Chrono Wars: Citizen Cal 2100 vs Seiko 7L22


AV0031-59E dial (WinCE) 6961773_o (WinCE)


Being an owner of both the Citizen Promaster Eco Drive E2100 and Seiko Sportura 7L22 Kinetic chronograph, I thought a comparison between these two distinct yet similarly featured movements would make an interesting subject. 🙂

Why am I comparing these two movements? Well, for starters they are both quartz-controlled watches with unique, mechanically actuated chronograph functions. These two hybrid calibers are also mainstream calibers  and both companies have manufactured numerous models based on them.

The most glaring difference between the Cal 2100 and the 7L22 is that the former is solar powered while the latter is a motion powered movement.

Let’s examine the merits and demerits of both animals. 🙂


The Citizen Cal 2100 Eco Drive

Citizen has been concentrating on their Eco Drive range of watches and it looks like they have not only perfected their solar powered watch technology, they are also producing more and more models based on their Eco Drive movements.

Although Citizen still makes automatic watches  it appears that (unlike Seiko) they’re not interested in pushing their automatic movements into the high end range bracket. Most of their automatic movements are found in their NY-series diver’s watches and some of, their Oxy sub-brand watches.

The company also makes low, medium and high grade quartz movements through its Citizen Miyota manufacturing facility. Citizen also has a sub-brand under the name “Q&Q" which are very low cost quartz watches targeted to mostly Asian and Middle Eastern markets.

On the opposite scale, Citizen produces high end quartz calibers for their Chronomaster models (also dubbed “The Citizen"), which is a high accuracy, thermocompensated quartz watch and complicated quartz movements for their exotic Campanola line.



Two E2100s (Medium)

Two Citizen E2100 chronographs side-by-side: the CTZ66-0471 “Bullhead" (left) and an AV0037-55 (right). (Borrowed photo)


The Caliber 2100 is indeed Citizen’s breakthrough chronograph movement. Instead of employing conventional electronically controlled chronograph mechanisms used in conventional quartz chronos, the 2100’s stopwatch is mechanically actuated. Timekeeping is still quartz but operation of the stopwatch is done by mechanical means, just like an automatic chronograph.

In other words, with the Cal 2100 you have a watch that is as accurate as a quartz but with the feel of an automatic chronograph. The Promaster AV-series chronographs are probably the most widely recognized Cal 2100 models and there are specific variants made for the U.S., Japan, Europe and Asian markets.

Citizen spent a lot on advertising to push their Cal 2100 models into the market and touted them as the “Ultimate Chronograph". I couldn’t agree more as I think it’s the most complicated quartz-controlled chronograph watch I’ve ever seen.

Here’s a short video ad of the Cal 2100 if you’re interested to watch. 🙂




Citizen Cal 2100 ad



The Seiko 7L22 Kinetic

Seiko, always at the forefront of watchmaking technology also experimented with hybrid mechanical chronograph movements.

Following their triumphant engineering excellence with their inaugural Kinetic chronograph, the very expensive Seiko 9T82 caliber, Seiko decided to make a mainstream Kinetic chronograph caliber for the masses without the cost and complexity of the 9T82 caliber.

Their engineers were faced with a daunting challenge to come up with a completely new caliber at he lowest possible design and production cost. Instead of designing a caliber totally from scratch, Seiko’s designers decided to use components from their existing calibers to save design and manufacturing costs.

Thus the more affordable 7L22 caliber was born. This new movement borrowed the power generation unit from their existing 5M62 Kinetic caliber and its geartrain was taken from the proven 7N-series quartz caliber. The 7L22 movement is also produced in Japan but unlike the 9T82, it is not individually hand assembled.

The 7L22 also carried forward the unorthodox design elements from the 9T82 but with the perpetual seconds housed in its own subdial. For a further detailed explanation of the 7L22’s dial design, read this excellent article written by “Tempus Fugitive" in the GMT+9 watch blog.

Seiko debuted the 7L22 with their  Arctura SNL001P model in early 2003 for the international market with high profile advertising and promotion.



ad_arcture01 (Medium) arctura_28 (Medium)

Above: An early Seiko ad for the 7L22 based SNL001P and the actual watch (right)



Meanwhile for the home Japan market, Seiko also introduced the 7L22 into its domestic Prospex and Brightz lineups. The 7L22 caliber became quite successful in terms of sales that Seiko also included the 7L22 models into their Sportura, Ignition and Premier range of watches.

