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This will be my first post and first review so bear with me here. Been a long time lurker and have gotten a lot of useful information from the various threads at WUS, so I thought it's time I gave something back.

Brand: Citizen
Model: Eco-drive, Calibre 8700

Product Features:
- Retrograde Perpetual Calendar (nifty feature if you want to check what day a particular date was)
- Alarm
- Dual Time (the 2nd time also adjusts the calendar date, pretty useful if you're flying back and forth between international time zones)
- Month/Day/Year
- 24 Hour Time
- Water Resistance 100m

This is my first and only Citizen watch. Being an avid watch collector, I'm always on the lookout for any new and distinctive features that may set apart a propective acquisition from the thousands of other models that look and function like each other. Aside from being an ecodrive, the retrograde perpetual calendar function got my attention, and so a new addition to my watch family is introduced.

Let me just say that my first opinion of the eco-drive was that it was absolute garbage. After wearing it a few weeks, the various dials started to malfunction, and pretty soon the watch stopped working altogether. This however was my fault. Not realizing that eco-drive actually meant solar powered, I thought that the regular exposure it had to indoor lights was enough to get it going. Keep in mind that the only experience I have with anything solar-powered was my pocket calculator which works well enough under normal indoor lighting. I called the service center and was told that I should leave it under a lamp for 12 hours to recharge the batteries. I did what was advised, but although the watch started working again, the calendar and alarm functions were all screwed up with dials pointing at blank spaces and at some point, even the mode dial refused to work. It was then that I stuffed the watch deep into in my desk drawer and summarily decided that I had bought a lemon.

Luckily for me I was able to correct my opinion several months later when i chanced upon a store selling eco-drives at my local department store. Eager for some small manner of retribution for the money i spent on that watch, I proceeded to berate the poor sales lady about the crappiness of their watch and the gall they had of continuing to sell what was in my opinion at the time, complete garbage. Probably attracted by the commotion I was making, the sales distributor for the eco-drive who happened to be there, approached me and calmly started asking me a series of questions about my particular experience with the watch. I could tell from his question that he had done this numerous times before, and after I was done, I was told to do 2 things. Put the eco-drive under direct sunlight for 8 hours, and read the instruction manual that came with the watch.

Let's just say that I have now revised my earlier opinion of the eco-drive. It is now my third favorite watch, right after my Omega Seamaster and Panerai Luminor Marina. And for those of you having problems with your eco-drives let me leave you with these few tips:

1. The eco-drive is not an automatic watch, do not treat it as such. Wearing it everyday, even out in the sun, does not constitute it getting a full charge. Leave your watch near a window with lots of sunlight for at least 4 hours a week, to ensure it's batteries are replenished.
2. Any function aside from basic timekeeping, puts a larger drain on your watch's power reserves. Which means you will have to charge your watch more often.
3. Your watch will tell you when it's power reserves are low. If you notice the second hand moving every 2 seconds instead of 1, that means its time to charge your watch.
4. If your watch's dials get out of alignment, that is probably because you attempted to access a feature, like the calendar or local time, and drained your battery in the process. The watch has an auto-power cut-off feature which will stop your function in mid-stride causing some watches to lose alignment. When this happens you will need to fully charge your watch under direct sunlight first before attempting to re-adjust or reset your watch. Aligning or adjusting your watch at low power reserves, will only result in further misalignment.
5. Do not attempt to fiddle with your watch without reading the manual. (I learned this the hard way) Some watch models require you to go through certain steps in order. Not doing so may cause your watch to malfunction, forcing you to do a reset.
6. Indoor lighting will help in charging your watch but to get a really good charge going, use sunlight. Just don't put it under direct sunlight, you might deform the casing. Remember it's not the heat you're after but the brightness of the source.

Hoped this helped some of you.
 

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Greetings!

I purchased my Citizen Eco-Drive Calibre 8700 back in 2005 and its worked flawlessly until this year. My dial for the day of the week, leap year and On/Off for the alarm was pointing to the incorrect location (it was pointing to LY when it should have been pointing to the day of the week). I tried to fix my day of the week from the calendar function but it wouldn't go earlier than Wed. I then did the all reset feature which fixed that dial but now my day of the month is showing half way b/w the numbers which makes it almost impossible to tell which day of the month it is. I've tried doing two more resets to fix the day of the month but it always shows up between the days as soon as I go to set the day of the week. Based upon your review it sounds like you had a similar problem with the dials being out of whack and I was curious what you did to correct the problem.

I usually leave my watch under a lamp with a CFL bulb for 5 to 6 hours every night before going to bed to make sure I don't lose my charge when its dark while I'm sleeping. I did notice just 2 weeks ago that my watch had the incorrect time which I suspect might have been caused by the watch not having a sufficient charge. Maybe with my watch being 7 years old the secondary battery needs to be replaced?

