While Citizen has been improving watch technology, and are always on the cutting edge of innovation, most watches are frightening similar to the first pocket watches of the mid-1500s. To put that in perspective, this means it’s possible people were checking the time on watches not so different from the analog watches you can buy today, prior to putting on suits of armor and actually going to besiege a castle. Today, you can pick up a Citizen watch that’s powered by light and depending upon the model you buy, can quickly update its time to over 43 international cities via atomic timekeeping, satellite technology or soundwaves.
The History of Citizen Watches
Back in 1918 watchmaker Randolphe Schmid registered the company in Switzerland for watches he sold in Japan. By 1930, it developed into a collaboration between Swiss and Japanese watchmakers. Over the years this Japanese-based company has become a watchmaking powerhouse. Some watch snobs feel that if a watch isn’t Swiss-made, it’s not a good watch. Frankly, that’s ridiculous as Japan is also home to excellent watchmakers and designers. High-end brands that call Japan home include Seiko, Grand Seiko, Credor, Casio, and Orient. According to the Japanese Watch and Clock Association (JWCA), 44.3million watches were shipped worldwide.
Getting back to Citizen, back in 1993, the company launched the first atomic timekeeping watch. Synchronized to atomic clocks, these watches are accurate for a few thousand years. Experts feel that their Chronomaster watch line is the most accurate quartz watch on the market. They have been the official timekeeper of the US Tennis Open Championships (1993-2017), are the official timekeeper for Manchester United, and are partnered with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The hockey team uses their scoreboard clock for home games. Citizen also owns the following watch brands:
- Frederique Constant
- Arnold & Son
- Atelier de Monaco
- La Joux-Perret (Swiss movement manufacturer)
Today, Citizen watches are some of the most sought after by collectors and stylists alike. They come in a range of styles with a great variety of features. Here are just a few of the features to look out for on Citizen watches:
- Chronograph: This is more a type of watch than a feature, but where chronographs differ from standard analog watches is that they feature a stopwatch built into the display. These boast different lengths and accuracies at which they can tell time, and some also have a countdown timer as well.
- GPS Abilities: Some Citizen watches can receive GPS signals in order to accurately set the time based on your location.
- Atomic Timekeeping: Other Citizen watches can communicate with atomic clocks around the world via radio signal in order to ensure the accuracy of the displayed time down to the second over 100,000 years.
- Perpetual Calendar: Many watches have a built-in date display controlled by a perpetual calendar. These calendars can track the date over months and leap years until at least the year 2100.
- Pilot’s Slide Rule: A precursor to the calculator, these devices allow the watch wearer to make logarithmic calculations using the numbers on the dial.
- Tachymeter: These numbers along the edge of the watch face can be used to calculate speed based on travel time or distance based on speed.
While Citizen watches may include one or more of the above, they all boast the company’s unique Eco-Drive technology.
What Is Citizen Eco-Drive Technology?
For the last 40 years, all of Citizen’s watches have run using Eco-Drive technology. This environmentally friendly energy concept harnesses the power of natural and artificial light sources and converts it into energy. This energy is then stored in a permanently rechargeable power cell which keeps the watch functioning endlessly, essentially eliminating the need to buy another watch battery ever again. With this renewable energy, Citizen watches can run forever.
Take advantage of all the style and functionality of this watch brand. Here are some of the best Citizen watches you can buy today.
Limited Editions and Special Collections
Citizen releases limited edition luxury style watches regularly. They encompass everything from their atomic timekeeping watches to their thinnest Eco-Drive Watch. When it comes to Special Collections, Citizen has partnered with Disney and created three lines of watches. Whether you’re a Star Wars, Avengers or Disney movie fan, there’s a watch for you. Below is an example of one of their limited edition timepieces.
1. Citizen Watch Caliber 1000 Watch
The Caliber 1000 watch is the perfect example of their limited edition luxury watches. Powered by light (eco-drive tech), this watch is accurate +-1 second annually. It has a super titanium case and bracelet so that it feels weightless against your skin. Super titanium is not only much lighter than stainless steel, it is 5-times as stronger, more durable and more scratch-resistant than stainless. This watch also has a cool skeleton case back and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Only 500 of these watches were created, hence the price tag. If you want the ultimate flex for your watch collection, this Citizen watch is hard to beat.
