A wristwatch is the classic gentleman’s accessory. Although the market is burgeoning with all varietals of watches, we here at Improb are especially fond of the timepieces produced by Citizen Watch Company. The Tokyo-based watchmaker places great focus on innovation, quality, aesthetics. And their handsome collection strikes a rare chord — that of affordable pragmatism and high-end luxury.
Citizen’s patented, battery-free Eco-Drive technology powers each watch by converting any light source into energy and storing it in a perpetually-rechargeable power cell.
While a Citizen wristwatch never ceases to impress, we’ve culled through their reputable catalog in search of the crème de la crème. So, without further ado, here is our selection of the best Citizen watches for men.
The Best Citizen Watch
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch (BEST CHOICE)
The Promaster 300 Meter Diver is our favorite thanks to its professional-diver designation and understated, sexy profile.
Citizen’s battery-free lighting-powered Eco-Drive technology powers this dive watch under $500, so feel free to test out its remarkable water resistance — rated up to 1,000 feet (300 m). Luminous strontium oxide aluminate makes the Promaster’s hands and hour markers easy-to-read in low-light; the rotating bezel makes tracking dive time clear and reliable.
Finally, the massive 48-mm stainless steel case, understated 29-mm urethane band, and rugged metal buckle converge to make this one chronograph that can’t be missed.
Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler Field Watch
This watch is best suited for the rugged outdoorsman, adventurer, or those who simply favor the field watch‘s strength and style.
This military-style watch will outlast each adventure and even boasts water-resistance up to 330 feet (100 meters) should you end up submerged. The three-hand analog display with quartz movement and luminous hands are easy to read even when your adventures creep into the wee hours of the night.
Its low-profile 37-mm case and 18-mm woven nylon band mean it’s the smallest on our list, but don’t write it off — the Chandler is a lean, rugged machine.
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Blue Angels
This U.S. Navy Blue Angels-approved piece, dressed in the squadron’s navy and yellow, is somehow both elegant and athletic.
The timekeeping feature-set alone is impressive: atomic-synchronized accuracy across 26 time zones, radio-controlled accuracy across five additional zones, a chronograph, and an integrated stopwatch. Its anti-reflective dial and slide-rule bezel provide clear visuals and absolute precision. And although this namesake watch has its head in the clouds, it’s still water-resistant up to 660 feet (200 m).
The moderately-sized 43-mm stainless steel case, Blue Angels-crested case back, 23-mm duo-tone leather strap, and Citizen-classic buckle make this a sentimental yet style-versatile classic.
Citizen Men’s ‘Military’ Quartz Stainless Steel Watch
Citizen’s Military watch is well equipped for challenge and adventure. It boasts a respectable water-resistance up to 330 feet (100 m) — perfect for water-logged drills or shoreline recreation.
The black-ion plated 43-mm stainless steel case, matching buckle, and woven Codura/nylon band complete this enduring, handsome timepiece.
For more quality timepieces, check out our guide to the best Omega watches.
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch
This classic, stainless steel timepiece is absolutely classic. The moderately-sized 42-mm case, 21-mm stainless steel link band, and traditional foldover clasp make for intuitive dressing and a nostalgic look.
The anti-reflective sapphire dial window is readable in the sunniest conditions. Should that sun encourage you to take a dip, there’s no need to fret about your watch as it is water-resistant up to 330 feet (100 m).
Our guide to the best Rolex watches features more classy timepieces like this. Check them out.
Citizen Men’s CA0649-06X Eco-Drive Watch
Citizen’s Brycen beams style and elegance. This big watch will move from work to home, to a hike or a night out with ease, making it a premier versatile option. And let’s not forget it’s water-resistance up to 330 feet (100 m).
Its substantial 44-mm case coupled with its contrasting face and hands make for a standout yet nowhere near flashy. The thick, 26-mm leather strap only adds to its appeal and promises to look even better with age.
Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Diver Watch
Consider this the little brother to our Best Choice. With it, you’ll get all of the same bells and whistles as our first pick, with a few style variations and less robust water-rating.
