Smaller watches have been making a comeback, and, as one of its latest new releases for 2023, Citizen has created a midsize version of its classic Eco-Drive Promaster Dive watch. While the full-size model has been a cornerstone offering among Citizen’s entry-level divers for a number of years, its 44mm diameter made it a bit too large for some wrists, and this new midsize edition shrinks down this fan-favorite design and presents it in a smaller 37mm case. Citizen’s Promaster series consists of purpose-built sport and tool watches, and even at 44mm, the full-size versions were some of the most compact and traditional divers in Citizen’s contemporary catalog. However, with cases that represent a significant reduction in size compared to the standard models, these new 37mm Eco-Drive dive watches are now the smallest Citizen Promaster watches currently available.

The new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm series makes its debut appearance in three different colorways, including black, blue, and a third version that has a rose gold PVD case with a silver dial and a pink strap. Among the trio, the EO2020-08E (featured here) is the most traditional, as it is essentially just a smaller version of the full-size 44mm BN0150-28E, which I personally own and have frequently worn for a number of years. I’m a big fan of the full-size versions of this watch (you can read my review of one of the more playful colorways of it right here), although I’ll be the first to admit that my wrists aren’t the largest, and I’ve sometimes wished that the 44mm version was just a little bit smaller. With that in mind, while the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm series is very much a smaller version of the 44mm model from an aesthetic standpoint, its proportions are ultimately quite a bit different and this results in this new more-compact version being a very different wristwatch than its full-size sibling.

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From a design, materials, and functionality standpoint, the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm EO2020-08E is more-or-less identical to the full-size version, which means that it features a brushed stainless steel case, 60-click unidirectional rotating timing bezel, black anodized aluminum insert, and a flat mineral glass crystal protecting its dial. Similarly, a solid screw-down stainless steel caseback closes up the reverse side of the watch, while the signed crown at 4 o’clock also screws down to the case in order to help create 200 meters of water resistance. Additionally, in much the same way that the larger full-size model ultimately wears quite a bit smaller than its 44mm case diameter would indicate, this new 37mm version also feels quite a bit smaller once you actually see it in the metal and get it strapped down to your wrist.

While this midsize model may be called the Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm, its true case diameter measures 36.5mm, so the watch actually is a tiny bit smaller than its on-paper specs. That said, the already rather compact profile is further magnified by the shape of its bezel along with a small dial-to-case ratio. For example, the exterior of the middle case may measure 36.5mm, but the slightly domed outer edge of the bezel means that its upper rim only comes in at 35mm, and its dial is even smaller, with the crystal having a diameter of approximately 27mm. This dial-to-case ratio is a big part of the reason why a dive watch will often wear smaller than a dress watch of the same external case dimensions, but this perception of size becomes increasingly more noticeable on watches that already have more compact cases due to the fact that the dial itself is actually getting smaller.

As someone with smaller wrists who enjoys a more compact diver, I personally don’t feel that these new midsize models are too small. However, if you approach the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm series thinking that these watches are going to wear just slightly smaller than something like a 38mm Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, then you will definitely be a bit surprised by how compact they wear once you actually get them on the wrist. Without reading the specs or having prior experience with the full-size 44mm models, it would be easy to believe these new “37mm” Citizen Promaster Dive watches have cases that are somewhere closer to the 35mm range, so that should certainly be taken into account if you are already on the fence about whether or not these midsize models might be too small for your wrist.

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The lug-to-lug distance of the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm series has been reduced down to 43mm (compared to the 49.5mm profile of the full-size model), and the width between the lugs has also been decreased from 20mm down to 18mm. However, one dimension that has not changed at all is the thickness of the watch, and these new midsize models measure the same 11.6mm thick as their full-size 44mm siblings. This case thickness is likely a requirement in order to achieve the necessary levels of water resistance, but the thin and flat profile of the full-size model is arguably one of my favorite features about it, and while the new midsize version technically has the same on-paper thickness, the different diameter-to-height ratio ultimately makes it a very different watch in terms of its overall proportions and on-wrist experience.

The dial and hands fitted to the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm EO2020-08E are essentially just smaller versions of what can be found on the black model from the full-size series, with a few minor updates to reflect the more compact sizing of the watch. The matte black dial features white text, polished raised surrounds for the hour markers, a date window at 4 o’clock, and a minute track printed along an angled chapter ring. However, due to the smaller case size, the date window appears slightly closer to the outer edge of the dial, and while this is simply due to the fact that the midsize version is powered by the same internal movement, the revised date window placement also creates an arguably better sense of visual balance for the dial.

The handset fitted to the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm EO2020-08E follows the same shape and finishing as the style found on the full-size version, although the hour hand and minute hand both feature one fewer support for the luminous material, which is simply a result of their smaller size. Finishing on the hands remains the same, with a polished hour hand, white seconds hand, and a large arrow-shaped minute hand that is painted bright orange with a matte black center section. Additionally, just like the full-size model, the luminous material on the dial and hands glows blue, while green-emission lume is used for the zero marker on the bezel. However, rather than having an actual marker next to the date window at 4 o’clock, the new midsize version just features an extra thick border for the outermost side of the date window, and it gets finished with a strip of blue-glowing luminous material so all 12 hour markers will be visible in the dark.

Powering the new Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm series is the brand’s Eco-Drive Cal. E168 movement, which is the exact same caliber that can be found inside the full-size 44mm versions of this particular Promaster Dive model (hence the slightly updated placement of the date window). That said, the Caliber E168 is also one of Citizen’s go-to movements when it comes to Eco-Drive calibers with a three-handed format, and it can also be found inside quite a few other time-and-date Citizen watches. Capable of powering itself by using either natural or artificial light and offering quickset adjustability for the date display, the Citizen Eco-Drive Caliber E168 offers proven performance, and other than remembering to adjust the date at the end of the month whenever needed, the Eco-Drive Cal. E168 offers a true set-it-and-forget-it ownership experience.

Fitted to the 18mm lugs of the Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm EO2020-08E is a black polyurethane ventilated strap, which is essentially just a smaller version of what can be found on the full-size 44mm model. The two-piece rubber strap slightly flares out past the lugs before quickly tapering down to 16mm where it connects to the simple unsigned stainless steel pin buckle, and the black polyurethane material itself feels slightly softer and more supple than what I remember being fitted to my own example of the full-size model back when I purchased it a number of years ago. While the strap itself is certainly more than serviceable, it is a bit chunky relative to the compact size of the watch, although with standard 18mm lugs, a virtually endless list of third-party options will also be compatible.

Given that the new Promaster Dive 37mm series is essentially just a more compact version of the full-size range and is even powered by the same Eco-Drive movement, the new smaller watches cost the exact same as their larger counterparts, and the Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm EO2020-08E is accompanied by an official retail price of $375 USD. While there are certainly some individuals who feel that the full-size version of this model is just a little bit too large for their wrists, I’m sure there will also be some people out there who feel that this significantly more compact version is a bit too small. That said, rather than just being smaller versions of the full-size models, the new midsize Promaster Dive watches have noticeably different proportions, and this ultimately makes them feel like very different timepieces once you actually experience them in the metal and try one on your wrist. For more information on the Citizen Promaster Dive 37mm collection, please visit the brand’s website

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