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Discussion Starter #1
Is citizen eco drive the best proven tech in watch tech for a hassle free and can run for many decades?

I like automatic watches but the fact after leaving them free for few days on table will make them stop running and the bloody fact of adjusting them for next wear makes me sick!

I am kind of looking for a watches that will run forever and never need to change of battery. I have fear of changing batteries cos of bad experience with watch smith who never take care of the case back and scratch it badly....

Casio tough solar is too new and heard number of bad experience,so as Seiko kinetic... So is citizen eco drive the best proven one? They claim it can run forever! :think:
 

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Hi GMT-II,

I think the term 'runs forever' is a bit misleading. Many of the Eco Drives have a solar cell that does need charging but if you wear it on a regular basis it should last for quite some time. I have seen some being sold on ebay that in the description it needs the cell replaced because it doesn't work. That is probably due to the fact that it had not been worn in some time and that the solar cell had not been charged. I believe it is the same with the kinetic watches as well. As for the tough solar Casios, most of the problem had to due with a batch of bad Panasonic CTL1616 solar batteries that were used, mostly in the tough solar/atomic models. I have some tough solar models that I bought about 4 years ago and some that I have bought that came out about the same time. No problems with them at all, runnig fine and holds a charge with regular wear :-! . I hope this helps with making a choice. But since I have 9 Citizens, 5 of which are Eco Drives, I may be a little biased towards them ;-) .
 

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We have 3 Citizen Eco Drives in the house: 1 Nighthawk and 2 Cal 8700. They're great watches. They've been left in drawers with no light for months at a time, worn from time to time or sometimes a lot. Never had one loose enough charge to just stop functioning. The Nighthawk, in particular, is very well built with a great bracelet. You can get them for next to nothing in the US and are a great value, IMO. UK prices seem very high to me though.

I'm a big fan of solar watches. Just make sure they get some light and they should run for years.
 

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I have owned a Citizen eco-drive Promaster tough PMT56-2731 for almost two years now and although I rarely wear it now, it sits on top of my microwave in a normally lit room and hasn't faltered once. It's accurate to about +20 seconds a year and is ready to go when I want to wear it. I pick it up and dust it off once or twice a month and actually wear it about once a month and it's exposure to direct sunlight for a couple of hours is all that's needed. I may take it and place it in my south facing window sill for a day, once a month and that's all it needs. In fact, it seems to go on just fine with service on top of my microwave.

I purchased another eco-drive moon-phase over a year ago and gave it to a good friend of mine who built my super liquid-cooled computer about this time last year. He was quite fond of it and gladly accepted it in payment for his services. He has worn it everywhere and hasn't had a hiccup with it once. He says it keeps super time.

Two experiences to report here. I actually believe that the eco-drive is probably the most efficient powering source out there and the best alternative to avoiding repairs.





cheers.
 

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I have a Citizen Nighthawk Eco-Drive and I like it very much. It's running +8s /month since three months.

About "running forever" I'm a bit sceptical. After reading on current technologies for secondary cells on the net I doubt one would work longer than 20 years. Li-ion batteries are subject to aging even if not used, and a fully charged one looses about 20% of its capacity every year...

Anyway Citizen has an excellent support so replacing the battery will pose no problem when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi GMT-II,

I think the term 'runs forever' is a bit misleading. Many of the Eco Drives have a solar cell that does need charging but if you wear it on a regular basis it should last for quite some time. I have seen some being sold on ebay that in the description it needs the cell replaced because it doesn't work. That is probably due to the fact that it had not been worn in some time and that the solar cell had not been charged. I believe it is the same with the kinetic watches as well. As for the tough solar Casios, most of the problem had to due with a batch of bad Panasonic CTL1616 solar batteries that were used, mostly in the tough solar/atomic models. I have some tough solar models that I bought about 4 years ago and some that I have bought that came out about the same time. No problems with them at all, runnig fine and holds a charge with regular wear :-! . I hope this helps with making a choice. But since I have 9 Citizens, 5 of which are Eco Drives, I may be a little biased towards them ;-) .
It seems Citizen offer 5 yrs warranty. It more or less prove something. Looks like citizen is indeed very reliable! :-!
 

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If you like them I say go for it. Any model in particular you have in mind? They do have quite a selection to choose from ;-) .
 

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Is citizen eco drive the best proven tech in watch tech for a hassle free and can run for many decades?

I like automatic watches but the fact after leaving them free for few days on table will make them stop running and the bloody fact of adjusting them for next wear makes me sick!

I am kind of looking for a watches that will run forever and never need to change of battery. I have fear of changing batteries cos of bad experience with watch smith who never take care of the case back and scratch it badly....

