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  1. #11
    Member robo21's Avatar
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Quote Originally Posted by petew View Post
    A few points....I know that folks have had batteries replaced from Citizen and they've been charged. Maybe not for the battery, but for a pressure test, new seals, movement lubrication...something....so I'm not 100% convinced that you could send an eco to COA and say ....just replace the battery and do nothing, and get a free service. They may insist on pressure testing and new seals. I'd be interested in hearing some thoughts on this.

    One thing not mentioned is the lifespan of the solar cell. Those have finite lifespans as well....but...we don't know how long. I've recently noticed that at least on their Japanese site, Citizen is specifically stating that these cells will require periodic replacement.

    I've had more than a couple of Eco's fail on me so I'm not as convinced as others as to there invincibility. They go in funny ways too. They stop, you do a reset, put them outside in the sun and they start right up and seem to run fine. A month later, you look at them and see that they had stopped again at some point. Mine are always kept in a bright sunny room so they get plenty of light and aren't going through drastic recycling.
    I think you pretty well answered this question yourself when you said that additional work was done besides the battery replacement. Let's say for example the battery won't hold a charge and the watch movement stops. In this case the battery would be replaced at no charge. Now let's say the gaskets need replacing as well. My guess is that they would offer this service at the same time for a nominal charge, on my Skyhawk I was quoted $30. However, let's say the dead battery occurred right after a gasket change: no charge.

    You may not be convinced. I am.


    Quote Originally Posted by South Pender View Post
    I think it's safe to say that the "projection" of 80% charge left after 20 years is nothing more than speculation and is just part of the marketing bumf. Robo21, the question was not whether a person would be happy with a Citizen eco-drive watch, or whether Citizen would honor their commitment to replace the battery system once it bit the dust, but, instead, just what we might expect from this technology in terms of the lifespan of (a) the solar-cell/battery unit and (b) from the module itself. I'm happy you're happy with your Citizen watch, but, with all due respect, that's not the issue here. You state that Citizen has nothing to gain by misrepresenting the actual lifespan of a solar-rechargeable battery system, but they obviously certainly do have something to gain--sales! If they can convince the customer that s/he will never need to have a battery change, we can reasonably assume that this will sell more watches than would a more considered and honest claim like "battery life of 15 years expected." No?
    All I'm saying is that for most people who care for their watch responsibly they will get much more service for much less cost with an Eco-Drive than any other movement. Citizen will back the batteries and frankly I really could not care less that you deem their marketing anything less than honest. I've had automatics, spring drives, quartz, you name it. Frankly, I just got tired of the high priced maintenance on these other movements. Never again will I fork out $450 for a cleaning/maintenance on an automatic. Even if Citizen was totally lying and I had to replace the battery in 15 or 20 years - I would be disappointed in their (hypothetical) dishonesty but I would still be way ahead financially on maintenance and battery costs compared to the other watches I've owned.

    And just out of curiosity, how can you possibly say with any credibilty that "I think it's safe to say that the "projection" of 80% charge left after 20 years is nothing more than speculation and is just part of the marketing bumf?" This technology is new and hasn't been around long enough to judge that. I trust their projection a hell of a lot more than your negative assessment of their estimates. And as long as they are willing to back up their battery who cares?
    Last edited by robo21; June 14th, 2011 at 23:22.
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  2. #12
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Quote Originally Posted by robo21 View Post
    And just out of curiosity, how can you possibly say with any credibilty that "I think it's safe to say that the "projection" of 80% charge left after 20 years is nothing more than speculation and is just part of the marketing bumf?" This technology is new and hasn't been around long enough to judge that. I trust their projection a hell of a lot more than your negative assessment of their estimates. And as long as they are willing to back up their battery who cares?
    No need for this personal tone, robo21. Nonetheless, let me say that since there is absolutely no empirical evidence pointing to what will be the case in 20 years (let alone 80% of the charge) vis-a-vis remaining charge levels, any claim is an hypothesis--or, in ordinary-language usage, speculative. It's a guess presented as though it were a fact. Citizen are certainly not alone in misrepresenting the facts about their products. If you consider the mileage claims made by almost all car manufacturers these days, you will find exactly the same thing. Vehicles that under extremely-artificial circumstances achieve a certain mileage are portrayed as yielding this mileage as a matter of course. A car advertised to give 40 mpg in a magazine or TV ad will, instead, yield about 30 mpg in a realistic driving test such as those (100-mile test drives) conducted by the Consumer's Union and reported in Consumer Reports. This is misleading advertising and, in my opinion, should be shut down (although I don't expect to see that). Citizen is doing much the same thing (and other watch companies are probably doing this too) by claiming that "the battery will never need replacement." Any claim about performance needs to be grounded in empirical evidence. The 80% left in 20 years has no real empirical support.