The most expensive 7L22 models are the ones from the Brightz range while the least expensive are from the Arctura lineup.



SNL009 SNL017P SNL041P2_big

International market 7L22s: Arctura SNL009P, Sportura SNL017P and Premier SNL042P


SAGE003J (Medium) sbhv003 (Medium) SBDV003b (Medium)

Japanese Domestic Market 7L22s: Brightz SAGE007, Ignition SBHV003 and Prospex SBDV003



Comparisons: Cal 2100 vs Seiko’s 7L22 Kinetic

It may interest you that Seiko also has a formidable hybrid chronograph, in the form of their well known 7L22 caliber, Kinetic chronograph. The Seiko’s stopwatch is actuated by a heart-shaped cam which snaps the stopwatch hands instantly to zero.

In my opinion, the Cal 2100’s chronograph is much more superior to Seiko’s 7L22 in terms of features but the latter has better aesthetic looks than Citizen’s 2100.


Feature Citizen Cal 2100 Seiko 7L22 Kinetic
Power source Light powered Motion powered
Timekeeping Quartz Quartz
Stopwatch mechanism Mechanical Mechanical
Accuracy +/- 15sec per month +/- 15sec per month
Power reserve 8 months 5 months
Overcharge prevention Yes Yes
Stopwatch resolution 1/5sec 1/5sec
Calibrated elapsed time 12 hours 45 minutes
Maximum measurable time 12 hours 48 minutes
Accidental reset inhibitor Yes No
Automatic chrono reset No No
Split/lap feature No No
User adjustable chrono hands No No
Automatic watch-like feel No Yes
Main time layout Main dial Subdial
Different models available Limited Many


In my opinion, the 7L22 is more form over function while the 2100 is a more practical chronograph. With a maximum timing capability of up to 12 hours, the Citizen Promaster E210 is far more useful for timing long events.

On the other hand, Seiko’s unique layout of the 7L22 restricts its stopwatch to just 45 minutes of timing (although the chronograph stops at exactly 48 minutes) and I don’t think a three-quarter hour limit is practical for use in real life. For short events like timing sporting activities, the 7L22’s chronograph serves adequately.

The Cal 2100 also wins handsomely in the power reserve department. When both are fully charged, a Promaster E2100 will continue to run for 8 months while Seiko estimates their 7L22 just up to 5 months of operation. I’m not sure if the difference lies in the power consumption of the movements or the total capacity of their internal rechargeable cells.

In addition, Citizen’s engineers also made it impossible for the wearer to accidentally reset the chronograph while timing is taking place. It’s like a non-flyback automatic chronograph – you cannot push both buttons at once nor can you reset the stopwatch before stopping it.

Somehow, in possible hindsight Seiko’s engineers unfortunately did not incorporate a reset inhibitor into the 7L22. Which means, not only you can accidentally push the reset button while timing is in progress – it’s also possible to press both stopwatch buttons simultaneously. Damage can result to the mechanism if either happens and this is highlighted as a warning in the Seiko 7L22 owner’s manual.

Personally, I’d feel safer with the Cal 2100’s stopwatch mechanism. With the Seiko 7L22, I’ll have to remember to stop the chronograph first before resetting it.



Quirks of both calibers

Limited stopwatch timing

Both calibers are not free from their down sides though. Unlike true mechanical chronographs whose stopwatches will run continuously so long as their main springs have sufficient torque, both the Cal 2100 and 7L22 have finite time measurements. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Cal 2100 measures up to 12 hours while the 7L22 is good up to 48 minutes.

This time limit also serves to safeguard both the watches against accidental power drain in case you store the watch in the drawer for a long time with the stopwatch still active.


No automatic reset

Unlike conventional quartz chronographs, there is no automatic reset when the maximum elapsed time has reached. You’ll have to manually stop the chronograph and press the reset button for the next event timing.


No fine adjustment of chrono hands

More importantly is that both calibers behave more like automatic chronographs than quartz ones. There is also no provision for fine realignment of the chrono hands by the user should the hands don’t reset to zero properly. Many quartz chronographs allow micro tweaking of the stopwatch (in Seiko’s case, all of their quartz chronographs allow for such adjustments) in case the hands drift.

