How do Eco-Drive Watches Work?

Like most people, you’ve undoubtedly owned one or more watches you adored dearly but whose batteries died unexpectedly. It’s most likely gathering dust in a drawer or box that you put it in. Like many of us, it’s likely that you didn’t have the time to take it to a jeweler to change the battery. However, Citizen Eco-Drive timepieces are unique. They create gorgeous timepieces you will adore, and you won’t ever have to be concerned about the expense and difficulty of changing a battery again. Eco-Drive timepieces are strong, dependable, and have the longest-lasting batteries available.

Eco-Drive watches, created and produced by Citizen Watch Company, are powered by any light source. The watches’ power supply is continuously refilled because they may run on solar or artificial light. Eco-Drive watches come in a range of shapes and patterns and resemble other watches in appearance. The same kind of quartz movement seen in watches powered by other technologies is also present in these high-quality watches. Continue to read How do Eco-Drive Watches Work?

How do Eco-Drive Watches Work?

Solar cell converters and  Energy cells comprise the two main components of an Eco-Drive watch’s system. Under the watch dial is a micron-thin silicon solar disc that holds the solar panel. After being absorbed by the solar panel through the watch crystal and dial, the light energy from the light source is converted into electrical power through a process known as photovoltaic. The energy cell then stores the electrical energy, giving the watch the power it needs to function. After that, an Eco-Drive watch functions just like a standard quartz watch.

The energy cell of an Eco-Drive watch is distinct from a standard watch battery. The following are the main differences:

  • The typical cycle of charge and discharge does not affect it.
  • Since the energy cell lacks the chemicals in most conventional watch batteries, it is environmentally safe.
  • When used properly, the energy cell never has to be replaced.

The Citizen Eco-Drive watches can operate for at least six months in total darkness. If you have a watch collection, you won’t have any trouble putting the Citizen Eco-Drive in a drawer and taking it out six months later. I’m not sure what more there is if it isn’t cool.

The movement/gaskets require maintenance

The five things to look for while troubleshooting a broken watch, you’ll learn that a variety of things, including extreme temperatures and water damage, can harm your beloved timepiece. These things still can damage your Eco-Drive watch, so it’s critical to be mindful of its level of water resistance and the temperatures you’re subjecting it to, especially when charging. The gaskets in your watch’s casing could need to be replaced if it becomes wet, and depending on how badly damaged the watch is, the cost of repairs could go up.

To avoid unintentionally damaging the watch, we urge you to become familiar with your Eco-Drive model’s water resistance characteristics and always leave a margin of safety when swimming or diving. More information on Citizen’s particular water resistance concerns. You must adhere to the suggested light and heat guidelines when charging your Eco-Drive watch because overheating your watch can cause it to malfunction.

Features of Eco-Drive

Never again change a battery

The benefits of an Eco-Drive watch are clear. No more trips to the Citizen watch dealer or jeweler in your neighborhood to change a battery. Saves you time and money. Additionally, the watch will continue to be waterproof without the need for unnecessary opening.

Greater environmental benefit

Every year, above 3 million Eco-Drive watches are sold throughout the world. As a result, 4 million fewer watch cells are discarded yearly than when Eco-Drive was introduced. For simplicity, let’s assume that the typical watch battery is 2.3 mm thick. If that were the case, there would be a hump of batteries at the height of Mount Everest every year!

Watch battery charging in artificial light

You don’t have to charge an Eco-Drive in the sun even if you might believe you should. A Citizen watch may be charged in common lighting fixtures such as LED lamps, fluorescent tubes, etc. However, charging does occur more quickly and efficiently under bright light sources like direct sunlight.

Eco-Drive is punctual

An Eco-Drive watch from Citizen is unique. So unique that an Eco-Drive watch with a full charge will function in total darkness for more than six months. The watch should always be charged if you routinely expose it to light.

Ugly solar cell serving as a dial

No! You might believe that the dial of an Eco-Drive watch is an unsightly solar cell. However, this is not at all the case. These cutting-edge watches have undergone 40 years of development to include a light-sensitive cell that is completely undetectable.

Are Eco-Drive Watches a Good Investment?

Considering the bargain, you are getting, Citizen watches are high-quality by today’s standards. They are unquestionably worth the cost. Considering the price, Citizen watches offer enormous value. The watches are incredibly reliable, and you may avoid changing the battery every two to three years thanks to Eco-Drive Technology.

You shouldn’t let the watch’s quality influence your decision if you have your eye on a certain Citizen model and are considering buying it. That does not mean there aren’t any respectable rivals, though. A company like Seiko or omega is known for its superb diving timepieces and strong performance.

Citizen has added a function that alerts you if the battery is running low. The majority of watches just stop working. Therefore you’ll need to take them to a jeweler or watchmaker. Citizen’s Eco-Drive eliminates the need to visit a jeweler or watchmaker for a battery replacement by allowing you to simply place the watch in the light where it will begin charging.

Why Does  Eco-Drive Watch Stop?

When an Eco-Drive watch stops, it usually happens because all its energy has been consumed. It can mean that the movement must be serviced if it operates slowly.

The reserve power is running low if the watch’s second-hand leaps 2 seconds at a time or 1/3 of a minute on watches without seconds’ hands. A powerful light source must be fully visible to the power cell. You might need to reset the watch if it continues to shift forward by 2 seconds at a time.

On most models, you pull the crown to the time setting position, hold it there for 30 seconds, then push it back into the closed position next to the case before setting the time.

How Long Is An Eco-Drive?

The capacitor of Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is anticipated to last 20 years, with a lifespan of more than 10 years.

Quartz watches, powered by electricity flowing through a mineral called a quartz crystal, are often expected to last a long period (at least 20 years), even more so with today’s quartz watches. Some quartz watches, including Citizen Eco-Drive models, are anticipated to last for about as long as the owner.

How you care for the watch affects how long its Eco-Drive will last. Snowboarding, scuba diving, and other extremely degradable sports you watch will deteriorate more quickly if you use them in the hot tub. The watch should last as long as other quartz watches if cared for and maintained.

The watch’s lifespan depends on several factors. The watch’s case will undoubtedly deteriorate if worn carelessly or in harsh situations. The power cells used in Eco-Drive technology, as opposed to the capacitor, have a 40-year lifespan. Over time, the charging capacity will decrease. Even after 20 years, the cells are still rated at 80% of their capacity.


You’ve found it if you’re seeking a new watch and want to get one that will serve you faithfully for the rest of your life. It won’t ever require recharging and will keep working forever. Pure sustainability for anyone trying to save the earth in any way possible.

Eco-Drive watches are a long-lasting, fantastic option for watches, and many people adore them for their simplicity of use and “set it and forget it” mentality. Despite without a battery, we have discovered How do Eco-Drive Watches Work. Eco-Drive watches will occasionally require service, whether because of battery depletion or movement wear, to ensure that the “lifelong watch” lives up to its moniker.


How can I maintain the charge in my Eco-Drive watch?

At least once a month, charge the watch by placing it in direct sunshine for five to six hours. Do not leave the watch unattended in a dark area for an extended period. Long sleeves may frequently block the watch from light, necessitating additional charging to ensure continuous performance.

How long does a Citizen Eco-Drive watch’s battery last?

According to Citizen Watches, the solar cells and backup battery used in Eco-Drive watches will last up to 10 years.

Can a Citizen Eco-Drive be overcharged?

The two-hand model can run continuously for around 5 months after a full charge, while the three-hand variant can run continuously for about 2 months. Each time a watch stops, it is recharged. This watch won’t overcharge you, ever.

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