A Great Dive Watch
The Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter has existed in evolving forms for several years as a popular dive watch pick for those looking to quantify the time as well as their depth under water. As watch lover and an amateur diver, I use my dive/tool watches to really dive.
Citizen is recognized for their quartz watches, however, the Citizen firm has an extended history in horology dating back to 1924 producing pocket watches under the name Citizen but branded by Shokosha Watch Research Institute.
Currently typically the most popular lineup from Citizen stems from their Eco Drive watches which use a solar cell on the dial to charge a battery and fuel an exact quartz movement. The battery is usually rated and guaranteed, and the great part relating to this technology is that watch can be powered by any light, solar, house light, and so forth for a the lifetime of the watch. This makes for an accurate watch that requires low maintenance.
Up to now, I can attest that the battery charging has worked perfectly as the watch remained pretty much fully charged (easily seen by the power reserve indicator on the dial) since I received it a few weeks before the excursion, and the sun in Florida constantly recharged it as I used it for diving.
Citizen Promaster Aqualand
What makes the Citizen Promaster Aqualand especially usable to me for diving are two unique features that are most frequently found in either dive computers or mechanical watches ten times the cost of this one: a depth gauge with indication of max depth and present depth.
If you look attentively at the dial above, you will see that besides the two skeletonized hands in white (signaling hours) and orange (signaling minutes), there are two other smaller hands shaped as pointy arrows in blue and purple. The first one indicates the current depth in meters and the other moves but stays at the best depth attained.
While most recreational divers have a tendency to plan dives with no-decompression stops, having the knowledge that you just need that decompression stop easily during a dive makes for a safer experience. And while I recognize that a modern dive computer will easily give you this information and much more, there remain two truths that make the Citizen an excellent companion for me.
Most dive computers have multiple dials with tons of information, including air reserve and compass, which are two vital pieces of info when diving; I therefore am inclined to use the computer primarily for these tips first. Second, dive computers are fairly useless if they run out of juice and demand batteries. So while not a mechanical device and consequently not a true substitute secondary source of information, the Citizen rechargeable Eco Drive technology makes for a superb fault-tolerant secondary source for me.
Additionally, a fantastic attribute of the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter is the quick rise index. Essentially, the watch will automatically begin beeping (which one can hear easily submerged) whenever your ascent rate is greater than 33 feet (10 meters) per minute. This is a feature I activated more than a few times during my second dive, when the weather was inclement and therefore the visibility was terrible, and at 30 and 40 feet, the deeper waters would be affected by the waves on the surface. Going up and down was not infrequent as we attempted to go to regions with less coral and making sure we remained far from the delicate marine life.
The last thing to cover is the fundamental structure of the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter watch. It’s the classic round “tuna-can” design contour that Seiko and Citizen dive watches are renowned for. This makes for a dial that is nicely and recessed protected by the unidirectional bezel. The sword teeth three dimensional layout of the bezel make it easy to grasp and turn. Since the bezel seats 2 to 3 mm higher above the anti-reflective mineral crystal, it does a great job of covering the dial face while giving a genuinely mechanical look to the watch. The rest of the dial is no-nonsense dive watch, with gauges well situated, while the inner part of the dial features the depth gauge gauges in meters up to 70 meters, or 230 feet (usually the limitation for most recreational diving). The watch itself is water resistant to 200 meters.
At 43 millimeters wide and a bit more than 15 millimeter high, the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter is a large watch, yet, it actually wears fairly well. The main reason is that the lugs are nearly fully incorporated into the case, letting the well built polyurethane rubber strap to wrap ones nude wrist above water and snugly around a wetsuit when diving. The strap is also long, with two keepers. The first one is locked, while the allows for some movement. Together, they keep the strap totally around ones wrist, with or without a wet suit.
At an MSRP of $950, the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter is a great price when one compares it with the other watches with similar features, and a deal for what it provides. While I ‘d have a hard time wearing this watch day-to-day, due to it’s imposing, however wearable, prominence, it felt great on the dive boat and during post-dive activities. Instrument appearance and the incredibly legible dial, make it blend totally with my other dive equipment.