Sudden impacts and shocks while the stopwatch is running can affect the alignment of the stopwatch hands.  That said, both calibers are also prone to the occasional self-misalignment. Should this happen, your only recourse is to take the watch to the repair center. 🙁

Therefore you should treat the Promaster E2100 and Seiko 7L22s carefully like mechanical chronograph watches.


No provision for split or lap timing

Unlike conventional quartz chronographs, there is no provision for briefly pausing the chronograph for split or lap time measurements. With a quartz chrono, when you measure the split or lap times, the sweep chrono hand will pause briefly until you resume timing. An internal clock keeps track of the current elapsed time and when the stopwatch is resumed, the chrono hands will catch up with the actual time.

No such thing with the E2100 or the 7L22. You can only start, stop and reset the chronograph – just like a non-flyback mechanical chrono.




It’s difficult to conclude whether the Cal 2100 is much more superior than the Seiko 7L22. It depends from which angle you’re looking from. If you intend to use the stopwatch frequently and you’re not the active sort of person, the Cal 2100 would be the better choice.

All the Citizen Promaster E2100 models are very large timepieces and their stainless steel models are considerably heavy. If comfort or large size is a negative issue for you, consider a Seiko 7L22 Kinetic instead.

Seiko makes more models based on the 7L22 than Citizen with their Cal 2100 so there are more choices for you, from the most affordable international model Arctura to the expensive, Japan market Brightz. On the other hand, all 7L22 Seikos have small main time clocks, if you have a problem with reading small dials the Kinetic Chronograph isn’t for you either.

As for me, I’m the very inquisitive type of person so I ended up buying a Promaster E2100 and a Sportura 7L22. I like the Sportura for its sporty and flashy looks with the feel of an automatic watch while I like the Promaster for its elegant appearance and its 12-hour stopwatch. 🙂



Citizen AV0037 Seiko Sportura

Two of my favorite chronographs: the black Citizen Promaster AV0037-55 (left) and Seiko Sportura SNL035P (right)




Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


I am a collector of fine Quartz watches and automatics. As far as quartz watches I prefer Citizen Promaster line. I own about 12 Citizen watches and of the 12 8 are Chrono’s and the other are perpetual calander dress type watches.My newest Citizen watch is the JW0030-55E and it is a Titanium bracelett and body and it is a 1/1000 of a second chrono and it is a very large watch. I prefer large to very large watches.

I used to own some Seiko watches and most of them were automatics, but like most automatics, the Seiko’s didn’t keep very good time. I now collect Vostok Eroupe and Vostok Buran automatic Russian watches. I beleive that the Vostok automatic 32 jewel movement watches are almost as good as a automatic can get. And the price is almost funny, they can be had brand new in the $100.00 to $700.00 dollar range.

I also had a Rolex Blue Oyster GMT and it didn’t keep time any better than any of my Vostok’s, in fact all of my vostoks keep much better time and cost’s about $4500.00 less than the cheapest automatic Rolex watches. If anyone is in the market for a Rolex they are more than likely not looking for a great time keeping watch, they are looking to impress or wanting a good investment. I also had an Oris Williams F1 and in my opinion it was a lot better time keeping watch than any Rolex and it also can be purchased for about $3000.00 cheaper than the GMT Rolex.

The watches that I wear on a daily basis is my Citizen Calibre 2100 titanium or my Citizen Skyhawk AT with robber band with clasp. My biggest problem with the Citizen, actually my only complaint with Citizen watches is that they refuse to use Sapphire crystals on there higher end watches. It makes no sense. I own a Spec Ops Predator watch that is about the same price as my Calibre 2100 watches and it has a very nice saphire crystal, in fact it uses a Citizen Miyota movement. I wear it while I work and I also wear a Casio Pathfinder AT for work.

I am a professional knife and tool sharpener and a custom knife builder, so I am around lots of stainless steel and carbon steel extra fine particles and if I don’t have a Sapphire crystal on my watch I will scratch the face so bad within 1 year that I have a hard time reading the watch. The Casio for some reason doesn’t seem to scratch nearly as bad a mineral glass crystal like the Citizen uses. In closing I would just like to say that I enjoy wearing my Citizens watches much more than any other brand mainly because they just keep much better time, and they look and feel GREAT!!!!

