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I bought the Citizen Eco Drive Ladies Dive watch around 18 months ago my main reason for buying it was for watersports use including diving and surfing so I needed a watch that could survive both as well as being usable for day to day use. The great thing about this watch is the fact it doesn't require batteries. While replacing the batteries in a normal watch only costs around £5 if you require the watch to be waterproof for swimming or sports such as diving or surfing when the battery is changed the watch has to be sealed correctly and then pressure tested to ensure that the watch is still waterproof to the manufacturers specified level. In the past I've paid anything up to £25 to get a battery replaced which is still better than having an expensive watch flood but works out rather costly over a few years and if you get a dud battery that only lasts a few months £25 is daylight robbery. The Citizen Eco Drive works by harnessing the power of any light source and converting it into energy which is then stored in the Eco Drive Cell. This means that the watch recharges it's power constantly even in artificial light so there's no need for bright sunlight and thankfully no requirement for keeping your arm out a window half the day to keep it charged as it will continually charge even if it's only exposed to electric light. According to Citizen he Eco Drive Cell should easily last lore than 10 years and even at 20 years most will retain 80% of their original charging capacity. The watch has a 300 metre/30 ATM or Bar rating which makes it suitable for scuba diving use unlike so many dive styled watches that aren't even really suitable for swimming with thanks to the confusing ratings given to watches. I was surprised to learn that the minimum rating you should consider for swimming is 50 metre 5 ATM but ideally 100 Metre or 10 ATM and anything lower than 50 metres should be considered as okay for accidental contact with water but not prolonged use. 200 metre or 20 ATM rated watches with a screw down back and crown are apparently the minimum you should consider for scuba diving at recreational depths. Obviously the water ratings mean nothing if the seal gets damaged or you forget to lock the crown down before getting in the water and as with any dive equipment it's a good idea to get the watch serviced and pressure tested to ensure the seals are still in good condition and the watch remains water proof at the required level. My Eco Drive watch is designed for dive use so comes with a one way rotating bezel. The bezel is a handy feature as it acts as a back up safety device if used correctly. By pointing the bezel to the position of the minute hand when you begin your dive you can tell instantly how long you have been under the water and by planning your dives beforehand according to the no decompression limits you know how long you can safely stay at that depth without risking decompression sickness before beginning your ascent to the surface. The bezel only moves in one way so if it is accidentally knocked during a dive it will show more time has elapsed so the diver will begin the ascent early rather than too late. The watch also features a clear easy to read dial with chunky illuminated hands and markers that show up clearly in daylight,darkness and underwater. The fact that the watch has a second hand means you can tell at a glance if the watch isn't working and also informs you if the Eco Drive is running short on charge by jumping in 2 second intervals although the watch stays at the correct time and the second hand returns to normal after exposing the watch to light for a while. This has happened occasionally in winter where I've constantly had my jacket or jumper sleeve covering the watch. If the watch looses time due to lack of charge the second hand will move in irregular intervals moving forward 1 step back 1 step then jumping forward 2 so you know you need to reset the watch and expose it to light. I've only seen this happen once and that was after accidentally leaving the watch behind in a box when I went on holiday. The watch also has a stainless steel case and a non reflective crystal glass face which has so far remained scratch free despite constant use. The black chunky strap is made from a polyurethane material and has a sturdy buckle fastening. After 18 months of constant (usually daily) wear the strap is still in good condition with no signs of damage apart from the ND limits that were printed on it have started to wear off although they were too small to read anyway. The strap is long enough for me to wear under or over a wetsuit sleeve but my wrists are really slim so people with thicker wrists might struggle to fasten it over their wetsuit sleeve. The look of the watch is something I'm divided on although it's a lot slimmer than the guys version and is a nice looking watch but the black strap and black face and bezel with stainless steel casing makes it look slightly boyish. To be fair most dive watches with the exception of the Momentum one I previously owned seem to be much the same and designed for purpose rather than having pretty or funky designs. I really shouldn't complain about the looks as it perfectly serves the purpose I bought it for and I have several dress watches that serve the pretty function for nights out etc. In the time I have owned this it has been used constantly,been exposed to salt water,sand,snow, mud, knocks and everything else my sports or daily life throw at it and has survived all unscathed and still in perfect time. Due to this my boyfriend thinks it's hilarious that I take it off to have a bath or to wash the dishes but the hot water or soap can damage the seals on a watch so although the watch can more than cope with the depth levels if I decide to go snorkelling in my bath to get a closer look at the rubber ducks it's safer to take it off. I also make sure the watch is rinsed off in water after any diving or surfing to get rid of any salt water or sand that might affect the seals. Overall it's a fantastic watch that I would happily recommend to any diver or watersports fanatic The Citizen Eco Drive currently costs between £135 and £160 and comes with a 5 year manufacturers warranty.
Material of the casing: stainless steel / Product line: Eco-Drive / Clasp type: Pin buckle