Even the most splendid-looking timepieces with the most accurate movements will count for nothing if they can’t get past the first year of use due to durability-related concerns.
The watchmaking industry is flooded with brands advertising the toughest watches on the planet but very few deliver on the promise. That’s especially true when we’re looking for watch models that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Citizen and Victorinox are two globally recognized watchmakers that offer long-lasting watches at price points affordable for many. Both brands are considered to mostly oscillate in the mid-end budget, although it’s possible to find even low price point models with both. Catering to the needs of folks with different needs and budgets, the pair has a wide range of collections to pick from.
Whereas Citizen is mostly known for its Eco-Drive technology and a wider selection of styles and types of timepieces, Victorinox is strongly focused on the so-called tool watches that are, first and foremost, built to last. Nevertheless, Citizen’s Promaster Tough line can easily rise to the challenge when it comes to how big of a beating it can take.
In this article, we will dive deep into the Citizen Promaster Tough vs Victorinox INOX watch comparison. Because of similar looks, many aficionados and beginning watch enthusiasts dwell on which model to pick. I’m pretty confident that after you’re done with reading, you will have a much better idea of which timepiece is the best fit for you.
Without further delay, let’s go.
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Citizen Promaster Tough vs Victorinox INOX: Comparison
They say that you can’t make the first impression twice. That is true – also when relating to wristwatches. Hence, today’s comparison will begin with a close look at both watches’ exterior.
It looks really akin at the first glance – but is it really?
Note: if you’re new to both brands, feel free to read:
In terms of diameter, the watches come in nearly unified case sizes. I say nearly because there’s a mere 1mm difference between the pair. Citizen Promaster Tough model measures 42mm whereas the Victorinox INOX model 43mm.
On the other hand, the case of Victorinox INOX is 13,5mm thick. Compared to the 10,5mm thickness of the Promaster watch, it’s quite a notable difference. If you’re a person with a slender wrist, the Promaster timepiece will probably be a bit easier on the eye.
The size of both cases is about as far as the similarities go. Whereas both are extremely secure and durable, they differ considerably in how they’re built.
Whilst Victorinox uses a standardly-built case in the INOX model, Citizen Promaster Tough comes with what we could describe as arguably a more elaborate case construction. The series uses a so-called monocoque case type which is a 2-piece construction resulting in no caseback. This provides even better protection against water-related damage than the screw-down caseback available with the INOX series.
To aid the protection against damage in a more risky environment, every watch model from the Victorinox INOX collection comes with a removable bumper.
In terms of the case material, both brands went with the durable and scratch-resistant 316L stainless steel. Additionally, the Promaster model uses the patented Super Titanium coating which further boosts the durability credentials of the case.
Last but not least, both watches use screw-down crowns, located at 3 o’clock.
The pair comes with elegant, not to say minimalistic, dials with a classic black-and-silver-tone combination that never fails to deliver.
Both watches use a three-hand configuration which is color-coordinated between the two models.
The two main hands measuring minutes and hours are silver-tone while the second hand is considerably thinner and red. All three hands in the Citizen Promaster model are luminescent whilst only the two main hands have glowing properties in the case of the INOX timepiece.
Both dials are equipped with a date display window although the location and style differ. With the Citizen Promaster model, the window is placed at a pretty standard position at three o’clock. The INOX model has it between 4 and 5 o’clock. The date window in the Promaster is level with the surface of the dial whilst the sunken design of the INOX window gives it a more adventurous, futuristic look.
Moving on to other elements of the dials, the Citizen model is equipped with large 5-minute markings and smaller indices for each minute. On the other hand, the INOX model includes 5-minute, single-minute, and second markings. In both models, the 5-minute markers are luminescent. If you’re a person with an eye for detail and a bit of a perfectionist, you are likely to find the set-up in the Victorinox model more appealing.
At noon o’clock, you will find logos of both watchmakers.
Crucially, both watches use sapphire crystal glass. Considering the relatively low price points of both models, it’s hardly a given when we look at what’s on offer with timepieces in a similar price category from other watchmakers.
Sapphire crystal is considered the most enduring and scratch-resistant material out there. It’s a few times stronger than the mineral crystal type which is a common choice in the mid-priced watch models. The sapphire glass is an ever-present element of all the watches in top-end brands such as Rolex, Longines or Omega.
Moreover, the crystal in both the Citizen Promaster and the Victorinox INOX model uses an anti-reflective coating, making it pretty much invisible and easy to read in any type of light.
Both watches come with stainless steel bracelets.
Additionally, the Citizen Promaster model uses the same titanium coating with the bracelet as with the previously discussed case. The length of the bracelet is 22mm and it’s equipped with a push-button foldover clasp with safety.
When it comes to the bracelet of the Victorinox INOX watch model, it’s 21mm long and it comes with the exact same clasp as the Promaster timepiece.
Both timepieces are battery-powered, which ensures excellent accuracy. In contrast to automatic watches that can show a daily delay of even more than 1 minute, models running on quartz movements in most cases don’t lose more than 1 second. With this pair, you can expect an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/month.
Both watch models run on quartz movements originating from their own countries, thus: Victorinox INOX uses a Swiss quartz movement, whereas the Citizen Promaster wristwatch runs on Japanese quartz.
Even though on the surface both movements sound akin, there’s one notable difference between the two: one will need battery replacements and the other won’t.
The Promaster uses Citizen’s proprietary solar technology called the Eco-Drive. All Eco-Drive models are powered by light and will never require further investment as far as the battery is concerned. On a full charge, the watch has a power reserve of 6 months. It basically means you could live in a basement for that long and still enjoy excellent performance accuracy-wise.
Both watches are capable and safe companions for use in the water.
With a water-resistance rating of 200m, you can easily wear the watch during long swimming sessions or even while snorkeling. The fact that both timepieces use screw-down casebacks and crowns further helps protect against any leaks that might cause damage to the movement.
As already mentioned, both watch models discussed here oscillate in the mid-budget category.
Depending on where you do your shopping, you can find the Citizen Promaster watch for $350-$500 and the Victorinox INOX model for $300-$400. By no means is the difference in price massive but it probably makes the INOX timepiece a bit more appealing for folks with a limited budget.
Both Citizen and Victorinox offer lengthy, above-standard warranty policies.
All the watches from both brands (except the smartwatch line from Citizen) come with a 5-Year Limited Warranty. During the guarantee period, any defects related to the workmanship and issues with the timekeeping accuracy specified in the manual will be accepted for repair/refund.
Naturally, any damage caused by your own negligence, such as a broken strap or cracked dial, isn’t covered by the policy.
Citizen Promaster or Victorinox INOX? Conclusion
I hope that the article has provided you with enough useful information to make the decision of picking the right watch easier.
To sum up the Citizen Promaster vs Victorinox INOX comparison, I think it’s fair to say that both watches provide excellent value for money.
If you’re currently on the lookout for a timepiece that can take a beating but at the same time boasts a stylish look and is superbly accurate, any of the two models discussed today is unlikely to disappoint you.
If you’re looking to save some money but still get a very capable model, I suggest going for the Victorinox INOX timepiece. This one is likely to set you back $50-100 less but should deliver a similar level of performance.
At the same time, if your budget doesn’t limit you in any way, don’t think twice and go for the Citizen Promaster. It’s a true powerhouse of a watch and holds an advantage over the INOX timepiece when it comes to movement. The solar-powered Eco-Drive technology is world-renowned for a reason. The watch is super eco-friendly and will never require a battery replacement, at the same time matching the accuracy levels of the Victorinox watch.
If you’ve made your mind up about which watch to go for, please let me know in the comment section below. Let’s interact!