Citizen Takes a Big Step with a New Eco-Drive Movement in a 1970s Inspired Watch

A recurring theme that we’re seeing in the watch enthusiast space this year is a heightened interest in interesting quartz watches. It comes up all the time on our podcast, on Instagram, and certainly in the YouTube comments for our recent coverage of a quartz release from TAG Heuer. Clearly, there’s an appetite for this stuff, but it seems like the big Swiss brands are still a step behind their Japanese counterparts in terms of delivering watches that are high on value while pushing the envelope in terms of quartz tech. Exhibit A: Citizen, and their new Eco-Drive 365 line, which gives us a fairly substantial movement upgrade in a package that doesn’t look quite like anything else on the market. 


The big news here is the introduction of the all new Caliber E365 Eco-Drive movement. As the name implies, these light powered movements have a running time of an entire year on a full charge. That’s an impressive accomplishment, just about doubling the running time of a standard Eco-Drive movement, which already made for the ideal watch to completely forget about in a sock drawer for months at a time. The new caliber is able to maximize power consumption for an even longer running time than previous movements while keeping the same 27mm diameter as its predecessor. The new E365 calibers are accurate to within 15 seconds per month.   

For the first batch of E365 releases (which unfortunately won’t be available until fall of this year) Citizen is looking back to the early 70s for design inspiration, This trio of watches all feature the same 42.5mm case, which is vaguely cushion shaped and features wide, flat surfaces and have an angular sensibility that would have been right at home in a 1970s sports watch, but feels like a breath of fresh air today, at a time when so many watches of this type tend to look the same. 

All three watches feature dials inspired by a starry night sky, which Citizen says were created using their latest manufacturing techniques to achieve a sense of depth. The dial, of course, is where light hits the sensor that powers the rechargeable battery that in turn drives the movement, so creating any kind of artistically minded dial that also performs this additional function is a unique challenge when it comes to light powered watches. We’ve seen other brands (Cartier comes to mind) effectively “hide” the openings on their solar powered watch dials in interesting ways, but Citizen has more experience than just about anyone in this area, so we have a fairly high degree of confidence these dials will impress in person. 

In terms of variants, we have two releases that will be permanent additions to the catalog, one that has been fully coated in a black ion plating, and another in steel with a black ion plated bezel as an accent. The third watch is maybe the most interesting, and the most fully devoted its Disco-era roots, featuring a gold outer ring and four lab grown rubies at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions. This reference is directly inspired by the Citizen Quartz EFA from 1973, and is further differentiated from the non-limited watches by being mounted to a leather strap as opposed to a bracelet, and having a polished steel bezel. 

Pricing for the non-limited editions is set at $480 for the unplated variant, and $530 for the all black version. The limited edition is priced at $875. More information at Citizen here.

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.

Comments are closed.