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Last April, Citizen released a new Promaster watch that rung my bell so hard that from the second I saw it, I knew I wanted it without reservation. A ISO compliant dive watch that I'm not even worthy to touch since I don't dive, never have dived, and never will dive, but I nonetheless have coveted this watch since the moment it was issued. On top of it, as I list the watch's attributes, my lust for this particular piece seems even all the more nonsensical:
A watch with a myriad of dive functions – what's the point, landlubber? 46mm – your mama! Blue poly strap – not in this lifetime! Mineral crystal, not sapphire, at this price point, no less? – get outta town! Packed in a little black dive case – what is it, an Invicter?
Yet … though not much of the characteristics of this year-old Aqualand model are what I'd ever look for as a package, for some undefined reason, it all works for me, like gangbusters. I think part of the reason is that I feel about Citizen the way many members here feel about Seiko – a brand that makes good watches at fair prices, and to date has never let me down, not even once. I realize the Eco-Drive technology is not for everybody, but I've never had one of their watches crap out on me the way the Seiko solars and Kinetics have, repeatedly, no less.
As for my non-diving ways, it turns out this one has some features I actually like. The blue strap – a first for me – doesn't need to be replaced, which is a reason I don't buy many divers; it's sized so that even the smallest wrist will work with the watch (it does come with a diver's extension that makes the strap longer if need be). In addition, for a 46mm, it wears small, particularly since it's about 14 to 15mm high. When I spied this one in the store, my biggest trepidation would be that it would look ginormous on my just about seven-inch wrist, but it doesn't look garish and it feels great.
So what are all those knobs for, TB? The large one on the center of the left side is an actual rapid ascent alarm; the pushers on the left are for various diving functions, among them maximum depth memory, the descent alarm, auto start dive mode, and a power reserve indicator (which is a nifty feature even without it being a diver; I can imagine that little perk would be good for divers especially). The watch is rated for 200m/20 bars. The watch also has amazing lume (Superluminova I'd wager) and pretty much stays lit all the time if you wear it out. The movement here is an Eco-Drive Caliber J250, which Citizen claims will be plus/minus 15 seconds per month.
There is a fancier limited edition of this same watch featuring some gold plating, and that's pretty nifty as well, and costs about $100 than this model does.
I'd reckon this could be used as a serious dive watch, but I'd pass that summation on to the bedlams of the world; as for me, it looks and feels like a quality, tough watch that I should be able to wear often, which is what I really wanted. This has a list price of $695, but since I waited this one out for the better part of a year, you can find these at retail all over the place and online for much less (though I've seen this for as low as $399 on Chrono24, I opted to pick this up at Macy's since I wanted to inspect it first, and I paid about $70 more, but to me it was worth it since i could check it out size-wise).
Again: I have no business owning his watch. That being noted, I'm unabashedly crazy about it, like a kid at Christmas. Gotta treat yourself every now and again, folks. (Note - the side watch photo I cobbed from the Citizen website since I couldn't get one half as good as that.)