The Promaster 200 Meter Diver fields the second-highest water-resistance on this list — 660 feet (200 m)
Like other classic dive watches, this one is outfitted with a unidirectional bezel so you can track your time underwater.
Other features of this watch include a luminous three-hand display with a quartz movement for that classic tick. A stainless steel case and crown make this watch durable for all your above or underwater adventures. For additional visibility, while underwater, there is an anti-reflective mineral crystal face.
If you are into luxury timepieces, you will surely be interested in some of these amazing Nomos watches from our list.
Citizen Eco-Drive Avion Watch
While Citizen’s Avion may be the most economical watch on our list, it still packs a mighty punch. It’s ready to complement any outfit, and excellently versatile option for work, home, formal events, or nights out.
The three-hand analog display is easy to read and offers casual water-resistance up to 330 feet (100 m).
The Avion boasts a moderately-sized 45-mm case and 22-mm leather band, so it’s large but not flashy. And, like most other picks on this list, it is a quartz watch. If you want a timepiece that makes a statement but won’t detract from your other accessories, this is the watch for you.
Citizen Eco-Drive Navihawk Atomic Watch
The Navihawk is one of the only driving watches on this list. It boasts multi-function chronographs for timekeeping, whether you’re in the gym or on the track.
Unlike many other watches listed here, this watch has digital information displays and features atomic timekeeping. Luminous markers and an anti-reflective mineral crystal display mean it’s easy to read regardless of light conditions.
The massive 48-mm case and orange accenting may seem over-the-top to some, but if you’re looking for an easy read (or to stand out in a crowd), this watch is an attractive choice. And its 23-mm “Navihawk” embossed urethane band is nothing less than determined.
You will find more timeless timepieces by checking out our guide to the top Tag Heuer watches.
Citizen Eco-Drive Movement Men’s Watch
The Citizen Eco-Drive Movement Men’s Watch is an excellent choice for those who want a nice watch to move and go anywhere with them.
This watch boasts water resistance up to 660 feet (200 m) — the second-highest on this list, atomic timekeeping, an anti-reflective sapphire dial window, and Japanese quartz movement.
The 43-mm case and 21-mm stainless steel link band are traditional yet sharp, and the foldover clasp makes this watch easy to put on with a single hand, speeding up your morning routine.
Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch
Black, stainless steel, and brown tend to be the typical go-to’s for most casual watches. This watch takes a turn, with a focus on dark, midnight blue.
The Canvas’s water-resistance up to 330 feet (100 m) is impressive for a watch of this ilk and more than enough to handle a beach-bound vacation. A three-hand analog display on top of a midnight blue dial makes it easy to read.
The low-profile 40-mm case lends an air of sophistication, the 20-mm woven nylon band makes it pop — but not too much, and the classic buckle pulls this Connecticut-casual timepiece together. If you love to go against the grain but want to look still stylish, this blue dial watch is an excellent option for you.
Citizen Star Wars Limited Edition Watch
Citizen’s Star Wars Limited Edition piece may be last on our list, but by no means do we love it any less. This black ion-plated, stainless steel bad boy features a stark white Death Star face that, along with its hands, glows in the dark.
The low-profile 40-mm case houses a thick, understated border. The 23-mm link-style band and foldover clasp are classic, yet edgy thanks to their dark ion-plating. Oh, and it’s water-resistant up to 330 feet (100 m) — not a significant concern on Tatooine (wink wink).
This all black watch is on a very limited offer. Citizen is only producing 1,977 pieces globally — a tip of the hat to the year that the original Star Wars episode hit theaters. This watch is a perfect choice for every Star Wars franchise fan who wants a new talking piece on their wrist that’s subtle enough to wear just about anywhere.
Citizen Watch Buying Guide
Features to Look for in Citizen Watches
Size – Choosing a watch size is heavily dependent on your wrist size. Before choosing a watch, measure your wrist in inches. If your wrist diameter is 6 to 7 inches or smaller, you might opt for a 38 to 42-mm case size. Men’s watches with diameters smaller than 38 mm do exist but are pretty rare due.
