What is the ‘Eco-Drive’ in Citizen Watches?

In today’s world, watch batteries seem to be a constant hassle with life expectancies lasting anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. Not to mention the excessive waste produced and added fees in constant replacements. Whether you are trying to be more environmentally friendly or just looking for alternatives to traditional models, you may have heard the term ‘Eco-Drive’ in Citizen watches. Men, in particular, have been drawn to these high tech men’s citizen watches and have proved to be the making of the citizen brand. But what exactly is Eco-Drive technology, and why does almost every Citizen timepiece use it?

Environmental Sustainability

As a brand, Citizen pride themselves in their efforts into making the world a better place. From their disclosure of CO2 emissions and materials used in the manufacturing of their timepieces, to creating the world’s first light-powered watch in 1976. At a time of environmental fragility in the 1970s, Citizen had taken it upon themselves to look for alternatives and other means of renewable energy sources to power their timepieces. Establishing Eco-Drive technology created an innovative and ground-breaking means to tackle the issue of excessive waste associated with consumerism.

An important aspect of consumer culture today is to limit one’s effect on the environment as much as possible. This may be through recycling or limiting any unnecessary purchases. Given that batteries themselves are not recyclable and are considered toxic and hazardous materials, Citizen aimed to contribute to the new wave of eco-consumerism through manufacturing products that rarely if ever need a battery change.

How does Citizen eco-drive work?

What differs these models from other solar watches is that they draw their source of power from any light source, whether it be natural or artificial. The design intakes solar light through the cells under the dial and converts it into energy to power the mechanism. The imaginative and complex design works whilst you go about your everyday life.

The solar conversion panels and energy cells hold the reserves to power these quartz watches. One of the best parts of these, when compared to traditional-style alternatives, is that the supply in which energy is gathered is completely unlimited, as no-where is shy of a natural or artificial light source. Direct sunlight does tend to be the more reliable method of charging, however, overnight any artificial lighting will be good enough to keep it ticking.


What’s impressive about the power reserve of these watches is that they have a capacity of up to 180 days, or 6 months, meaning they can be left in the dark and not lose time. The remarkable aspect of Eco-Drive Citizen Watches is that it is that the charge is not only derived from sunlight but can also be charged by artificial light, whether it be the room light or nightstand.

Regular wearing of the timepiece will ensure that the model has access to a light source at all times. It is said that a full day outside of up to 11 hours will give it a full charge. If you were to pop outside for 5 minutes and had direct contact with sunlight, it would provide enough charge for a days use.

A Purchase for the Long Run

All purchases come with a generous 5-year limited guarantee, which can be extended to a 6-year period when registered online. What this covers is the movement and issues with time-keeping, meaning this is exempt from any accidental damage. However, this period is still over double the warranty that many of Citizen watches competitors offer with their timepieces. Citizen also claim in reports that their battery and solar cell life expectancy can last up to an impressive 10 years.

To reduce the power consumption of the battery, this technology also includes a power-save functionality that will automatically stop the hands when there isn’t enough power within its cell to run. In this mode, the watch keeps time and power, yet enters a low-power mode. When the charge is restored it then reconfigures back to the correct time, ready for use once again.


It is not recommended to repair these timepieces on your own as the removal of the case back can affect its waterproof sealing and also lead to dirt getting trapped within. It is always recommended with all repairs to send back to the manufacturer or a trusted service centre so it can be done properly.

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