Looking at our stats, I see that demand for recommendations regarding diving watches is a seasonal thing with most visitors coming in summer and then gradually declining till Christmas only to start growing again in early January. “Pilots” are different animals: I have an impression that people are always interested in “aviators” regardless of the time of season. So, for your reading pleasure, a choice of fifteen timekeepers from under $200 to more than $10,000 as priced by online retailers that I find worthy of being considered while shopping for your new (or maybe your very first!) pilot’s watch this year.
Citizen has been in the business of (also) making GPS-equipped watches for, like, forever. Their Promaster Navihawk Satellite Wave GPS (ref. CC9030-51E) is a fine example of how you can get a lot of know-how, a block of high-grade steel, and a handful of silicon parts and create an absolutely wonderful object that can be a watch, a gadget, and even a surprisingly low-priced fashion statement as well!
Released in a deliberately oversized body and available in three dial colors, the Citizen Military Eco-Drive BME delivers all that you can expect from a “tactical” watch except, possibly, for a nice set of tritium gas tubes that would make it look even cooler.
The 2013 Citizen Eco-Drive AP4000 offers a nice combo of a high-grade, solar-powered quartz caliber packed inside a well-designed, comfortable-looking body that will probably fit just about any wrist even despite its generous size.
With its borrowed shape and an outrageously high price tag, the 2013 Citizen Signature Grand Touring Automatic leaves, um, a strange taste in your mouth. Although the Japanese brand’s desire to make some easy money on an iconic design of a watch that many lust for, but only a few can actually afford is somewhat understandable, it is a shame to see this sort of trick played by such a respectable manufacturer.
The 2013 Citizen Eco-Drive Military Sub-Seconds (Ref. BV1085-22H) updates the military-themed solar-powered family with a new, pilot-style dial. Although not looking terribly original, the new version is designed to win thousands of customers that look for a gadget that combines a slightly modernized look of a classic pilot’s watch with a high-tech Eco-Drive movement.
A little bit too late for the diving season here, in the Northern hemisphere, the Japanese brand 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.
Summer is still far from over and Citizen has a nice model to offer the constantly growing crowd of budget-conscious amateur divers. Their new Citizen Scuba Fin Eco Drive diving tool comes equipped with the “green” solar-powered quartz movement that runs for almost whole six months after being fully charged and its built-in battery never needs to be replaced. Claimed to work for as long as 20 years without losing its properties, the battery has a good chance of outliving the watch itself.
The recently introduced Citizen Eco-Drive Signature Perpetual Calendar (ref. BL1258-53L) has immediately sparked controversy among enthusiasts and bloggers alike. The reason for the universal brouhaha was the decoration of the unidirectional rotating bezel that looked like it was blatantly ripped-off the 2009 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5 diver that went on sale two years prior the introduction of this model.
If you think that Atomic Timekeeping is cool, think again! Keeping your watch up to date with half a dozen of old-school broadcasting stations is as XXth-century as a gasoline-powered Corvette compared to Tesla Roadster. Fighting the inherent flaws of quartz mechanisms, which, like their older fully mechanical ancestors, can still be heavily affected by such external factors as temperature and sometimes even humidity, Citizen is going to start selling its beautiful limited edition Eco-Drive Satellite Wave (ref. CC0005-06E) that captures the day, date and time signals directly from GPS navigation satellites!