches normally have a price tag between $100 – $450. However, their affordability doesn’t mean that the watches are of bad quality. Quite the opposite actually as we’ve outlined above. For this reason Citizen is considered to be a brand on par with Seiko which also makes excellent, affordable watches.
Are Citizen Watches Reliable?
Yes, Citizen watches are very reliable. This is because they use good-quality materials. Also, they have very strict quality control and the movements that they produce are innovate and of high-quality.
But that’s not all. Citizen watches are also very reliable because Citizen has different kinds of warranties on the watches that they sell. First of all, they have a 3 year warranty that covers all their automatic and quartz watches. It doesn’t matter in which country you bought the watch as long as it was bought from an authorized dealer. In the first year this is actually an international warranty
Furhtermore, Citizen Eco-Drive or Promaster watches actually have a five year warranty which is quite special for watches in this price range. As with the 3 year warranty the same rules apply: you need to have bought the watch from an authorized dealer and it’s a one year international warranty in the first year.
The limited warranty covers any problems that can be traced back to the manufacturing process or the use of materials. As a rule of thumb Citizen tries to get the watch back to you within 45 working days. If they’re not able to repair the watch within the specified timeframe then you’ll most likely receive a replacement.
Do Citizen Watches Hold Their Value?
No, Citizen watches do not hold their value. There are several reasons for that. First of all there’s the fact that Citizen watches aren’t considered to be luxury items. As a rule of thumb only luxury watches have a chance of holding their value in the long run.
Secondly, there’s the fact that watches as a category aren’t very good in holding their value. Of course there will always be watches that will eventually appreciate but in general watches will lose a lot of value. Expect your watch to lose around 10-20% of its value per year in the first three years. After that depreciation will normally come to a halt.
Nevertheless, that still means that 30-60% of your money will be out the window after three years of wear and tear. Since Citizen watches are very affordable I also wouldn’t get my hopes up on them appreciating eventually.
If you are indeed looking for a watch that holds it value then it’s best to buy a second-hand watch. That’s because these watches have already experience their depreciation and you won’t lose 30-60% of your money anymore. Also, it’s best to buy a watch that costs $1.000+ because these watches are more collectible than $100 – $400 watches.
A Review Of Different Citizen Models
Now that you know if Citizen watches are actually any good it’s time to see which of their watches are the best. To keep everything smooth and simple I’ve compiled a list of the three best watches that I think should be on the list. Let’s check them out!
Citizen Eco-Drive Stainless Steel (BM8180-03E)
This Citizen Eco-Drive watch is probably one of the best everyday watches that the Japanese company has ever made. It features an accurate quartz movement which is powered by the Eco-Drive system. Again, this means the watch never has to be charged which is ideal for daily use.
Furthermore the case is made out of durable stainless steel and attached to an army green canvas strap. When we look at the dial of the watch it’s clear that the white numbers contrast very well with the black background. Also, the watch has a day-date display at the 3’o clock mark.
To top it all off the dial of the watch is protected by mineral glass which is very durable while also being very affordable. While we’re on the subject of price you must also know that you’re able to buy this watch for $130 – $160.
Citizen Promaster Professional Diver (N0151-09L)
If you’re looking for a dive watch then the Promaster Professional is definitely an option you should consider. The watch isn’t really subtle and that’s personally what I like about it. The 48mm case is made out of stainless steel and connected to a blue, molded polyurethane strap.
Just as the other watches on this list the movement of this watch is a quartz one that is powered by the Eco-Drive system. One of the most positive aspects of this watch is the fact that it has a blue dial with very large hour markers and hands. This means that the readability of the watch is excellent, even when scuba diving.
If you really want to take this watch scuba diving it’s good to know that it can go 200 meters underwater before breaking. Expect to spend around $200 if you want one!
Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chronograph (AT4010-50E)
Now, let’s move on to one of the most complicated watches that Citizen has ever produced. The name itself is already a mouthful. However, I had to include this watch on the list because it provides excellent value for money.
Let’s start at the beginning. Both the case of the watch and the bracelet are made out of titanium. Titanium is of course a very durable material. The same can be said about the sapphire glass that protects the dial. Sapphire glass is much more scratch-resistant than mineral glass and therefore it’s an excellent choice.
Now, let’s move on to the complications. The perpetual chronograph is not only capable of displaying the correct time. The one second chronograph measures up to 60 minutes. Furthermore it also has a perpetual calendar, radio controlled time zones, 12 and 24 hour display, an alarm and a power reserve indicator.
If you want to pick one up you can expect to spend around $350.