Olight - R50        
Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,576

    Default Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    In theory it sounds like a good idea. They appear to use a solar cell to charge a Li-Ion battery. But Li Ions don't last forever either, they are generally rated at 500 charge cycles or so.

    Think I can get 10 years out of one of these?
    Last edited by cave dave; 12-10-2006 at 01:05 PM.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  2. #2

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    My bro bought a titanium Eco Drive a couple years ago and it still works geat. Itís a nice watch and the titanium makes it really lightweight. But for me I would probably loose or break (accidentally) watch in ten years.
    Take risks because if you don't you'll never know...
    Arc AAA-P(at least the old P), Wolf Eyes 6a, MAG 6D, Jet Beam C-LE, Wolf Eyes D2AX , 2D M@glite ROP. Everything else is crap or at least now it is...

  3. #3
    Enlightened SimplyJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I recently ordered an AquaLand Eco-Drive. The manual doesn't give a time frame on when the battery will eventually have to be replaced. The only thing the manual states is that the battery will not require periodical replacement.

    I also have a Bulova titanium Marine Star, it's also a solar powered quartz. I bought it back in 1997 and it is still running like I bought it yesterday. It only loses about 1-2 seconds a month.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* 9volt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have one and I like it alot. I think it's SS and it's held up very well. It took about 6 months of abuse for scratches to really start appearing on it. I do hate the date featuer because I've got to reset it most months .

    This is the nicest watch I've owned w/o getting into stupid expensive watches. When I'm ready to start going there ($500+) I'll probably start with one of the nicer Tissots. They are some of the best values in real high-end complicated watches with no-bs Swiss mechanicals.


  5. #5
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have a citizen skyhawk titanium eco drive. It's light as hell, a few coworkers think it's painted plastic. The eco-drive movement's pretty nice. Consider that 90% of the time if you have a button down desk job, your watch is in your sleeve and for a good 7-8 hrs a day it's in the dark while you're sleeping, the watch is smart enough to shut off the mechanicals if it senses no light for about 2 minutes. Once you lift your sleeve or expose it to light, it's quite a show to watch all the hands whizzing into their respective positions within about a second.
    I've put it through about 3 years of heavy nonstop use, there are a few scratches on the sapphire and a whole lot of them on the band and casing, since I work with concrete sometimes and the chunks of quartz and whatnot in there really take a toll on the watch.
    It's accurate enough that it loses or gains about a second every 3-4 months (yes mine's that accurate). Maybe I got lucky on the movement lottery or something. But it's very satisfying whenever I pull back my sleeve to check the time, have all the hands whiz back into their positions, and when the guy on the radio says "it is now 9pm, *beep*", my watch almost always lands right smack on 0 seconds when I hear the beep.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    Eco Drive is pretty reliable, you will hear much more earlier production (5M4x or before) seiko kinetic capacitor failure than eco drive cap failure.

    don't quote me on that, but i think i've heard on the SCWF that the citizen cell should hold 70-80% of the original charge capacity in 20-25 years
    Let there be light.

  7. #7
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I also have an Eco-Drive Skyhawk Titanium, and it's been very good to me. I got it in early 2002, and have worn it daily since then with no trouble. A few chips in the crystal (what do you call the window when it's not crystal?) from the odd bang against something, but the band still looks good, and it still works perfectly.

    I work in a dark office ("the cave" as I call it) in Seattle (lots of overcast) and even so, the battery meter never shows any discharge. It is pretty cool watching the hands scroll back into position.

    My biggest complaint with the watch is that the beeps it's capable of uttering for alarms or whatever are really anemic. I'm sure the alarm would never wake me up, since it's so quiet. Oh, and the slide rule around the bezel isn't very accurate, but it's probably within 10% all around, and 2% in most places. Good enough for what I use it for (the odd currency conversion or reckoning of gas mileage).

