Citizen Dive Watch: Promaster Dive Automatic gives left watch face a right look
To the casual observer, classic dive watches may look quite similar except for the brand name printed on their dials. For watch lovers, however, the delight is in the details, and no detail is too small to appreciate. Whether it’s cow horn horns or a “rice pearl” bracelet, the right adornment, no matter how obscure, can mean the difference between an everyday watch and a certifiable grail. Citizen’s new Promaster Dive Automatic has everything you’d expect from a legendary diver, from its rotating bezel to its chunky arrowhead hands, plus a range of color combinations from black on black to two-tone gold. But its “destro” winding crown puts it in the company of some of the most coveted timepieces on the planet.
Destro watches have been around for decades (Charlie Chaplin was a fan of them) and were originally designed so left-handers could wind their watches with the same ease as their right-handed counterparts. Unlike shirts that say “I may be left-handed but I’m always right”, however, destros have recently transcended their usefulness to the left-handed community to become highly sought after in their own right, even by collectors who don’t use specialized scissors. Panerai’s left-handed Luminor is a flex among connoisseurs, as is Tudor’s Pelagos LHD, a left-handed version of their professional titanium diver. And of course there’s the star of this year’s Rolex line, the new left-handed GMT-Master II. The main distinction of the Promaster over those Swiss grails (aside from a price that’s several thousand dollars lower)? A winding crown offset at eight o’clock rather than nine, more conventional, an even more unusual detail that makes it easily wearable on either wrist. And that’s not to mention its other major asset: an automatic movement.
As a budget diver’s watch in the vein of bestsellers like Seiko Prospex and Casio Duro, the Citizen Promaster has been a staple of the sub-$1,000 watch world for decades. Previous versions of the Promaster had pretty much everything you could want in an everyday sports watch, except for one thing: a mechanical powertrain. Until now. Powered by a Japanese automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve, the Promaster is officially among the best values on the market, no matter which wrist you choose to wear it on.
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