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Seiko vs Citizen

Seiko vs Citizen: Comparing the Leading Japanese Watch Brands

Jan 04, 2024

This post will specifically detail the two giant Japanese manufactured watches on the market today, Seiko vs Citizen. The popular series for Citizen includes the Citizen Promaster, Citizen Satellite, and Citizen Sport watches. Alternatively, notable Seiko collections include the Seiko Prospex, Seiko 5, and the Seiko Premier.

Aside from having the same country of origin – Japan, they are both infamous for their similar price range yet providing exceptional quality in craftsmanship. The difference between these two watch brands will then be a topic worthy of discussion which I will flesh out in further detail below. Do have a read.

Winding Back Into the History of Citizen vs Seiko

Before elaborating on the differences between these two magnificent Japanese watches, let’s first take a closer look into their past and how they have stood where they are right now.


The Citizen Watch Company was founded in 1918 along with the first Japanese-made pocket watch by Japanese and Swiss investors. Its name Citizen implies a higher lifetime goal of producing watches for everyday people. During its initial stages, the watches borrowed its technology from watch companies in Switzerland.

Some of the well-known inventions from Citizen are watches providing some of the most accurate times, gratitude for its technology in quartz watches, and being the pioneer of the atomic timekeeping, allowing watch collectors, enthusiasts, and wearers alike to travel without the fuss of adjusting time zones.


Its founder Hattori is an expert in the watch industry with a humble beginning as a clockmaker apprentice at 13. He continued his journey by establishing Seiko, a watch and repair shop in 1881 at age 21 before it manufactured watches under the flagship brand in 1924. For more than 100 years, Seiko produced a wide variety of timepieces ranging from affordable to more premium. 

The brand features collections powered by a quartz movement to mechanical movements. Furthermore, Seiko has also produced the Seiko 5 to appeal to younger audiences and Grand Seiko for the avid and affluent watch enthusiast.

Machinery and Movement of Citizen vs Seiko

Citizen were largely powered by the quartz movement meaning highly accurate watches. Aside from that, Citizen has been committed to refining their solar-powered watches infamously known as their Eco-Drive technology. This means that the watch will function wherever there is light. The titanium lithium-ion battery also creates lightweight yet strong machinery. 

Seiko also has a Solar line. But, Seiko’s strength lies in their diversity of timepieces featuring mechanical movements, as they have finite watches under the quartz and solar-powered movements. Despite the limited accuracy of mechanical movements, their array of designs and availability are loved by many.

Read also: King Seiko vs. Grand Seiko: A Tale of Prestige and Precision

Accuracy and Long Lastingness of Citizen vs Seiko

When comparing the precision and longevity of Seiko vs Citizen watches, it’s important to remember that accuracy more or less depends on the movement of the watch. Quartz movement-powered timepieces will trump other movements, and while you can find Seiko watches bearing this technology, Citizen watches have a lot more design for you to pick.

If you are searching for watches powered by mechanical movements with splendid craftsmanship albeit with less accuracy, you will be delighted to find that Seiko provides a lot more range of designs and prices.

The longevity of watches is more a hallmark for how lucky the watch wearer, enthusiast, or collector is. This is because each product differs slightly. Notwithstanding this, there are steps you can take to make your watch stand through the passing of time such as cleaning them regularly. 

Design of Seiko vs Citizen

Seiko vs Citizen

Now what are the differences between the style of Seiko vs Citizen? Citizen, along with their “innovative” technologies have also spread the “innovative” keyword in their design. You will find that Citizen watches on offer have selections of unique and futuristic forms like the Citizen Series 8 Automatic Black Ref. NB6010-81E with its 3 layered rings of second marks.

Seiko vs Citizen

Alternatively, Seiko is famed for relying on the classic designs tested through the decades. Therefore, most timepieces of the brand are simple, elegant, and dependable. For instance, the brand is popular for reinterpreting the classics infused with modern technologies, as such can be seen in the Seiko Prospex 200M “Captain Willard” Black Ref. SBDC109.

Citizen vs Seiko: Their Popular Watches

Now, what are some of the most famous timepieces from Citizen and Seiko? Here’s a list of them:

Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

The first on the Citizen vs Seiko list is this ISO-certified dive watch powered by Citizens’ infamous Eco-Drive technology. Its bezel highlights an aluminum ring and a clockwise rotating time. Most notably, the stainless steel case and the dark blue of its dial and rubber strap produce a simple yet functional design.