    The fact that Citizen may replace a defunct battery (and that too requires a large leap of faith in my opinion) in no way excuses them for misrepresentation in the first place. If they had said something like "batteries will be replaced free of charge by Citizen," this would be honest. But to anyone who respects honesty and wants truth in advertising, Citizen's corporate behavior regarding replacement is pretty much irrelevant. Many of us do care about misrepresentation, regardless of corporate efforts to satisfy customers.

    Finally, how do you square your views about the likely lifespan of solar-cell/battery units with petew's actual, empirical experiences? Doesn't seem like 80% left in 20 years has panned out in practice....
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  3. #13
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Of course South Pender, we all care about "misrepresentation." However, we have not established that "misrepresentations" have been made in the least. Bottom line: You have no factual basis whatsoever to make these ridiculous and completely unfounded accusations of "misrepresentation" when there is no established track record as of yet. For all we know, their estimates are right on the money. Time will tell - no pun intended. From the tone of your posts it sounds as though you have an ulterior "axe to grind." I won't theorize on your numerous and redundant usages of the word "misrepresentation" throughout your posts except to say that repeating yourself doesn't make you any more believable nor credible.

    As I said before I will agree to disagree with you. I think that your unfounded allegations speak for themselves. Nothing personal, but between you and Citizen, I'll believe Citizen's engineers and customer service team, especially since they are stating in no uncertain terms that they will back their product regardless of the longevity of the power cell. Time will tell how long the cell lasts, your mileage may very. The technological excellence of their product speaks for itself and in my mind establishes their credibility to a very high order. I put my money on Citizen and will continue to do so until they prove otherwise.
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  4. #14
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Mine went about 15 yrs before it gave up the ghost. Guess I need to contact Citizen for a repair estimate.
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  5. #15
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Not wanting to get in the middle of this but................

    When Citizen says "you will never need to replace the battery" maybe they meant just that. You (personal pronoun) will never need to replace the battery. Not that it will never need to replaced. They will do it with their warranty.

    On the longevity front companies use torture tests to cycle a product through many years of use in a short time.
    As an example HP says its photo printer ink will last X-hundred years. How do they know that. They expose their prints to extreem Light conditions to represent years worth of exposure. And then interpolate the data to what that might be in years.

    I'm quite sure Citizen has done similar testing and made a reasonable good faith guess.

    I don't know what my eco-drive will be doing in 18 years but my 6309-7040 and my BM will be going to the spa for an oil change and gaskets and then probably back to swimming and sailing at the beach.
    And most of us will have flipped who knows how many watches.....Eco-Drives included.......by then.
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  6. #16
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Quote Originally Posted by robo21 View Post
    Of course South Pender, we all care about "misrepresentation." However, we have not established that "misrepresentations" have been made in the least. Bottom line: You have no factual basis whatsoever to make these ridiculous and completely unfounded accusations of "misrepresentation" when there is no established track record as of yet. For all we know, their estimates are right on the money. Time will tell - no pun intended. From the tone of your posts it sounds as though you have an ulterior "axe to grind." I won't theorize on your numerous and redundant usages of the word "misrepresentation" throughout your posts except to say that repeating yourself doesn't make you any more believable nor credible.
    No axe to grind. I've owned Citizen watches, thermocompensated quartz models and RC models for some time, and presently have two in my collection, both Chronomasters. I've been a big fan of Citizen and have touted the virtues of their watches, as my fellow HEQ forumers could readily attest.

