Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Which Solar Watch is Superior?

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Matchup

Seiko and Citizen are two of the biggest brands from Asia, and it’s safe to say, even the world. With the rise of battery-powered quartz watches, both brands have been leading the market and these two companies have a lot in common.

Many customers are finding themselves choosing between a Seiko or Citizen watch – and that’s a good problem to have. Both manufacturers have excellent track records.

For this comparison review, we’ll try to answer the question, which is better? Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: At a Glance

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Review

This review is essentially a head-to-head between two major watch lines. Here’s a quick specs comparison of Seiko Solar and Citizen Eco-Drive.

Seiko SolarCitizen Eco Drive
MovementSolar, Quartz, AutomaticSolar, Quartz, Automatic
DisplayAnalogAnalog
Water-ResistanceYes, 330 feetYes, 660 feet
Power ReserveAbout 10 yearsSecond battery lasts up to 20 years
GPS WatchYesYes
Chronograph (and Tachymeter) watchYesYes
Atomic TimekeepingYesYes

Seiko vs Citizen: Brand Comparison

As you all know, both brands originated from Japan and have been enjoying a good deal of popularity in the market.

Now, according to our research of the market, Citizen has the upper hand when it comes to reach and sales volume. Citizen has a wider market presence and that can be said with their sales as well.

On the other hand, Seiko is also a popular brand but less so when compared to Citizen. In my experience, Seiko watches are not as widely available as Citizen, even when you’re shopping from major watch retailers. Therefore, many customers have to buy straight from Seiko or from a specialty store.

In comparison, Citizen watches are virtually everywhere. You can find plenty of Citizen models on Amazon and most major retailers. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is one of the main reasons for the brand’s popularity. Eco-Drive watches are known for their reliability which resonates well with customers.

As far as the solar watch community goes, Citizen seems to be the more popular brand between the two.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Solar Technology

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology

Obviously, the appeal of both watch lines lies with their solar-powered technology. Seiko uses the Solar designation while Citizen uses the Eco-Drive technology.

It’s worth noting that Seiko manufactures more mechanical watches than Citizen. Under Seiko’s Quartz collection is where you’ll find the brand’s solar-powered watches with the technology that’s simply called Seiko Solar. On the flip side, Citizen specializes more in quartz timepieces where you can find the Eco-Drive collection. The Eco-Drive technology was well-received and in fact, it has won the Gold prize at the “Eco Mark Award 2014”.

As we look closer, we’ve discovered that the solar technologies from the two brands are fairly similar. We’re trying to find a distinguishing feature between Solar and Eco-Drive to no avail. Some folks even believe that they’re essentially the same solar movements with some subtle differences.

So which solar technology is better? Well, it’s really hard to say.

Seiko uses its Solar technology to quite a handful of models. From the Seiko SNE481 Dress Watch to the Seiko RECRAFT Series, there’s a good selection of Seiko Solar models to choose from. However, it’s not a technology that Seiko uses across its collections.

On the other hand, Citizen outfits a wide range of its watches in Eco-Drive solar technology, even the bestselling ones. Thus, there’s a good chance that you’ll get an Eco-Drive watch if you invest in a Citizen piece. Also, Citizen has the advantage since they’ve been working with solar technology longer than Seiko.

In contrast, Seiko seems to be more committed to developing mechanical watches and their own Kinetic technology. If you want a mechanical/self-winding watch, Seiko is your best bet.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Style and Design

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive Solar Technology_1

This one is a bit trickier to compare.

However, if you’re going to observe the offerings from both brands, you’ll see that Seiko leans more towards the tried and true classic designs. A good example of this is the Seiko SNE102 Stainless Steel Solar Watch that has all the makings of a classic leather watch. However, Seiko Solar watches have a variety to them as well. Take for instance, the Seiko Solar Chronograph Silvertone Watch which is a nice-looking chronograph.

On the flip side, Citizen seems to push the limits more when it comes to design. One of my favorite Citizen watches is the Citizen BM8180-03E which is slick-looking field watch. However, Citizen Eco-Drive watches have models with bolder designs such as the Citizen AW1148-09E Drive.

Both brands offer stylish and great-looking watches. If you want something more of a classic look, Seiko is the way to go. However, for more design selections, Citizen can offer you more.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Construction, Durability and Water Resistance

Again, this is a category that’s difficult to argue concerning both brands. Both brands offer reliable and robust timepieces at a reasonable price. For the most part, both collections use the same type of case which is stainless steel. The cases are either brushed or polished.

