EcoDrive Chrono (BL5380-58E)
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  1. #1
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    EcoDrive Chrono (BL5380-58E)

    I posted about this a few days ago - a nice, cleanly designed chrono, out of production but easily found on the various overstock/auction sites. Usually around $224; I found a seller offering for $183. The photo was not so great but I found some other ones online; the watch looked fairly nice and I needed a knockabout traveler that was presentable for business, so I pulled the trigger. It arrived today. Kudos to the folks at Marchello.


    Here's my review. Hope it helps out someone looking for a reasonably priced modestly styled watch.

    Case diam (not incl. crown) 42mm
    Including crown: 45mm
    Thickness: 12mm
    Inter-Lug width: 22mm
    Strap width at clasp: 13mm
    Weight - 5.7 oz / 162 grams


    Notable features:


    The case is brushed stainless, the bezel and pushers/crown are polished stainless. Unlike some of the titanium and some other stainless Citizen models I have seen, it does not sport the bright chrome plating that seems to bedevil the lower priced models.


    Both pushers and especially crown well protected. Crystal is mineral glass. Crown does not screw in and neither do the pushers (in contrast to the date adjuster on my Orient Mako), though there is a 'screw-in' looking bolster around each pusher.

    The dial is black, perforated for light passage. Subdials are recessed, also black, all lettering is white and none of the glam that a lot of the eco-drive chronos sport. I like the simple white on black. Around the perimiter of the dial are minute markers numbered at the tens. Indices are appliqued chrome. The Citizen logo is also applied chrome, and there is a chrome border on the date window - that's the extent of the bling on this watch. Just enough to give it a touch of presence, without shouting for attention.


    Lume is reasonable for the hands, and a nice blue. For the indexes, there are nearly invisible blue dots, doubled at the 12 o'clock position - but really, if you'll need to tell the time at night, you'd best reach for your trusty H3. Lume does not last long on this.


    The bracelet links are solid, brushed stainless and have a pleasant heft. Clasp is dual-button, recessed, nicely done. Clasp deployment is relatively thin stamped sheet metal. Buttons have a bit of polish to contrast with brushed deployment and strap. There is no finetuning adjustment to the strap but there are full and half removable links.


    The perpetual calendar was no great shakes to set up, despite the grief on the Amazon reviews. The Chrono takes a couple steps to activate - pull the crown to position 1, turn one, push in crown, activate. There is start stop but no totalization. When stopped, you can push the lower button to see how many 1/20ths you are past the second. The minute totalizer goes to 60.


    The other dial is a 24-hr dial, which would be more useful as a dual time feature, and mirrors the main display when setting the watch to the local time --I'd rather if you could use that to refer to the main time. Switching between local time and regular time is pretty easy and I plan to use that feature on my travels.


    The alarm is annoying, the hands have to travel to the position of the alarm, it can take a while. I don't plan to use the alarm on it.


    The biggest annoyance is if you want to change modes you need to pull the crown out a stop, but if you pull the crown out 2 stops, it goes into set mode, which moves the hands about. So using the chrono or local time is an order of magnitude more bothersome than a mechanical movement. There is a mechanical movement chrono in my future, probably after the kids are done with college.


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    ken_sturrock likes this.

  2. #2
    Member ken_sturrock's Avatar
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    Re: EcoDrive Chrono (BL5380-58E)

    Nice review - thanks for taking the time to write it.

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