Citizen Automatic Watches: 5 Best Picks (From $100 to $350)
James Elliott18 March 2021 | 6 min read
Citizen is one of the most popular budget watch brands on the market. Dating all the way back to the early 1900s, Citizen watches have been at the forefront of the watchmaking world with the brand proud of launching the first atomic watch in history as well as their prized Eco-Drive solar movement.
That Eco-Drive technology is now responsible for running the vast majority of Citizen’s watches with solar technology meaning owners benefit from no battery changes and power reserves of up to 60 hours long.
Luckily for those watch fans that still want the intricacy of an automatic movement, Citizen does have a limited range of watches that utilise their in house, automatic Miyota movement. In this article, we’ll pick out our favourite 5 models running from $100 up to $350.
If you’re ready, let’s jump in!
- Citizen Luxury Automatic 50m NH8350-08B
- Citizen Automatic Marine Sport Watch NH8381-12L
- Citizen Japan Open Heart NP1010-01A
- Citizen Automatic Titanium Watch NJ0090-81A
- Citizen Automatic Promaster Scuba Diver NY0070-83E
We start off with a classic black dress watch that’s perfect for both the office and an evening out on the town. At 40mm, it’s a great size for those with both bigger and smaller wrists without being too overbearing.
From a design point of view, the watch combines a classic leather black strap, stainless steel casing and a clean and simple beige dial. The dial incorporates slender silver markings and a thin black hand combo that further adds to the clean and formal design of this watch.
Functionality wise, this watch also incorporates a small day/date window at the 3 o’clock position meaning it’s functional as well as smart. That window is all powered by the Citizen 8200 Automatic movement that beats at 21,600 bph and incorporates 21 jewels. You’ll also get a mineral crystal and 50m of water resistance to round off the package.
This is a gorgeously simple watch that is the perfect understated accompaniment to any formal outfit. But we’ve saved the best until last with the price. At around $125, you’ll be able to pick this watch up for a bargain whilst benefiting from Citizen’s 1 year warranty and excellent customer service! If you need a simple dress watch that’s great on price, the Luxury Automatic is the perfect place to start!
For the next watch in this Citizen roundup, we move from the dress genre to a dive watch. The dive watch market is very competitive and that’s no exception in the budget watch arena. Alongside brands such as Seiko, Citizen dominate budget dive watches and this Marine Sport model is another stellar option.
The first thing to cover off is the size. Whilst we always expect dive watches to be a little larger, this model comes in at a fairly bulky 46.2mm making it perfect for those with large wrists. A blue polyurethane dive strap is matched with a stainless steel case which incorporates a crown that’s slightly off centre at the 4 o’clock position.
The design of this watch is a real eye-catcher, with a really nice deep blue dial that’s matched with silver and white accents. The shape and style of the markers and hands match the dive themes we’re all used to in this genre with the bright orange minute hand perfect for easy reading when underwater.
Functionality wise, the unidirectional, 120 click bezel is perfect for keeping track of dive time with additional features such as a day/date window a nice touch for everyday wear. The screw-down crown contributes to 100m of water resistance with a high-quality mineral crystal ensuring this watch can survive inevitable bumps and scrapes.
From a price point, you’ll be able to pick this piece up for anywhere around $150. At that price, this is a great watch for amateur divers whilst also being a watch that looks good on the wrist out of water. If you’d like a budget automatic dive watch from Citizen, the Marine Sport is a great choice!
This next watch will be a great pick for anyone who likes a dress watch with a bit of a difference. This Japan Open Heart model ensures you not only have a watch with a great design but gives the wearer a sneak peek at the movement inside.
This 40mm dress watch matches a brown leather strap with a classic stainless steel case and dial. It’s on the dial itself where this watch is truly unique, combining an open heart movement window at 7 o’clock, a 24-hour indicator at 9 o’clock and a small seconds counter at 5 o’clock. Those three windows do overlap slightly without looking too crowded or out of place. All of this is matched with electric blue hands to add a dash of colour to the dial!
Functionally, this watch also features a high quality sapphire crystal and has 100m of water resistance. When it comes to price, this watch is a slight step up from what we’ve seen before at $225, but is well worth it for a high quality, open heart design.
Next, we come to a sports/dress watch hybrid which has the unique bonus of ticking the box for any watch fans that love titanium. At 42.5mm it’s a large watch and definitely one that will fit nicer for those with bigger wrists. But, thanks to the titanium construction it’s super light and won’t feel like a burden as a daily wearer.
With either a black or white dial the first thing that will strike you about this watch design is how simple and elegant it is. Slim line markers and hands match an almost clean dial that sports a simple small seconds dial at 5 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock. A small crown is also found at the 3 o’clock position to round off the design.
Inside the case, this watch comes with Citizen’s 8213 Automatic movement that can be hand-wound as well as self-winding through daily movement. As a slightly more premium watch, this model comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and an exhibition case back. There’s also 30m of water resistance here so you will be safe if it accidentally gets wet.
As is expected, with a more sophisticated movement, sapphire crystal and titanium construction this watch comes in a little more expensive than our previous models. You’ll commonly find this watch online for around $300 which is a great price for a more premium look and feel!
We finish up with a watch that combines a number of the features we’ve seen before! The Citizen Promaster Scuba Diver combines the diving themes we’ve seen earlier with a high-quality titanium case. This is a premium diver for those that need a stylish looking watch that performs great underwater!
This diver comes in at a whopping 46mm which makes it really easy to read during your next dive. The titanium bracelet matches with a classic black and white diving dial and a uni-directional bezel. The dial incorporates large hour markers and hollowed out arrow hands, all of which are packed with high powered lume. There’s a day-date window found at 3 o’clock to help you keep track of the day-to-day as well!
Where this watch beats the other diver we’ve seen in this article is in its water resistance capability. This model will keep you good all the way down to 200m, making it a good companion for full-on scuba diving. There’s also a high-quality mineral crystal to keep the watch looking great through any bumps or scrapes.
At around $350, this is the most expensive watch in our roundup which isn’t surprising given the titanium finish and enhanced diving performance. Whilst this watch would be good as an everyday wearer, it’s going to appeal mostly to those that need an automatic watch they can take to the depths.
A Few Words To Finish Up
Whilst Citizen are best known for their solar-powered Eco-Drive movement, for those that like an automatic model there’s still a number of models available to choose from. Whilst the majority of models available centre around the dress genre, there’s also a number of dive watches to choose from if you need something functional.
That’s it for our roundup of some of the best automatic Citizen watches on the market. Whilst we’ve picked out 5, there’s a load out there to choose from so enjoy the process of selecting your next Citizen watch!