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- Joined: September 17th 2011, 10:00pm
It's the Citizen BJ2110-01E Promaster Eco-Drive chronograph. A pretty complicated title, which hints at the complicated nature of this watch. It has a depth gauge, so it is probably also an Aqualand, but that is not specifically labelled on the watch. Regardless, this is definitely a dive watch, and hence deserving of the Aqualand appellation. Discussion of this watch is scarce so I figured a brief review is worthwhile.
Promaster / Aqualand is a functional watch line. The are designed to fulfil a purpose first, and everything else second. The features are therefore more important than the aesthetic.
The watch is an ISO compliant 200 m water resistant analogue dive watch with an external timing bezel. It also includes an analogue 50 minute chronograph, and an analogue 24 hour time subdial. This watch also includes an analogue depth gauge, for a very comprehensive feature set. All, unfortunately, is not quite as useful as it might seem.
The depth gauge hand (blue centrally mounted hand), when not under water, functions as a power reserve indicator and also as the chronograph seconds hand. Depending on the level of battery charge, it can take several seconds for the depth gauge hand to realign itself such that it is ready to start timing.
Another feature which is less than functional is the 24 hour indicator at 9. These are pretty much useless, and a 2nd timezone subdial would be the obvious preference for a subdial at this position. Also, a 50 minute chronograph seems a little underdone. 12 hours would be great, although this would likely require additional hands and / or subdials. Not only is the chronograph a little limited in timing capability, but when it is reset the seconds hand must zoom backwards round and round the dial until the chronograph is reset to zero. Perhaps this is normal for a quartz chronograph, but it surprised me.
Other limitations? Lume is inadequate compared to the best divers (Seiko). The hands aren't bad, pretty good actually, but the lumed areas for the hour indices are tiny and woefully inadequate. The pushers don't actually screw down. Finally, a bracelet option would be good, although the OEM strap is very good.
The strap doesn't feel like natural rubber, and it doesn't feel like silicone. It might be polyurethane. It is quite thin and very supple, and secures the head against the wrist very well. The buckle is epic for a watch in this price bracket.
Ironically, for a watch which ostensibly prioritises functionality, it is actually the aesthetics, such as the proprietary buckle, which set this watch apart. After all, the same calibre is available in cheaper watches. The dial,as another example, looks to comprise a clear plastic layer (with printing as required) overlying a faceted solar cell. The 3D effect is unique, striking, eye-catching, deep, and expensive.
All of the black external highlights are DLC coated.
The bezel insert is engraved, with high contrast white markings, and lumed '60'. The bezel action is mechanically clicky; more like a Rolex or Omega than the smooth damped action of a Seiko. The signed Promaster crown is art – one of the best I have seen. It screws down extremely smoothly, too.
The BJ2110 feels like it is carved from billet and is indestructible.
In summary... it's hard to summarise this watch. It should be a functional dive instrument, and certainly could function as such. And yet, it is clearly functionally flawed. As a dive instrument it doesn't need to look flash, yet it is an extremely impressive watch aesthetically. The solid proportions, 3D layered gloss dial, and perfect DLC'd highlights lend this watch a definite and imposing presence.
The BJ2110-01E isn't perfect but, if this watch has appealed to you before on screen, it is likely to appeal doubly so in the metal. Just don't expect perfection.
If it thinks, it stinks