Time Zone: Citizen PROMASTER

Though Citizen sometimes takes a backseat in the mid-tier timepiece conversation to the likes of Seiko, etc., the Japanese manufacturer has logged over 100 years in the game and offers a robust portfolio — cue its PROMASTER sport watches created not only for casual use but with professionals in mind facing a multitude of challenging environments.

“Go Deeper. Go Higher. Go Further.” These three simple phrases serve as the tagline of the aforementioned lineup, and to bring the words to life the company held an event on the scenic west coast where the claims could fittingly be put to the test.


“PROMASTER started officially in 1989 and it really was part of the culmination of Citizen’s century-long research and innovation that they started to build out the concept of PROMASTER land, sea and sky watches,” says Zahra Hemraj, marketing lead at Citizen Watch America, during a media presentation in Richmond, B.C.

“They wanted to create a series embodying sport, but (also) create watches featuring notable innovations. For example, Eco-Drive Super Titanium and water resistance. So the PROMASTER brand was able to incorporate all of these years of innovation together, and different functionality, to create superior timepieces that are durable and suit extreme environments.”


Guests were asked to select a model from the trio of categories permitting a deep dive test (pardon the pun). Out of a short list provided I chose reference NY0156-04E, part of the recently released Dive Automatic Collection, boasting a brushed stainless steel case and gorgeous Cherry Coke red bezel. Full disclosure I’m not a frogman, but am a fan of the genre’s format and unique aesthetic.

The particular one I went with runs off the tried-and-true Miyota (subsidiary of Citizen) caliber 8204 movement found in numerous products across the board, is hand-windable and good for up to 42 hours of run time. The three-hand design is complemented by a day/date window and serious lume that shines radioactive green after exposed to just a few seconds of sunlight. The included adjustable black polyurethane strap is comfortable and ready to go right out of the box. However, some references bundle a bracelet instead.


Digging into the archives to find inspiration, this contemporary line of divers is based off the NY004 originally released in 1989. Somewhat annoyingly for the skinnier-wristed individuals like myself, the originally 42-millimetre case is now an upsized 44 (albeit thankfully wears smaller)  increasing legibility and presence. The unidirectional bezel clicks along smoothly and possesses 120 stops compared to the predecessor’s 60 improving accuracy. The 8 o’clock screw-down crown placement is a bit odd but does prevent accidental wrist gouging.

In addition, a tough sapphire crystal replaces mineral glass, and on the underside an image of a fugu is etched into the metal surface in reference to the partially-serrated bezel — making it easier to grip underwater — which resemble the spikes on a pufferfish. Very cool. And there’s no boring cardboard box packaging here: everything comes in a scuba-tank-shaped presentation box.


While the trip didn’t incorporate any undersea activities to test the ISO-certified 200-metre water resistance rating, we did attack the trails in Whistler’s rugged backcountry piloting Honda utility-terrain vehicles resulting in drivers and occupants being subjected to nearly two hours of teeth-rattling bumps and flying dust. After a quick rinse and dry the watch looked and performed good as new.

A couple of other standouts among the bunch is the blue, gold and silver NY0154-51L, as well as the wild fully-lumed NY0155-58X providing maximum visibility. And for extra wow factor, check out the two Super Titanium variants. Visit the website to learn more.

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