Everyone knows that price and quality are usually a couple that is difficult to part, but sometimes you come across companies that occasionally choose to challenge this rule of thumb and Citizen is one of them.
This time we take a closer look at a selection of fine Eco-Drive models for women, all at a price under $100.
These watches are characterized by being quartz regulated and therefore very precise, and at the same time they use Citizen’s self-developed Eco-Drive technology that uses natural or artificial light to generate energy that accumulates in the rechargeable battery.
An Eco-Drive watch will never need a battery replacement.
Who Is Citizen?
The full name is Citizen Watch Co., Ltd., it has specialized in electronics, primarily watches, and the company is the core part of a larger corporate group based in Tokyo, Japan.
It is also the owner of the American watchmaking company Bulova.
Citizen was founded in 1930 by Japanese and Swiss investors. Although it is now based in Tokyo, the brand “Citizen” was registered in Switzerland by the Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid in 1918.
The watches produced by Citizen at the time was sold exclusively in Japan.
Citizen is known for having launched the world’s first multiband atomic timekeeping watch in 1993 and radio-controlled watches have been a hallmark of the company ever since.
They are also known for the luxurious line Chronomaster, a series only sold in Japan, but admired by Citizen fans worldwide, not least for its accuracy.
A Chronomaster is at most off by 5 seconds per year without any help from an atomic clock, a most remarkable achievement.
Citizen is also the company behind the Eco-Drive technology, so let’s take a brief look at how it works.
Eco-Drive – How It Works
Eco-Drive was introduced in 1995 and is a range of watches by Citizen powered primarily by light, artificial or natural.
Solar powered wristwatches have been on the market since the 1970s, but the Eco-Drive concept introduced several technical refinements over traditional solar powered watches.
One special thing about Eco-Drive is that the solar cells are hidden under the dial enhancing the appearance of the watch.
This became possible as the Eco-Drive caliber 7878 movement was developed, while solar cell technology evolved significantly in the early 90s.
Solar cells became thinner and more efficient at converting light into energy and placed under a translucent dial material the solar cell appeared invisible, but could still receive enough light to operate a wristwatch.
As of 2007, Citizen estimated the Eco-Drive system had eliminated the disposal of ten million batteries in North America.
4 Best Women’s Eco-Drive Watches for Under $100
It has a second hand and a date window at the 3 o’clock hour mark.
The dial has arabic numerals for easy reading.
Weighing just 25 grams and with a case diameter of only 29 mm, it will sit well on small wrists.
The band is stitched leather and 15 mm wide.
Although this is an inexpensive and quite simple watch, it’s also a very appealing watch.
The watch is splash resistant meaning there’s a certain risk it will be damaged if you expose it to direct contact with water.
Rain, light splashes from dishwashing and such will not harm the watch.
Measurements: 29 mm x 9 mm.
Price Range: $75 – $100.
This solar powered model EW2486-52A has a white dial enhanced by yellow gold-tone skeleton alpha-style hands all covered by a scratch resistant mineral crystal.
The dial has big, arabic numerals for easy reading.
The stainless steel case is matched by a two-tone (silver-tone and yellow gold-tone) stainless steel band.
Other features: Water resistance 30 m, fixed bezel, solid caseback and pull/push crown.
Measurements: 28 mm x 8 mm.
Price Range: $75 – $100.
It’s an analog style of watch, the case and band are made of stainless steel and the crystal is made of mineral.
The watch is quartz regulated and powered by natural or artificial light and will never need a battery replacement.
Other features: Date, push button foldover clasp with safety, stationary bezel, water resistant to 30 m and weighs 2.88 ounces.
A beautiful and elegant ladies’ watch.
Measurements: 34 mm x 8.2 mm.
Price Range: $80 – $100.
And it’s no surprise that this particular model is usually more expensive compared to the other Eco-Drive models on our list, as it has a number of features that characterize quality watches.
The watch is water resistant to 50 m, which in practice means that you can wear it during a swim every now and then.
Besides, it is covered with a sapphire crystal, which is considered to be the finest material for crystals.
The model comes from Citizen’s Stiletto collection, it has a white dial, the rose gold-toned case is made of stainless steel and the band is made of calfskin leather.
Other features: Quartz regulated, solar powered, brown band color, stainless steel buckle.
Measurements: 39 mm, ultrathin.
Price Range: $90 – $120.