Hi Brad,

Wow, you posted the longest comment in this blog so far. 🙂 Well, yes in a way many Swiss watches like the Rolex Oyster GMT are status symbol timepieces. In my opinion, high end Citizen, Orient and Seiko watches give you more value for money than any TAG Heuer watch of the same price range.

In case you didn’t know, TAG Heuer doesn’t even make watches. They are a slick marketing company that outsources the manufacture of their products to probably the cheapest vendor under the Swiss ETA Group.

The fact that your Vostok watches keep better time attests that lower priced and humble brands are equivalent to some Swiss automatic movements, in terms of accuracy and precision.

To my best knowledge, all titanium Citizen E210 chronographs are fitted with sapphire crystal as standard. The only stainless steel E210 models with sapphire are the ones for the European market. For other markets, stainless steel E210s come with mineral glass.


Dear Quartz,

Recently I seen the ProMaster BN0016-55L while I was in Hong Kong. Have you seen it before?


Hi Qoo,

Yes, I’ve seen the BN0016-55L although not in real life. I’ve collected many pics of it. It’s a Citizen diver that’s fondly known as the “Orca” in watch forums.

Because of the odd looking dial, the Orca isn’t well received by many people. But some diver’s watch enthusiasts love the design and bought the watch.

I’m not that fond of the design and prefer the Japan model, Citizen Air Diver instead (PMX56-2811).


I absolutely Love the Citizen Promaster E2100 with white dial, although I don’t own one yet. I’m interested in the life expectancy of the battery of this watch. How long it should last? I’m asking because there is no Citizen dealership in my country so if I had to service the watch, it will be a great problem.

Hi Dimitar,

As long as you keep the watch fully charged and never let it discharge for long periods, an Eco Drive rechargeable battery should last at least five years.

The Promaster E2100 was introduced in the first quarter of this decade and it’s too early to tell the average lifespan of its internal battery. So far I have yet to read about owners having to change their E2100 battery due to age, except if the battery itself is faulty.

Citizen claims that the solar panels in their Eco Drive watches should last twenty years or so, given proper care. Just make sure not to charge a solar powered watch in the sunlight for extended periods.

I prefer charging my Eco Drives under fluorescent table lamps as they don’t emit much heat to damage the solar panels or the watch’s electronics.

Hope this helps. 🙂


Hi Quartzimodo,
Your last reply surprises me. Citizen markets the Eco Drive watches for not needing to replace the battery, and you tell us the battery might need replacement after five years? I prefer replacing a cheap standard battery every trhee years rather than replacing the expensive rechargeable one every five! Please tell me I misunderstood! I want to buy the E2100, but this holds me back a bit…


Hi Thijs,

Yes, it’s true that Eco Drives are marketed as watches never needing a battery replacement – provided that the rechargeable LiOn batteries are in good to perfect condition. Any rechargeable LiOn cell, regardless of the application it’s for will degrade in due time. Those that power heavy drain appliances such as laptops and digital cameras are likely to wear out much faster than extremely low drain devices such as watches.

That said, no rechargeable battery technology has an infinite lifespan. If a solar power watch is never allowed to be completely discharged and topped up all the time, all else being equal the battery may last more than a decade. Both my Citizen E2100s are over three years old and my oldest Eco Drive is the Promaster Tough 4×4 Limited, which was made in Aug 2000. All of them are ticking fine to this day because I make it a point to recharge them once a fortnight even when I don’t wear them.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of my Seiko Kinetics as I seldom wear them and I don’t own a Kinetic charger. The battery technologies employed in both the Kinetic and Eco Drive are similar. It’s just that it requires a lot of effort to recharge Kinetics compared to light powered watches like the Eco Drive. Invariably, my Kinetics’ LiOn cells lost their power storing capability and they could not be revived to 100% capacity.

With my Eco Drives, as long as I recharge them under the table lamp at night (I use a fluorescent lamp, not incandescent) my Citizen’s storage cells are likely to last over 10 years. So it depends on how diligent you are as a watch owner to get the internal rechargeable cells topped up. 😉

Hope this helps. 🙂

Quartzimodo Admin.

Hello, I have read in some Citizen marketing materials that the Calibre 2100 watches are “Hand assembled”. Is this true? Can you please elaborate/confirm?

Also, I read somewhere that the 2100 is also 100% Japanese made. Is this true?

Thank you for answering my questions.