    It seems to me that your admission that "there is no established track record as of yet" supports the point I was making. Since there is no track record, is it not just a little dishonest to claim that "the battery will never need replacement"? Again, as you yourself acknowledge, these assertions are nothing more than "their estimates" (your words). Unfortunately, estimates are not facts, yet the Citizen ads suggest the never-dying battery as a fact! The problem is not that I "have no factual basis whatsoever to make these ridiculous and completely unfounded accusations," but rather that Citizen has "no factual basis whatsoever to make these" unsubstantiated claims. Although you seem to object to the word "misrepresentation," I'm afraid that there isn't another that describes this better!

    Quote Originally Posted by robo21 View Post
    Nothing personal, but between you and Citizen, I'll believe Citizen's engineers....
    It's not the engineers you're believing; it's the marketers!
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  7. #17
    Member robo21's Avatar
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quark View Post
    Not wanting to get in the middle of this but................

    When Citizen says "you will never need to replace the battery" maybe they meant just that. You (personal pronoun) will never need to replace the battery. Not that it will never need to replaced. They will do it with their warranty.

    On the longevity front companies use torture tests to cycle a product through many years of use in a short time.
    As an example HP says its photo printer ink will last X-hundred years. How do they know that. They expose their prints to extreem Light conditions to represent years worth of exposure. And then interpolate the data to what that might be in years.

    I'm quite sure Citizen has done similar testing and made a reasonable good faith guess.

    I don't know what my eco-drive will be doing in 18 years but my 6309-7040 and my BM will be going to the spa for an oil change and gaskets and then probably back to swimming and sailing at the beach.
    And most of us will have flipped who knows how many watches.....Eco-Drives included.......by then.
    Nice post Quark, finally a voice of reason in an otherwise obstreperous and belligerant thread. Clearly, Pender just wants to flame and argue which is why he uses inflammatory language, e.g. "misrepresentation." Absolutely ludicrous with no shred of evidence to back up this slander. Thank you for adding a calming note to the thread. Your outline of is exactly how such longevity estimates are made in the real world.

    I'm done arguing with the troll.

  8. #18
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Quote Originally Posted by robo21 View Post
    Nice post Quark, finally a voice of reason in an otherwise obstreperous and belligerant thread. Clearly, Pender just wants to flame and argue which is why he uses inflammatory language, e.g. "misrepresentation." Absolutely ludicrous with no shred of evidence to back up this slander. Thank you for adding a calming note to the thread. Your outline of is exactly how such longevity estimates are made in the real world.
    The only thing ludicrous is that someone would choose to believe marketing hype over the facts--which in the case of the longevity of the Citizen (or any other) solar-cell system are completely lacking. Psychologists refer to this irrational closure of the mind to facts (or their absence) as cognitive dissonance. One lays out some bucks for an item and, given the sacrifice, cannot now allow any "dissonant cognitions," or in plain language, discordant facts (or lack thereof) to be acknowledged.

    I find it interesting that in Citizen's five-year warranty (for those models that have such a warranty), the solar cell and rechargeable battery are excluded. Does this suggest that Citizen really has a lot of confidence in their claim of unlimited battery life? In one Citizen ad, the marketing flacks claim: "Fueled by light, it never needs a battery." Never needs a battery? It comes with one, for pete's sake. Then the ad goes on: "It's unstoppable," which we are presumably to understand as 'the watch will never stop'--i.e., unlimited battery life again. Unadulterated marketing bumf. Anyone who actually believes any if this is displaying incredible navet!

    For anyone interested, here's an excerpt from the warranty:

    "Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. ("COA"), with U.S. Service Headquarters at 1000 W. 190th street, Torrance, CA 90502 warrants this watch (except the power cell, case and its components [including crystal, stem, crown], bracelet and its components [including clasp, links, pins, screws], strap and its components or any accessories) to be free of defects in material and workmanship and to meet the timekeeping accuracy specification in the instructions for a period of five (5) years from the date of original retail purchase in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Duty Free, and Military Exchange CITIZEN Watch Retailers authorized by COA." (Boldface mine.)