Casio tough solar is too new and heard number of bad experience,so as Seiko kinetic... So is citizen eco drive the best proven one? They claim it can run forever! :think:
From WX1's personal "tales of Citizen Eco-Drives" and "tales of Seiko Kinetics":

Citizen Eco Drive

My fav’ personal story which I’ve mentioned a few times already at this ‘site – hey, the more the merrier; ahhh, OK, I sound like a broken record, WHATEVER, heh – ‘bout owning Citizen Eco Drive watches (I have three) includes my experience with a titanium Air-Diver (the model responsible for my purchasing the other two) that I picked up, oh, close to 10 years ago, quite honestly. I wore that for ‘bout five years, then, put it on a dresser-drawer in a room at home after discovering some other treasures; on a dresser-drawer, I should specify, from any significant light source. ‘Bout two years go by. The thing’s still runnin’! Air-Diver musta’ taken a spill at some point because there ARE scratches on the face. However, I notice that, while not exhibiting the two second interval that warns the watch is slowing slipping out of power (no power indicator like, say, oh, a Seiko Kinetic might have, OH, look, I mention below! More on that later) the Air-Diver’s time is not at all accurate when compared to my automatics, other two Eco Drives, and a quartz that I have, those compared to trusted timekeeping ‘sites of which most of ya’ll know of. So, even though I’ve pushed this Air-Diver to the side (poor thing, I really shouldn’t have done that), I do the simple (and moral?) thing and feed it light under a lamp. After a week of doing this each evening, voila, the Air-Diver is über on time again; nary an Eco-Drive capacitor change. Didn’t even undergo any servicing or inspection from when I picked it up.

And I’m expecting the other two Eco-Drives to perform in the same way. For all three I make sure to feed light to all the time. ‘Specially since I haven’t worn any in a while (I’m liking my Hamilton Khaki Aviation QNE auto’ right now; and, the way the QNE's performing, I’ll be wearing the Khaki for an indefinite amount of time. Anyway . . . back on topic . . .).

If there is a drawback to owning an Eco Drive it is its blessing as well. If the capacitor (that accepts then turns light into the energy [Eco-Drive] which powers the watch) must be replaced after 10, 20 years, servicing done at the time as well maybe I suppose if you ask, EVEN in this day and age of 10 year watch batteries, well, heck, tha’s darn pretty good for a wrist-worn device that gets its power from light. By the way, since I actually consider the Air-Diver as a knock around watch? Near 10 years old already? Now running accurately and no servicing/no inspection having been done thus far? And no apparent foreign entries into the Air-Diver to make it stop so far, the thing having been run under a water tap for minutes (this, a sorta-experiment after the Air-Diver was running well), taken it on a swim for an hour, and showered with it the Eco-Drive? Well, to THAT I have to first of all say, OK, OK, so I DO wear it, I admit it (but, only for those situations)! Secondly, and my point here, is I don’t see any water leaking out of it, any water speckles or dew under the crystal. Maybe that can all be attributed to the titanium casing; still, coming close to 10 years and the thing works well.

Led me to trust Eco drives. That’s why I picked up two more that I like.



Seiko Kinetic

I recently received a nice Seiko Kinetic this past Christmas. One of those that includes a power indicator on the dial. Following opening the gift wrapping I waited for the seconds hand to hit 12, then went right to pushing the respective button that lets the owner know how much reserve power is available in the watch; lo and behold, as expected with a model received directly from the factory (a watch aficionado, my friend hath mentioned on the tag taped to the gift wrapping), the Seiko Kinetic showed a max full-up of 4-6 months. Butter.

What WASN'T butter (and bad on my part) was that I never got a chance to wear the thing.

So, I find out recently (a mutual friend of our group), said friend’s coming to visit in a few months. Whoops.

I go to look a the kinetic. Whoops confirmed – the power reserved shows only ‘bout one month of reserve. Gone from 4-6 months to one month. Now THAT’s neglect.

So, I start to swing the watch from side-to-side as I had already learned having read ‘bout the Kinetic on the ‘net. Then I stop, go to the instruction booklet included with the packaging. Read the part about powering . . . solid, sweet like candy, I’m powering it up correctly. So, yeah, I continue swinging the watch from side-to-side as vigorously as a numbhead-might-swing-a-Kinetic-from-side-to-side-knowing-quite-well-the-possibility-of-how-his-also-watch-aficionado/fan-arriving-in-a-month-just-may-oh,-I dunno,-just-might-want-to-do-his-own-check-to-how-watch-secret-police-if-they-ever-existed-might-similarly-do-if-not-out-and-out-ask-you-to-demonstrate-the-power-reserve-check-function-then-give-you-a-blank/hurt-look-having-discovered-you-weren’t-WEARING-the-THING-oh,-wait,-‘scuse-me,-the-GIFT- for-months-for-such-a-watch-that-has-a-power-reserve-check would do so [gasp].