Hi Frank,

As far as I know, the Cal 2100 movements are partly, if not fully hand-assembled by Citizen Japan. Presumably due to the fact that the chronograph is a mechanically actuated design, just like Seiko’s 7L22 and 9T82 calibers. Like Seiko, Casio and Orient, Citizen has overseas plants outside Japan. The Japan market E210s (models PMZ56-2851/52) are definitely 100% assembled in Japan. E210 chronographs meant for other international markets may differ as to the origin of the final assembly.

The AV0037-52AT for the Asian market for example, are 100% Japan manufactured – judging from the dial and caseback text that read “Japan”. The U.S. market E210’s, like the model AV0031-59A are marked “Mov’t Japan” on the caseback (and “N-Japan-N E210”) on the dial, which suggests that only the movement is sourced from Japan and cased elsewhere.

Little is known about Citizen’s manufacturing and marketing practices compared to Seiko. This is also compounded by minor variations in their model numbers and the E210 chronographs have more country-specific versions which makes things a little confusing. In contrast, Seiko’s nomenclature is pretty straightforward and it’s easier to identify the markets the watches are destined for. 🙂



Hi! I am wearing my tag heuer for several years now, and i want to buy another one but different brand. Currently, I am considering to buy Longines, GC (Guess Collection swiss made), and Citizen AV0037-52A. Can you please help to decide which is which for they all look like very good to me. With your excellent experience into the world of wrist watches, hopefully you can help me to finally decide which amongst the three has the prevailing edge in terms of overall performance.

Would appreciate highly your kind feedback. thank you.

Hi Victor,

Being a Japanese brand watch enthusiast, my recommendation would be somewhat biased for the Citizen AV-0037-52A. Comparing this Citizen against a Longines would be like apples to oranges as the Cal 2100 Citizen is a reasonably priced watch whereas the Longines is considered an upmarket, fine Swiss timepiece.

Now, if you compared the Longines with the hand-crafted Citizen Campanola the playing field would be somewhat leveled in terms of refinement, quality and features. The lowest priced Campanolas have “only” an approx USD2,032 price tag, which should speak volumes about the Campanola’s targeted audience.

Personally I would never go for a Guess watch. Guess watches are not in-house manufactured, i.e. they are outsourced to third party (and often the cheapest quoting) vendors and don’t give you the best value for your money (I should know, I used to own one). Also like Fossil, Nautica and Diesel (to name a few), Guess is a fashion watch appealing to the young and trendy – they don’t have a fine heritage in watchmaking.

Going back to the Citizen AV-0037-52A, I should warn you that it is a rather heavy watch even by my personal standards. The sheer thickness and weight of the watch bothered some folks and some of them that I know didn’t keep these stainless steel chronographs for long. If weight is an issue (but not the bulk), I would suggest that you look into their titanium variants. The most expensive Cal 2100 Citizens would be the PMZ56-2851/52 made for the Japan market. They are the highest specc’ed Cal 2100 chronographs, boasting of sapphire glass and a toughened and patented, Duratect titanium coating for increased scratch resistance.

Higuchi Inc is one of the long known and reputable sellers from Japan and they used to have a web page on the PMZ56 models. It’s gone from their website now but you can ask Katsu Higuchi if he still sells it in his website’s contact form.

Happy buying! 🙂


Hi Quartzimodo,

Thanks so much for your kind advice. I really like the appeal of cal. 2100, masculinity wise. Here in the mid east, the titanium model is AV0027-56H. It is also Saphire glass. The price is US$ 850.00. I’m not really so sure if this price is reasonable enough, is it?

Kind regards,


Hello Victor,

USD850 is about rather steep for a titanium Citizen Cal 2100 by my personal standards, if it’s the street price. Although Citizen USA throws in a five year warranty for its products, you have to factor in the fact that extended warranties are usually not free. Citizen Eco Drive watches are generally very reliable although in the case of the Cal 2100, the mechanical reset system may give you very minor problems (like the minute register hand not resetting perfectly to zero) after some years. sells the white dialed Ti version for less than USD700 with free shipping and 1-year international warranty. Whether the price difference due to an extra four years’ worth of warranty is worth paying, it’s really up to you. 😉

All the best to your purchase! 🙂


heloo there,

i was wondering if any of you can give some suggestion comparing BL8050-56E Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Calendar BL8050 and Seiko Kinetic Perpetual SNP003P1 / Seiko Kinetic Chronograph SNL041P1. Which 1 is better?