    Never needs a battery? Unstoppable? Except when its power cell runs out!
    Last edited by South Pender; June 15th, 2011 at 06:52.
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  9. #19
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    South Pender.......If you are that sure they are using false advertising I guess you could always sue them and make a bundle because have been harmed by their claim.

    On the other hand I have an Eco-Drive (2 years now), It is my most accurate watch I own though not my favorate. I'll PM you when it quits or in 18 years.

    "fueled by light, it never needs a battery." Most people will understand that as meaning "another" battery knowing it comes with one.

  10. #20
    Member robo21's Avatar
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    Re: How long would an eco-drive watch last?

    Quote Originally Posted by South Pender View Post
    The only thing ludicrous is that someone would choose to believe marketing hype over the facts--which in the case of the longevity of the Citizen (or any other) solar-cell system are completely lacking. Psychologists refer to this irrational closure of the mind to facts (or their absence) as cognitive dissonance. One lays out some bucks for an item and, given the sacrifice, cannot now allow any "dissonant cognitions," or in plain language, discordant facts (or lack thereof) to be acknowledged.

    I find it interesting that in Citizen's five-year warranty (for those models that have such a warranty), the solar cell and rechargeable battery are excluded. Does this suggest that Citizen really has a lot of confidence in their claim of unlimited battery life? In one Citizen ad, the marketing flacks claim: "Fueled by light, it never needs a battery." Never needs a battery? It comes with one, for pete's sake. Then the ad goes on: "It's unstoppable," which we are presumably to understand as 'the watch will never stop'--i.e., unlimited battery life again. Unadulterated marketing bumf. Anyone who actually believes any if this is displaying incredible navet!

    For anyone interested, here's an excerpt from the warranty:

    "Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. ("COA"), with U.S. Service Headquarters at 1000 W. 190th street, Torrance, CA 90502 warrants this watch (except the power cell, case and its components [including crystal, stem, crown], bracelet and its components [including clasp, links, pins, screws], strap and its components or any accessories) to be free of defects in material and workmanship and to meet the timekeeping accuracy specification in the instructions for a period of five (5) years from the date of original retail purchase in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Duty Free, and Military Exchange CITIZEN Watch Retailers authorized by COA." (Boldface mine.)

    Never needs a battery? Unstoppable? Except when its power cell runs out!
    Okay this is my last comment with the the troll. The exclusion of the power cell in this instance refers to NON ECO-DRIVE watches. COA will clarify this for anyone who is interested, give them a call. Later in the warranty is the following:
    What The Five Year Warranty Does Not Cover
    (a) Damage, accidental or otherwise, to the watch while in the possession of a consumer not caused by a defect in material or workmanship.
    (b) Damage caused by accident, misuse, tampering with or failure to follow the care and special handling provisions in the Instructions.
    (c) Damage and/or scratches to the finish of the case, crystal, bracelet, strap or other components caused by wear or accident.
    (d) Moisture damage to a watch not marked "water resistant" on the case back or damage from moisture in "water resistant" models that is a result of opening the watch, broken or damaged components.
    (e) Damage caused by the consumer's failure to have the watch serviced at the consumer's expense in accordance with the following schedule of regular maintenance.
    * Power cells must be replaced immediately when power is lost (except Eco-Drive).
    * Water resistant models, including Eco-Drive, must be tested and resealed every two to three years or whenever battery is replaced on battery operated models, whichever comes first.
    (f) Damage caused by repairs or alterations of the watch by anyone other than one of the Worldwide Service centers listed in the warranty booklet.
    Except Eco-Drive Hello - this is an indication that the warranty has specific exclusions for Eco Drive. COA customer service backs this up and I take them at their word. Of course they are going to exclude batteries in their non-Eco-Drive watches. This is another feeble attempt to cloud the issue and disparage Citizen.

    One has to wonder what the motivation is in this case. Seiko fanboi? Troll? Probably both. Threatened by superior technology - maybe. It really doesn't matter.

    I am posting this for the benefit of other readers on the forum. Do not be mislead by this Citizen hating troll. Clearly he has a huge investment in bad mouthing and slandering Citizen. Check the facts, contact Citizen.

    Meanwhile, I will be back here every 5 years for the next 30 years to report on the battery longevity in my Citizens.

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