Just in time for summer’s stellar diving conditions—not to mention Father’s Day—Citizen is launching the Promaster Dive Automatic Collection. Longtime watch enthusiast Eric Senftleben, who has been with Citizen Watch Canada for 30 years and is now the managing director, shares the inside scoop.
The Promaster series was launched in 1989 “to meet the demands of professionals active in challenging environments,” Senftleben says. It includes Promaster Air pilot-inspired timepieces, Promaster Land watches for rugged activities such as climbing and racing, and Promaster Sea dive watches.
Citizen’s history with dive watches dates back to 1959, when the brand launched its first water-resistant timepiece, the Parawater. “Although water-resistant watches had been created in the 1920s from Swiss brands, they weren’t widely available to the general public,” according to Senftleben. The Parawater changed that, helping to pave the way for the dive watches of today.
“In its simplest form, a dive watch refers to a watch that is designed to withstand the extreme conditions of underwater diving,” he explains. “In order to be effective, a dive watch should also be durable and able to withstand pressure, sunlight and humidity. They should also be legible underwater, which is why luminosity is so important.”
Senftleben singles out a few of Citizen’s key innovations in the dive-watch category, including “the world’s first combination quartz watch with depth meter using an electronic sensor” in 1985, along with “the world’s first analogue light-powered watch to include a depth meter” in 1998. He adds, “In 1983, a self-winding Citizen diver’s watch was found on Australia’s Long Reef Beach. Although the body of the watch was covered in barnacles and other matter, the internal structure was still operating normally, having quietly continued to keep time for six years while at sea.”
Continuing the brand’s pattern of innovation is the new Promaster Dive Automatic Collection, consisting of two model families. First is the Promaster Super Titanium Dive Automatic. “It’s the first diving watch offered by Citizen to have the enhanced magnetic resistance of up to 16,000 amperes per metre,” Senftleben says. “Any magnetism is crucial in a mechanical watch, with the average mechanical having magnetic resistance of up to 4,800—having the 16,000 amperes per metre means that there is much higher protection on these timepieces. This allows for the movement to be protected against other electronic devices, which can affect the accuracy of the watch—which is so crucial in today’s digital world, considering the increase in everyday electronic devices.”
Powered by a Cal. 9051 movement and inspired by the design of the original Promaster NY004 diving watch released in 1989, the Promaster Super Titanium is easy to grip while wearing dive gloves, thanks to the bezel’s serrated teeth. The watch is water-resistant to 200 metres, and it features a date wheel, a 42-hour power reserve and lume-filled hour markers, visible even in low light. The movement uses 24 jewels.
Senftleben lists some of the watch’s other impressive features: “The thick crystal to increase water resistances; the screw-down crown that makes it airtight when screwed in, preventing any water from entering; the screw-back case; and the luminosity.”
Two case finishes are available: DLC-coated titanium or Super Titanium. “Super Titanium is produced by treating solid titanium with our proprietary surface-hardening technology to achieve a level of hardness over five times that of stainless steel,” Senftleben explains. “It is also around 40 per cent lighter than stainless steel.” Plus, “Super Titanium is highly resistant to corrosion from salt water.”
Senftleben likes in particular the NB6005-05L: “I love how lightweight it feels because of the Super Titanium case and how comfortable the polyurethane strap is.”
The second new model family is the Promaster Dive Automatic, which Senftleben describes as “great for daily use because of the curb appeal,” with such notable features as “the sapphire crystal and notable upgrade on the bezel—bezel has 120 clicks as opposed to the 60 clicks of previous collections. This means that it can more precisely define a dive time when in use.”
To boost visibility in low light, a fully lumed version of this watch features a dial coated in luminescent material. “The luminosity works by a material applied to dial and markers that is charged by light. When light energy hits the material, the electrons get excited and begin to energize rapidly, creating a phosphorescent glow,” Senftleben explains, singling out one specific watch from this family: “I find the NY0150-51A to be very elegant with the white dial, and I think it really stands out.”
But, truly, it seems Senftleben is enamoured with the entire Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic Collection. He admists, “I would be happy with any of the watches.” The Citizen Promaster Dive Automatic Collection is available online and at select retailers across Canada. Prices range from $675 to $1,595. —Sheri Radford