Are Citizen Watches Reliable? [Better Than Seiko?]

For some of us, when we shop for something, the first thing is reliability and toughness. We may approach watch buying with the same mindset as well. You may hear people talking about Citizen watches being tough, but are Citizen watches reliable?

Citizen watches are generally very reliable. This is because it uses reliable movements, and many models do not require mechanical or battery power. For best reliability, look for Citizen watches with Eco-Drive movement, shock-resistance, and anti-magnetism features, such as from the Promaster series.

This article explores if Citizen watches are reliable. We also explore what makes a reliable watch before discussing the perennial question – is Citizen tougher than Seiko?

READ MORE: Are Citizen Watches Any Good? [Or A Waste Of Money?]

What Makes A Reliable Watch?

A reliable watch generally carries several characteristics that ensure stable operation under many conditions. These include robust movement, anti-magnetism, shock resistance, and water resistance. These features may also make the watch extremely tough. 

Robust, Proven Movement

A reliable watch generally runs proven, robust movements. Generally, these movements have been in the market for a long time, with the watchmakers improving them to make them even better.

Automatic movements like ETA 2824, for example, were introduced in 1971 and are still currently in production, showing their reputation for performance, robustness, and reliability. 

However, the most powerful and proven movements generally tend to be quartz. This is because quartz movements have fewer parts inside and are much simpler mechanically. This means it is less likely to break down.


Reliable watches tend to have anti-magnetism added to the watch to protect them against magnetism. Mechanical watches are much more susceptible to magnetism, as they have much more metallic parts, and the mainspring is made of metal. 

Magnetic forces may make the mainspring not unwind properly and also affect the ticking and timing of the balance wheel. As a result, your watch loses its accuracy and reliability. 

Quartz movements are less influenced, although ultra-tough and reliable quartz watches also have anti-magnetism built into it.


Reliable watches are also shock-resistant. This is because tough and reliable watches may generally be used in tough conditions, where the watch may be knocked about by large forces. 

As a result, reliable watches usually have padding or shock absorbers inside the watch to protect the movement from these shocks. This allows the movement to continue to tick reliably. 

Easy To Manage Power Source

One thing that makes a watch reliable is that it can tick consistently over a long period without you needing to charge it. 

In this area, mechanical watches tend to lose out badly, as you need to wear the watch once every 1-3 days to wind the spring, or you will need a watch winder. Quartz watches may do better since you only need to replace the battery once every few years. 

However, more modern, hybrid movements tend to be the winner here. Kinetic, solar, or light-powered movements last much longer without manually charging them. 

The Eco-Drive movement from Citizen is a great example. It is powered by any light source and may keep your watch running consistently for over 10 years. 


This goes without saying. Reliable watches should have strong water resistance. This ensures they will survive and continue to tick away reliably even if you wear it to dive 200M underneath the water. 

Water resistance also protects the movement from humidity, which may corrode the parts inside and cause the watch to malfunction or not keep up the time well.

Are Citizen Watches Reliable?

Are Citizen watches reliable? Yes. Most are made from quartz movement, with good water resistance. Certain lines of Citizen watches may even come with shock-resistance, anti-magnetism, and Eco-Drive movement, which does not require mechanical power or battery.

Are Citizen Watches Reliable

Now that we have explored what makes Citizen watches reliable let’s look at if there are Citizen watches that are as reliable as the previous section explained.

Citizen watches are generally reliable, with some watches made to specifically handle hard and rough use. These watches are made to be extra tough, durable, and reliable.

Most affordable, no-frills Citizen watches usually run quartz movement, with some degree of water resistance, perhaps around 50M. For many of us, that should be more than enough. 

This is because the quartz movement means you only need to replace the battery once every few years. The water resistance is good enough for fun in the pool or beach. 

However, if you are looking for ultra-tough, durable, and reliable watches, Citizen does offer models like these. For example, check out watches from Citizen’s Promaster series, such as the Promaster CA0727-12E

Are Citizen Watches Reliable?

It comes with a full array of features to make it ultra-reliable. Anti-magnetism and shock resistance are part of the package inside the watch. The Promaster also has a water resistance of 200M, so you can even take this watch for a casual dive.

But the jewel of the crown is the Eco-Drive movement. It is a quartz-based movement with a charging system that only needs light. Any light source can power this watch, be it natural or artificial. 

This means you will not need to replace the battery or wind this watch over its life. Toughness, durability, and reliability all in one watch.

Aside from the Promaster series, many other Citizen watches are ultra-durable and reliable, such as its line of digital watches. These are built to be as tough as a G-Shock as well.

Is Citizen Watches More Reliable Than Seiko?

Citizen watches are as good and reliable as Seiko. There may be little need to compare the two, as both have produced some of the world’s most reliable watches.

Sometimes you people may be undecided between a Seiko or a Citizen. These two brands generally design watches with similar functionalities and aesthetics. They are also robust and reliable. 

As a result, if you try to separate them in terms of reliability, they are about the same. It may be hard to claim that Citizen is more reliable than Seiko and vice versa. 

If you insist on nitpicking, you may claim that Citizen watches are more reliable than Seiko because it has Eco-Drive movement. 

This may be true since Seiko does not have the same technology as the Eco-Drive. However, Seiko also has solar, kinetic-powered watches, which are also incredibly reliable, and may give Eco-Drive a good run on performance as well. 

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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