Further details on this timepiece, its case size sits at around 44 mm with a lug width of 20 mm. The three hands are also polished with lume providing light in the dark and depth of 200 meters underwater. Not only that, the anti-reflective mineral crystal and the screw-down at the 4 o’clock position protect the watch from shatter and impact, adding legibility into the watch.

Read also: 5 Best Eco-Drive Watches: Citizen’s Stylish and Eco-Friendly Lineup

The Citizen Eco Drive White

Seiko vs Citizen

The next Citizen vs Seiko watch is the Citizen Eco Drive White Ref. AQ1010-54A. This Caliber A010 quartz movement watch provides a stunning accuracy of +- 5 seconds/year. The design is quite minimal with its paperwhite dial with subtle vertical lines and clear, mirror-like glass. The fan-like shape indicating the power reserve contributes to its signature look.

This Citizen collection may well be on par with timepieces from the premium Seiko brand, Grand Seiko well known for their ornament-filled dials. But, other than that, it’s the Eco Drive power that allows for the watch to function whenever there is access to light.

Citizen Satellite Wave Freedom GPS Watch

Daring and futuristic. This 44 mm timepiece syncs your time wherever you are in this world. This is the epitome of a Citizen watch. True to its title, with its 27 major cities and 40 time zones, the watch is a highly functional one for citizens of the traveling type. You will never have to miss important meetings ever again.

This timepiece clearly indicates the Eco Drive technology, its dial showing glints of mini solar panels powering the watch. Moreover, the neon color details are splashed into the ring of the dial and the hour hand markers contribute to its modern and innovative look. This is the perfect watch for the globetrotter and the brave.

Seiko Prospex “Save the Ocean” King Samurai

Seiko vs Citizen

The first Seiko watch featured on our Seiko vs Citizen list comes from the seasoned Prospex collection. The Seiko Prospex “Save the Ocean” King Samurai Ref. SBDY081 is a powerful dive watch with water-resistant abilities of up to 200 meters. This dark blue motif watch is a homage to the beauty of the underwater world and an attempt to preserve them.

The textured indigo blue dial definitely caught my eye first. With a closer look, you can start to see silhouettes of three stingrays close to the 6 o’clock position. Surrounding the dial is the unidirectional rotating bezel colored in shiny black. This makes for an enchanting story and an elevated chic and splendor to the wearer.

Seiko 5 Sports “Sports Style” Gilt 40

Seiko vs Citizen

This is an elegantly minimal watch. Yet, in its minimalism of matte black dial, its indexes outlined, second marks and the Seiko brand logo dipped in golden colors add an exuberant richness and classiness to its look. Quick to remember that Seiko 5 “Sports Style” Gilt 40 is a dive watch yet completely void in a dive bezel and rightfully so, the lack of one leads to its simplicity.

The lightweight look of the stainless steel case is also supported by a strap of the same material. Furthermore, there is the charming lume producing vintage green colors when in the dark. This induces a timepiece fancy for a night out or a fun summer day on the waters. 

Read also: Orient vs Seiko: A Battle of Japanese Watchmaking Excellence

Seiko Premier Solar Chronograph Black Dial SSC597

A timepiece defined by grandeur, the last featured on the Seiko vs Citizen list, Seiko Premier Solar Chronograph Black Dial SSC597 features alternating the traditional hour markers and the deluxe Roman numerals. Furthermore, the matte black dial highlights vertical gray lines, and the most notable of all, 3 sub-dials showing 60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 24 hours.

This chronograph watch is supported by a metal strap, the watch is eager to be known with its 44 mm case and 13 mm thickness. Powered by a caliber V175 Seiko quartz movement and protected by scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, this timekeeper is powerful, classy, and fabulous.

You might also like: 7 Best Seiko Dress Watch for an Everyday Beauty Companion

Ultimately, when debating Seiko vs Citizen, respective watches are of outstanding build despite their respective strengths and weaknesses. Hence, the candid watch enthusiast will be pleased to find that one brand suiting them more than the other would only mean a matter of preference. 

The collector into trends of the future will find most Citizen watches with their Eco Drive movements and ingenious designs to their liking, while those into classic styles and designs, with a wide choice of movements available, Seiko timepieces may be a better choice.

You can check out our collection of Citizen and Seiko watches on offer at our website. Also, dive deep into the world of horology by reading our posts specifically catered to the watch enthusiast at our Gnomon blog.

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