In 2022, Citizen released an interesting vintage-style diving watch collection within the larger Promaster family known casually as the “Fujitsubo Diver,” or the Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m. aBlogtoWatch first debuted news of the Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m here, and later did a hands-on review of the natural titanium Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m model on the rubber strap. Since then, Citizen has updated the name of the watch to the more elegant-sounding “Promaster Dive Automatic,” even though Citizen does produce other automatic diving watches. So, to keep things clear, I will mostly refer to these Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic Super Titanium watches as the Citizen Fujitsubo divers. The reference NB6025-59H model I am reviewing today is currently the most expensive in the range, thanks to having both a matching Super Titanium bracelet and a DLC-coated (as opposed to a natural) Super Titanium finishing.
There are two important points to make about the Citizen Promaster Diver Automatic Super Titanium that will help novices understand how this watch fits into the larger collection of Citizen products. For movement lovers, this watch is a major player in Citizen’s move to get back into mainstream mechanical watches. For a number of years, Citizen didn’t release any new mechanical movements and mostly focused on its quartz-based light-powered Eco-Drive watch movements. In the background, the Citizen Group’s movement manufacturer was busy making mechanical movements for a variety of companies through its Miyota movement-making company. Given the resurgence in popularity of mid-priced automatic watches, Citizen has now carved out a new mechanical movement production team dedicated to making modern, high-quality calibers for its own products. This will include a variety of mid-range to high-end movements that are only now starting the be commercially released.
Accordingly, the Japan-made Citizen caliber 9051 automatic movement inside the Fujitsubo Diver is modern and a great performer. The movement is relatively thin and operates at 4Hz with 42 hours of power reserve. It offers a decent amount of anti-magnetic resistance, as well as more than decent accuracy and reliability for daily tool-watch wear. It really does feel great wearing a Japanese automatic diver’s watch again that isn’t a Seiko. No, this isn’t the first new automatic watch by Citizen that we’ve reviewed — that would be the entirely different but remarkably similarly named Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m that I reviewed here in 2021. That said, for so many years, Japanese mechanical watches on our wrists were made by Seiko, so it is very refreshing for Citizen to get into the game. It’s coming at a good time for Citizen, too, because Seiko has been increasing prices while also coming out with less sheer novelty in this area. Seiko always needed Citizen to balance out the market, and it is a good sign to see the companies back to their more natural state of competition. In that battle of brands, the consumer really wins. Since the debut of the Citizen Fujistubo diver, it has clearly become a fan favorite among Citizen enthusiasts.
Citizen mostly produces modern-looking watches, and this diver’s watch is a bit of an exception that allows it to exist within the popular pantheon of vintage-style sports models. There is also a cool story regarding why Citizen decided to revisit this particular look. Citizen was inspired by an automatic watch it produced in 1977. One of those watches was lost at sea and happened to be discovered a few years later in 1983 when it washed up on the shore of Eastern Australia. The watch was covered in barnacles and was probably floating or not entirely fixed to the sea floor thanks to the strap. According to Citizen, “Fujitsubo” is the Japanese term for “barnacle,” and the source of this watch model’s nickname. What Citizen likes to remind everyone of is that when the lost-at-sea watch was found (I don’t think anyone knew who the original owner was), despite the external condition of the case, the movement was operating normally and telling time. That’s a pretty good testimonial!
For the modern Promaster Diver Automatic watches, pretty much everything about the original design has been updated, and yet the end result does have a friendly vintage vibe that consumers today are often drawn to. That said, this watch is vintage-style mostly in looks alone. Arguably aside from the use of an aluminum bezel insert, pretty much everything on the Citizen Promaster Diver Automatic is contemporary. That includes the movement, beveled sapphire crystal (which allows for one of the most distinctive looks of the watch face), as well as the case and bracelet which are made using Citizen’s proprietary Super Titanium. aBlogtoWatch has discussed Super Titanium at great length in the past, and I continue to feel that it is one of the best forms of titanium on the market for use in watches. Why? Well, Super Titanium is normal titanium that has been both strengthened and surface-hardened. That essentially means it is much harder to damage or scratch. This is important because even though titanium is light and strong, it is soft and prone to scratching. Citizen’s proprietary processes improve titanium’s suitability for wristwatches even further. More so, when covered in DLC (diamond-like carbon), Citizen “Duratect” coating offers even more scratch resistance, in addition to the deep gray color tones.
