The 10 Best Citizen Watches for Men
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Whether you collect attractive timepieces for yourself or you need a high-quality wristwatch as a gift for a gentleman in your life, our selection of the best Citizen models for men is sure to provide you with something suitable. You'll find everything here from technologically advanced pilot's watches to satellite-connected options for world travelers, along with those offering simple elegance. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
April 29, 2019:
Choosing a watch can be a very personal experience, so if you are buying one as a gift, we recommend you look closely at the style of the receiver's current timepieces and try and align your thoughtful gift with those aesthetics. If you don't have the luxury of knowing what style of watch somebody wears, another option is to choose one based on their lifestyle. For example, as the name suggests, the Promaster Diver BN0175-19E is perfect for divers, as it is submersible down to 300 meters. This isn't the only timepiece on our list that is suitable for underwater explorers however. The Blue Angels Skyhawk A-T JY8078-52L and Promaster Altichron BN5058-07E should also have no problem withstanding the pressure of the murky depths. World travelers will appreciate the Promaster Navihawk CC9025-85E and Satellite Wave F900 CC9008-50E, both of which feature satellite-controlled time that can be automatically synchronized anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. If you are looking for something that would be well-suited to a dinner party or boardroom meeting, the Axiom AU1060-51E, Corso AW1236-03A, and Octavia NB4018-04E fit the bill. Interestingly, the Octavia NB4018-04E also has some sporty aesthetics that make it ideal for casual situations as well. The Chandler AT0200-05E is ideal for rugged, outdoorsy experiences and wouldn't look out of place on your wrist during a nature hike. Whichever aesthetic appeals to you most, we are certain you can find a model on this list to suit your taste.
Choosing A Citizen Watch
On the topic of black tie affairs, it’s important to note that more formal occasions often call for a watch without numbers.
A lot is liable to go into your decision of one Citizen watch over all others. There’s a good chance that one of them is simply going to speak to you, and you won’t be able to get it out of your head until you own it. Of course, there are some things worth considering if you’re having a hard time choosing, or if you’ve already bought a few watches and you don’t know which one to wear.
Citizen watches run the gamut from the decidedly simple and elegant to some of the most highly functional timepieces in the world. Part of your decision, then, will have to do with any needs you have in a watch. If you really only need it to tell time, you can go with something simple. But even in that case, you shouldn’t rule out other features, even if you don’t know how to calculate fuel reserves or measure the distance to a muzzle flare. These features, if you should learn how to use them, may come in handy at some point in the future, and Citizen watches are well-built enough that they could easily last you your whole life through.
Regardless of need, the inclusion of additional features will invariably make the face of your watch busier. Some people really gravitate toward the style of this business, and they want their watch packed with bells and whistles. Beware, however, that a busy watch face is somewhat unwelcome at formal affairs, and you should probably stop at a simple chronograph in terms of complications if you want to stay classy in your black tie.
On the topic of black tie affairs, it’s important to note that more formal occasions often call for a watch without numbers. That can mean a watch entirely devoid of hour markings or one with dashes around its edges. If you absolutely have to have them, go with Roman numerals, but avoid Arabic numbers at all costs. The idea here is to illustrate to your host and other guests that you are willfully disregarding the time, so as to better enjoy their company. You have no place better or more important to be.
Some Citizen watches are purpose built, and that might mean they feature certain complications, but it also might mean that they boast abilities that others do not. A diver’s watch for example, should be able to accompany you to at least 200 meters beneath the waves, and ideally at least 300 meters for professional use. You’re certainly welcome to enjoy the look of a diver’s watch, to buy one, and never even get it wet. But it would be less intelligent to buy a dress watch that’s only water-resistant to 100 meters and to wear it during your scuba lessons.
What Is Eco-Drive?
Technically speaking, Citizen watches run on rechargeable batteries. The thing about these batteries, though, is that you rarely have to do anything to charge them. That’s because nearly every Citizen watch on the market is outfitted with the company’s Eco-Drive system.
Unlike automatic winding systems that use the momentum of the wearer’s wrist to provide a source of energy to the watch, Citizen’s Eco-Drive system relies on light energy to charge a rechargeable battery. Given how little energy these watches utilize, a single battery should last you decades. If you live in Alaska, or anywhere else that might go several days out of each year without sunlight, you can still enjoy all the benefits of Eco-Drive, as the system is capable of drawing power from any ambient light source, even a simple table lamp.
The solar cells in the Eco-Drive system live just beneath the watch face. Some faces make use of these cells in their face design, drawing attention to the futuristic quality of the watch, while others hide it artfully beneath a face you’d never expect was harboring such an advanced mechanism.
If your battery should be low on juice, your watch will have a neat way of notifying you to the fact. The chronograph on my Citizen, for example, will have its second hand double-tick every other second, creating a distracting little dance that lets me know it’s time to get the watch a little light. I noticed it when I first got the watch, and you might as well, since there’s a good chance your timepiece will have sat in the dark for a while since being made. But I’ve worn the watch consistently for more than three years now, and it’s never even done that again.
A Brief History Of Citizen Watches
Citizen watches may not have the same long, storied history of certain Swiss companies whose watches cost up to 10 times more than the average price of a Citizen, but their story should inspire confidence that you’re dealing with a brand that takes their work very seriously.
The company was assembled by Japanese and Swiss investors who took over both an assembly plant owned in Japan by watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid, and the facilities and data of the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. Buoyed by a combination of acquired innovative research concepts and a full-scale production plant at the ready, Citizen soon began work on several revolutionary technologies.
One of these technologies debuted in 1993, as Citizen released the first multi-band atomic timekeeping system, which effectively eliminated the need for a user to set his or her watch, even as it moved through time zones.
Another technology was the Eco-Drive system discussed above, which wouldn’t hit the scene until 1995, due primarily to the slow progress of solar and battery technologies. Once in place, it became one of the most popular features in the company’ offerings, and Citizen estimates that the system has prevented the wasteful use and disposal of over 10 million watch batteries in its first decade, making Citizen watches with Eco-Drive particularly important to anyone with an interest in conservation.