Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E
There is a simple rule to keep in mind when you visit Baselword ; the most important novelties are never confined to the ground floor only. The second floor of the central hall is primarily dominated by the three big Japanese groups: Citizen , Seiko , and Casio . Of the three groups, the most successful one this year is definitely Citizen as it managed to move its stand to the middle of the floor, along the central corridor and it also added a second stand called Citizen Pavillion , where they proudly display all the watches from the brands revolving around its sphere of influence, many of which are located in Europe and that include the recent acquisition of the Frederique Constant - Alpina group.
Moving from the product industry to the big novelties displayed at this exhibition, we definitely need to mention the new Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E ; the new flagship of the Japanese brand. It is displayed in a renewed stand and it is prominently featured in the front section of the thematic area devoted to the Promaster collection that starts off with the legendary Aqualand .
Why is the Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E so important? Because it marks the come-back of Citizen among hyper-professional diver’s watches by replacing the historic automatic Citizen Promaster AutoZilla NH6930-09FB with a timepiece equipped with impressive technical features and a crafting level that, personally, I have never encountered in any other Citizen Promaster before. The Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E is, first of all, a beautiful watch; its Japanese designers started off with the current platform of their professional diver’s watches characterized by a case with a “ perfect cylindrical symmetry ” typical of the last generation of Promaster Eco-Drive diver’s watches (no lugs, Accordion strap that enters the case with no continuity solution).
Citizen came up with a new blocking system for the bezel that is made up of a ring coaxial to the bezel itself that, when rotated clockwise, can block the bezel in a specific position. The bezel doesn’t feature the classic micro-gears typical of all diver’s watches but it rather features six “ wings ’ that remind me of a shuriken design and that are built to allow a diver to grab the bezel and let it rotate even when wearing thick diver’s gloves. The case is made of titanium and it underwent a hardening treatment called Duratect MRK that is applied to the entire watch with crown and helium-expelling-valve included, to guarantee a special mechanic resistance to withstand the pressure of water at a 1000-metre-depth. The Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E is the first watch equipped with the Eco-Drive technology that can reach this depth.
The diameter of the case is quite impressive ( 52,5mm ) and it is larger by 3mm than that of the Citizen Promaster Depth Meter (that I own), but the thickness is even more impressive since it was necessary to create something that could satisfy a 700m-rating higher than the reference diver’s watch; the BN0175 - 01E . Citizen mainly chose the Super Titanium to craft the case and make it extremely light and the manufacture also sourced some features from its technologic catalogue to make it extremely resistant. The Super Titanium -made case underwent Duractect DLC , MRK and TIC treatments. The DLC acronym might sound familiar to watch-making fans (it stands for “ Diamond Like Carbon ”). The MRK treatment consists of a treatment where titanium is combined with nitrogen and oxygen to make it extremely strong, the TIC treatment, on the other hand, is a chemical treatment, where a thin layer of titanium carbide is transferred on to the metal surface. The Eco - Drive movement, once fully wound, can last up to 1,5 years rather than the standard 6 months of the other Promaster watches.
The Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E was developed by Citizen in collaboration with JAMSTEC (the “ Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology ”) that fully tested the watch prototypes using the Shinkai 6500 , a small submarine used by the agency’s technicians to explore ocean depths. According to the brand, the Citizen PROMASTER Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E kept working non-stop even when it reached depths well above 1,000m . It is neither the classic Eco-Drive nor the classic Promaster , it is rather a watch that summarizes exceptional characteristics and that follows a manufacturing process that differs from the standard one all the other models of this collection undergo. The timepiece is hand-assembled by a dedicated and highly-specialized team following the criteria of the pharmaceutical industry (i.e. in an environment completely dust-free) and a rigid assembling process that only allows the crafting of 35 pieces a day .
The new AutoZilla has arrived. All those who have never been able to get their hands on one, are now given the chance to purchase the new Diver 1000m that will be available, as it should be, from next summer onward. The official retail price of the most advanced ISO 642 5 certified timepiece ever crafted by Citizen totals 2,300 dollars but the retail price in Europe will be approximately below 2,000 euro. It is a premium price that cannot be compared to the retail price of Citizen ’s top range timepieces from 10 years ago and neither are the products comparable.
This diver’s watch belongs to that family of timepieces that Citizen releases on to the market every 2 years as its flagship models and devoted to a small group of aficionados; this model won’t follow the standard production volumes of traditional diver’s watches. I have already reserved one and if you are a fan of diving and this type of diver’s watches also, it could be a potential collection item and the quality of the crafting is simply extraordinary, despite the fact I would have expect Citizen to come up with a case with no helium-expelling-valve; a goal that Citizen could easily achieve and that his Japanese competitors have reached already. What about you? Are you going to get one of these timepieces?
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter