When it comes to robust, accessible and capable dive watches with mechanical movements, some names often come back in the discussions. Seiko and the SKX007 have dominated this market for many years, with another model right there, in the rear-view mirror, the Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic and its variations. Simple yet packed with features, solid and well manufactured yet fun to wear, these Promasters are some of the best summer watches you can think about, and not only if you have a restricted budget. And case in point, the brand releases no fewer than 8 new versions of the Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic 200m with cool colours, ready for summer.
The story of the Promaster collection starts in the mid-1980s when the brand released one of the brand’s most emblematic models, the Aqualand – which is extensively explained in this in-depth article – the world’s first watch fitted with an electronic/digital depth gauge, typical of the era. The Promaster collection took shape in 1989 as the “brand for land, sea and air professionals” with purpose-built models. And in 1997, Citizen launched the Promaster Marine Automatic Diver 200m, also known as the NY0040, which will become the defining affordable automatic dive watch of the brand for the decades to come.
Many elements of the original Promaster Dive Automatic are still alive today, within a rather large collection of robust and fairly priced steel or titanium watches, available in an array of colours. And it’s still growing, with now 8 new versions of the steel edition to surface. The basics of these new Promaster Dive Automatic 200m are well-known. The case is stainless steel here – not Super Titanium case we’ve seen in this version – and measures 44mm in diameter for a 13.1mm height. The shape… well, it’s basically the same as the original watch of 1997, including the rather surprising crown positioned at 8 o’clock and the specific notches on the bezel.
Despite being on the lower end of the mechanical watch spectrum, these Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic have all the necessary features: 200m water-resistance, screwed caseback (with the fugu fish emblem) and crown, sapphire crystal and unidirectional bezel with a fully graduated 60-minute scale printed on an aluminium insert and they even are ISO-certified dive watches. There’s not much that could be changed or added and these are watches that can do it all, everywhere, anywhere. Solid, capable, good looking and pretty well executed considering the price.
The dial of these versions is also quite different from the titanium model we’ve reviewed here, with large trapezoidal markers for the hours and stylized hands to easily differentiate minutes and hours. All the elements are largely covered in luminous material. And inside, no surprises… The classic, solid calibre 8204 will perfectly do its job, with a 3Hz frequency, a 42h power reserve, as well as hand-wound and hacking features (not always true on accessible watches).
What’s new is that the Promaster Dive Automatic 200m collection now includes 8 new references, with a wide range of colours for the case, bezel and dial. Let’s start with the most surprising of all, the NY0155-58X, which has a black ion-plated stainless steel case and bracelet, with a beige-toned dial that is fully luminous at night. This model is priced at USD 695.
Then, with the ref. NY0154-51L, the collection now includes a funky, slightly showy two-tone model (with gold-coloured accents and not solid gold) with gilt accents on the bezel, the crown and the bracelet’s mid-links. It is paired with a brushed blue dial and a blue bezel insert, and golden hands. Not the most discreet, but quite a cool edition. This model retails for USD 650.
Moving to more classic models, we have 3 steel-on-steel watches with coloured dials and bezels. All are worn on steel bracelets, with a folding clasp. The NY0151-59X has a trendy combination of green brushed dial and green bezel insert. The NY0159-57E plays on discreet coloured elements, with a black brushed dial and a bezel in black and blue. Finally, there’s a model with white dial and black bezel (reference not available yet). These 3 references retail for USD 595.
Finally, the collection now includes 3 new references on black accordion-like Polyurethane straps. The NY0158-09L and NY0155-07X both have a black-coated case and respectively a blue dial and bezel or green dial with black bezel. These two versions are priced at USD 575. The last version, the NY0156-04E, features an uncoated steel case with a brushed black dial and a burgundy bezel insert. This version is the most accessible, at USD 550.
All these watches are delivered in a cool dive tank box and are now available from retailers and www.citizenwatch.com.