Our Favorite Citizen Watches for Men: Eco-Drive, Sports Watches, Dress Watches & Limited-Edition Timepieces

best citizen watches
Courtesy of Macy's

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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:

  • Alpina
  • Bulova
  • Frederique Constant
  • Vagary
  • Arnold & Son
  • Atelier de Monaco
  • Campanola
  • 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.

  

1. Citizen Watch Caliber 1000 Watch

BEST OVERALL

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.

Read More: The Most Expensive Watches You Can Buy Online

Citizen Watch Caliber 1000 limited edition watch Courtesy of Citizen Watch
  

2. Citizen Eco-Drive PCAT Atomic Timekeeping Chronograph 

RUNNER UP

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.

Citizen Mens eco drive atomic timekeeping chro Courtesy of Walmart

  

3. Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic

NEWEST LAUNCH

The newest timepiece to join the Citizen family is this handsome automatic dive watch that has a day and date complication. It has a 44mm case, sapphire crystal and a rotating bezel whose serrated design was inspired by the Japanese pufferfish. It comes in a dive tank box and is water-resistant to 200 meters. The titanium version will be released in July.

Citizen-Promaster-Dive-Automatic Courtesy of Citizen Watch
  

4. Citizen Black Croc Embossed Leather Strap Watch

BEST ENTRY WATCH

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 date and day complications has a quartz movement.

Citizen Black Croc Embossed Leather Strap Watch Courtesy of Macy's

  

5. 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.

best citizen watches avion Image courtesy of Amazon

  

6. Citizen Promaster Blue Angels Skyhawk

MOST ICONIC

Speaking of pilot watches, to some people, the quintessential Citizen watch is the Blue Angels Skyhawk. This storied watch has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a top-notch pilot watch: atomic timekeeping that’s synchronized to adjust to 43 cities, pilot’s slide rule, dual analog and digital dial,  power reserve indicator and backlight. Not to mention that it’s water-resistant to 200 meters. Heck, if you weren’t a pilot, this watch is enough of an impetus to get a few lessons under your belt.

Citizen-Promaster-Blue-Angels-Skyhawk-Analog-Digital-A-T-Stainless-Steel-Watch Courtesy of Macy's
  

7. 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 a 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.

best citizen watches calendrier Image courtesy of Amazon

  

8. Citizen Chronograph Canvas Watch

BEST SPORTY 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.

best citizen watches eco drive canvas Image courtesy of Amazon

  

9. Citizen Corso

BEST VINTAGE-INSPIRED

This dress watch has a stunning dial bracketed by a leather strap. It comes in a fresh modern style with a touch of mid-60s watch inspiration. This Corso also comes in two other colorways: gold with brown leather straps, silver with green leather straps. The textured dial highlights the indices, and it has a day and date complications. It has a 40mm case, sapphire crystal and runs on Eco-Drive.

Citizen Corso Watch Courtesy of Citizen Watch

  

10. Citizen Paradigm Watch

LIGHTEST FEEL

Made with the brand’s Super Titanium, it’s lighter than stainless steel and is five times more resistant to scratches and damage. 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.

Citizen watch paradigm dress watch Courtesy of Citizen

  

11. 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.

best citizen watches eco drive freedom Image courtesy of Amazon

  

12. Citizen HAKUTO-R SATELLITE WAVE GPS F950

NEWEST LAUNCH

This is the second time that Citizen has reached the outer limits. ispace owns and operates HAKUTO-R, a commercial lunar exploration program, and the watch company provided super titanium parts for the lander’s legs. And this watch marks the second watch collab between HAKUTO-R. Citizen took the same super titanium that’s going into space, treated it and turned it into recrystallized super titanium. The process changes the appearance of the metal to the point where it looks like it’s mimicking the moon’s surface.

Done in all black, this limited edition watch will be an incredibly fast GPS watch, as it gets signals in three seconds. Other features include a double direct flight function and a 1/20 chronometer function.

Citizen-HAKUTO-R-SATELLITE-WAVE-GPS-F950-limited-model Courtesy of Citizen Watch