In 1966 the Swiss watch manufacturer Doxa was the first to develop and supply a wristwatch primarily for sport-diving purposes. The result was an orange-faced automatic timepiece set in a huge stainless-steel case that weighed almost as much as that same luxury car.
Other Swiss watchmakers followed suit, and the Citizen watch company developed the first dive watch with an electronic depth sensor.
Citizen went on to make a huge impact in the sport-diving watch market with its innovative designs and advanced technology.
I owned a Citizen Promaster. which had accompanied me on countless dives before being lost on an overseas trip a few years ago.
It wasn’t just a watch, it was a “badge of office”, making the statement to anyone who cared to notice that I was a diver.
That same model has been updated and relaunched as the Eco-Drive Promaster Depth Meter Chronograph. I took a sample with me on a week’s dive trip to put it through its paces.

Light Power
This watch is powered by light. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology harnesses the power from any natural or artificial source and converts it into energy that is stored in a permanently rechargeable lithium-ion cell.
It recharges continuously in any kind of light and is claimed to hold enough power to run the watch movement in complete darkness for at least six months.
This isn’t a new concept – Citizen has been using this technology for a number of years, and it saves on costly battery replacements.

The Design
The model reviewed here has a case that’s 48mm in diameter with a one-way ratcheted elapsed time bezel and screw-down crown.
It has three hands, the third of which has three functions. It can be set to be used as a dive-timer, ticking away in seconds of a time that is also indicated on a 50-minute dial at the 12 o’clock position.
Alternatively it can be set to act as a depth gauge, and will show in real time your depth down to 50m, coinciding with the minute markers on the dial.
Three, 6 and 9m are separately marked to assist in safety stops. The depth gauge has a memory function for use on the surface.
The third function is as a battery-reserve indicator, and this is where the hand sits when out of the water.
The hands, minute markers and zero point on the bezel are all luminous for use in dark environments. Put all this in an ISO-certified 200m water-resistant package and you have one of the most iconic dive watches around.

In the Water
In the water for my first dive with this instrument, I set it to Dive Time mode. It recorded my time under water both via the timer and the elapsed-time bezel – a bit “belt and braces” to be honest, but certainly easy to see and use.
On subsequent dives I left it to indicate depth, comparing the reading with my Suunto D6 computer and Uwatec depth timer (I know it’s overkill, but I do like to have back-up).
The Citizen’s depth gauge proved accurate, recording the same readings as the other instruments. I liked the analogue alternative; for me it covered all the bases.
Back on the boat, the skipper asked for my dive time and depth for his boat log and a single button press sent the orange hand round to the depth of the last dive for instant feedback.

The watch attracted interest on the boat, in the bar, at the airport and on my flight home, which tells me that as a “badge of office” it fits the bill nicely.
As a diving instrument it does what it says on the tin. It’s not a replacement for a dive computer, but along with dive tables it’s the perfect back-up.

PRICE £499
POWER Eco-Drive, light
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