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Hi everyone,

New member to the forum, although I have been reading posts / opinions and discussions on here for some time - great source !

I have a bit of a collection and have always entertained the idea of budget timepieces (definitely prefer known watchmakers, rather than designer watches), partly because I can't seem to satisfy my urge with a single watch and I know I'll end up wanting another soon after; and partly because my lovely wife would have my behind if I started hashing out larger sums on my little "obsession".

That being said, I am interested in adding to my collection with either a Citizen or a Seiko, neither of which I have and long been thinking of. I have however purchased both brands as gifts (ironically one of them being a nice titanium Citizen eco-drive for my wife). After some searching, I've come across the three options below that sparked my interest. I would very much appreciate any feedback / input and opinions on this or any alternatives that would fall in this price range ($99-$150).

1. Citizen Eco-Drive AW0031-52E

2.
Seiko Kinetic SKA603

3.
Seiko SNQ101

Citizen Eco-drive AW0031-52E.jpg Seiko Kinetic SKA603.jpg Seiko SNQ101.jpg


Many thanks in advance for your responses !

Cheers,
C.
 

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Personally, I like the perpetual calendar, but it has an integrated bracelet. I would probably opt for the Eco-Drive over the Kinetic if you're going to be switching out for different watches.
 

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Hi and welcome to WUS! Of the three I like the Citizen first for it's attractive design and second for it's Eco Drive (solar cell) movement. For several reasons the SNQ design is not very attractive.
 

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I have several Seikos and very many Citizens and my vote goes to the Eco Drive for the same reasons mentioned by John MS.

The very few problems I have had with my watches were due to seldom used Kinetics. You can leave an Eco-Drive in front of a window when not in use but Kinetics require more complicate solutions.
 

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Another vote for the Eco-Drive. Rock solid, great finishing for the price and very good looking, IMHO, as well.
 

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It is reported that it might cause defects on the batteries/capacitors if it discharges. So if you don't want to bother about that, an ecodrive is more convenient, as it has been said above. Just keep it somewhere exposed to light.
If you tend to use the watch frequently, there's nothing wrong with the kinetic. I have a 1995 Seiko Kinetic Sport 150 5M23-6B50 that I keep wound and haven't had any problems so far. I'm not sure though if the battery was ever replaced before I inherited it.
 

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Yet another vote for Citizen. I think that's one of the nicer looking "Drive by Eco Drive" models, versatile yet sporty and no obvious "gotchas."

The first Seiko is fine, but it's Kinetic (without Direct Drive.) That "Kinetic Swoosh" is (IMHO) an undesirable design element when you're not using it to see how much power reserve you have, not being direct drive, it can take a very long time to charge up to full and frankly, it being a Kinetic means there's one more thing to break than on that model than the Eco-drive. It's still a definite 2nd place contender, though. I could see potentially getting over those limitations but still acknowledging they do exist.

I'd avoid the perpetual calendar model because of the integrated bracelet.
 

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Out of those three, I like the minimalist, clean look of SKA603 the best.

-Case diameter: at 42mm might be a bit big depending on your wrist size and preference about watch size.

-Weight: I couldn't find weight information so if you don't like heavy watches, you might want to try before you buy, though probably the watch weighs less than 200g.

-Keeping kinetic watch charged: in my experience, if I wear the watch at least once a week, it's not a problem in keeping a kinetic watch consistently charged to the 4-7 days power reserve level (for mine with old caliber 5M42 with capacitor replaced with lithium ion cell; I couldn't find the caliber for SKA603, but I would assume it'd work the same way if not better; mine never quit on me as long as I wear it once a week, and the power reserve indicator so far never dip below the 4-7 days (20 seconds) mark; hmm, I wonder if after changing the power source to lithium ion cell if the 20-second mark now indicates 1-month power reserve, which would explain why the watch never stopped even though I wear it sometimes once a week).

-Bezel: note SKA603 has black PVD bezel that if scratched might leave unsightly silver scratch lines against black background, so buyer beware or wear gently.

-Kinetic versus solar: personally, I do feel a difference when wearing kinetic. Psychologically it feels like I'm feeding the watch as I wear it, which is a nice personal feeling, whereas I feel like I'm starving an Eco-Drive/solar watch when I wear it under long sleeve. Yes, I'm neurotic! :-d

-Power indicator function: I like it okay.

-The red second hand looks nice.

-Legibility: the metallic hour and minute hands might appear black and disappear at certain angles against black or dark color dial, so beware. In that sense, the Eco-Drive might have more legible hour and minute hands. But I like the general look of SKA603 the best.

EDIT: agree with OvrSteer that the "kinetic swoosh" is an undesirable aesthetic element. But IMHO, the swoosh in SKA603 is not as disruptive as the swoosh on other kinetic watches.
 

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The Cititzen boys will say Citizen and the Seiko fans will go for a Seiko but in actual fact they are all pretty good. From a design point of wiew I like the SKA603 the best.
 

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I like both brands and all of the watches pictured. I would personally go with the Citizen here.
 

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i'm not a seiko or citizen fan boy... but i'll say citizen out of those three
 
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I like the Seiko with the red second hand.
 

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Im going to play against type and say the SKA603

To my eye its the best looking of the 3. It is also is 42mmm versus the Citizens 43mm - not much in it but might be important ? and 10mm thick compared with 12 of the Citizen - I like those proportions better.

I dont like integrated bracelets so the other Seiko is out.


But as others have pointed out - If you have more than one watch the eco drive will be easier to keep charged when not wearing it than the Kinetic will be. You will have to wear the Kinetic regularly in your rotation which might become a burden one day.
 

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I currently own, and wear (everyday) my Seiko Divers watch! Also, my watch is 15 years old with no problems, and with uncountable dives under its belt! Hope this helps!
 

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I had a Seiko kinetic that required a new capacitor and battery at 3 years and then that one went south at 2 years, at which point I chucked it into the garbage. Unless Seiko has improved the design (which I don't think the newer ones are different but could be wrong) what you end up with is $16 battery replacement that is a major hassle compared to a normal battery driven quartz over the same interval as a normal quartz. Total gimmick, the eco-drives actually do what they are supposed to - last a very long time without a battery replacement.
 

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I had a Seiko kinetic that required a new capacitor and battery at 3 years and then that one went south at 2 years, at which point I chucked it into the garbage. Unless Seiko has improved the design (which I don't think the newer ones are different but could be wrong) what you end up with is $16 battery replacement that is a major hassle compared to a normal battery driven quartz over the same interval as a normal quartz. Total gimmick, the eco-drives actually do what they are supposed to - last a very long time without a battery replacement.
As I understand it, Seiko discontinued the problematic kinetic watches powered by capacitor, and the new kinetic watches (since the year 2000) are powered by rechargeable lithium ion cell which is no different in terms of energy storage unit from those in solar/Eco-Drive watches.

Http://Quartzimodo.com/the-seiko-kinetic-boon-or-bane/
 

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I had a Seiko kinetic that required a new capacitor and battery at 3 years and then that one went south at 2 years, at which point I chucked it into the garbage. Unless Seiko has improved the design (which I don't think the newer ones are different but could be wrong) what you end up with is $16 battery replacement that is a major hassle compared to a normal battery driven quartz over the same interval as a normal quartz. Total gimmick, the eco-drives actually do what they are supposed to - last a very long time without a battery replacement.
Like the Spring Drive, Kinetic is probably best thought of as a hybrid of quartz and mechanical timekeeping. A bit too much needless mechanical complexity in my mind. However they do work. And the new rechargeable cells should be as reliable as any others. Which means they will need to be replaced probably within 10 years.
 
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