Land, Sea, And Air: Citizen Celebrates The 30th Anniversary Of Promaster
Most of us are never going to hike the Himalayas, streak across the Salt Flats, or explore the Great Barrier Reef. But it would be nice to know that if we did get that chance, we would have the perfect watch ready to go.
Citizen recently updated its Promaster series with three new air, land, and marine collections that absolutely outperform in their categories.
30 Years On
The Promaster family of professional timepieces has been Citizen’s flagship collection pretty much since it was introduced in 1989.
It’s interesting to note that while many brands have restreamed their professional watches into air, land, and marine categories, Promaster took this approach from the get-go. These subgroups were also notable for the technologies they used to make the most of these environments.
The Aqualand diver's watch, for instance, was the first dive watch equipped with a digital depth indicator. The newest member of the Sky family, the Satellite Wave GPS Promaster, introduced in 2011, features radio-controlled timekeeping. And because these timepieces were designed to explore the environment, Citizen also took steps to preserve it, most notably by using its solar-powered Eco-Drive to power these pieces.
These innovations quickly made these rugged tool watches favorites amongst professionals. Another reason the Promaster series was a hit was their functionality and affordability. After all, those who travel for business, not adventure, also need a reliable and adaptable timepiece.
In the water
Launched in June 2019, the Aqualand is a beloved ISO and JIS 7 compliant dive watch. As the dial states, it a Diver’s 200m water resistant watch which means that features like its screw-down crown and buttons allow it to descend to depths of 40-45 meters — more than most amateur scuba enthusiasts will ever experience.
But for pros, this Aqualand has enhanced features such as simultaneous analog time and depth display for up to 70m, an easy to read power reserve indicator, maximum depth memory, a dive alarm for excess speed in ascending, a water sensor, screw-locking crown, and a unidirectional bezel.
What else is sexy about the Aqualand? At 46.1 mm it’s got real wrist presence. The urethane/stainless steel strap also comes with an extender so you can wear it over your wetsuit. And priced at $695, it’s a real steal of a sports watch.
In the Field
The Altichron Promaster is, in many ways, the perfect field watch.
Launched in August, this limited edition Altichron honors the environment by being built to last. The case is titanium coated with the newly developed Duratect MRK Gold — Citizen’s proprietary surface hardening technology that aims to achieve a Vickers hardness level of 1,300-1,500 Hv (translation: very hard). This, in turn, prevents scratches and scuffs while preserving the lightness of the titanium.
More importantly, the overachieving Altichron is full of gadgetry goodness. Its functions include an analog altimeter that measures 10,000m from ground level (which is higher than the tallest mountain on Earth) to minus 300m below sea level.
Also, this Altichron’s display is well thought out, using three hands to show altitude or orientation while maintaining time. The case back is covered to prevent the wearer's skin from coming into contact with cold metal in extreme weather conditions. And the wristband is made from synthesized urethane and nylon materials for extra comfort and durability.
The all-analog display also lends it a classic look just in case the only thing you’re climbing is the corporate ladder. Limited to just 1,989 pieces, the Altichron is priced at budget-friendly $595.
Sky’s the Limit
Last but not least, the Promaster Navihawk models which launch the Promaster into the stratosphere with radio-controlled time synchronization.
This bold beauty has been updated with an Eco-Drive caliber U680 movement. This mechanism has two times the spinning speed of hour and minute hands for home time corrections than the previous generation. It also features a high-speed, twin-coil motor that reduces the time required to move the hands forward to less than one second. Allowing the wearer to synchronize to 43 individual timezones.
This kind of feature is important to the globetrotter who is constantly adjusting their watch. These functions may be superfluous for non-pilots, but it’s reassuring when you’re on the road to not have to think about them.
The design is also inspired by aviation history with a dial that pays homage to cockpit instruments. The handsome face has five separate layers including hands “floating” between the base and the clear dial. Large, luminous hands, and a highly legible dial.
This flight watch is preparing for take-off this fall. It will be limited to 1,989 units worldwide and will feature the anniversary logo and serial number stamped on the case back. The most high end of these birthday editions, it is priced at $650.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)