On the back side, both watches are fitted with stainless steel as well. Stainless steel is durable and significantly helps with water resistance. Both Citizen and Seiko watches also use the screw-down lock style which improves water resistance even more.

Although Seiko Solar watches are water-resistant, they have some glaring limitations. For the most part, Solar watches have a water resistance rating of 100 meters. This makes Seiko Solar watches to be technically dive-ready. In comparison, some Eco-Drive models can go down to 200 meters underwater or 660 feet.

It’s worth noting that Seiko has a different line of solar watches for divers. Therefore, although some of their watches have water resistance, not all of them can be used for diving. As for the case of Citizen, they have Eco-Drive models that span both dive and outdoor watches.

Best Seiko Solar Watches

1. Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive

As mentioned, this is one of my favorite Seiko watches ever. The Seiko SNE331 Solar Dress Watch is a military-inspired timepiece but still works wonderfully as an all-around watch.

The large indices and the stencil-like numerals really perk up the dial. The thick luminous hands go very well with the handsome black dial. It’s a 43-mm stainless steel watch, so there’s a bit of heft to it. The hardlex crystal does a great job of protecting the dial.

Overall, it’s a stylish and rugged solar-powered watch that will last you a long while.

2. Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive

The Seiko SNE042 Stainless Steel Solar Watch is a beautiful dress watch with the signature Seiko reliability.

This is one of the more popular Seiko Solar models and for good reason. The two-tone design adds a good deal of class without looking tacky. The combination of gold hands and indices against the shimmering charcoal dial is so well done.

Of course, the best thing about this dress watch is that it’s solar-powered. With a straight 35 hours charge, it’s supposedly going to give you 10 months of battery life – that’s quite amazing. For a dress watch, it’s also tough and robust enough for daily wear.

The Seiko SNE042 is holding up well and a great introduction to Seiko Solar watches.

3. Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive

If you want to check out a chronograph Solar from this brand, the Seiko SSC667 RECRAFT Series is an excellent candidate.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the SSC667 is its vintage design which is a throwback to the 70s. Aside from the 70s-inspired design, I applaud Seiko for putting a good effort into creating the dial. There are various layers to the dial which creates depth. The applied markers also add the much-needed texture to the face.

The SSC667 is a utilitarian watch where every design element is deliberate. The NATO strap adds another layer o personality to the timepiece. It’s definitely one of the better Seiko chronographs that you can get.

Best Citizen Eco-Drive Watches

1. Citizen AW1150-07E Eco-DRV AR 2.0

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive

The Citizen AW1150-07E Eco-DRV AR 2.0 is a big, black, and bold timepiece with a modern appeal. Citizen doesn’t shy away from edgier designs and this one is my favorite.

It’s a 44mm stainless steel watch but it never feels too large, even on smaller wrists. The main selling point of the AW1150-07E is its looks. The dial just looks amazing and can be worn pretty much everywhere. I’ve received many compliments wearing it.

Overall, the AW1150-07E is one of the finer Eco-Drive watches available.

2. Citizen BM8180-03E

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive

The Citizen BM8180-03E is a trooper of a watch. It feels very rugged but still lightweight. From the military-inspired design to the quality construction, the Citizen BM8180-03E succeeds in the utilitarian sense.

The dial looks simple and straight to the point – just the way I like it. The lume is fairly decent but I wish it was better since the watch is designed for outdoor applications. The strap is a bit stiff at first but it was eventually broken in and became a lot more flexible.

Ultimately, the BM8180-03E is a fan favorite and it’s easy to see why.

3. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty diver with a great price, the Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver is an easy recommendation.

The BN0151-09L is an updated version of the classic Citizen dive watch. This dive watch has a water resistance rating of WR200/20Bar/666ft, so it’s something that scuba divers can actually use. Despite being a tool watch, the BN0151-09L Promaster is light and comfortable.

Overall, the BN0151-09L is a rock-solid dive watch and offers amazing value.

Seiko Solar vs Citizen Eco Drive: Final Thoughts

As you can see, this Seiko vs Citizen matchup is a tricky one. This is mainly because both brands are very similar.

If you are looking for a solar-powered watch with a more classic look, Seiko Solar should have something for you. On the other hand, Citizen Eco-Drive watches are more adventurous when it comes to design. When it comes to solar power technology, Citizen edges out Seiko because the former has more watches that have the feature. Plus, Citizen has been working with solar technology far longer than Seiko.

Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with their brand.