2. Citizen Eco-Drive PCAT Atomic Timekeeping Chronograph
Looking for a stylish men’s watch that will never lag and will always look good on your wrist. You can’t go wrong with this model. The classic chronograph design is cool to look at, is really useful, and did we mention that it has an alarm feature? As mentioned earlier, Citizen uses atomic timekeeping for many of their eco-drive watches. Atomic timekeeping means that the watch will be accurate to one second for 100,00 years. A radio signal is sent to the watch so that date and time are always accurate. One of the features of this PCAT chronograph is that it’s set to be accurate for 43 cities worldwide. So, not only will you never need a battery, but as eco-drive is also powered by light, you will never have to adjust your watch when traveling. This chronograph also features a perpetual calendar, luminous hands and indices. It’s water-resistant to 200 meters and has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
3. Citizen Black Croc Embossed Leather Strap Watch
To be fair, this isn’t Citizen’s best deal for this sexy watch, it’s their everyday price. Yes, you read that right. One of the many fantastic things about Citizen watches is that they don’t skimp on style or technology on any of their watches. Whether you’re buying an entry-level watch like this one, or one of their higher-end limited edition watches, they all ooze style and snazziness. This three-hand watch with a date complication has quartz movement, and their quartz movements are among the best in the market.
4. Citizen Eco-Drive Avion
BEST PILOT’S WATCH
This one, part of Citizen’s series of pilot’s watches, features a brown leather band that sets off the stainless steel bezel for a vintage, mid-century aviation-inspired look. You’ll notice that the most prominent numbers on the face are the minutes rather than the hours, a design inspired by a pilot’s need to tell the exact time and his or her constant travel through time zones. The timepiece also features a date dial and is easily adjustable thanks to the knob on the right-hand side. All these features together mean the Avion is a great piece to dress up or down, depending on your needs.
5. Citizen Calendrier
BEST 24 HOUR CLOCK
This solar-powered watch features a 24 hour clock, a calendar, a world clock complete with codes for 24 different time zones around the face and legendary Japanese quartz movement. A great style piece with its contrasting dial and dark blue band, the Calendrier is also water-resistant up to about 300 feet, which is great for swimming and snorkeling. In addition, it boasts a multi-function chronograph and can function in temperatures ranging from 14 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Citizen Chronograph Canvas Watch
You know it’s a serious watch when it calls itself a “chronograph.” This Citizen chronograph backs up the name with its easy-to-use start and stop buttons for the stopwatch function as well as dials to measure the minutes, hours and seconds the stopwatch has been turned on. In addition, the sturdy canvas band, easy-to-read round dial and water resistance up to 330 feet make this a watch any man would be proud to wear.
7. Citizen Eco-Drive Nighthawk Watch
BEST DUAL-TIME DISPLAY
Similar to the Skyhawk (listed below) but slightly less bulky, the Nighthawk includes a surprising amount of information in an easy-to-read format. At first glance, you’ll notice the face prominently features numbers and notches for telling the time. These along with the glow-in-the-dark hands are larger than anything else so you can easily tell the time with a quick look. Inside the time markings is a secondary time display that runs on a 24-hour clock. The white plane points to the numbers during the AM, while the red plane points to those numbers during the PM. The watch also boasts a date display and a pilot’s slide rule which allows you to make logarithmic calculations if necessary.
8. Citizen Paradigm Watch
Made with the brand’s Super Titanium, it’s lighter than stainless steel and is five times more resistant to scratches and damages. If you’ve been looking for a dress watch that doesn’t feel bulky on your wrist, has a sleek and modern design, then this watch fits your needs. The deep blue face contrasts smartly against the silvery-colored band. The classic three-hand watch has a date complication and is powered by the brand’s eco-drive technology; you’ll never, ever need to pick up a battery to keep it ticking.
9. Citizen Watches Black Ion-Plated Axiom Watch
If you need a really nice watch for formal occasions, look no further than the Citizen Black Ion-Plated Axiom Watch. This attractive piece boasts dark hands on a dark face, because, let’s face it, watches aren’t really a necessity for telling time when we all have our cell phones in our pockets. Instead, this watch is a style accessory that’s meant to tie an outfit together, particularly if that outfit is a clean cut, dark suit. In addition to looking amazing, this watch has a date window on the face and boasts Japanese quartz inside to ensure quiet and accurate timekeeping.
10. Citizen Corso
Simple and functional, the Citizen Corso is a watch for every occasion. The black face is set off against the silver, stainless steel bracelet, and the octagonal bezel adds a touch of uniqueness to an otherwise simple design. The three-hand dial is complemented by a date display at three o’clock, and the analog watch is water-resistant up to 300 feet deep. As an added bonus, the linked wristband allows the strap to be customized to your wrist size for more comfortable wear.
11. Citizen Promaster Professional Diver
BEST DIVER’S WATCH
Slightly sportier than many of the other Citizen watches on our list, the Citizen Promaster Professional Diver is built to perform under pressure. The blue face is set off by a stainless steel case and a trio of luminous hands. The strap is molded polyurethane that gives the watch a waterproof feel right out of the box. But the most impressive part is that this piece is ISO certified to withstand 20 bar of pressure, meaning it can be used at depths up to 660 feet. To prove that, the band is even printed with a no decompression limits chart. Whether you’re a scuba diver or a watch enthusiast, you’ll love this diver’s watch.
