The ultimate test of a diver’s watch, of course, is its ability to perform in harsh underwater conditions. Watchmakers test for this with water resistance ratings and pressure tests, but there’s no more thorough test than real-world experience. Citizen is no stranger to pushing its timepieces to the limit of engineering, and there is perhaps no better demonstration of the real-world results of this cutting-edge durability than one found in Australia in 1983. In that year, a visitor to Long Reef Beach found a lost 1977 Citizen Challenge Diver watch washed up on the sand, almost fully encrusted with barnacles and other sea life. When analyzed by marine biology experts, it became clear that the buildup of barnacles meant the watch had spent several years underwater on the reef, but what the investigators discovered more was even more remarkable. After all those years spent in the harsh conditions of the Australian reef, the Challenge Diver was still ticking – still performing as reliably as ever, without any water penetrating the case. In the nearly 40 years since this astounding episode, Citizen has continued to advance its dive watch technology, and for 2022 the brand introduces a pair of diver designs inspired by the Challenge Diver’s legendary undersea endurance. The new Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m line pays homage to the classic diver aesthetics of the ‘70s Challenge Diver, while updating this timeless look with a Super Titanium case, even greater water resistance, and immense magnetic resistance for even greater capability.
Measuring in at 41mm-wide, the Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m’s case maintains the same overall size as the classic ‘70s Challenge Diver, but is appreciably slimmer than its forebear at 12.3mm-thick. The Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m also improves on its ancestor in the materials department, with a case forged from Citizen’s proprietary lightweight, scratch-resistant Super Titanium alloy. The shape, however, is timelessly sporty, with sharp athletic lugs and clean, flowing brushed case sides. The compact screw-down crown keeps visual focus on the functional elements of the bezel and dial, and the bezel insert’s bold diving scale (available in classic black or rich navy blue) offers easy legibility even in murky ocean depths. Depth is another strong suit of the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m, with a robust 200-meter water resistance rating that outstrips even the rugged original Challenge Diver’s specifications. Deep water isn’t the only great hazard to a mechanical watch, however, and Citizen further reinforces the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m with an immense 16,000 A/m of magnetic resistance.
The classic diver dial design of the Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m is carried over from its iconic ‘70s predecessors, but adds a handful of modern refinements for a finer and more luxurious feel. The classic bold rectangular dive indices are not applied on this new design, but embossed directly into the dial surface, preventing the risk of indices becoming dislodged in the event of a heavy impact. Likewise, the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m’s distinctive “Mercedes” handset is an homage to the Challenge Diver’s original look, but Citizen gives this familiar layout a fresh new feel with a partially skeletonized hour hand. The matte dial surface itself is designed with maximum legibility in mind, but touches like the classic printed Citizen emblem at 12 o’clock and the optional navy blue colorway give this functional layout a personality all its own.
Inside the Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m beats the brand’s manufacture Cal. 9051 automatic movement. With -10/+20 seconds per day of stated accuracy and a solid 42-hour power reserve with a smooth 28,800 bph beat rate, this is a reliable and refined powerplant ready for the challenges of both deep sea diving and daily wear. Citizen pairs the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m with two distinctive strap variants. For the classic black dial model, Citizen continues this retro look with a vintage-style polyurethane rubber strap featuring a sporty raised diamond texture. The more modern and outgoing navy blue model instead receives a stylish fully brushed bracelet in case-matching Super Titanium alloy.
With a timeless diver aesthetic that adds even more durability, refinement, and capability to one of the brand’s most celebrated classic timepieces, the new Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m is more than a worthy successor to Citizen’s proven diving legacy. The Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m will be available through authorized dealers in summer 2022, and pricing for these models is currently TBD. To learn more, visit Citizen’s website.
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