Much of the country might be gripped by the dead of winter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start thinking about the summer watches we’ll be wearing just a few (OK, maybe more than “a few”) months from now. In fact, I’d argue that a week where you see multiple major snowstorms leaving the landscape gray, salt stained, and dangerously icy is the perfect time to consider the next summer sports watch. The power of positive thinking, and whatnot. Citizen, it turns out, has a few contenders that have just been announced if you’re on the hunt for something fun and sporty for the warmer months. A bonus: these also work perfectly fine in an Ice Station Zebra situation, but I’m trying to lift myself out of a winter funk, so bear with me while I indulge a short lived fantasy of beach weather and strong drinks with those little umbrellas in them.
Citizen’s Latest Pair of Divers Pay Tribute to Classic Promasters
The pair of watches making their debut this month are built on Citizen’s fantastic Eco-Drive platform of solar charged quartz movements, perhaps the ultimate in affordable grab-and-go watch tech. Each watch is also based on Citizen classics from the early 00s, a period of time when the Big Watch trend was reaching a peak. The “Autozilla,” released in 2002, was a titanium dive watch with a water resistance rating of 1,000 meters in an enormous 55mm case. Citizen followed that watch up with the “Ecozilla,” a version of the watch with a similar case but powered by light, in 2004. Both are highly sought after by Citizen collectors to this day.
The new releases for 2023 both feature Eco-Drive movements and have made surprisingly few concessions to modern notions of size and wearability. That’s a good thing, because these watches were designed to be large, and not simply blown up versions of a smaller dive watch. The Promaster Dive 300M BJ8057-17X sports a 48.2mm stainless steel case that has been DLC coated and a matching green dial and DLC coated dive bezel. As we’ve seen with other recent Citizen divers, the design takes something of a maximalist perspective, with oversized everything. The bezel is wide, the strap is wide, and the hands are big and point to oversized, lume filled markers. Importantly, the case has no visible lugs from the front, so this will likely be a small wearing 48mm diver, if you can imagine such a thing.
While the BJ8057-17X has a rough and tumble vibe with something approaching a military aesthetic, the Promaster Dive 300M BJ8058-06L is lighter in tone, with a steel case and blue dial paired with a canary yellow rubber strap. This is the one that really screams summer to me. It’s a little less under the radar (in a good way) thanks to the uncoated case and brightly colored strap, but maintains those classic early 00s aesthetic codes.
Both watches run on the Eco-Drive B873 caliber, which will keep a watch powered for 6 months on a full charge. Accuracy is rated to +/- 15 seconds per month. Each of the new Promasters has a mineral crystal and 300 meters of water resistance, along with straps featuring built in extensions to allow them to be worn over a wetsuit, just in case doing some actual diving is on the agenda in addition to sitting at a bar with the aforementioned cocktail. Citizen also touts the durability of these watches, which have been constructed with anti-magnetic and anti-shock properties.
The BJ8058-06L has a retail price of $595, and the DLC coated BJ8057-17X lists for $675. Both are available this month. Citizen