Citizen Eco Drive Watches Are Not Worth The Money
I have worked in the watch industry for several years now and have never seen so much technological and research waste as the Citizen Eco-Drive watches. They advertise on posters, tv, magazines and wherever else available that these watches never need a battery. Oh, but they do. They're just not called a battery, they call it "capacitors". These capacitors have the ability to recharge, not unlike your car battery.
When you purchase one of these $300 or so watches at J.C. Pennies, the minimum wage sales person recites almost verbatim what she read on its brochure. "These watches never need a battery!" and "These watches are powered by light!"
I get about three customers a week that come in with Eco-Drive watches where the "battery" has run out. Just like your car battery runs out every five years (even though your car charges it) the Eco-Drive watch capacitor runs out every five years. But this capacitor cost me $20-$25 to purchase wholesale, I in turn charge my customers about $75 to replace it. (I know, the mark up is ridiculous, but I only get three a week, so I'm not getting rich anytime soon) If you ask Citizen to replace it, it can cost you up to $150 and take two weeks!
Most regular watch batteries I get cost me a few bucks and I charge $10. Those watch batteries would last an average five years also. So why, besides aesthetics, would any purchase an Eco-Drive vs. a regular watch if everything else is the same? I'm not talking about Tags and Movados, those are made for the lux market. It seems simply non-sense and doesn't benefit the consumer at all.
Some Citizen Eco-Drives go for less than $80.