As you would guess, my hand/wrist would need to get tired after a while. And they did. Put the watch on the desk and leave it there. Similar to how I just put the watch on the desk and left it there which basically got me into this mess in the first place.

Seconds go by. Time to check. Click on power reserve button.

Still one month. Sigh. Gasp. NOOOO!!!!

START shaking the thing again! Vigorous, not violently, though. For a bit longer than previous (at this point, you figure I should also include, “now, fold two eggs into the mix. Now, add . . .”). Placed the watch gently on a pillow this time.

Walk away. Walk away from the situation. Go outside. Pull some weeds. Car of neighbor across the street pulls out of their driveway, waive at neighbors while still worrying.

Go back into house. Do I need to drink some water? No. Go. Stop stalling. DO IT!!! Press that reserve button. Hooooh, doggies! 4-6 months! I thank my God.

The talk nowadays when it comes to Seiko seems to be Spring Drive, Spring Drive, Spring Drive (which is something I wanna get soon; and, yes, as many models as I’ve mentioned “Spring Drive.” Where the heck did I put those loan papers . . .). But, Seiko’s Kinetic line is STILL very relevant, as has been proven to me.

AND, lastly, as I understand it, the K.E.S.U. (kinetic energy storage unit which, similar to how the Eco-Drive transforms light into energy, turns the movements of the weight, of the Kinetic, also into energy) used by the Seiko Kinetic watch can also last 10+ years. Not shabby at all. I am shabby, neglecting my friend’s gift to me. Bad WX1, Bad WX1!


And, so, then . . .

OK, SO, my ‘pinion, based on experience, thus far, then, as long as you give regular light to the Ecos and make sure you shake that Seiko Kinetic every so often – and, I gratefully respect the aforementioned “wear these quartz” sentiment up there and I’m prepared for the consequences of how these watches end up performing if I don’t start wearing ‘em soon; results which I do hope (and don’t think, quite actually) I don’t experience, yikes – they’ll similarly do quite well for you, too. Even if you neglect them a bit.

To me, especially with the Citizen Eco-Drives, the brand/technology/etc. HAVE proven themselves to me. I still put ETA movement ahead of them (a technology which needs NO button-sized “electrical-based” power source

And, oh, before I get to mention – you can’t go wrong with either the Eco or the Kinetic (though . . . if I’m to choose between the two, I like the Eco. All you gotta do is put it under the light, as per my ‘sperience).

Best, best thing about the Ecos I can say for myself is . . . I’m not inclined to ever send these for repairs. Ahhh, I can hear the groans through my screen, yikes, heh! Well, all three are mine’s, all I can say, and it’s my experience with the Air-Diver that pretty much suggested that these watches can go until I need the respective capacitors replaced. IF they need replacing. I mean, who knows, we, as much as Citizen itself, might very well find out that the capacitors can last for more than 20 years, even.

I'll say, stay tuned . . . and be prepared for, if not exactly what you expected, a favorable result with these two brands’ respective lines mentioned here. They're great, but, technically, they're still quartz watches which depend on a power source to create 'lectricity -- that's usually a device that needs a replacement of the actual power source at some point, I don't need to tell ya'll.

Take care, all.
 

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Just wanted to thank everyone in this thread for some fantastic information about Citizen and Eco Drive. I own two Mission Antarctica and one GMT and I wouldn't part with any of them.

Tim, that Duratec Ti watch with Eco Drive and the very simple display is slated as my next purchase through Seiya Japan. Real beauty! Thanks for the photo. Brian D., as always your comments are clear and highly dependable.

I am becoming convinced that Citizen in Dura Tec Ti and Eco Drive is becoming the perfect affordable analog watch.
 

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The only problem with Ecodrive is aesthetic rather than tehnical — like all solar technologies, it restricts the possibilities for dial colour/design. In contrast, Seiko can do anything with the dial on a Kinetic watch.
 

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The other problem with an eco-drive is the fact that the date wheel is recessed so far down the date window that it's hard to see. The dial is the solar panel and is thicker than most dials. The thing that makes it an eco-drive makes viewing the date more difficult.
 

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I've noticed that on some. 3 of my 5 Eco Drives have the little magnifying window over the date which is a nice little feature.
 
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