Review: The Assertive Yet Approachable Citizen Promaster Diver BN0227-09L

I probably saw James Cameron’s 1986 sci-fi action masterpiece “Aliens” at way too young of an age. Old enough to enjoy the film (and the plethora of action figures that came along with it), yet young enough to be properly scared by the clear-fanged, perpetually slimy, deep black creatures straight from HR Giger’s nightmare. No, this isn’t a review of the Giugiaro-designed Seikos that popped up in the film, it’s about an entirely different watch. Why bring it up? Well, there’s something about the organic curves intersecting sharp angles, interesting case, and tough design of Citizen’s Promaster Diver BN0227-09L (catchy, right?) that reminds me of those very same aliens that kept me up at night back in the mid-90s. 

On a typical dive watch, you’ll find a steel case with a couple of curves, a polished bevel thrown in there somewhere, and a bezel with a ceramic insert up top. There’s a formula for the dive watch, and many follow along for good reason — it works, and it works well. This Citizen breaks free from the mold of 200m dive watches and takes things in a funky, organic way that looks more like a sponge pulled from the depths or something that just landed from outer space. A 47mm dive watch shouldn’t wear as well as this one does, and that’s thanks to the curvy case, lack of true lugs, and Super Titanium construction. This watch is not something that everyone will reach for and had it not been on the table for review, I’m not sure I would have picked it up either. That being said, the Promaster Diver won me over and definitely deserves a closer look.


Review: The Assertive Yet Approachable Citizen Promaster Diver BN0227-09L

Super Titanium w/ Duratect DLC coating
E-168 Eco-Drive
Camouflage blue
Super LumiNova
Water Resistance
Lug Width
5 year


Crafted from “Super Titanium” and coated with a Duratect DLC coating, the case on the Promaster Diver is lightweight and strong. It reads as a dark matte gray, giving the watch an aggressive look. Measuring in at 47mm wide (it was hard to find a measuring point that worked) and 46mm from lug to lug, the watch is essentially square. Describing the case shape is a tough one. There are rounded shoulders(?) At each of the four corners which frame in the unidirectional bezel. The case itself is three pieces – the bezel, the case itself, and the back. There is no traditional mid-case, just a curvy piece of titanium full of soft contours. The case back barely protrudes out from the case, making it wear surprisingly well. At 13.5mm with those shoulders on the case, you’re not sneaking this thing under any dress shirt cuffs and that is just fine since you’d look pretty ridiculous with the Promaster on at a formal event. Heading out for a day in the water, a hike, or perhaps a fishing trip? Perfect. The titanium case is light and comfortable, especially since there are no hard angles on the case. Titanium is an interesting metal — it’s strong and light, and while reviewing the watch, I’ve forgotten it was on my wrist quite a few times. It’s balanced and comfortable to wear for hours on end. 

On the right side of the case, you’ll find a knurled crown that makes setting the time an easy task. It’s easy to manipulate thanks to the large size and texture. Since this watch is a diver, there’s a unidirectional timing bezel surrounding the dial. There’s a chunky ridged pattern around the outside making it easy to grip and a bold bezel insert with a lume pip at 12 inside. The action is light and provides some tactile feedback with a click for every minute. It’s easy to twist and has the slightest bit of back play. It’s not the snappiest or firmest bezel I’ve used, but it gets the job done. 

Dial + Hands

With the unique case design, thick bezel, and a printed rehaut, the dial itself ends up looking pretty small in comparison to the rest of the watch. Sporting a blue camouflage motif, the dial is packed with chunky lume-filled indices. It feels a bit cramped but remains legible thanks to the bold set of lumed hands. The cardinal indices are large stylized triangles, while circular plots fill in the hours between. At three, there’s a date display that features black text on a white disc. For a 47mm watch, the dial does feel quite small in comparison to the rest of the package. A printed rehaut features hash marks for every minute, with a bolder mark popping up every five. It’s rather thick and visually busy. Since the lume plots and hands are pretty large themselves, the dial does come off crowded, but paired with the overall design of the watch I think it works. A cathedral-esque hour hand is short and stocky, paired with a longer minute hand that terminates in an arrow. For the seconds, a white-tipped hand with a lumed circular counter balance ticks around the dial. 