Please give comments.

Need Help here.

Hi Andy,

The Citizen BL8050-56E is closer to the Seiko Premier SNP003P in terms of complications and features, rather than the Seiko Premier SNL041P. This is because the SNL041P is a Kinetic watch with a mechanical-like chronograph and neither the BL8050-56E nor the SNP003P have a chronograph function. If you prefer a watch with a timing function, obviously the SNL041P would be your best choice.

The BL8050-56E and SNP003P are both perpetual calendar watches each with their own merits. If you require an alarm, the BL8050-56E obviously fits the bill. To date, no Seiko Kinetic watch has an alarm function – presumably because the ultrasonic alarm buzzer draws a lot of power from the rechargeable cell. Seiko watches with an alarm function are always quartz, with the exception of the mechanical 4005/4006 Bellmatics of the 1970s.

If you require a day display, the Citizen Perpetual Calendar would be a better choice. The Seiko SNP003P on the other hand, has a larger date display but lacks a day-of-week indicator. A larger date display is advantageous of if you are long sighted and have difficulty reading the date at close range.

The BL8050-56E has a local time function and a 24-hour hand subdial which is useful if you frequently travel across different time zones. In contrast, the Seiko SNP003P has just a 24-hour hand, without a local time function. Both watches have automatic sleep functions to conserve power when they are stored in the drawer. The Seiko SNP003P, being a Kinetic Auto Relay can store power up to 4 years, fully charged (at least, in theory) while the Citizen Eco Drives possess a standard 6-month power reserve.

How often will you wear your new watch?. If you intend to wear it daily, keeping the watch fully charged will be a non-issue. Between the Eco Drive and a Kinetic, it is much easier and faster to keep an Eco Drive fully charged by merely exposing it to strong light (but not direct sunlight). A Kinetic requires a lot of physical movement of the watch to charge it.

Other than that, your final choice will boil down to your personal tastes like looks, weight and comfort – not to mention the price. In summation, I cannot say which watch is better than the other. Unlike computers, benchmarks don’t exist for gauging a watch’s “performance”. It’s not like comparing e.g, an Intel Core 2 Quad processor to an Intel Pentium Dual Core of the same clock rate. Obviously a Core 2 Quad with a better designed micro architecture will yield a faster performance than the Dual Core under heavy processor loads, such as performance hungry applications.

If you can visit a brick-and-mortar store, try out all three watches and see and feel which one suits you best.

Good luck with your purchase! 🙂


[…] Unfortunately the same can’t be said of my Seiko Kinetics as I seldom wear them and I don’t own a Kinetic charger. The battery technologies employed in both the Kinetic and Eco Drive are similar. It’s just that it requires a lot of … Now, if you compared the Longines with the hand-crafted Citizen Campanola the playing field would be somewhat leveled in terms of refinement, quality and features. The lowest priced Campanolas have “only" an approx USD2,032 price tag, …Read more… […]

Hi All,
can you say me the price difference about Citizen Cal 2100 and Seiko 7L22.
I prefer the Seiko like automatic old style but if cost many than citizen I can choice this caliber.



Hi Massimiliano,

The price difference between the two movements will vary depending on the model. There are 7L22 Kinetics fitted to the Sportura line, which are cheaper than ones in the Seiko Brightz line. The same goes for Citizen’s Cal 2100, if you’re buying the Japan market titanium models with Duratect finish, they will cost a lot more than the Asian or U.S. stainless steel versions.

Think of movements like car engines. For example, Mercedes Benz shares the same engine model across different platforms. The C-class, C200 Kompressor, E-class E200K and SL200K roadster are fitted with the same engine, but the prices of the three cars are all different.


Hi Quartzimodo,

You write a lot about Citizen and Seiko. What about Casio? Are they in the same league (quality, technology, innovation, etc.) than Seiko and Citizen?


Hi Jan,

Casio’s niche is in the digital watch market. It makes more digital watch models than Seiko and Citizen combined. Generally Casio’s reputation is quite good although I personally feel that its watches lack character, unless you’re a fan of their famed G-Shock, Frogman, Mudman and Pro-trek series. Casio has been making analog-digital models for a long time but entered the analog quartz market only in the early 2000s with their low end Edifice series. Casio also makes so many variations of their generic digital and Edifice models that it’s hard to track them all.

