Released in a deliberately oversized body and available in three dial colors, the new Citizen Military Eco-Drive BME delivers all that you can expect from a “tactical” watch except, possibly, for a nice set of tritium gas tubes that would really make it look cool.
When the Japanese started their latest attempt at world domination, they had a secret weapon that dwarfed even the most powerful thermo-nuclear warhead. While Americans and Europeans still tried to make simply the best car, TV set or a refrigerator unit, these guys took a completely different approach. While designing a new product, they asked just two questions: how much a consumer is ready to pay for a car, a TV set or a refrigerator and what is the most efficient way to build this product that would sell at exactly this price.
Although the strategy didn’t sound particularly bright at those days, it proved devastatingly effective with Japanese brands taking first positions on almost every market in the world. At one point, they almost killed the Swiss watchmaking industry with their dirt-cheap and high-quality electronic and quartz watches.
This new Citizen Military Eco-Drive BME watch seems to be built using exactly this principle: it is big, it is delivered in either grey or black ion-plated steel body, it features oversized numerals and stick-shaped hour markers that strongly remind of Luminox tactical watches with their signature tritium gas micro-tubes (but only remind because they are in fact simply painted with some luminous compound), and it is powered by one of their well-known Eco-Drive calibers.
Hell, it even has a stylized world on its dial that makes this gargantuan timekeeper look even more serious, you can almost see a strategic command officer sitting hundreds of meters underground, waiting for the order from the White House to finally put an end to this world.
For some people, the fact that the watch feels so “calculated” may somehow spoil the experience of owning this bad boy. For others, it may be one of the best presents for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.
Of course, at MSRP of $235 it is not particularly cheap and the fact that it is made in China using a Japanese movement doesn’t make it any more desirable. Still, the watch will probably serve for years and the movement that powers is it is actually great. So, if you want to make your kid a nice present, go for one, he will not be disappointed.
Just make sure that your kid is actually big enough for wearing this military-styled monster of a timepiece. You see, at just 10 mm high, the Eco-Drive BME is relatively thin, however its gargantuan body measures impressive 46 millimeters in diameter and its, um, footprint will probably completely cover a wrist of a grown-up of normal proportions, not to say a tiny wrist of a third-grader.
However, for a teen who would like to have something rugged on his hand, this will probably be a very nice choice.
See also: Archimede Outdoor Black Automatic
Photos: Citizen Watches
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 3.5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Citizen Military Eco-Drive BME watch specification
Movement: Eco-Drive caliber, mechanical, Made in Japan
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel, black or grey ion-plated
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 46.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black or Grey
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black, gray or khaki nylon strap with leather patches and contrasting stitching / Gray or black ion-plated steel bracelet
Crystal: Mineral, non-reflective
Case back: Solid