Citizen Goes Mechanical With a Collection of Limited Promaster Divers That Won’t Break the Bank

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One of the first watch brands I can recall being familiar with was Citizen. In the 1990s and to this day, really, they were available in every mall and in seemingly every jewelry and department store. As an adolescent, if I was looking at watches in a store (the only way to look at watches in the ’90s), I was probably looking at Citizens. Their ubiquity through the years speaks to their consistent quality at a particular consumer-friendly price point, and the goal was simple: sell watches in every style to anybody who wants one. Goal achieved. 

I can’t say for sure because my enthusiasm for this hobby hadn’t really come into its own at that point, but if I had to venture a guess I’d say most of the watches in the case at Macy’s that I had my eye on when I was 12 were quartz. And still, even in the midst of a well-documented resurgence in interest in watches from a new generation of customers, Citizen’s offerings remain primarily battery operated. That’s why it’s so gratifying to see the enormous Japanese watchmaker introduce a series of wallet-friendly mechanical options as part of their Promaster line to a few different regional markets. If you live in Europe or South East Asia (or can source a watch from those regions), you suddenly have new options on the affordable mechanical front. For everyone else, there’s hope that these new regional releases represent a sign of things to come on a global scale. Let’s take a closer look at these new, affordable divers.


Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver & Promaster Marine SuperTitanium

Ref. NY0090-86E, one of six of the South East Asian releases.
  • Case Material: Titanium (Marine SuperTitanium); stainless steel and two-tone (Mechanical Diver)
  • Dial: Black or blue 
  • Dimensions: 42mm (Mechanical Diver) and 43.8mm (Marine SuperTitanium)
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Movement: Miyota 8203 automatic
  • Strap/bracelet: Rubber strap or steel bracelet 
  • Price: $448 (Marine SuperTitanium) & $290 (Promaster Mechanical Diver) 
  • Availability and Expected Release: Limited editions and available for pre-order

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We’ll tackle the European series first. While a lot of Citizen’s modern offerings break new technological ground in solar powered watches, GPS enabled timekeepers, and the like, these new dive watches are pretty basic affairs. With one piece in titanium (the Marine SuperTitanium) at 44mm and another in steel about two millimeters smaller, Citizen’s newest Promasters are chunky and traditionally styled sports watches. The SuperTitanium includes partially skeletonized minute and hour hands along with a rubber strap that seems to fully integrate into the case, and the steel piece, the Promaster Mechanical Diver, makes use of Citizen’s signature 8:00 crown position. Both watches have a day/date display at 3:00, plenty of lume, and workhorse Miyota movements ticking away inside.

The two EU releases: the Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver Ref. NY0087-13EE and Promaster Marine SuperTitanium Ref. NY0076-10EE.

The watches intended for South East Asia are essentially identical, physically and mechanically, to the European Promaster, but some small aesthetic differences set these watches apart. Six total versions of the watch will be sold in South East Asian countries: red, black and blue bezels over black dials; a steel and yellow gold two-tone colorway on a bracelet; a blue and yellow-gold two-tone on a rubber strap; and a green-on-green variant. All of the South East Asian pieces feature a commemorative caseback emblazoned with an image of a puffer fish, and are limited to 2,000 pieces (with the green version limited to 1989, in honor of 30 years of the Promaster line). Prices on these watches in South East Asia start at $360 and top off just shy of $500, depending on the version you choose. Notably, the titanium watch seems to be European market only, at least for now.

The six South East Asian editions; clockwise from top left: Refs. NY0099-81X, NY0091-83E, NY0096-12L, NY0094-85E, NY0098-84E, and NY0090-86E.

While these are limited editions and may become hard to find, particularly in the States,  these Citizen divers represent an interesting value proposition if you’re after a reliable, mechanical beater from a reputable brand that produces quality products exclusively. With 200 meters of water resistance and hearty cases across both variants, these watches are likely to stand up to hard wear. If they also offer a touch of nostalgia for ’90s kids who grew up in America’s malls, that’s a bonus. Citizen Global


Would you like to see these come stateside? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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