Founded in 1918, and producing timepieces since 1924, Citizen holds the distinction of being the world’s largest watchmaker (since 1986). With annualized revenues of over $2 billion (operating year 2010) Citizen is a world leader in quality and innovation.
Known for precise quartz watches, Citizen is perhaps most famous for its “Eco-Drive” line of movements.
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Of the three Citizens I own, this one is my favorite. It’s got a sleek, sporty look that appears futuristic without being overdone. It’s comfortable to wear and feels secure when worn. It is accurate, and the utility of never having to charge it, change a battery, or worry about it going dead is very appealing. This is a great watch.
Citizen AW1151-04E Technical Specifications
Quartz, Eco-Drive J810
Approximately 6 months on full charge
Setting the Time
The time and date display are both set using the crown.
How To set the time:
- Pull crown to the furthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time. The date display will roll over at midnight, indicating AM time.
How To set the Date:
- Pull crown to the middle position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to set the date.
Citizen Drive AW1151-04E Aesthetics & Design
Citizen has a real futuristic look in the AW1151-04E. It’s sleek, modern, with minimal use of color and texture. The photovoltaic cell on the dial has a vertical striped texture- otherwise, the watch is flat. It looks like it came off of a Tron movie set, and I don’t mean that disparagingly. I think it looks great.
The vibrant blue case matches the blue inlets on the hands and hour markers. It’s the defining piece of the watch, serving to draw your attention to the dial.
All this techno style looks great with casual wear or workout gear, but it definitely doesn’t translate well to a professional or formal setting. It also doesn’t translate well to an evening setting, as the small amounts of lume used on the hands and hour markers don’t retain much visibility.
Citizen Drive AW1151-04E Build Quality
One area Citizen consistently shines is in the build quality of its timepieces. This one is no exception, being made with exacting tolerances and good quality materials. The ion-blue coating is scratch resistant, and the mineral crystal is inlet slightly.
Crystal, Case, and Dial
The dial is simple and well put together. It masks the photo-voltaic cell, which powers the watch. The hands move with carefully calibrated precision, aligning perfectly with the markers as they sweep across the face.
The case is a combination of ion-blue coated steel and polished steel. Citizen’s coating process has made the blue steel quite scratch resistant and durable. It’s kept the watch looking great for months.
Strap and Clasp
The silicon rubber strap looks good, but I find it slightly uncomfortable. I swapped it out for a leather one before switching to a nato (not pictured). The strap itself is good quality, and so is the stainless steel buckle.
More About the Citizen Drive AW1151-04E
Citizen is using the J810 Eco-Drive movement. Like all Eco-Drive’s, it is powered by light and can store a maximum charge of 6 months. The J810 is an excellent movement overall and is accurate to within a few seconds per month.
You can power an Eco-Drive movement with nearly any light source, though sunlight is always preferable.
Value for Money
I feel that Citizen watches tend to offer good value. This watch is an example of that. I’ve seen it sell on Amazon for around $175 (it’s MSRP is $225), and for $175 you’re getting a good amount of watch for your money. Don’t forget the fact that you’ll never have to worry about changing the battery, and so long as you keep it in some kind of light, it will remain accurate.
If you’re looking for a watch like this, the Citizen AW1151-04E is a good choice.