If I could change one thing about the Promaster Diver, it would be the dial printing. Something about the camouflage pattern just doesn’t quite fit. The rubber strap is supposed to match the dial (at least in product photos), but the strap reads more teal while the dial is a true blue. If it were up to me, I’d drop the camo pattern in favor of a matte teal dial that matches the strap. Between the smaller dial size, chunky hands and indices, and the busy rehaut, a simpler dial would be a welcomed addition. A single color matte dial would also lend itself to the organic-looking design of the case while nicely complementing the DLC-coated titanium case.


Inside the Promaster Diver is the E168 Eco-Drive caliber. Instead of a conventional battery, this watch is powered by light. Simply let it absorb some light (natural or artificial) and it’s good to go for just about six months. It’s accurate, reliable, and easy to maintain. The tech inside makes it so you never have to change a battery. While most quartz watches are considered grab-and-go, the Eco-Drive takes that to the next level. It’s not the flashiest of movements, but if you’re looking to add a watch to your collection that just plain works, then something with Eco-Drive would more than fit that bill.

Strap + Wearability

The Promaster Diver comes with a chunky polyurethane strap with equally beefy hardware. It’s a dive-style strap with a compression section on each side that makes it an extra comfortable fit. For a strap that’s so thick and wide, it wears really comfortably. The heavier weight of the rubber balances out the head of the watch nicely, almost giving the wearer a bracelet-like experience. The color of the strap is great too — it’s a matte teal that pairs nicely with the dark gray matte case. A beefy DLC-coated buckle keeps the strap secured to your wrist, while two polyurethane keepers hang onto the extra strap. Also included in the package is a dive extension that matches the strap. It’s like a mini version of the strap itself, featuring two more keepers and another buckle. It does get the job done though. In my crude, office-based test of the system (throwing it on over the cuff of one of my thicker hoodies), it works well. You get an extra ~2 inches of extension that should cover most applications. 

On the wrist, this watch is an absolute pleasure to wear. The curvy titanium case is light and comfortable and the short lug to lug makes it compatible with a wide range of wrist sizes. It’s fun, different, and playful. It stands out quite a bit too since it doesn’t look like your standard dive watch. That being said, it’s a bit divisive too. The organic curves and camo patterned dial aren’t for everyone.



So, who’s this watch for? I’d imagine a good chunk of watch enthusiasts who find themselves regularly in the water. The chunky grip on the bezel, extremely low maintenance movement, bold hands and indices packed with lume, and a lightweight titanium case result in a watch that’s feature-packed. I think the only hold-up for some would be the funky design. Personally, I dig it quite a bit, but those looking for their first dive watch might not run out and snag one of these. It almost gives me Seiko Monster vibes — a little bit out there, but solidly built and fun. 

During my time with the BN0227-09L, I found myself forgetting it was even on my wrist. It’s fun and easy to wear and would make a great adventure watch that’s ready for anything. If I had to change one thing, I’d drop the camouflage on the dial for something a bit more plain. The BN0227-09L can be had at MSRP for $550, which is a price point where the competition really starts to open up. Again, this watch definitely isn’t for everyone but the features are there, the wearing experience is great, and it certainly stands out amongst a sea of divers that stick to the same general formula. Citizen.

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Ed is a Long Island-based writer and photographer with an affinity for watches, fountain pens, EDC gear, and a great cup of coffee. He’s always looking for the best gear for the job—whether it be new watch, pen, flashlight, knife, or wallet. Ed enjoys writing because it’s an awesome (and fulfilling) way to interact with those who share the same interests.