watchtime.com and Citizen have partnered to promote the Promaster Eco-Drive Aqualand 200m. Feel free to pop some Dramamine and join the April 15 online love fest. Ahead of that digital circle jerk, watchtime.com‘s Caleb Anderson has a “review” of the new Aqualand. In the interest of truthiness, let’s look at Citizen’s latest beast and read between the lines . . .
In keeping with the Promaster aesthetic, the watch is large and multi-functional. Its robust 50.4-mm steel case has a three-piece construction that imparts it a hardy and unique silhouette, flanked on one side by two chronograph pushers and a knurled screw-down crown, and on its other by a depth-gauge sensor.
The Promaster”s “aesthetic” ranges from the minimalist 42mm Promaster Tough (my choice for rehab) to the maximalist 47mm Promaster Skyhawk A-T, a gigantic watch that requires a continuing ed course to master. In other words, Promasters vary from largely unobjectionable to inescapably hideous. You don’t need me to tell you which end of the spectrum the 50.4mm Promaster Aqualand falls.
This from the same watchmaker whose previous Aqualand won the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design’s Good Design Award. I reckon Citizen’s bleary-eyed designers drank too much to celebrate the gong and phoned-in the new model.
That’s not how Caleb Anderson sees it. He flatters the new Aqualand with the words “robust” – to signal the fact that it can be seen from the International Space Station – and “unique” – the same word husbands use to describe their wife’s bizarre dress to avoid spending a week in the proverbial doghouse.
Underneath the sapphire crystal is an an equally distinctive dial that matches the hardy look of the case. At first glance, it’s obvious the dial is designed with professional divers’ use in mind: its contrasting features place the foremost attention on legibility and functionality, rather than on trendier stylistic elements found in many other dive watches.
“Distinctive.” Heh. A few questions: what IS that hour hand? The short, big ass blob aids the watch’s legibility like an “Ask me about my STD” button aids a swinger at a sex club. Can Mr. Anderson name one professional diver who uses a dive watch in place of a dive computer? And since when are “trendier stylistic elements” mutually incompatible with functionality?
The other details of the 200-meter water-resistant case include a bold-looking 60-minute unidirectional diving bezel . . .
For “bold looking” substitute the term “gargantuan.” The new Promaster Aqualand’s bezel accounts for no small part of the watch’s visual impact, and the perception of its size. Considering Citizen’s cash contribution to his employer’s financial success, I don’t expect Mr. Anderson to compare the bezel to a bedonk’s wheels. Let’s just say if he did I wouldn’t disagree.
Powering the professional diver is the Citizen Caliber B740, an Eco-Drive movement powered by light. . . . The movement isn’t breaking any records, but at its core is supporting the professional focus of the watch, providing a workhorse power supply for its timekeeping and dive-ready functionality.
And there it is: criticism! How that “not breaking records” snark against the Eco-Drive movement slipped in is anybody’s guess; maybe Google translated the phrase into Japanese as “perfectly standard.” And there it is again: the overarching idea that the Promaster Aqualand looks like it does because it’s a tool watch. A dive watch that’s water resistant to 200m whose depth gauge measures down to 50m.
The red and green models are priced at $795; the blue version is marked at $1,095 and includes a commemorative collector’s box and a Lifeline® JAWZ™ titanium rescue tool . . . which is a tool designed for underwater emergencies.
You can buy an unbranded Grade 38 ATI 425 Titanium Alloy Jawz Water Rescue Tool from fieldfire.com (no commission paid) for $169.99. The price difference between the blue Promaster Aqualand and the red and green models is $300. Which means you’re paying $131 for the privilege of owning a blue bezel model and a special edition box.
Well someone is. I guess. You can tune in to watchtime.com’s digital get-together to find out who that might be. Let me know how that goes. Meanwhile, your thoughts are welcome here, unmolested as always.