The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter
The second chapter of the Promaster Design's revolution
When I reviewed for the 1st time a Citizen Promaster (my personal Citizen Promaster Altichron in Titanium) I highlighted that rather than the many functions I may have used a couple of times in all sincerity, what amazed me the most was and still is its innovative design: it was undeniable that Citizen was about to overhaul the design of its sporty timepieces. A trend that has continued in 2017 when the Japanese brand released its new "Ecozilla", else said the new Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Professional Diver 1000 BN7020-09E. I was also “shocked” by the lack of any digital display on it: hour and, above all, functions visualization was fully analog and its dial was designed as a multi-layered one, so as to strongly remove from people's mind what Japanese made timepieces are usually envisioned: digital, high quality products, technically outstanding, with a superior price to quality ratio, but, often times, with an unappealing aesthetics.
Not anymore! The Altichron has paved the way for others to come as the Promaster line up, following up that design trend welcomed a new member in 2014: the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2024-05E. Yours truly, after having seen it on display at the Citizen's booth at Baselworld that year, I did soon after order one.
Citizen is synonymous with Promaster
Let me, now, speak, for a while, to those readers who are not familiar with the Citizen brand and its Promaster collection: it is an icon, above all the Citizen Promaster Aqualand JP2000-8E, whose first model is a cult wristwatch and those models in the range which are equipped with a depth meter represent a relevant part of this collection which boasts already a couple of models, with a chrono function, that are now not in the brand's price list anymore.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2024-05E is a completely new model with a very high tech look that enables a professional diver to track and store the maximum depth reached during diving. Let's start off by making a short list of its tech features: the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2024-05E is a professional divers watch, with a 52,5mm wide and 18,4mm thick case, ISO 6425 certified and equipped with a depth meter up to 70 meters.
Its dial evokes the Citizen Promaster Altichron's as well as the Citizen Promaster Altichron Cirrus's with its full analog visualization via big central hands and follow an exclusive aeronautical like design, all managed by Citizen's main technology which is the Eco-Drive, consisting of a solar panel placed under the dial which converts any light source into energy, while using no batteries at all, thus it's eco-friendly.
How efficient is the Eco-Drive technology?
Just to give you an idea of what an Eco-Drive based caliber is, it might be interesting to know that by using this watch every single day, you just need 35 hours on a sunny day, to ensure the watch will run incessantly at least 300 days. The Power Reserve being indicated by a small circular gauge placed at 9 o' clock. Once it is fully charged (READY) you may, if you prefer, place it into a drawer for a long time (not so long according to what happened with my Altichron)! Its round case, which vaguely reminds me of a compass or a wrist depth meter, has a tiny hole which is a water sensor, placed just above the winding crown.
As you dive, after a 2 seconds timescale, the Power Reserve indicator (even if the timepiece is not fully wound) turns READY, indicating the depth meter device has been activated. The Power Reserve hand, then on, turns on measuring the available reserve and soon after two small hands activate: the first one being a white and blue arrow tracking the actual depth reached, the small one stores the maximum depth reached during diving. If the diver exceeds 70 meters both hands move on the “Over” position on the scale.
At the 10 o'clock position they have placed the mill winding crown with the Promaster logo engraved on it, while on the left hand side are the water depth sensor and two screw down push buttons which activate respectively: the rapid ascent warning alarm function (both buttons) or else the maximum depth reached (just the second one placed at 8 o' clock).
A massive timepiece
On the wrist the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2024-05E is a hefty watch, a feeling emphasized by the unidirectional bezel design which, maybe a novelty with Citizen, is PVD treated and is secured to the case via six Allen screws on it.
Also quite imposing is its nice tang buckle with the engraved Citizen logo on it. One small single flaw is...it is a bit difficult to strap on, as its polyuretane bracelet is quite stiff, mainly its far end which has a hump that blocks the strap from easily sliding through the loops. Summarizing, the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter BN2024-05E is a cool watch, fit for any professional diver or not, and represents another step forward in moving the Citizen brand towards high-end sports watchmaking thanks to an exclusive and highly detailed design (take a look at the two pieces case for example), and retails for 590€. It comes inside a divers box, “soft touch” treated which just lacks, just my wish, a couple of Coramid or Velcro replacement straps with the Promaster logo.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®