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,576

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    What is the "SCWF"? Some kind of watch forum? I'm not sure I want to know. I don't need another money pit.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    1,097

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    SCWF is "Seiko Citizen Watch Forum". You might also try the Poor Mans Watch Forum- pmwf.com.

    I have quite a few mechanical watches but I also have a couple of EcoDrives and I have faith in them. I have a couple of quartz watches and their batteries seem to die frequently and at the wrong time. Theoretically that isn't a problem w/ the EcoDrives.
    Pel. M6 LED, SL TL-2 LED, TL-3 Xenon, Scorpion, Inova X5, SharperImage Luxeon, Gerber Infinity, Petzl Tikka, 2C Mag 3x123 KPR112, 2D Mag 7xAA KPR118, Nuwai QIII, TM115, TM311, 3rd_shift Luxeon 3C Magmod, Solitaire Luxeon, MiniMag MJLED,Mag85, MagLed 2D.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    +1 on SCWF

    My wife and i both have eco drives with no problems, however i still prefer seiko automatic divers.

    It is my understanding thats it actually a capacitor that gets charged in the newer versions. Whatever it is it lasts for six months without light if fully charged

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,576

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I'm thinking a LiIon battery would only last 10 yrs (**EDIT- see next post) at best. If an efficient watch were to use a large Li Primary like a CR2016 you can sometimes get 8 yrs. I have a timex with a 2016 that has at least 5yrs on the orginal battery. With the trend towards big watches there would be no reason to not use CR2025 or CR2032s for even longer runtimes.

    I hope it is has been changed to a capacitor since that should not wear out. I found some old descriptions of the Eco-Drive system that called it a LiIon battery. It seems that Eco Drive has only been around for 7 yrs or so, not exactly proven technology.
    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/...e_watch_review

    I also found pics about changing the "capacitor" on a Seiko Kinetic and the pic of the "capacitor" clearly showed that it was a LiIon battery even though they called it a capacitor. If Seiko ditched the Kinetic mechanisim they would have room for a really big battery that alone could last 10 yrs.
    http://tinyurl.com/spj4o

    So I'm thinking the whole thing might be a marketing Gimmick! But I liked the looks of the watch and it was only $81 and I had a $50 Gift certificate. So I went ahead and bought one
    Last edited by cave dave; 12-16-2006 at 10:35 AM.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,576

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    OK I finally found some info on Citizens Japanese website with some marketing material from 2002.
    http://www.citizenwatch.co.jp/bsl_20...ok/p21_22.html

    After 20 yrs the charge capacity is 80%
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  13. #13
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    The Seiko Kinetics used to use an actual capacitor, but they switched to a rechargeable battery when the capacitor-based models proved to be unreliable (the capacitors died very quickly). I believe the Eco Drive watches contain a rechargeable battery; some models may also add a small capacitor.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave
    OK I finally found some info on Citizens Japanese website with some marketing material from 2002.
    http://www.citizenwatch.co.jp/bsl_20...ok/p21_22.html

    After 20 yrs the charge capacity is 80%
    I wonder if the mechanicals will last that long.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator
    DM51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Borg cube #51
    Posts
    13,339

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have a Citizen Ti Eco-drive which I used to use for diving but I don't use it any more. You have to keep it somewhere in the light or it stops after 3-4 weeks. Doesn't have to be bright light, but it's a nuisance as it means you can't put it in a drawer or bag and leave it there for too long. It wasn't very accurate anyway. I now use a Ti Traser H3 Commander instead - much better.

  16. #16
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have two Eco Drive watches -- one is a Calibre 8700 perpetual calendar with nice two-tone bracelet; the other is a Blue Angels Skyhawk. Both keep good time and will run for several months without being worn. When not worn they are stored either in a drawer (no light) or in a watch box on my dresser in a spot that receives little light.

    The SkyHawk actually has some additional power saving modes where the hands will stop moving but it will continue to maintain correct time internally. Pull it out of the drawer, and the hands will quickly move for a few seconds until they display the correct time. In this power saving mode it should maintain correct time for more than a year.