Best Seiko Automatic Watches: Rounding Up Seiko’s Top Automatic Watches

Best Seiko Automatic Watches_featured

When it comes to brands that helped shaped the watch industry, one brand that comes into mind is Seiko. After all, the Japanese company Seiko put out the very first quartz movement in history. Over the years, Seiko remained a powerhouse brand and will likely stay that way for the years to come.

So for today’s round-up, we highlight some of the best Seiko automatic watches that you can get from the market. This is going to be a particularly tough list especially when there are so many great Seiko timepieces out there.

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

Key Features

Our Rating

Seiko SARBO33 AutomaticAutomatic Movement with 50-hour power reserve, Sapphire Crystal, Case Diameter: 38.4 mm, Water resistant to 100m (330ft), Seiko 6R15 caliber★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Seiko 5 Automatic37 mm stainless steel case, Hardlex mineral dial window, Precise 21-jewel automatic movement with analog display, Water resistant at 30 meters / 100 feet, Seiko Caliber 7S26 automatic movement with about 40 hours of power reserve, Luminescent hands★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Seiko SRP777 Prospex Turtle AutomaticAutomatic, Self-winding capability w/ 21,600 vibrations per hour, Water-resistant to 200M, 3 fold push closure w/secure lock with extension, Screw down crown and caseback★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Seiko Presage SRPB41 Blue MoonSeiko 23 Jewels Self-Winding Automatic Movement, Hackable Second Hand (Calibre 4R35B), Stainless steel case, Hardlex crystal, Push Button Deployment Clasp, 5 ATM water resistance★ ★ ★ ★
Seiko SSA231K1 Analog AutomaticGents leather analogue, Open-heart design, White dial and brown strap or bracelet, 50-meter water resistance, Scratch Resistant Hardlex, Stainless steel★ ★ ★ ★
Seiko SRPC07 Prospex AutomaticOne Way Rotating Elapsed Timing Bezel, Automatic-self-wind Movement, 44 mm diameter, 200m (660ft) water resistance, Hardlex crystal, Fold-Over Clasp with Single Push-Button Safety★ ★ ★ ★

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

1. Seiko SARBO33 Automatic

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

Seiko watches come in a variety of types and styles. However, it’s really hard to beat the classic styling of the Seiko SARBO33 Automatic. Dubbed as the “Baby Grand Seiko”, the SARBO33 is truly a special automatic timepiece.

Best Valued Seiko Watch Around

For starters, the Seiko SARBO33 Automatic is a 38 mm watch, so many of you may be shocked at just how small it is. I have a medium-sized wrist so I didn’t mind the size. However, in just a few days, I got used to the 38 mm and the size even grew on me. With that said, it’s no wonder that many women opt for this watch.

One of the main standouts for me is the deep inky black dial. It looks elegant and even sports a minor reflective quality. The hour indices are applied and work well with the black dial – this is especially true when the indices catch direct sunlight. The date aperture is located in the 3 o’clock position and I must say that it’s framed rather nicely.

Overall, all the elements in the dial are laid out beautifully and feels perfectly balanced.

The watch is powered by the Seiko 6R15 movement which provides the watch with a great deal of value. It has a stated accuracy of +25/-15 sec a day and a power reserve of 50 hours.

The Seiko SARBO33 Automatic ticks all the right boxes and is one of the best Seiko automatic watches that you can buy.

2. Seiko 5 Automatic

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

The Seiko 5 Automatic line is one of the most popular collections from the Japanese company. This comes as a no surprise especially when it’s a well-made automatic watch that won’t break the bank. This model is a great gift for newcomers in the watch game.

For People Who Don’t Wear Watches

The Seiko 5 Automatic is considered to be a modern classic. One look at it and you’ll notice its simple profile and design but it’s the good kind of simple.

Initially, the monochromatic dial is what drove me to check out the Seiko 5. The white printed Arabic numbers for the hour hands and inner circle along with the minutes for the outer circle are all placed beautifully. While the dial looks fairly flat, the 5-minute markers have bumps to keep it interesting.

With that said, the dial looks crisp and very legible. It even features luminous hands to ensure that you can read time during low-light conditions.

Another thing that I like about the watch is the brushed stainless steel finish. The case almost looks like it has a matte finish which is a nice bonus. However, the strap could be better though.

The Seiko 5 Automatic doesn’t break any new ground but it’s stylish, functional, and comes at a great price.

3. Seiko SRP777 Prospex Turtle Automatic

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

The Seiko SRP777 Prospex Turtle Automatic is one of the best Seiko dive watches that you can buy. However, the main draw of the piece, in my opinion, is its unique design profile.

