At Baselworld 2017, Citizen watches of Japan will release what is the most durable dive watch I’ve ever personally known them to produce in the Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m timepiece. Citizen also makes the claim that it is the most water-resistant dive watch (and first 1000-meter Eco-Drive) that is light powered, allowing it to go deep within the ocean where no natural light exists to power the movement – a minor irony. Fans of Japanese tool watches will delight, though this professional-themed diving tool watch comes at a not-insignificant price.
The Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m (reference BN7020-09E) has indeed been developed as a professional diving timepiece. As a saturation diver, this Citizen Promaster is designed to survive long periods of time in decompression chambers and also contains an automatic helium release valve on the side of the case near 10 o’clock. The accumulated features in the Citizen Promaster BN7020-09E are designed to make the watch both durable, safe, and wear-resistant.
There are at least two innovations in the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m that the brand is proud of. First is a new twist-to-lock mechanism for the rotating diver’s bezel. This comes in the form of an extremely visible ring around the bezel which twists to lock or release the ability to rotate the 60-minute diver’s style rotating timing bezel. When the bezel is unlocked or the crown unscrewed, the user can see orange-colored sections which are an “unsafe” warning.
Another innovation is in the luminant. I don’t believe the luminous material itself is new, but Citizen paints a very generous portion of it on the hands and hour markers of the watch and claims that the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m has “2.2 times the afterglow brightness than a conventional paint even after 5 hours.” This is possible, of course, given the traditionally huge hour markers and hands that many Citizen Promaster dive watch have had over the years. From a design perspective, fans of Citizen Promaster marine collection watches can see the familiar look of the watch despite the design evolution of the Citizen Promaster BN7020-09E compared to others that Citizen has made or continues to make.
One new design feature is the “saw blade”-style design of the bezel, which is designed that way in order to be very easily turned even while someone is diving (or otherwise) with thick gloves. Citizen reports that they worked closely with JAMSTEC in Japan, which is a national agency related to diving. This apparently helped them research the design and functionality of the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m in real-world environments.
As premium-priced Citizen watch, the BN7020-09E has a lot of quality materials, but it is still sized and designed like a serious dive watch. The Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m case is a large 52.5mm wide and 21.4mm thick. It will wear smaller, though, given the lugless design and fact that the case will appear to sit a bit high on the wrist. Assuming you are wearing the watch over a diving suit it might not feel as large – though, in all likelihood, most of these watches will spend most of their time on bare wrists. The case is primarily titanium with an AR-coated sapphire crystal over the bezel.
Citizen offers their better titanium for this watch, as the case is made of Super Titanium. That means it is both given the Duratect MRK surface-hardening treatment, along with a DLC-coating for scratch-resistance. Attached to the case is a soft, black polyurethane dive-style strap. Of course, the case is also water-resistant to 1000 meters.
Inside the Citizen BN7020-09E is the Citizen in-house-made caliber J210 Eco-Drive quartz movement. Powered by light, the movement can run for 2.5 years when it is fully charged. The dial offers the time, date, and a power reserve indicator. The movement’s non-removable battery is recharged as light enters through the dial to a photovoltaic cell located underneath it.
Currently, the closest thing to the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m in Citizen’s collection sold in the USA is the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter (aBlogtoWatch review here) that costs about $950. The Citizen Promaster BN7020-09E is a very different watch with fancier materials, but more than double the price. This is likely a fair price but still a lot given what most consumers are used to paying for Japanese timepieces which are typically appreciated for their value-proposition against European watches. With that said, aBlogtoWatch has probably been part of the reason more people are interested in higher-end Japanese watches.
In Japan, Citizen currently sells a rather similar model that the new BN7020-09E is an upgrade of. The two are very similar though the Professional has a titanium case and more water-resistance. That previous model is the steel-cased, 300m water-resistant Citizen Promaster BN0176-08E and BN0177-05E watches which are priced at around $900 (100,000 yen). At $2,300 USD, the new BN7020-09E Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000m tops the collection and is going to easily be the most interest for serious Japanese tool watch enthusiasts. Availability is said to begin in Summer, 2017. citizenwatch.com