If your wrist measures 7.5 to 8 inches, consider a larger watch face. In this case, it might be wise to opt for a watch that is 44 to 48 mm in diameter.
Style – When it comes to shopping for your new Citizen timepiece, there are five primary styles to be aware: dive, dress, driving, field, and pilot, dive. Each style type has various designs, functions, and purposes. Dress watches are generally thinner and can easily slide out of a cuff. They usually come with a leather band and are worn for fancier occasions, with tuxedos, and at high-end events.
Field watches originated in the trenches of World War II. These watches will be more rugged and durable as well as easy to read in low light conditions. The band is usually leather or fabric. While this band option might seem less robust than a metal band, metal will scratch too quickly in the field, and a leather strap is quicker and easier to replace when the time comes.
Pilot watches diverge slightly from field watches. Pilot watches should still be easy to read in low light conditions. These watches’ style is less defined, but you can usually expect a leather strap, medium to large face, and a more casual overall look.
Dive watches do what their name suggests; they dive. The signature feature of a dive watch is that it is water-resistant. This style of watch focuses on those who spend lots of time in or around water. Other features of dive watches include a unidirectional bezel, so a diver knows how long they have been underwater, a metal band, and a medium-sized face.
Lastly, we have driving or racing watches. The hallmark feature of these bad boys is that they have a stopwatch. Drive watches tend to be medium to large, flashy, and often made of stainless steel. Another common feature of drive watches will be contrasting, bright colors.
Case Material – Case materials vary in quality and cost. Most cheap and less expensive options will use a hollow stainless steel case; while this is lightweight, it is not very durable. You may also see ceramic, plastic, or aluminum cases in the lower cost spectrum of watches. Slightly higher quality watches will have a solid stainless steel case. With this construction, you’ll get a higher-quality and longer-lasting piece. Stainless steel can also be refinished to 90% to 95% of its original condition, making this watch a purchase that will last for decades with proper care. Lastly, most manufacturers make the highest quality watches with precious metals.
Gold, platinum, titanium, and silver are also all common choices. Silver tarnishes quickly and is becoming rarer these days. However, it is highly resistant to decay. Titanium is a durable yet lower density metal. Titanium is lightweight while still being dent and corrosion-resistant. Platinum is an incredibly hard and scratch-resistant metal that can be refinished to almost new condition. Gold comes with quite a bit of lore and status behind it.
The two most common gold choices are yellow or white gold. Yellow gold tends to be flashier and displays status; however, it easily scratches compared to other precious metals. White gold is becoming a premium choice for those who don’t want the flashiness of yellow gold but are looking for a pure, precious metal durable enough for their watch.
Bracelet – Watch straps and bracelets come in quite a variety, allowing you the chance to make sure your choice of watch for the day matches your outfit. Many higher-end watches will feature a bracelet or strap made of the same precious metal as the case. These metals will have the same qualities in the case that they do in the bracelet. You may also see leather as an option in some high-end options.
If we take a step down a notch in price, aluminum and hollow stainless steel bracelets become more common. Fabric and silicone straps are more common among sports watches. Regardless of your needs, there’s a watch strap, or quite a few, for you.
Lastly, if you opt for a metal band, you should look for one held together by screws, not pins. Those with screws tend to look classier and provide a more solid construction making them longer lasting than those held together by pins.
Movement – Movement in a watch refers to the way your timepiece tells time. If you crave the classic tick sound from your watch as the second-hand moves, you’ll want to opt for quartz movement in your new wrist piece. Quartz movement refers to timepieces that move via an oscillator powered by a piece of quartz, which is powered by a battery. This combination provides the classic tick we are all so used to hearing.
If you prefer a quieter, smoother movement, consider looking for a mechanical watch. Mechanical movement is powered by an uncoiling metal spring to distribute power to the watch’s hands — the spring winds in two different ways. The first option is a hand-wound movement, and the other option is a spring that winds using the kinetic energy from the wearer’s wrist.