Bulky, Unique Dive Watch

At first, you will likely think “that is one bulky watch”, and you would be correct. From the bulky profile to the oversized lugs, this is one chunky timepiece and makes no apologies about it. This model is a redesign of the old dive watch, the 6309-7040.

If you can get past the bulky profile, it’s an excellent dive watch on its own.

For starters, I like the integration of the drilled lugs which add a lot of character to the Seiko SRP777. The dial is protected with Hardlex crystal and I must say that it has done a great job over the years. While it’s a dive watch through and through, the Seiko SRP777 is also well-suited to outdoor environments.

Another noteworthy upgrade over the original is the addition of the LumiBrite technology which provides excellent illumination.

Also, the SRP777’s dial has got all the elements in without looking too busy. Seiko did a great job of squeezing in the essentials without cramping up the dial too much. With that said, the dial looks clean and legible, even when underwater.

Overall, the Seiko SRP777 is a model that you should get if you’re interested in a Seiko dive watch.

4. Seiko Presage SRPB41 Blue Moon

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

Now, we bring you something from the classier side of Seiko. The Seiko Presage SRPB41 Blue Moon is a beautiful timepiece that oozes elegance. However, it’s a watch that won’t have you scrambling for your checkbook.

Luxury Watch Without the Luxury Price

The Seiko Presage SRPB41 Blue Moon comes in a 40 mm case which is a bit too big for a dressy watch. However, since I opted for the Blue Moon dial, the Seiko Presage looks a bit more playful and sporty even. This is an excellent watch for a wedding or business casual events. Despite the size, the watch fits nicely and is comfortable and not too heavy.

As for the dial, I have to agree that it’s indeed that central element of the watch. The blue dial just looks stunning with a great deal of polish usually seen in higher-priced timepieces. I actually enjoy wearing this watch since I’ve been getting a lot of compliments. The crystal is not sapphire but it’s hard to complain about that in a sub $500 watch.

The metal bracelet is serviceable but it could be a lot better. The bracelet is the typical OEM bracelet that you can find in many Japanese watches. Fortunately, you can easily swap out the bracelet with a strap if you choose to.

Ultimately, the Seiko Presage SRPB41 Blue Moon comes with a firm recommendation. Great-looking watch at a great price.

5. Seiko SSA231K1 Analog Automatic

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

The Seiko SSA231K1 Analog Automatic is a unique entry to this list of the best Seiko automatic watches due to its open heart design. I am normally not a fan of open heart watches but the Seiko SSA231K1 has more than won me over with its excellent design and functionality.

Open Heart Excellence

As expected, the main selling point of the Seiko SSA231K1 is its open heart design. As mentioned, I was never a fan of open heart watches since I think they belong to a steampunk convention. However, I am quite surprised that I liked the Seiko SSA231K1.

The white dial features the open-heart feature at 9:00. On top of the open heart window is the 24-hour subdial. I hate to say it but the open-heart design does a great job of making the watch look interesting and unique. The 24-hour subdial is a nice addition as well but it’s a bit too small for my taste.

Regardless if you like open-heart watches or not, the SSA231K1 is a fine-looking watch and even so while I am wearing it. The watch looks like a classic pocket watch right on your wrist.

6. Seiko SRPC07 Prospex Automatic

Best Seiko Automatic Watches

Also referred to as the “Orange Samurai”, the Seiko SRPC07 Prospex Automatic is a must for collectors who don’t shy away from bold and colorful pieces.

Dive Watch With a Helping of Color

It’s hard to talk about the Seiko SRPC07 Prospex without noticing the bright orange dial. The watch’s bold and vibrant design ensures that it will be getting plenty of looks. Furthermore, orange is also safety-oriented color which means that it’s a perfectly capable dive watch due to its marginally better legibility.

The orange dial is a design element that has to be seen in person.

Furthermore, the watch comes with chunky but wearable dimensions. There’s a bit of bulk to it but nothing too bothersome. In fact, I was fairly surprised by its manageable weight. In terms of durability, the watch also delivers and can easily handle a few nicks and bumps.

Overall, the Seiko SRPC07 Prospex looks unique but familiar as well. It’s just a great dive watch with a bold design.

Hard to Go Wrong with a Seiko

At last, you’ve come to the end of the list of the best Seiko automatic watches. Again, this was a hard list to make since Seiko offers many outstanding pieces. Hopefully, this guide has helped you choose your next Seiko timepiece.