Citizen AW1151-04E AR 2.0 Review
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Citizen AW1151-04E AR 2.0 Review

Overall Score4
  • Watch Type & Movement
  • Aesthetics & Build Quality
  • Functions & Complications
  • Value for Money
  • Overall Impression
  • This Citizen is part of the new "Drive" line, designed to have appeal to those looking for a sportier watch but still want the ease of use that comes with a Citizen Eco-Drive. Mission accomplished. This excellent timepiece can be had for an MSRP of $225 USD (but can be found on Amazon for much less). It looks great, and its coloured accents really set it apart from other watches.

love this watch.  Before you read any further, let that be known.  For what you pay for this watch you should be expecting a flimsy quartz, but what you get instead is a damn good looking, well put together watch that is so well styled you could call it sexy and get away with it.

What I love the most about this watch is how it successfully managed to blend modern styling with contemporary design, resulting in an excellent combination that just about anyone can appreciate.  The palette offered by the AW1151-04E is distinctive, yet it’s traditional enough to enable you to change the strap with ease and still retain the overall look of the watch.

Many people are aware of the Citizen brand- a testament to excellent marketing and a quality product, no doubt.  However, Citizens are typically styled more traditionally.  This isn’t a bad thing, but its notable when you come across an entire line of timepieces that go out of their way to be distinctive.  Yet, despite how this timepiece manages to create a signature style, you immediately know it’s a Citizen.

Essential Details About the Citizen AW1151-o4E AR 2.0

MSRP: $225 USD
Case diameter: 41mm
Movement: Eco-Drive J810
Complications: Date
Crystal material: Mineral
Estimated battery life: Solar powered
Other: Black polyurethane band, 100m water resistance

Note that the watch pictured in this review has a leather strap instead of the polyurethane band.

Citizen AW1151-04E AR 2.0 Aesthetics & Functionality

Showcasing the solar panel a bit better.

Showcasing the solar panel a bit better.

I think I’ve already gone on enough about how good looking this watch is.  The example reviewed here is the two tone stainless steel and blue accents, though you can also get this watch with a more traditional two tone stainless steel and black combination.  The steel/black combo looks good, certainly, but the blue accent really sets this piece apart.

The blue carries from the case exterior to the face, where the hands and hour markers carry the blue theme forward.  It’s an excellent mix that manages to showcase the designers intent without looking like a cheap watch you’d buy at a drug store.

Nothing about the AW1151-04E feels cheap, either, which is somewhat of a rarity in this price bracket.  Like most Citizens, this watch operates without complication or fuss.  If you’re looking for something that will work rain or shine every time you wear it this Eco-Drive is a good choice.

The best part of the Eco-Drive movement is the simplicity of it.  Being solar powered, this watch will never need a battery change.  Any source of light will charge it, though Citizen states in the manual that sunshine is preferred.

The face is styled in such a way that you’d never know it was solar powered.  The days of obvious solar cells are thankfully over, and this Citizen pulls off a modern aesthetic without looking like something Steve Urkel would wear.  It looks more athletic than techno, and that’s a good thing.

The only complication on the AW1151-04E is the date parameter which is easily set by pulling the crown out one position (out of a maximum of three).

  • Put the crown in position three to adjust the time.
  • Put the crown in position two to adjust the date - Turning the crown towards the 6 o’clock position adjusts the date forward.  You cannot adjust the date backwards.

Movement Accuracy & Reliability

The Citizen Eco-Drive is one of the most famous quartz-based movements out there.  Nearly everyone knows what Eco-Drive means.  The Eco-Drive J810 is a tried and true movement that powers millions of timepieces.  During the time I’ve had the AW1151-04E I experienced no issues, and I don’t suspect that you will either.

Being a quartz movement timekeeping is very accurate (so long as the watch is powered).

Minor Gripes About the Citizen AW1151-04E AR 2.0

Side profile on my wrist.

Side profile on my wrist.

While I enjoy nearly every aspect of this watch, the one part I did not care for was the polyurethane strap.  I find polyurethane straps to be uncomfortable, and whenever possible I change the strap out for a leather one.  This Citizen is no exception, and it now sports an inexpensive leather strap.

While the watch has an MSRP of only $225, investing into a good strap ($60-$80) would be a nice choice to really upscale the watch.

Another minor complaint is the relatively weak luminosity of the hands and hour markers.  After sitting in direct sunlight for several hours the luminosity was slightly visible in complete darkness.  In situations where there is light, even if it’s just a small amount of it, the luminosity cannot be seen.

Otherwise, there is nothing else about the Citizen for me to complain about.

To Conclude My Citizen AW1151-04E AR 2.0 Review

If  you want a good looking sport watch for under $250 this Citizen is a good choice.  Its contemporary design and movement combine to create a great timepiece that would be an excellent addition to anyone’s wrist.

The Citizen AW1151-04E is just as much at home on your wrist when you’re bike riding as when you’re out on the town.  It’s interesting enough to catch someones attention, but not so overbearing that it dominates your outfit.

Highly recommended.

Reviewers Pick – A Great Buy!

Buy: $225 MSP / $170 Amazon.

More Pictures of the Citizen AW1151-04E AR 2.0

0 4 7355 14 February, 2013 Quartz/Electronic, Reviewers Pick, Under $250, Watch Reviews February 14, 2013

About the author

If it ticks or tocks Cameron probably wants to have it on his wrist. Founder of the website, and lover of things that keep good time, Cameron likely wrote this article three or four times before it was published (and there's probably still a grammatical error in there somewhere... d'oh!)

View all articles by Cameron Martel

4 comments

  1. Brad M

    I just recently discovered the “drive” line (yesterday) and already love it. I agree with the color comments. I have never really been a fan of over the top bright colours on a watch, but citizen does it with class and in a well packaged way.

    This is the one that caught my eye:
    CA4148-00L

    How does the b620 movement compare to the one you so highly review in this article?

    Reply

    1. Post author
      Cameron Martel

      I can’t speak to that movement as I haven’t researched it or had any experience with it. However, the Citizen CA0427-08E uses a similar movement (different orientation, identical complications) and it has been accurate and reliable. I suspect the B620 would be much the same. Speaking candidly, I have a lot of faith/trust for the Eco-Drive movements based on the quality of the products they power.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply

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