Citizen Vs Seiko: Which One Is A Better Watch Brand?

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Are you looking for an affordable watch but cannot decide whether to choose a Citizen watch or a Seiko watch? Do you want to know which brand is better among Seiko and Citizen, so that you can make an informed decision while purchasing a timepiece?

When it comes to affordable and value for money watches, Citizen and Seiko are two watch brands that top the charts. And if you do not know much about these brands then choosing one can be difficult. But do not worry, you are at the right place now!

In this article, I have tried to give you as much information as possible about these two brands so that you can make an informed decision. This article includes a Citizen Vs Seiko face-off, a sneak peek at the watch collections from both brands, and faceoffs between Citizen Skyhawk and Seiko Flightmaster, and Seiko Prospex Diver and Citizen Promaster Diver.

So without further ado, let’s start.

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Seiko Vs Citizen

Citizen or Seiko watch brand

Seiko and Citizen are two Japanese watch-making giants today, but how did they both achieve this status? Let us find out! The heritage of any watch company matters a lot when it comes to the watch industry. So let us start by looking at the past of both the companies one by one.


Seiko’s roots go way back to 1881 when a young Japanese man started a shop for selling and repairing watches, after being an apprentice to a clock manufacturer. In 1892 he took another step and opened his own manufacturing unit under the name Seikosha, which roughly means “House of Exquisite Workmanship”. The company used to manufacture wall clocks in its initial days, then began manufacturing pocket watches from 1895 onwards, and later in 1913, it came up with Japan’s first in-house built wristwatch, the Laurel. Later the name of the company was changed from Seikosha to Seiko and in 1960 it launched a new subsidiary under the name of Grand Seiko to manufacture high-end luxury watches. Grand Seiko was brought in to challenge the dominance of the Swiss luxury watch brands in the market.

1960 to 1970 was the decade that changed the fate of both Seiko and the watch industry. Seiko did many innovations in this time period but the one that can be attributed to changing the fate of both the company and the industry was the development of the Quartz Movement. Yes, the quartz movement was first developed by Seiko in the year 1969. At that time it was almost 100 times more accurate than any other watch available on the planet and it blew everyone’s mind away.

Since then Seiko has continued to deliver innovative and feature-rich watches at a very affordable cost and has made it to the list of top Japanese watch manufacturers. The year 2022 will mark the 141st anniversary of the Japanese brand.


Citizen, on the other hand, is a little younger than Seiko and was not formed by any one person and was rather formed by a group of Swiss and Japanese investors in the year 1930. However, the name Citizen was first registered by a Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid in 1918 and it was supposed to be used to sell Schmid’s manufactured watches in Japan.

The Citizen company was formed with the aim of making the watches more affordable for Japanese citizens. It has now also completed 100 years of existence. And like Seiko, Citizen has also made many of the first technological advancements in the watch-making industry. These advancements include the first Atomic Time Keeping watch in 1993 (know more about atomic timekeeping watches) and their patented solar-powered Eco-Drive Technology. Most of the watches in the company’s portfolio nowadays are based on their Eco-Drive Technology.

So now that we know about the history of both the companies, let us now look at their watch collections.

Citizen Watch Collections

Seiko vs Citizen

Let us first look at the Citizen watch collections.

1) The Citizen

The Citizen collection from the company is all about precision and accuracy. Watches in this collection have an accuracy range of +/-5 seconds to +/- 1 second annually. Yes, that’s right, watches that lose a maximum time of +/- 1 second in a year. This collection houses some of the costliest watches from the company as well.

2) Eco-Drive One

The Eco-Drive One collection of the company is all about craftsmanship. This collection has watches that run on the world’s thinnest movement that is just 1mm thick, barely a stack of few papers. These watches’ cases are so thin that you will even feel like its bracelet or strap is probably thicker.

3) Promaster

The Promaster collection of the company includes watches for extreme sports enthusiasts. This collection further has 3 sub-collections namely, Marine, Land, and Sky. Watches in the Marine collection include dive watches. Land Collection includes watches for all the hikers and trekkers out there. The sky collection includes pilot watches.

4) Series 8

The Series 8 collection of the company includes all the watches that are powered by mechanical movements rather than a quartz movement. These watches have a very simpler and elegant look with a vintage appeal.

5) Citizen L

The Citizen L collection watches are mainly focused on women that want to make a statement in the world. These watches come in different shapes and sizes and also include watches that are inspired by the four elements of life: Water, Air, Fire, and Earth.

6) Satellite Wave GPS

Watches from this collection are again focused on time accuracy and receive signals from GPS satellites. The time is updated automatically once the watch gets synchronized with the satellite, which in turn is synchronized with atomic clocks around the world.

7) Eco-Drive Riiiver

Eco-Drive Riiiver collection includes hybrid watches from the company that are a mixture of a conventional watch and some smart features.

8) Watch For The Blind And Visually Impaired

This collection from the company includes watches from the company that are specially manufactured for people that are blind or are visually impaired. They can read the time by touching the dial of these watches.

9) Citizen Bluetooth Watches

This collection includes watches that can connect to your smartphones via Bluetooth and lets you do much more than just read the time. Unlike the Eco-Drive Riiiver collection, these are true hybrid watches and can do much more than the Riiiver collection.

Seiko Watch Collections

Citizen vs Seiko

Now let us look at the Seiko Watch collections.

1) Astron

The Astron collection of the company includes some of the most advanced and feature-rich watches from the brand. The watches in this collection have features like chronograph, dual time, solar charging, GPS, etc., and are powered by a variety of movements.

