The 10 Best Citizen Watches for Men
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you love collecting attractive and functional timepieces for yourself or you need a high-quality wristwatch as a gift for a gentleman in your life, our selection of Citizen models for men is sure to provide you with something suitable. You'll find everything here from busy pilot's watches to simpler, more elegant options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best citizen watch for men on Amazon.
Choosing A Citizen Watch
You’re certainly welcome to enjoy the look of a diver’s watch, to buy one, and never even get it wet.
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.
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