Eco-Drive vs. Quartz Watches: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re looking to buy a watch, you’ve probably noticed that watch fans have a lot to say about Eco-drive vs. Quartz watches, two popular types of watch movements. Even though they both use batteries, they work in very different ways. Quartz watches are precise and dependable, but eco-drive watches are digital and require minimal maintenance. Let’s take a closer look at each category.

Eco-Drive and quartz watches feature unique mechanisms for keeping time. Quartz watches utilize a battery, while Eco-Drive watches use light.  Wrist Watch Blog will elaborate on these concepts and compare and contrast them below.

Quartz Watches

Quartz Watches

Quartz watches employ an electronic oscillator controlled by a small quartz crystal to keep accurate time. Quartz watches are extremely reliable because of the crystal oscillator inside, which generates a signal with a very stable frequency.

Quartz watch Functions

A tiny piece of quartz shaped like a tuning fork receives an electrical charge from the battery, causing it to vibrate or oscillate at a specific frequency (32768 times per second).

Quartz watches are known for their precision because of the vibrations that power the motor that moves the hands.

Quartz watches can be made in a wider variety of designs and with more affordable components because of their lower production costs. It can be inconvenient to replace the batteries every few years, though. They lack the sophisticated mechanical movement that makes automatic and mechanical watches so appealing to watch lovers.

Eco-Drive Watches

The Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. produces a line of watches called Eco-Drive. Eco-Drive watches are distinguished by their ability to harvest energy from ambient light (not simply sunlight). Light is converted into electricity and stored in a rechargeable battery.

Eco-Drive Watch Functions

The watch’s solar cell is activated when light from any source (natural or artificial) passes through the dial’s crystal and into the cell.

The watch is powered by a solar cell that absorbs sunlight and turns it into an electric current.

A rechargeable lithium-ion cell stores the watch’s unused energy until needed. This reserve allows the watch to function for months, even in complete darkness.

In essence, Eco-Drive watches are quartz watches, but they are also hybrids because they have a supplementary power source to keep the battery charged.

An Eco-Drive watch’s key selling point is that it never needs new batteries. As a result, fewer watch batteries will be thrown away, which is both more convenient for the user and better for the environment. An Eco-Drive watch may have a greater purchase price than a standard quartz watch.

Eco-Drive vs. Quartz Watches

Quartz watches use batteries, which need to be replaced every so often. Eco-Drive watches, on the other hand, can be more expensive at first but don’t need new batteries and are better for the environment. Let’s compare these two watches.


Quartz and Eco-Drive watches share a reputation for pinpoint precision. They are so precise that they even outperform mechanical watches. Quartz watches use a quartz crystal oscillator that vibrates at an extremely stable frequency to keep accurate time. Eco-Drive watches are similarly accurate and reliable because they use quartz movement technology.

Energy Supply

The power sources are among the main distinctions between quartz and Eco-Drive watches. The battery of a quartz watch, typically a silver oxide or lithium-ion battery, will eventually die and need to be changed. Eco-Drive watches, on the other hand, feature a proprietary technology created by Citizen. A solar panel underneath the watch’s dial turns sunlight into usable energy, allowing the watch to self-recharge at all times. This makes Eco-Drive watches more practical in power maintenance as the need for frequent battery replacements is eliminated.


The price difference between quartz and Eco-Drive watches is typically smaller. The long-term costs, however, must be taken into account. Quartz watches have a higher total cost of ownership due to the need to replace batteries regularly. Eco-Drive watches, on the other hand, may have a higher entry price, but they can save money in the long term because they never need batteries.

Effects on the Environment

Eco-Drive watches are more sustainable than quartz ones. Using sunlight as fuel minimizes the requirement for manufacturing and disposing of batteries. Eco-Drive watches provide a more sustainable and eco-aware way of keeping time by harnessing renewable energy from various light sources.


Eco-Drive and quartz watches are both low-maintenance options. However, the upkeep requirements for the two are not the same. Quartz watches require battery replacements at regular intervals, usually once every several years. This may necessitate unlocking the device and installing a new battery, both outside your skill set. Eco-Drive watches, on the other hand, can be recharged simply by being exposed to light. This reduces the hassle of regular upkeep by eliminating the need to replace batteries.


Quartz and Eco-Drive watches are equally durable with the right maintenance. However, the watch may have a longer lifespan with the Eco-Drive technology, which uses a novel power source. The watch’s water resistance will be better preserved over time because the case back cannot be opened for battery changes. Quartz watch water resistance can be compromised if the case back is opened improperly when replacing the battery. As a result, the Eco-Drive technology has the potential to contribute to a more robust watch that lasts for a longer time.


What distinguishes Eco-Drive and Quartz Watch?

Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology makes it possible for watches to run on any kind of light, including LEDs. Thus, solar-powered watches have a far longer lifespan than their conventional quartz counterparts, whose batteries often need to be changed every three to five years.

How long do Eco-Drive wristwatches typically last?

Citizen Watches claims that the solar cells and auxiliary batteries in their Eco-Drive watches have a 10-year lifespan. They further claimed that the oil used in their construction wouldn’t harden or evaporate, even after 20 years, further contributing to the watches’ endurance.

Eco-Drive watches: Do they waterproof?

If you want to keep your watch watertight and make sure you’re operating it properly, you should read the handbook first. Water resistance is a fully working feature of Eco-Drive Bluetooth watches.


Finally, it’s important to note that both Eco-Drive and quartz watches have their merits. Choosing between a quartz watch and an Eco-Drive watch comes down to personal taste, lifestyle, and how much one values not having to buy new batteries very often.

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