That is really what this version of the Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic is all about: adding a moodier, darker color version to the collection, which also includes slightly more classic color tones. For me, the mixture of friendly vintage design vibes and the more serious military vibe of a dark-colored watch makes for a striking combination of utility and personality. The case itself is very comfortable and wearable thanks to the very light weight of the titanium. The case is 42mm wide and about 12mm thick with a roughly 49mm long lug-to-lug distance. The case is water resistant to 200 meters and I want to call out the refinement of the bezel-turning action as another plus to the case design. Even though the dial certainly is inspired by historic dive watch designs, we see so much like this out there that it doesn’t strike me as particularly old-looking. Today, however, Citizen would not immediately choose Rolex Submariner-style hands and bezel design. On balance, the classic conservatism of the Fujitsubo Diver helps make it an easy choice for a great number of watch lovers.
Citizen certainly put welcome effort into the included DLC-coated Super Titanium bracelet. At a glance, it looks basic enough, but the real work is in the slim locking deployant clasp, which offers a handy micro-adjust system. These are not common on Citizen watches, and the use of this feature is going to make a lot of fans very happy. The micro-adjust system uses pushers on the side and allows for expanding the bracelet enough to go over a wetsuit, but also just a small amount if you need to let it out by a small number of millimeters for wearing comfort. The micro-adjust feature, along with a half-link, allows for the bracelet to be sized very precisely for almost any wrist.
The dial offers a lot of lume and excellent legibility. No, the dial isn’t going to win any originality awards, but it does well from a utility standpoint, and the blocky raised hour markers are easy on the eyes. There is a small date indicator window at the 3 o’clock position on the case that really doesn’t seem to inhibit legibility at all, either. It isn’t a big deal, but for this stealthier version of the Fujitsubo, Citizen decided to go for black-on-black dial text. Some people will love this look, and others might not. What is interesting is that Citizen rarely does a black-on-black text look, so this is an uncommon reference in that regard. The result is a somewhat sterile-looking dial, which certainly is an appearance that has dedicated fans in the minimalist design community.
Fans of vintage-style dive watches who want a bit more storytelling in their timepieces and who appreciate Japanese reliability and value will really dig this and similar Citizen Fujitsubo automatic dive watches. While other Citizen watches are more modern in design, this collection is all about timeless appeal and demonstrated popularity. The price is also very competitive, too, given what you get. Indeed, you pay a bit more for the bracelet and DLC-coated case for this version of the Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic, but overall, the Fujitsubo watch family feels like it is worth the money, especially when compared to a lot of the competition out there. Retail price for the Citizen reference NB6025-59H Promaster Dive Automatic watch is $1,195 USD. Learn more at the Citizen website here.
>Model: Promaster Dive Automatic “Fujitsubo” reference NB6025-59H as tested
>Price: $1,195 USD
>Size: 42mm wide, 12.3mm thick, ~49mm lug-to-lug distance.
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As a versatile sports, swimming, or diving watch that will excel in a variety of situations, especially when something under-the-radar is called for.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Lover of Japanese automatic sports watches and stealthy-looking diving watches.
>Best characteristic of watch: Very comfortable to wear and highly legible. An ideal tool watch by many standards. Good use of a micro-adjust system for the bracelet.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Unique design intersection of bezel and faceted sapphire crystal isn’t for everyone. Dial not as visually distinctive as some other modern Citizen diver or sports watches. Would have been nice to have quick-release end-links for the bracelet and perhaps an added NATO-style strap with the set.