Thanks for any help you can provide. I've been searching like crazy online for a solution and that's how I found your post.

Take care,
Brian
 

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Brand: Citizen
Model: Eco-drive, Calibre 8700

Let's just say that I have now revised my earlier opinion of the eco-drive. It is now my third favorite watch, right after my Omega Seamaster and Panerai Luminor Marina. And for those of you having problems with your eco-drives let me leave you with these few tips:

1. The eco-drive is not an automatic watch, do not treat it as such. Wearing it everyday, even out in the sun, does not constitute it getting a full charge. Leave your watch near a window with lots of sunlight for at least 4 hours a week, to ensure it's batteries are replenished.
2. Any function aside from basic timekeeping, puts a larger drain on your watch's power reserves. Which means you will have to charge your watch more often.
3. Your watch will tell you when it's power reserves are low. If you notice the second hand moving every 2 seconds instead of 1, that means its time to charge your watch.
4. If your watch's dials get out of alignment, that is probably because you attempted to access a feature, like the calendar or local time, and drained your battery in the process. The watch has an auto-power cut-off feature which will stop your function in mid-stride causing some watches to lose alignment. When this happens you will need to fully charge your watch under direct sunlight first before attempting to re-adjust or reset your watch. Aligning or adjusting your watch at low power reserves, will only result in further misalignment.
5. Do not attempt to fiddle with your watch without reading the manual. (I learned this the hard way) Some watch models require you to go through certain steps in order. Not doing so may cause your watch to malfunction, forcing you to do a reset.
6. Indoor lighting will help in charging your watch but to get a really good charge going, use sunlight. Just don't put it under direct sunlight, you might deform the casing. Remember it's not the heat you're after but the brightness of the source.

Hoped this helped some of you.
Thanks! That was very helpful. In my head I was imagining these watches to just work for a decade or two. I'm not going to ever be able to keep this thing charged for four years straight, so I know not to bother with a perpetual calendar! Maybe I'll get a cheap model with just two hands and a white dial and see if I can keep it charged in the cloudy belgian weather... or gradually upsell myself to a seiko kinetic that costs hundreds more, or maybe one of the ones with a 10 year battery :)
 

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I just picked up my very own Calibre 8700 a week ago. I have to say, I really enjoy this watch! The price is very good, and I've gotten some wonderful compliments on it so far. Definitely a keeper in my book!
 

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Hello All!

I am brand spanking new to good watches, and indeed this is a burgeoning interest of mine.

I recently came upon a CITIZEN CALIBRE 8700 ALARM ECO-DRIVE (product number: BL8004-53E) watch, steel band with gold two-tone and black face.

Upon reading these reviews I am left with a concern. I am wondering about the direct sunlight needs.

Being in Scandinavia, and in the south of Sweden, direct sunlight can be difficult to come by. In particular during the winter months where total sunlight can be as little as 7 hours with 100% clear skies (but to be honest, sunny winter days can be few and far between). Will the battery get a charge at all from cloud cover sunlight and with such restricted time?

I cannot see myself investing great time and effort to maintain the battery, which I suspect may already make a purchase of this watch a waste, but I just needed a little confirmation of the reliability in cloud cover and such.

Thanks in advance.

-Brian
 

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Hello, and welcome to WUS Brian!

To answer your question- your watch should function just fine as long as you give it a couple hours of daylight a week. It only takes 1-2 minutes in direct sunlight (provided it's available) to recharge a full day's worth of power usage, and a bit longer in indirect sunlight. I also have found, in a pinch, that the watch can be charged when placed directly under a household light for a couple hours if need be.
 

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Thanks SRConcept!

That was a pleasant and unexpected endorsement. Although now I am faced with a different conundrum... how to buy the watch without my wife finding out :think:.

:-!

-Brian
 

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I've owned a perpetual calander Eco-drive with the 8700 for over two years and not had any issues with charging. It frequently can sit on my bedside unit for a week, not receiving any direct sunlight in a dimly lit room.

The watch has always functioned perfectly. Occasionally the second hand will stop due to low power if the watch is covered up for a few hours under my sleeve for example, but spins round to the right time as soon as it receives light.

I don't have any charging regime and just let the watch do its thing. I would agree with earlier comments on reading the instructions fully and carrying out a full reset after the watch has had a couple of hours charge out the box.
 

