A little bit too late for the diving season here, in the Northern hemisphere, the Japanese brand Citizen has presented their new Citizen Promaster Sea Eco-Drive (Ref. BN0100-51E) diving watch. Powered by their trademark Eco-Drive caliber (a quartz movement that recharges itself using solar radiation and -theoretically- doesn’t need its battery changed during the whole lifetime of the mechanism), the watch is offered in a surprisingly discreet body and is rated for whole 200 meters of water resistance: more than enough for an average skindiver.
As many today’s affordable divers from both Japanese and Swiss watchmakers, the new Promaster Sea is heavily influenced by the legendary Rolex Submariner family of luxury timepieces, but heroically tries to be different just the same.
The source of inspiration is visible in the unidirectional rotating bezel with the 15-minute timer and the triangle with a pearl-style luminous dot in its center.
The body of the watch with its extra-long horns, an integrated stainless steel bracelet and the inevitable crown guards are, too, also almost the same. To my regret, the Japanese designers tried too hard making the similarities less obvious thus making the numerals on the bezel too bold and the dial with its trapezoid hour markers too busy.
Still, thanks to their efforts, the device doesn’t look like a blatant rip-off. More than that, the new hour and minute hands with their triangular tips look very organic, nicely corresponding to the triangular hour marker at 12 hours and the aforementioned trapezoidal indexes. Also, the piece is a lot more legible thanks to all the space that was filled with bright luminous compound that makes reading the piece at night (or deep underwater) not problem at all.
At approximately 42 millimeters in diameter, the watch is not too big (well, not too big for a diver) and its relatively short horns only increase its overall length to less than 45 millimeters. Combined with its thickness of just 12 mm, the piece probably be quite comfortable for most of its owners.
Well, the numerals on the calendar wheel could be a little bigger, but I could live with that, too: today, when we are virtually surrounded with calendars on our computer screens, telephone displays and DVRs, the small rectangular aperture on a dial of a watch (be it a Rolex or a Timex) mainly serves a decorative purpose.
As I have already noted, the watch is powered by their “green” Eco-Drive movement. Although the Japanese brand doesn’t specify the exact model, it is known that the movement is good for whole six month after being charged under sun light.
It is reported that the timekeeper will be offered not only on a stainless steel bracelet, but also on a more affordable black rubber strap. Prices will vary from $400 to $450 US dollars.
Citizen Promaster Sea Eco-Drive (Ref. BN0100-51E) specification
Price: $400 to $450
Movement: Quartz, Eco-Drive caliber, solar-powered, Made in Japan
Power reserve: 180 days
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic (on the bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet (other versions available on black rubber strap)
Case back: Solid, engraved