Adventure Travel Essentials: Citizen Satellite Wave GPS Freedom Watch

Citizen Satellite Wave GPS Freedom:

All week long, I’m sharing some interesting and useful pieces of gear that will provide adventure travelers with more convenience and comfort while on the road.

Yesterday I offered up a review of the new noise-canceling headphones from TaoTronics, which I find indispensable on long flights or in airports. Today, I have a completely different product in mind as I share my thoughts on the Satellite Wave GPS Freedom watch from Citizen, a timepiece built with globetrotters in mind.

It is important to note that I’m a watch-wearer. In fact, my Apple Watch is one of the first things I put on in the morning, and it is a constant companion pretty much no matter where I go or what I do all day.

That said, it isn’t the best adventure travel companion simply because it needs to be recharged daily. On top of that, it relies on an iPhone to provide it with the necessary information it needs to stay useful and relevant.

With cell networks at a premium in remote areas, the functionality that I enjoy with the Apple Watch is mostly non-existent.

Onboard GPS Means no Cellular Connection Needed

None of this is the case with the Satellite Wave. While it is true that it doesn’t put notifications, alerts, and text messages on your wrist the way Apple’s smartwatch does, it also doesn’t need a connection to a smartphone to be useful either. In fact, it doesn’t even need interaction from the wearer to update its time.

That’s because its onboard GPS chips can connect to satellites overhead, determine your location at any given time, and then automatically adjust the time based on that information.

Yes, other watches can do something similar, but what sets this one apart is that it can accomplish this in as few as three seconds. The feature works in 40 different timezones worldwide, and it is actually quite impressive to watch in action.

No Charging Necessary Thanks to Eco-Drive

You’ll also never have to charge the Satellite Wave either, thanks to Citizen’s famous Eco-Drive system. This uses light from any source to generate enough power to keep the watch going at all times, vitally important when traveling.

With this watch, you’ll never need a battery, you’ll never have to plug it in, and you’ll never need to wind it. It just needs exposure to light from time to time to keep it ticking right along. That’s extremely reassuring when you’re setting off on a trek to a remote place where power is a premium.

Built for adventure, the Satellite Wave feels tough and durable in your hand, without a lot of bulk or weight. That said, it’s a stainless steel case, and the band does give it a substantial feel that inspires confidence.

The watch also happens to be water-resistant down to 333 feet, although Citizen says it is safest when showering, snorkeling, or swimming. In other words, you’re probably good provided you’re not going scuba diving. While hiking in the mountains, rafting through a jungle, or camping in the desert, the watch will see you through just about any kind of adventure and look extremely good while doing it.

A Classic Design

Speaking of looks, this is a watch that features a classic design that will hold its style for years to come. At first glance, it’s tough to tell whether it was made 50 years ago or is something that just came out of the factory today.

Combine that with its impressive level of performance and durability, and you have a piece of tech gear that could turn into a family heirloom. That’s not something I’d ever say about my Apple Watch, which has seen reduced battery life in recent years and no longer receives software updates from Apple.

As with many of the watches they make, Citizen has created an awe-inspiring piece of kit with the Satellite Wave, making it an essential piece of gear for when I hit the road.


As you have probably guessed already, this watch doesn’t come cheap. It has a retail price of $795 (currently on sale at, a solid investment for someone who isn’t a watch enthusiast. In the watch market, that’s actually a moderately priced product, particularly when you consider that it could very well be the last watch you’ll ever need to buy.

Final Thoughts

Frequent travelers will love its ability to automatically adjust their time to the local destination. The need to never have to worry about keeping it charged is a major plus. This watch makes a great gift, which is something to keep in mind with Father’s Day just around the corner.

If you’re in the market for a fantastic new watch to wear on all of your globe-spanning adventures, the Citizen Satellite Wave GPS Freedom needs to be on your shortlist. Elegant, beautiful, and reliable, it is a timepiece you’ll love having on your wrist.

Kraig Becker