Monday, October 17, 2016

Citizen Promaster Titanium Diver NY0054-04L Blue Dial Watch – Very flexible in all situations, A Review (plus Video)

Best Bang For Your Buck”; is a colloquial terms that best sums up the Citizen Promaster NY0054. It is a pity that Citizen has stop producing this model for some time now. I have always harbor a wish to get my hands on one. Unfortunately, the thought of getting a used piece does not sit well with my collection philosophy.

It so happens that a particular internet merchant that I used before suddenly listed a NOS piece. The price listed was way above the original price but since this would silence the ‘ache’ that I have, I decided to get it anyhow. It was listed at RM929 (MSRP was at RM2,750) www.bodying.my.

Citizen’s Promaster series is the brand’s high-tech range of sports watches. The family of dive watches under this line is designed specifically for professionals. The NY0054 is a model well suited for normal scuba divers right down to a depth of 200 meters. It was made to a tolerance that is in compliant to the ISO6425 dive watch standards.



The unique component of the NY0054 is the use of titanium as the metal of choice for the casing. Although much lighter and stronger than the typical 316L stainless steel used by most other comparative dive watches, it is susceptible to scratches.



The case measures 42 mm without crown (45 mm with crown). Its height is 13 mm while the lugs are 20 mm in width.

The location of the screw-down crown rather uniquely situated at 8 o’clock. As I usually wear my watch on my left wrist, the crown location requires me to unstrap the watch first before I could do any adjustments via the crown. This would not be a problem if you wear it on your right wrist. The only advantage I can see from this arrangement (for left hand wearers) is that the crown would not bit into the skin if you flex your wrist upwards.



In terms of construction, the crown is a simple solid tube of titanium with a flat top surface and a fine checkered pattern on its side for grip. When in the screw-down position, there are small shoulders coming out of the casing to give the crown additional protection from bumps.



Like most typical dive watches, there is an external unidirectional bezel that moves with 60 graduations for a complete turn. It is not flat but instead slopes down at the outer edge. Meanwhile, the inner edge is rises to same level as the highest point of the dome crystal. This provides good protection for the edge of the glass from glancing slide impact.

There is a lumed pip at 12 o’clock and the scale has the combination on small and large markers as well as Arabic numbers cut into the surface. For grip, the edge is shaped like cogs on a wheel.

The crystal of choice that covers the NY0054 is Hardlex, a synthetic material much better than mineral glass with performance coming very close to sapphire crystal. The Hardlex is domed with a rim that is well-protected by the raised bezel edge.



The case-back is a solid screw-down titanium piece decorated with the brand and logo in the center and etched with key information about the watch in the peripheral. The serial number of the watch is also etched although the quality of this particular etching appears of poorer quality than the rest. I suspect the stamping equipment used for the serial number at the later stage of the assembly once all the components are in place did not the same quality of stamping as the main production stamping machine.



There are no sharp edges to be found, and the case line is very consistent throughout.

The dial of the NY0054 is blue. It has two additional complications, date and dual-language day indicators sharing one common aperture located at 3 o’clock. Surrounded by a thin polished steel frame, the date and day are in white over a black background. The hour markers are large and surrounded by a thin polished steel border frame with copious amount of luminous paint. The large hours and minutes are also painted judiciously with the same paint. However, for these two hands, the borders are painted black. In the meantime, the seconds hand is painted orange and only the balance ball is painted with luminous paint.

There are minute markers on the sloping chapter ring but it is painted with normal white paint.

There are five lines of text and graphic on the dial. The first two (the brand and movement type) is in white and above the centerline. The rest are below the centerline. The third line has the Promaster logo. On the fourth line are the words “DIVER’s” in white and “200m” in orange. Finally, the final line has the production coding (in very small fonts) around the foot of the sloping chapter ring.



The watch is paired with a standard 20 mm rubber diver straps with a Decompression Limits table printed on side of the strap. I had two OMG moments involving failure of rubber straps (see: Emperor Tuna strap failure and Bell & Ross strap failure). As this is a NOS piece which has been in storage for quite some time, I was apprehensive on the rubber strap’s integrity straight out of the box. Although it still functions, the chance of failure in the near future is very high. I will have to get a replacement strap ready for such eventuality. It is unfortunate that there is no bracelet unique to this watch. I guess I will try to pair it with nylon straps.

Overall, with the combination of light titanium and rubber strap, the whole watch weighs in at just 96 grams.

The Promaster NY0054 is powered by the Miyota Caliber 8203A. The 8200 series have been in production at Miyota (the movement manufacturing arm of Citizen) since 1977. Regardless of the age of the design, the Miyota 8203 is one of the simplest, straight forward and efficient automatic movements around. It contains 21 jewels and beat at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with similar 45 hours of power reserve. The 8203A is an automatic unidirectional winding i.e. the caliber’s ball-bearing rotor only winds in one direction. It has hand winding but not hacking capabilities. It also has a quickset function for both the date and day complications. This movement also has the Miyota Parashock system to help the mechanism handle impacts.

The Wearing Experience

This particular rubber strap that comes standard with the watch is so much pliable and smoother compared to the standard rubber straps of Seiko and Orient. In fact, it feels more like a silicone based rubber strap. It feels nice on the skin.


When compared to similar dive watches in my collection, such as the Seiko SKX009 and Orient CEM6500, this NY0054 has an added advantage of the domed crystal which really nice to look at especially when light hits on it at certain angles.

The size of the watch is also perfect for my wrist. Its lightness and the non-sharp edges make it well suited to be worn with formal attire. Replacing the rubber with a nice leather strap transforms it into a handsome timepiece for evening wear. Below is a video of the watch on my wrist.



The generous amount of luminous paint on the dial and hands (based on my research, the paint is called Citizen Natulite or ‘Natural Light’) makes it easy to refer to the watch in darken situations.

Overall, I am extremely happy getting this watch. It has all the necessary specifications that makes it very flexible in any situation.

Ramblings

As a WIS, I am disappointed by Citizen’s continued absence from full-fledged development of their mechanical watch line. The brand has a long history of mechanical watch expertise decades ago. The likes of the Seven series which was discontinued would have been a great alternative to the Seiko 5. Having such competition would benefit the consumers immensely in terms of price as well as technology and design.

As it stands now, Citizen is keener to promote their EcoDrive solar technology. Don’t get me wrong, the technology is great but I (and many people out there) also love mechanical timepieces. I would only wish Citizen would balance their research and development to get more mechanical watches available to the market.

The Reveal

The merchant www.bodying.my delivers the watch via Pos Laju courier (Malaysian Postal Service). The citizen watch box is packed in the merchant’s special cardboard box which also includes the consignment printouts as well as some plastic cards from www.bodying.my.


The merchant took extra care by surrounding the Citizen watch box with bubble wrap.




The watch box itself is protected by a white cardboard sleeve with the brand printed in silver on the top. Taking this off, you will find a black watch box that hinges from the back. The brand is also prominently printed in silver on the top part of the box.



Flipping the top open you will find the watch renting on a wide white pillow. The inner lining of the box is white with the brand printed in silver prominently placed on the top part of the lining.



Photo Gallery

NY0054

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