Model: Eco-Drive Military
Model Number: BM8475-00X
Movement: Japanese quartz E101
It wasn’t too long ago when the only dials you had in your car dashboard were speed, rpm, temperature and fuel gauge. The only lighted indicators were usually just the turn signals. Today, some dashboards look like they belong on a spaceship. There are warning and maintenance lights for every possible system in the car. And, it seems like they turn on with more frequency than ever before. My car clamors for attention and service nearly every other month. I just shake my head in frustration.
It’s moments like that where I yearn for the simpler days. On those mornings, I inevitably reach for this Citizen military watch. It’s grab-n-go ready. It’s got everything I need and nothing I don’t.
The primary attractions for me were twofold: clean-n-simple military looks and Eco-Drive. The back-to-basics dial format works hand-in-hand with the military styling. It’s one that has a similar look-n-feel to certain Bell & Ross (B&R) and Sinn models - a very good thing. I picked this one up for $130 on Overstock...certainly affordable and within my $150 watch limit.
The watch is a simple three hand quartz on a four number dial with only one “complication” - a day/date feature at the 3 o’clock position. The size of the day/date is acceptable. It’s a game of compromise between big font legibility and design aesthetics. Some have voiced their preference for eliminating this to clean up the face. I prefer and need it. It’s been done well without displacing the “3” on the dial.
The watch is imminently readable at a glance, thanks to light colored, big fonts against a darker face. Under ambient or moderate lighting, the olive dial can be mistaken for a black one, especially if glanced at certain angles. Otherwise, it’s clearly olive. If Citizen had introduced a white-on-black version, that would have been nirvana for me - my very own B&R/Sinn-styled watch with quartz accuracy/reliability. But, I’ve grown to appreciate the olive dial since I already have a black face dial and it seems truer to the military theme. I’m glad I got this one. At the time of this review, Citizen has introduced two additional versions: a stealthy monochromatic black-on-black (model BM8475-00F) and an orange-on-black (model BM8475-26E). Both of these versions have a slightly revised “3” font and the addition of military hours around the perimeter of the dial.
The black ion-plated case has a matte finish, measures 42mm in diameter (about 45mm with the non-screw down knurled crown), about 49mm tall (lug-to-lug) and 22mm between the lugs. The ion-plated case and mineral crystal won’t be as ding-proof as a PVD and sapphire combination, but for the price point, it works. The watch wears slightly larger since there’s no thick bezel, thus the case is nearly all dial. This is somewhat offset by the large four number font format 3-6-9-12. The watch is not “trendy large” but certainly bigger than traditionally modest sizes. On my 57mm wide wrist, this 49mm L2L case sits very well and covers much of my wrist. Personally, it works well for me and is within my fitment limits.
This version comes with a standard 7 ĺ” mens length black canvas strap with seven eyelet grommets. The eyelets have coarse adjustments so you may not get an exact fit. The strap has about 4mm of light padding at the lug end which then tapers to about 3mm by the first eyelet (tightest fit eyelet). The buckle on the strap is silver matte (not matching black). The strap is sturdy and goes well with the military theme. On earlier production models, there were some comments from others in regards to an odor from the strap. I didn’t experience any unusual odors, so Citizen may have gotten this sorted out.
After a strong charge under a light, the lume does glow through the night albeit, fading as the night progresses. On a 10pm charge, the lume glowed well for the first couple of hours. When I woke at 5am, it was barely visible, but still there.
The Eco-Drive system has worked flawlessly thus far. Then again, I’ve only had this watch for about two months, which is still well within the 6 month “total darkness” power reserve. When it’s not being worn, it’s on a display stand exposed to indirect/filtered sunlight daily. So, I don’t expect to experience any low-battery conditions. I won’t go into details about the Eco-Drive system since Citizen’s web site takes care of that. Since it’ll never need a battery replacement, the only attention it will require is for daylight savings adjustment and day/date advancement for months less than 31 days.
With clean-n-simple military looks and near maintenance free operation, this watch will provide a lifetime of service and won’t ask for much in return. I wish my car would do likewise.
Here's the video review: