It feels like an eternity since the release of the first-ever dive watch.
The debut diver’s timepiece, called the Marine, saw daylight in 1932 and was invented by the giant in the industry, Omega.
Although the trends have changed a lot over the last few decades, the cost of Omega watches is still high. Some might even say, steep.
Luckily, since that breakthrough model from the Swiss watchmaker, more brands decided to develop their own diving lines. Some have done amazingly well, but others still have a lot of work on their hands if they are to get anywhere near the level expected of proper dive watches.
There are two Japanese brands that provide excellent value and at the same time don’t break the bank – Seiko and Citizen. In this article, we’ll focus on the latter.
Since the release of the Parawater 1959, Citizen’s premier diving watch, the brand has gained a reputation as one of the leaders in the field.
The Promaster Sea series, dedicated exclusively to scuba diving enthusiasts, covers more than 20 models. To make the task of picking the right one easier, below we have prepared the list of the 3 best Citizen dive watches currently on offer.
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At a Glance:
- Best Value: Citizen BJ8050-08E
- Budget Choice: Citizen BN0151-09L
- Premium Choice: Citizen BN7020-17E
Best Citizen Dive Watches (Top 3 Reviewed)
Citizen Diver BJ8050-08E
- 48mm stainless steel case
- Rubber band
- Mineral dial window
- Eco-Drive movement
- Water-resistant up to 300m
When trying to pick a Citizen Promaster watch that provides the best value for money, there was no other choice but to go for the BJ8050-08E model. And here’s why.
First and foremost, it’s one of very few models with a 30BAR / 300m water-resistance rating in the ~$300 price range. Most Promaster models with the same or higher rating are likely to set you back more than $400. In the aspect of water-resistance capabilities, the ISO-certified timepiece shouldn’t disappoint even advanced scuba divers.
Like all Promaster models and most Citizen releases in other collections, the timepiece is powered by the Eco-Drive technology. In other words, it uses a highly accurate quartz movement powered by the sun. Even though you will never have to replace the battery in any of these watches, the movement is just as accurate. In the case of this model, it’s ±15 sec/month.
Design-wise, it’s definitely a comment-worthy diving watch.
The model comes with a 48mm stainless steel, screw-back case and a one-way rotating elapsed time bezel. Both elements are made from highly durable stainless steel.
Citizen BJ8050-08E is equipped with a urethane band with a carrying case for the wetsuit strap extension.
The dial includes three luminous hands and hour markers. Additionally, at three o’clock there’s a date window. Protecting the face from cracks and scratches is an anti-reflective mineral crystal dial.
Citizen Diver BN0151-09L
Shopping on a tight budget? Don’t worry, it’s still possible to find a capable diver from the Japanese brand. And Citizen BN0151-09L is a prime example of that.
- You might also like: List of Dive Watches Under $200
Granted, the model isn’t equipped with as impressive water resistance. In this case, the watch can survive the pressure of up to 200m. Similar to the top pick, it’s ISO-certified meaning it is considered a professional diver’s watch. Considering the watch is by far the cheapest product on the list, it’s an impressive result nonetheless.
Naturally, it’s also an Eco-Drive timepiece, fully powered by light – any light. It uses a different movement from the model above (caliber E168) but it provides just as good accuracy (+- 15 seconds/month).
When it comes to the exterior, there are two versions of the watch you can pick from. Apart from the dark blue design attached here, there’s also a black version of this model available.
Citizen Promaster Sea BN0151-09L comes with a stainless steel case and a uni-rotating bezel to measure the elapsed time underwater. When it comes to this model, the case measures 44mm in diameter which means it’s considerably smaller than the top pick above. The moderate size will for sure look good on any wrist type.
The strap is made from highly durable polyurethane.
The dial, protected by the same mineral crystal glass as in the previous model, features luminescent watch hands and hour markers. The date window is located at 4 o’clock.
Citizen Diver BN7020-17E
- 48mm stainless case
- Rubber band
- Sapphire crystal glass
- Eco-drive movement
- Water-resistant up to 1000m
- Helium valve
Feel like breaking the bank?
Citizen Promaster Sea BN7020-17E is one of few diving timepieces on the market that fully merit the high price. If money is not an issue, there are not a lot of dive watches on the market that can compete with this powerhouse.
I’m not trying to take anything away from this awesome release but I’d suggest considering the purchase only if you are an advanced scuba diver.
Although the timepiece is an all-round “ten”, the attribute that plays the biggest part in the high-end price is the 1000m water-resistance rating. Hence, there’s not really a point in breaking the bank if you don’t hit such depths yet.
Like the previous two Promaster Sea models, this one is powered by the environment-friendly Eco-Drive movement. It comes with a super-lasting J210 caliber with an accuracy of +- 15 seconds per month.
Design-wise, what makes BN7020-17E stand out is the oversized case which measures 53mm in diameter. The large size means it’s probably best suited for people with larger wrists. Both the case and the rotational bezel with a lock are made from Citizen’s proprietary Super Titanium material, known for being super lightweight and enduring.
The ISO-compliant timepiece comes with a polyurethane strap. It’s also the only product on the list equipped with a helium release valve and a power reserve indicator.
Another standout attribute is the anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass. The material is considered to be the most scratch-resistant out there and is used by the best in the business. The dial features three luminous watch hands and glowing hour markers for easy reading underwater. At 3 o’clock there’s a date window.