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Bringing this back from the dead. I recently acquired one of these watches. I have had citizens in the past with good luck. It amazes me that these cheaper watches draw more attention then my higher end ones. I must say after getting the time and everything taken care of, I would recommend this to anyone that is on a budget. The watch wears very well and is comfortable. I am amazed at how crisp the dial is also. Only thing I am not a fan of is the pull out crown. I prefer a screw down. So far no complaints at all, a lot of cool features for the money.
 

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Hello,

I have set my eyes on this watch as well. :) Amazon has the watch for $281 while newegg.com has it for $199. That is a big difference. Should i be wary of fakes out there?

Can someone answer this - without pulling out the crown, will depressing either of those 2 buttons around the crown cause any of the settings to change? My kids like to press buttons of watches just for fun (big surprise!). My wife got a stunning looking Kenneth cole for my birthday. That darn watch would change settings without pulling the crown out by pressing the buttons. The watch was not broken. That's how it's designed! Can you believe it? i had to return the watch, something I did not want to do. :(
 

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Thanks! That was very helpful. In my head I was imagining these watches to just work for a decade or two. I'm not going to ever be able to keep this thing charged for four years straight, so I know not to bother with a perpetual calendar!
Update: I went ahead and splurged on the 8700 with white face and black leather band half a year ago, and I am loving it so far! I wear it most days, and I have never once had to charge it deliberately, despite spending most of that time in rainy Belgium, and in the winter when the days are shorter. While I have gone long periods of time with the watch in time mode, I usually leave it in calendar mode, since the accurate and complete date display is what sets this watch apart. (Also, no non-radio watch is accurate to seconds anyway). Note, the stationary seconds hand probably saves some power, and (I think) that means you don't see the low power indication, so it's possible that the battery got almost depleted some time in the last half year and I wouldn't have known. It's also possible the white face lets more light through than other models, which was part of the reason I chose it.

The only downsides I've experienced so far are:
1. The deployment buckle comes undone occasionally where it goes through the hole in the band, although I've only ever noticed it when putting the watch back on, so it could be something about how I take it off, or it could only manifest when the watch is in my pocket for protection from rain or work hazards. A deployment I bought on e-bay for another watch has the same problem, so perhaps getting a deployment right is harder than timekeeping...
2. It's heavy enough, and the crown protrudes enough, that it can hurt when riding a bicycle on rough roads, unless I push it up my arm, or take my watch hand off the handlebar.
3. You need to pull the crown partway to switch between date and time modes, and it's not hard to pull it out too far and accidentally disturb the time.
4. The lume doesn't last all night, so I can't say it's night-readable.

I think it looks fantastic, especially up close, and I feel like I can really trust both the time and the date to be accurate and 100% available, something I can't say about ANY of my other devices. IMHO, this is the nicest watch available sub $300.
 

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Can someone answer this - without pulling out the crown, will depressing either of those 2 buttons around the crown cause any of the settings to change? My kids like to press buttons of watches just for fun (big surprise!).
I would read the manual before buying any watch with functions, to make sure it does what you think it does, but I can confirm that you can't change any settings via buttons while the crown is pushed in. The lower button doesn't do anything, and the upper button momentarily changes the flyback from day-of-week to leap year phase.
 

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Hello All!

I am brand spanking new to good watches, and indeed this is a burgeoning interest of mine.

I recently came upon a CITIZEN CALIBRE 8700 ALARM ECO-DRIVE (product number: BL8004-53E) watch, steel band with gold two-tone and black face.

Upon reading these reviews I am left with a concern. I am wondering about the direct sunlight needs.

Being in Scandinavia, and in the south of Sweden, direct sunlight can be difficult to come by. In particular during the winter months where total sunlight can be as little as 7 hours with 100% clear skies (but to be honest, sunny winter days can be few and far between). Will the battery get a charge at all from cloud cover sunlight and with such restricted time?

I cannot see myself investing great time and effort to maintain the battery, which I suspect may already make a purchase of this watch a waste, but I just needed a little confirmation of the reliability in cloud cover and such.

Thanks in advance.

-Brian
Hello Brian, you raise some reasonable questions. Here is what I have learned:
I was given an 8700 as a Christmas present by my wife in 2010. It ran perfectly until last month when the battery went un-revivably dead. $40 later, new battery installed and watch runs again. Don't want to minimize the need for the instruction book. If the reset order isn't right you'll find doing so most frustrating. My son got the same watch that Christmas, and it continues to function well. Murphy strikes again. In answer to your original question, neither of us do anything special to charge up the battery. He doesn't wear his every day nor do I. That said, we are both in
California. Though it rains a lot where he lives and I am in Southern California where there is no shortage of sun. In your situation I might consider a Seiko Kinetic instead. Whatever you decide to buy wear it in good health. I find the Citizen a reliable, accurate and attractive time piece I am always proud to wear.
-Rix
 
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