Having said that, Casio does have expensive models such as the Oceanus range which was originally available only in Japan and recently, sold in some markets such as the U.S. I have never seen Oceanus models for sale at stores in my country; presumably they are too expensive for the mass consumer market in Southeast Asia.

I do own a Casio though – it’s a Pro Trek PRG110V Triple Sensor, the thinnest among the Pro Trek range. My previous watch was the super large, PRG40T-VDR model which is no longer with me. I’m basically not a fan of all-digital watches unless they come with features like an electronic compass, barometer and altimeter. All Pro Trek models are designed for outdoor hiking and sailing and they’re priced cheaper than Suunto watches.


[…] are two good articles from the interwebs.…006_02_114.pdf Chrono Wars: Citizen Cal 2100 vs Seiko 7L22 Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next […]

Hello Quartzimodo,

You mentioned that you “don’t think a three-quarter hour limit is practical for use in real life”. What about the most popular sport in the world – football? (or soccer as Americans say)

For me Seiko has the edge because of the instant return to zero mechanism. I own several Citizens too, and I really miss this feature. It gives the impression of fragile toys.

Hi Cesar,

Most chronograph watches measure time in 60-minute increments because that is the universally accepted norm. It’s natural for humans to keep track of hours and not three quarters of an hour.

Although football has two 45-minute playing times, all football fans know that the 2nd half doesn’t always end in exactly 45 minutes.

When both teams have the same number of goals or neither side has even scored a single goal, extra time will be given to decide on the winning team. So if you’re keeping track of that winning goal into the injury or extra time with a watch, you’d want one that can measure more than 45 minutes. 🙂

Actually Seiko did make commemorative, limited edition watches for the FIFA World Cup in 2002, held in Japan and South Korea.
One such watch was the Cal.V657 powered SCQP001 quartz model which had a 60 minute totalizer. Although the V657’s stopwatch recorded up to an hour, its minute subdial had a 45 minute scale for timing soccer matches.


Hi Cesar,

Most watches with chronographs measure up to at least 60 minutes for practical reasons. Humans generally keep track of time by the hour and not every 45 minutes. While it is true that the 45-minute counter in the 7L22 Kinetic chronograph appears to be suitable for timing football/soccer matches, every soccer fan knows that half-times don’t always end at exactly 45 minutes.
In the event neither opposing team has scored a single goal or ends with a tie at the end of the second half of the match, extra and injury time is awarded to compensate for stoppage and delays during the game. If you’re keeping track of the exact minute a goal is scored, you’ll find the 7L22’s 45-minute measurement less than ideal. 🙂

Actually Citizen’s Cal 2100 also incorporates an instant return-to-zero, mechanical chronograph mechanism much like Seiko’s 7L22. The difference is that Citizen’s Cal 2100 chronograph will run up to a full 12 hours before it stops, making it a much more practical watch for timing long events.


Hi Quartzimodo

A month ago, after reading this blog, I bought a lovely AV0031-59A. It really is a great watch; looks great, performs brilliantly (except for the redundant “alarm”!) and generally is a very happy buy.

One thing puzzles me. I like the minute hand on any watch to match the second hand, ie when the second hand is at 12, the minute hand should be on the minute as exactly as possible. When I got the watch I set it up to do just that and found that I was able to organise the second hand to match the five minute markers but it always looked wrong in between.

Today I have worked out why. There are five “notches” between each of the five minute markers, the centre one being a little fatter than the others. I noticed that this is just the same on the photo of the same watch at the beginning of this blog. But it is not the case on the titanium or E versions.

In principle there should be only four. Do you know why there are five?

Hi Foxbat,

Congratulations on owning a fine piece of Citizen Promaster E210. It’s very striking and sporty looking watch only hampered by its integrated 24mm lugs which makes this watch super-heavy. For this reason, I don’t wear any of mine for more than a day. 🙂

The five indentation markers, with the thick center one is NOT the minute scale. It’s for the alarm hand. That’s why you counted five markings in between the hourly tiled markers. Each mark represents 10 minutes, therefore if you want your alarm to go off at 8:30, you’d align your alarm hand to halfway between 8 and 9 o’clock. That’s why the middle one is painted fatter – it represents half hour increments.