12. Citizen Chandler
For a functional, everyday watch, you really can’t beat the Chandler by Citizen. This silver and blue watch balances functionality with style. The band is made from an attractive silver shark mesh, while the blue face is complemented by luminous hands. The watch also features a 1/5 second chronograph which can measure up to 60 minutes. Perhaps the most impressive feature of this piece is its tachymeter, which is set in the clock face rather than the bezel. The slightly domed mineral crystal of the case really amplifies the numbers of the tachymeter, making it a prominent design feature. Together, these elements create a watch you can be proud to wear every day.
13. Citizen Promaster Skyhawk
BEST FEATURES TO PRICE RATIO
Befitting its name, this aviation-inspired watch sports functional details like an anti-reflective coating and rotating black bezel. Light-powered, its battery can technically last indefinitely, and it supports Citizen’s radio-sync atomic timekeeping in 43 different cities around the world. It’s also waterproof up to an amazing 660 feet, and it features a chronograph that can measure up to 24 hours in accuracies up to 1/100 of a second. And these features are just the tip of the iceberg on Citizen’s impressive Skyhawk watch.
14. Citizen Satellite Wave GPS Freedom Watch
BEST FOR FREQUENT TRAVELERS
The Citizen Satellite Wave GPS Freedom Watch was built for time jumpers. People who frequently cross time zones will love the watch’s ability to automatically adjust the time based on a GPS signal. In addition to the 27 available cities marked along the edges, the watch face boasts a dial to show the day of the week, whether or not daylight savings time is active and the power levels of the watch itself. A date dial lives at three o’clock, and the watch is completed with blue detailing and a black ion-plated stainless steel bracelet.
15. Citizen Brycen
With pretty much everything you need wrapped up in a classy package, the Citizen Brycen is a winner. This watch, which boasts an attractive blue-gray color scheme with a textured bezel and stainless steel five-link bracelet, can be set to two different time zones. It also features a tachymeter, a perpetual calendar and a 1/5 second chronograph. While this is one of the more expensive options in the Brycen line, there are cheaper versions without the same number of features that you may want to consider if this price point is slightly too high for your pocketbook.
16. Citizen Eco-Drive Corso Diamond-Accent Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Watch
There are certain times in your life that you, sartorially speaking, need to bring the big guns out. When you’ve got a very formal event coming up, or you feel you ought to take it up a notch fashion-wise, this diamond-accented Corso watch is a fantastic option. And yes, Citizen does use real diamonds to make their dials shine a bit more brightly. Sized at 41mm, the caseback and bracelet are gold-toned stainless steel; equally as glittery as the diamonds and as durable as them too. Powered by eco-drive, this three-hand watch has a date complication (date window) and is water-resistant to 100 meters –don’t swim wearing it. The watch comes with a 5-year limited warranty from Citizen.
Also Consider: Citizen Disney Watch Collection
Disney classic characters grace the face of these eco-drive watches, and they range in price from $192.00 for a Mulan-themed watch to $716.00 for a Snow White Watch. There are men’s women’s and unisex models. Below is an example from their 30 piece collection.
Citizen Pixar Lamp and Ball Watch
FOR PIXAR LOVERS
Shining brightly on a navy blue background is Pixel’s iconic logo. The watch case is stainless steel, and the navy leather straps echo the color of the dial. Powered by Citizen’s eco-drive, this watch will keep on ticking for years and years.
Also Consider: Citizen Star Wars Watch Collection
Created in partnership with the Star Wars/Disney, this collection features 14 different watches. As with the Disney collection, there are men’s, women’s, and unisex watches. Unlike the Disney collection, Star Wars watches range from dress watch to chronographs, to digital/analog combos, to field watch styles. You’ll find watches based on characters to places, or spacecraft. Prices range from $175.00 for an R2D2 dress watch to a $300.00 Darth Vader chronograph.
Citizen Luke Skywalker Chronograph
FOR STAR WARS NERDS
Powered by eco-drive, this brown and white chronograph has a sub-dial with a blue hand, and one with a green hand, 12/24 hour, blue and green stitches to symbolize his light saber’s colors. The case back is etched with “I’m Luke Skywalker, and I’m here to save you.”
Citizen Marvel Watch Collection
Like the other collections, you’ll find a Citizen Marvel watch for every wrist. The 14-piece eco-drive sporty collection has the usual suspects – Spiderman, Captain America, Tony Stark, and Black Panther, but you’ll also find an homage to Stan Lee, and one of the very few tie-ins to Black Widow. Prices range from $137.50 for a Captain Marvel dress watch to $476.00 for a Captain America Promaster sports watch.
Citizen Deadpool Chronograph
BEST SNARKY MERC WATCH
The matte black and red striped dial features Deadpool’s mask and has a black ion-plated stainless steel caseback. The back is engraved with “Chimichangas!” It has 12 and 24 hour and date complications.