  17. #17
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I got one as a wedding gift last year and so far it's been great! I love it, never leaves my side and still looks good.
    Let's try that again.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have an econ-drive, which turned a year old yesterday (it was a Christmas present last year).

    I guess mine must be an older model, since it doesn't stop the hands in the dark. I work in an office, and wear long sleeves, and it never seems to run short on juice. It's pretty easy to read in the dark. It promises to be way more reliable than anything that requires battery replacement. After having the battery replaced, waterproof watches are no longer waterproof, so if this battery lasts 20 years, as Citizen claims, there is a potential that this watch could last 20 years for me.

    That's all the good news. The bad news is that this one I have isn't very accurate. It will get to be a minute slow in just a couple of months, and I don't think that it loses at a constant rate. I'll start rating it once reception improves a bit, and I can get WWV again.

  19. #19
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    Nels, only some of the models offer the power saving modes (hands stop after a few minutes of darkness, etc). Lack of these power saving modes does not necessarily indicate an older model.

    If the watch is running a minute slow after 2 months, then it's out of spec and should be able to be adjusted by Citizen. Even so, 1 minute slow is still vastly better than a mechanical watch -- which could be 1 minute slow after 1 week! (I'm wearinig a mechanical watch right now -- but this one is more accurate than many...)
    Last edited by skr; 12-27-2006 at 10:38 AM.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    Believe it or now, a coworker and I both have the same watch, we both set it to atomic time twice a year and it holds to within 2 seconds over 6 months. I know cause when I hear on the radio, "welcome back to 1010 wins news, the time is now 9pm (beep)", I look at my watch and it'll hit 0 seconds dead on. So I guess it's not only mine but like I said before, we might just get lucky. It is pretty cool when we say something's gonna happen and without having to calibrate, we can syncronize it down to the second at work.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,576

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51
    I have a Citizen Ti Eco-drive which I used to use for diving but I don't use it any more. You have to keep it somewhere in the light or it stops after 3-4 weeks.
    It sounds like it's running on empty almost all the time. Thats not so good for a LiIon battery.

    It actually takes quite a bit to fully charge a Eco drive battery. 11 hrs under bright outdoor sunlight. A window blocks much of the UV rays needed for a good charge so multiply that figure by 3 or 4 for charging indoors under direct sun. Since a window is unlikely to get direct sun for more than a few hours you might need to leave it in a sunny spot indoors for several days for a full charge.
    I put mine outdoors on the deck and repositioned it every 3 hours for two days to hopefully top the battery off.

    Mine has gained about 5 sec in a month. It is one of the lower priced models.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  22. #22

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    Sorry for dragging up this old thread but time is the best test.

    If you like the style of a watch then get it but I think I was fooled by the eco-drive technology when I bought mine.

    I bought my E810 for around £400 in 2001 naively thinking I'd have it for the rest of my life without having to buy batteries.

    8 Years later I had to pay £62 to get the module replaced. 4 years after that I'm looking at another £73 for the same.
    My watch doesn't seem to have worked out particularly well in that respect as a cheaper watch that takes batteries would have probably worked out more economically.

    Regards, Matt

  23. #23
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I had to have my wife's Eco-Drive serviced after she had owned it for at least 10 years. It wasn't terribly expensive for the battery replacement. She has been pleased with it.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have an Eco Drive model that I wear every day- I've had the watch for over 10 1/2 years and it has never needed servicing, and seems to keep very good time. (The only times that I need to adjust the time is for daylight savings time.) Aside from some scratches on the 'locking' part of the band and some scratches on the crystal (I'm a little tough on watches) it is in excellent shape. I am very pleased with the Eco Drive. It is not a 'cheap' watch, but not very expensive either- I feel that they are a good value.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Eco Drive watches - Any good?

    I have used my eco drive -diver model- for a bit over 10 or 11 years, use it every day and I have not serviced it yet. Keeps very good time.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •