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Citizen AW1151-04E Review

By Cameron Martel


Updated on

About Citizen

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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Our reviews are based on our first-hand experience with the watch. All photos and media are created by us (unless otherwise credited). Learn more about how we review watches.

Review Summary

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 Drive AW1151-04E

Citizen AW1151-04E Technical Specifications

  • Model Number: AW1151-04E
  • MSRP: $225
  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Alternate Models: Different color and complication combinations available
  • Movement: Quartz, Eco-Drive J810
  • Complications: Date display
  • Battery Life: Approximately 6 months on full charge
  • Water Resistance: 100m/330ft
  • Crystal Material: Mineral

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 AW1151-04E (aftermarket strap)

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.

Citizen AW1151-04E

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.

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About Cameron Martel

If it ticks or tocks, I want it on my wrist. I'm a fan of all things that keep good time, and I can't resist a great looking watch. WYCA is my way of appreciating the engineering and artistry that goes into affordable watches. My favorite watch is my Jazzmaster Auto Chrono, and the watch I wear the most is my Weekender Chronograph. I currently have 33 watches in my collection. Learn more about WYCA's Editorial Process.

8 thoughts on “Citizen AW1151-04E Review”

  1. I just recently discovered the “drive” line (yesterday) and already love it. I agree with the color comments. I have never really been a fan of over the top bright colours on a watch, but citizen does it with class and in a well packaged way.

    This is the one that caught my eye:

    How does the b620 movement compare to the one you so highly review in this article?

    • I can’t speak to that movement as I haven’t researched it or had any experience with it. However, the Citizen CA0427-08E uses a similar movement (different orientation, identical complications) and it has been accurate and reliable. I suspect the B620 would be much the same. Speaking candidly, I have a lot of faith/trust for the Eco-Drive movements based on the quality of the products they power.

      Hope that helps!

    • My wrist at the time was around 7.5″. I’ve lose some weight and clock in closer to 7″ now. The watch still looks good.

      I don’t find this one obnoxious. It’s 41mm in diameter but it’s also quite thin. I bet it’d look pretty good 🙂


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