Where is the minute scale then? It’s on the outer scale that has the Arabic numbers on it. That scale has four painted markers in between, and each one represents one minute. The titanium versions have a very short alarm hand and it has its own inner ring which serves as the alarm scale. If you look closely at the inner scale, you’ll count five markers in between hours.

hope this answers your question. 🙂

Thanks again

I am relieved there is a simple answer and there isn’t a fault in the design – just in my interpretation.

I take your point about the AV’s weight (187g after a couple of links removed) so I decided to buy a what for me will be a final watch for at least a while.

The AV is my big white watch, my AT0787-55F is my big black watch, and to fall in the middle will be a Citizen CA0021-53A, less of a chronograph than the AV/E210 but titanium and sapphire and to my eyes utterly beautiful.

One thing you and other watch sites have shown me is that shopping around for watches is not just useful but essential: I could have spent another $200+ on the same watch from the US, if they’d let me buy fit from there. There seem to be some odd trade practices that mean some US sellers can’t sell to Australia. As the CA is coming from Taiwan I am not fearful of a fake, as happened to me, quite consciously, with a “G-Shock that wasn’t” recently.

I was wondering where I could buy a steel band for my Seiko 7L22. It came with a rubber band and I want to upgrade to a similar band that you have pictured. Do you know where I could purchase one? I have not been able to find one…..

Hi Chris,

Seiko makes several 7L22 Kinetic Chronograph models. Could you be more specific as to which model that you own? Look at the back of your watch and let me know the caseback code, which is in the form of 7L22-xxxx. Is your watch from the Sportura or an Arctura range; and if it’s the latter does it look like this SNL003P model?


You are wrong about the Citizen not having a reset or fix for misaligned chronograph hands. The small indented button on the outer case at 10 o’clock provides for this. I’ve used it for that under the instruction of Citizen customer service. I once had a cal 2100 Ti that had misaligned hands and that fixed it.

Hi Tom,

I have tried the the all reset procedure via the small indented button several times and followed Citizen’s online instructions to a tee. The watch beeped and the power reserve indicator needle swung back and forth momentarily. That was it; nothing else happened. Are you certain that the procedure will align the elapsed minute counter hand to zero?

As far as I know, the reset procedure merely ensures that the power reserve indicator operates correctly. The Caliber E210 series use a mechanically actuated, flyback chronograph reset system like automatic chronograph watches do. There is no way their chronograph hands can be aligned electronically by a mere push of a button.


Hi Quartzimodo,

I want to buy watch with budget max USD 550. I prefer Automatic or Hybrid (kinetic or Solar). I have several options which are Seiko SNP008, SNP004P1 or SNL042. But the latest one is USD 750 more than my budget. In your opinion, which one is the best? Or should I go to Swiss watch? With that budget, any recommendation for swiss made watch that are good, looks like the type above? I don’t like to change watch so this watch will be used for many years.

Please help.


Hi Handy,

I assume that your statement “the latest one is USD750 higher than my budget” meant USD750, and not USD750 + USD550 = USD1,300. If your budget is a little over a thousand dollars, you’re opening your doors towards more premium Japan market, Seiko/Citizen/Orient models or entry-to-mid level automatic chronograph Swiss watches like Tissot, Victorinox Swiss Army and Oris.

If you like automatic chronograph watches, going for the low end Swiss ones is the only way because Seiko’s mechanical chronographs are no longer affordable as they were in the 1970s. This is why Seiko enthusiasts on a budget (like me) seek long discontinued, vintage Seiko 6138, 6139 and 7017 automatic chronographs for example. Today, Seiko’s automatic chronograph timepieces are pretty much expensive and only well endowed Seiko collectors and enthusiasts buy them. Unlike Seiko which develops all of its watch movements in-house, Swiss marques like Tissot, Victorinox Swiss Army and even TAG Heuer routinely share the same Valjoux 7750 caliber made by a third party Swiss movement maker.

I really can’t answer your question for you, because all the Seiko models you mentioned are quite good actually. It all boils down to your personal taste. If you find a 45-minute stopwatch useful, then the 7L22 caliber, SNL042P is the only one of the three with a flyback chronograph. If you like large date windows and a Perpetual Calendar, either the SNP004 or 008 will do fine. 🙂

sorry if I wasn’t of much help,

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