Is the Citizen Excaliber (BN0100-51E) the best budget diver available today?

Yes it is, in my humble opinion.

The thing with this watch is that it ticks so many boxes at such a low price point that it makes me wonder why the rest cannot do this? Seiko, Bulova, Hamilton, Tissot, you name it and not one of them makes a watch that offers this much for less than £150. Even the likes of Orient may struggle because the following list is really quite remarkable-

Eco-drive movement which is deadly accurate- loses 3 seconds a month for me.

Amazing lume with sweet blue on the dial and a contrasting green on the bezel.

A bracelet that is ‘way’ ahead of much of the competition, even some at 10 times the price. The easily adjustable diver’s buckle is a big advantage and the overall quality is great all the way through. The only annoyance is the collar system for adjusting it, but once done you never need to touch it again thanks to the adjusting bracelet.

A solid bezel with does not move at all when in position, but I admit the actual action feels a little insubstantial.

The dial is lovely with big obvious hands (nice orange surrounds on the minute hand) and considered hour and minute markers. The Citizen logo and two lines of text below the centre are just enough to offer some interest without being too busy.

Finishing is also excellent with brushing everywhere apart from the edges of the case where one line of polish makes everything pop in a subtle way.

The case itself is shallow and shaped alongside the bracelet to ensure that it hugs the wrist all the way round.

It may just be my particular watch, but the second hand hits the mark every single time without fail.

Any downsides?

Yep. The date window is far too small and is difficult to read, to the point that I wonder why Citizen bothered to include one. The white window contrasts with the black (dark grey?) dial which removes some symmetry from the aesthetics. Personally, I would like to see a bigger window, but given the choice I would settle for none at all rather than what is currently here.

There are no more downsides. None for a watch that can be purchased in the UK for £149 at retail.

This is an astonishing watch at this price and in my view superior to many Longines watches I have tried at 5 times the price and others from Hamilton, Raymond Weil etc.

It is possibly the perfect beater watch and for many the ideal daily wear watch. Just superb!!!



Categories: Watch reviews

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