April 19, 2017
by Ariel Adams
I was fortunate enough to get information about the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver 1000m watch prior to its Baselworld 2017 release when we debuted it on aBlogtoWatch here. Citizen was proud of the new series of “professional” dive watches that housed their Eco-Drive light-powered movement inside of a diving watch capable of diving to 1000 meters. To be honest, I’m not sure what specific need that solves, but I can say that if you are a professional diver, having a watch that is both accurate and doesn’t require a battery change (assuming it is quartz-powered) is a very good idea. More on that in a bit. After seeing the massive 52.5mm-wide Super Titanium case in the flesh and putting it on, I realized that Citizen wasn’t kidding. The Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver 1000m is an instrument intended for serious diving professionals – but watch geeks will get a serious kick out of it as well.
We exist in a “post-traditional-wrist-watch world” to a large degree. What I mean by that is that, for the most part, timepieces as we know them (outside of smartwatches) are not things we need but rather things we want. Thus, when a new watch comes out which is a useful instrument in the real sense, my eyes perk up a bit given that many of us are the most deeply interested in “tool watches.”
The reason I put the Promaster Professional Diver 1000m watch on our list of the top 10 best watches of Baselworld 2017 is because the watch excels at what it was designed for. I want to encourage brands to come out with more watches like this – ones that focus on real world potential utility, as opposed to mere “lifestyle” satisfaction. In one context, that is the difference between a “desk diver” and one that you might actually want to strap onto your wrist and take into the ocean. It is a fact that when diving, pretty much all divers these days use modern diving computers to perform a series of tasks including measuring their dive times. With that said, it is always a good idea to have a backup timepiece, or a more traditional wristwatch given that dive computers – like all technology – can fail.
While not a new feature for Citizen, I want to point out that the Citizen Promaster Professional Diver 1000m includes a power reserve indicator on the dial. Since this is not a mechanical watch, it isn’t there to show the power left in a mainspring – but rather the charge time left in the rechargeable battery. Eco-Drive watches can last months without needing to be charged (in fact, the Citizen J210 Eco-Drive quartz movement inside the watch can last for 2.5 years on a full charge), but if you are about to go on a dive and need to rely on your watch, it is very important to make sure it has enough battery power. Best of all, if you don’t have enough juice, you can simply put the watch out in the sun for a few hours and you’ll be good to go. Features such as that are genuinely useful and part of what make this more than professional package due to its deep-diving capability alone.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver 1000m is, as the name implies, water-resistant to 1000 meters. It also has an automatic helium release valve, and Citizen is proud to proclaim it as a real saturation diver. Professional divers who require things like time in decompression chambers will of course value these features, but most people who own this watch will likely never get a chance to appreciate the fact that the watch is capable of such feats. None of that matters. What is important is that Citizen (and, of course, several other brands) continue to produce genuine utility watches. What makes us care is that they look good and feel neat on our wrists in the process. I also don’t mind the size.
Citizen’s “Super Titanium” has the benefit of titanium’s low weight and strength, with the added benefits of treatments that make the surface harder and rather scratch-resistant. Again, no one likes it when their fancy new watch starts to show signs of wear. For the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver 1000m, Citizen developed a new bezel-locking system which is a ring that allows you to lock the rotation of the bezel. This is apparently a useful feature for professional divers, and I’ve not seen a system quite like this one around. For desk divers, it just means something new to play with. The quality and craftsmanship of this particular Citizen dive watch is so many worlds above that of my first Citizen Promaster watch from years ago.
On the wrist, the watch looks like a stack of circular saw blades with a legible watch dial, over which is a sapphire crystal, of course. The fat hands almost entirely take over the dial in a way that is almost so obnoxious that it’s fun. The volume of luminant is intense, and if I get one of these to review I can’t wait to play with it in the dark. At 52.5mm wide and 21.4mm thick, this watch is no dainty thing – and it has a thick rubber-style black polyurethane diver’s style strap to match its heft. With that said, the lugless case and overall design make it totally wearable on even smaller wrists like my own. Yes, this is a timepiece for those times when you want to be playful and/or have people pay attention to your wrist… in addition to diving, that is.
The overall aesthetic is modern Japanese in all the right ways, and if you like timepieces such as this it is hard to put it on without smiling. Those guys who prefer the look of smaller, vintage-style watches are advised to look elsewhere in deciding how to next feed their watch addiction. For me, the patent assertiveness and assured stance of the utility and design make the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver 1000m a winner. Price for this reference BN7020-09E watch is $2,300. citizenwatch.com