2) Prospex

Watches in this collection are best suited for people that like extreme sports. This collection also has further sub-collections and includes watches for divers, pilots, motorsports, hikers, trekkers, etc. This collection from Seiko is similar to the Promaster collection of the Citizen.

3) Presage

The Presage collection of the company mainly includes sophisticated-looking dress watches that follow an elegant and timeless design. These watches come with different kinds of movements so you can choose one according to your need.

4) 5 Sports

The 5 Sports collection watches are mainly focused on sports enthusiasts but these watches are very affordable as compared to the Prospex collection.

5) Seiko Premier

The Seiko Premier collection of the company includes watches that combine traditional watchmaking with modern design. These watches look simple, elegant, and bold at the same time. Some of these watches come in dual-tone color and include features like perpetual calendar, chronograph, etc.

Citizen And Seiko Popular Watch Comparison

Now that we know about both the brands and their collections, let us look at the comparison between some of their popular watches.

Citizen Skyhawk Vs Seiko Flightmaster

Seiko Flightmaster

Citizen Skyhawk

Seiko Flightmaster

As the name suggests, Citizen Skyhawk is a Pilot’s watch

It is also a Pilot’s watch

45.4mm case diameter can be a little big for people with small wrists

42mm can be suitable for people with all wrist sizes

Quartz movement

Quartz movement

Gets charged by solar energy, even gets charged from low artificial lights

Does not support solar charging

Atomic timekeeping in 43 cities make it more accurate

It does not support atomic timekeeping

Has a Chronograph

Also has a Chronograph

Perpetual calendar tells you date, month, and day and does not require manual correction

Only displays the date and requires manual correction at the end of every month that has 30 days

The dual time feature shows you time in two time zones

Does not show you dual time but the alarm sundial can be used for a time in the second time zone

Has an alarm feature

Also has an alarm feature

Comes with a count-down timer

It does not have a count-down timer

Digital backlight and luminous hands and markers make the time reading easier in the dark

Does not have a backlight but comes with luminous hands and markers

Has a power-reserve indicator

It does not have a power-reserve indicator

Comes equipped with a rotating slide rule bezel for pilot

Comes equipped with a rotating slide rule bezel for the pilot too

Has a stainless steel case and a leather strap

Has a stainless steel case and bracelet

Comes with a blue dial

Comes with a black dial

Protected by a sapphire crystal that has an anti-reflective coating

Protected by Hardlex mineral crystal but does not have an anti-reflective coating

Features a 200M water-resistant rating

Also features a 200M water-resistant rating

Seiko Prospex Diver Vs Citizen Promaster Diver

Citizen Promaster Diver

Seiko Prospex Diver

Citizen Promaster Diver

Its 43mm case will be suitable for all wrist sizes

Its 44mm case is neither too big nor too small

Has a stainless steel case and rubber strap

Has a stainless steel case and polyurethane (rubber-like) strap

Powered by an automatic movement

Powered by a quartz movement

Does not support solar or light charging and requires winding

Comes with Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology and gets charged from any source of light

There are 21-jewels at work

No jewels at work

Protected by Hardlex mineral crystal

Protected by a mineral crystal

Does not have an anti-reflective coating on the crystal

Reading time under direct sunlight is easier as it has an anti-reflective on the crystal

Comes with a day and date window to show you the date of the month and day of the week

Only comes with a date window that shows the date of the month

The calendar requires correction at the end of months having 30 days

The date calendar requires correction at the end of months having 30 days

Has luminous hands and markers

Comes with luminous hands and markers

Comes with a uni-directional rotating dive bezel to measure the elapsed time

Has a rotating dive bezel that rotates in one direction only

Water resistant-rating of 200M is good enough for scuba diving

Comes with a 200M water-resistant rating

Comes with a screw-down crown and case back

Has a screw-down crown but does not have a screw-down case back

Which One Is Better Seiko Or Citizen?

Now is the time for the toughest question of this Seiko vs Citizen comparison, we know about both companies now and we know about their watches. But which one to choose?

Both the brands have a history of more than 100 years with Seiko’s heritage dating a little back than the Citizen’s. However, both have made it to the list of top Japanese watch manufacturers. Watches from both brands are super value for money which makes the choice even harder.

Seiko was the one to introduce the Quartz movement to the world but it seems like Citizen is the one making the most out of it these days. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is based on the quartz movement and most of the watches from the brand are now based on the same with a very less focus on the mechanical movement. However on the other hand Seiko has focused equally on the quartz as well as mechanical movements. That being said if you want a watch with the mechanical movement then I will suggest you go for Seiko and if you are looking to buy a watch with quartz movement then go for Citizen.

Citizen has also pioneered solar-powered watches and its Eco-Drive technology is very hard to match. So if you are looking to buy a solar-powered watch or do not like to change the battery of the watch frequently then Citizen is the best choice for you.

If you are looking to buy a luxury watch then you should opt for Seiko as it has more options under its sub-brand called Grand Seiko as compared to the Citizen.

However, if you do not have a specific preference or do not know much about watches then you can choose either one of them and you will not regret it.


Is Seiko And Citizen The Same Company?

No, they are both Japanese watch manufacturers but they are not the same company.

Is Seiko Considered Luxury?

No, Seiko is an affordable watch brand but has luxury watches under its sub-brand called Grand Seiko.

Are Citizen Watches A Good Investment?

Yes, Citizen watches offer a good value for money without compromising on quality.

Are Citizen Watches Automatic?

Yes, Citizen has a collection of automatic watches however the main focus of the brand is on its Eco-Drive technology that is based on quartz movement.

Which Country Do Citizen Watches Come From?

Citizen is a Japanese watch manufacturer and has a manufacturing unit in Japan itself.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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