As someone who came to the world of watchmaking through a love for cars and motorsports, I’ve always been in love with chronographs. More than most, I’ve found excuses for using that satisfying complication for everything from a quick blast up a hillside road to steeping tea, but in most of those cases there’s always a nagging desire for more precision. The Citizen Promaster SST (or Split-Second Timer) chronograph more than satisfies that urge, with chronograph timing down to the thousandth of a second. Beyond this impressive capability, the Promaster SST is a showcase for some of Citizen’s most advanced Eco-Drive quartz watchmaking and most intricate design.
There’s no getting around the fact that this Promaster SST is a large watch. The 46mm gunmetal finish stainless steel case has miles of wrist presence, standing out both in overall size and bold design. This particular model, the JW0137-51E, features bold black and red accents for an aggressive, race-inspired look with a wealth of design details. What immediately stands out about the Promaster SST’s case, at first glance, are the mismatched pushers at 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, and 8 o’clock, which help to immediately inform the wearer about each one’s function.
The polished bevel of the lyre lugs helps to lighten the case visually, while also creating some eye-popping contrast with the overall brushed surface. The widespread use of knurling through the crown, 2 o’clock pusher base, and panels at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock help to reinforce the resilient, function-first nature of the Promaster SST. This capability focused case design backs up its visual claims as well, boasting a solid 200 meter water resistance.
The ana-digi dial of the Citizen Promaster SST is, likewise, a bold, purposeful array of subdials and a crisp LCD screen. The subdials, stretching from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock across the top of the dial, evoke the dashboard of a high-end sports car, while displaying chronograph functions. At 10 o’clock is the chronograph seconds subdial, while the central 12 o’clock subdial is for chronograph tenths and hundredths, and on the right is a 24-hour indicator. As the name suggests, the SST is a true split-seconds chronograph, allowing for accurate timekeeping of multiple intervals without losing the overall time.
While a traditional split-seconds chronograph does this mechanically, the ana-digi nature of the Promaster SST allows this to be taken several steps further by not only timing up to 20 laps of a track in memory, but also giving an accurate readout of average speed across each. By using the 8 o’clock pusher to adjust the lap function, the Promaster SST offers the ability to set the overall length of a course down to the tenth of a mile and then tracks average speed based on elapsed time with the chronograph. While I didn’t get the chance during my time with the watch to take it for a track day, this would have been a seriously useful tool. The central seconds, meanwhile, is a running hand for general timekeeping. This is paired with a set of bold white tapering hands with a generous lume fill. Along the bottom half of the dial is the LCD digital screen, which, in true Eco-Drive fashion, offers a slew of information options from the aforementioned chronograph to day, date, month, world time, and a countdown timer. Like the case, red accents around the dial add a pop of color to the subdials, central seconds, and the pentagonal hour indices.
The Promaster SST is powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive SST movement, offering the convenience, accuracy, and durability of Citizen’s signature solar powered quartz technology.
Citizen pairs the Promaster SST with a two-tone oyster-style bracelet. While the outer links tie in with the gunmetal finish of the case, the central links are left brushed stainless for some added visual flash. This solid-link bracelet is hefty, attractively finished, and comes together with a signed locking clasp.
When it comes to pure functionality in a chronograph, the Promaster SST is a true front-runner. Beyond its impressive array of features, the finish of the watch stretches far beyond many timepieces in the price segment to create something unmistakably Citizen. The watch is available now on Citizen’s website at an MSRP of $795.