Citizen Promaster Diver Review: The Best Budget Dive watch?

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Dive watches have always enjoyed being the center of attention among watch lovers all over the world. Some may think that the fascination for the diver watches is a new trend — it’s not!

In fact, almost all kinds of watch enthusiasts and collectors share this common fascination for dive watches. After all, we live in a world where Rolex Submariner is the most iconic and loved watch.

Endurance, toughness, and accuracy are the most notable features of every ‘true’ dive watch. That being said, a decent dive watch comes cheap; also, not every watchmaker can ensure top-level durability.

However, Citizen is NOT another watchmaker — we’re talking about one of the world’s biggest watches manufacturers. Citizen Promaster Diver is one of the most successful dive watches from Citizen and is often considered as the best budget dive watch.

All of the Citizen Promaster watches are wonders of modern engineering. So, what’s so special about the Promaster Diver?

Don’t be so impatient — I’ll get to that!

Sit tight as we dive (!) in the most in-depth Citizen Promaster Diver review.    

A Quick Overview of Citizen Promaster Diver

Citizen Promaster Diver

As you can guess, the Promaster Diver belongs to the Citizen’s Promaster line-up. Each of the watches in this collection is the epitome of a professional-grade sports watch.

As Citizen designed these watches to appeal to the everyday adventurer, you’ll get all of the innovative features coming from the Citizen R&D department.

Functionality and innovation are the two key elements for every Promaster watch!

There are a total of eight different Promaster Diver watches in this collection. The one I’m focusing on in today’s Citizen Promaster Diver review is the BN0150-28E Eco-Drive.

Not only this is the cheapest one among the Diver series, but also this is model is the most popular one.

The ever-reliable Eco-Drive movement, highly accurate caliber, and superior water-resistance performance make a case for the uber popularity of the BN0150-28E.

Are things getting too technical for you?

Okay, let’s start from the very beginning — what makes a watch better than another?

Things You Should Consider Before Buying A Watch

If you only consider the looks of the watch, you should change your perspective bit.

Of course, the design is a key element of buying consideration. But it would be a big mistake if you don’t take the functionality into account.

To make a more ‘informed’ purchase decision, you should first learn about the basic components of a watch.

The construction of a watch is pretty straightforward — a movement (caliber) drives the watch just like the engine in a car, a case secures it by covering it in a shell, and a strap attaches everything to your wrist.

Very simple!

Now that you know about the basic construction pay attention to these factors –

  • Type of Movement – It can be either mechanical or quartz. A better movement ensures more functionality and accuracy.
  • Case Size and Material – The size of the case should complement your wrist. Also, the material of the case is crucial as it determines the durability and craftsmanship of the case.
  • Dial Style – This is completely dependent on your taste and choice. It should resemble with personality.
  • Strap Material – Typically, a strap is made of leather, nylon/fabric, or metal. Each of the materials has its own pros and cons and different use cases. Identify your usage style and choose a strap that suits your usage style.

More: How Does a Kinetic Watch Work? – COMPLETE GUIDE

Citizen Promaster Diver Review: Features & Benefits

Let’s take a closer look at some of the core features of Citizen Promaster Diver –

Movement

Movement

Citizen uses their Caliber no. E168 in the Promaster Diver BN0150-28E. On a technical level, this is a three-hand quartz movement with a date display.

But don’t make the mistake of considering it as a typical quartz watch — it’s much superior!

First of all, this movement comes with Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive technology. That means it can use any kind of light to charge the battery. It’s an upgraded version of the solar-powered movements.

More: TRIWA Watches Review: The Disruptive Swedish Brand

For example, under a fluorescent light (3,000 lux), it only needs 40 minutes to gather the energy for one-day usage. Also, on a sunny day, it takes only 11 hours to charge an empty battery fully. Once the battery is fully charged, it’ll last for about 6 months. So, you see, despite being a quartz movement, it’s free from the biggest (or maybe the only one) disadvantage.

The E168 is quite accurate, too — in a normal temperature range (5°C to 35°C), it offers ±15sec/month accuracy. For a budget watch, such level accuracy is surely praiseworthy.

Additional features like battery warning, quick start, and overcharge protection also come in handy.

Overall, E168 is an exceptionally great movement with almost zero negativity.

Case

Case

Promaster Diver is a sturdy beast!

The case is made of stainless steel that has a brushed finish. If you’re still skeptical about the durability and reliability, you should understand that the water-resistance of Promaster Diver is ISO-compliant.

The ratchet-style rotating bezel helps you track the elapsed time underwater with much ease. The Promaster crown is also impressive both in terms of looks and functionality.

However, do NOT fiddle with the crown underwater or with wet fingers. If you do so, water might enter the case and compromise the water resistance.  

 As for the size, the case has a diameter of 44mm. The size is as standard as it gets. It doesn’t matter whether you have a thick or thin wrist — it should fit your wrist perfectly.

However, Citizen disappointed me with the choice of crystal. This watch comes with Citizen’s standard anti-reflective mineral crystal. The crystal is okay-ish, but nothing can match the durability of the sapphire crystals.

I would overlook it considering the price.

Still, if the crystal bothers you too much, you can always replace the crystal.

More: Best Cheap Automatic Watch On The Market [Review + Buying Guide]

Dial

Dial

Citizen has carefully designed the dial. The markers are large and follow the dot-and-arrow design style.

This design helps to track time even in extreme low-light conditions. Also, the hands and markers have lume on them so that you can comfortably check the time in the depths of the ocean!

Most of the users have complimented the straightforward and functional design principles of Promaster Diver.

Bracelet

Bracelet

A good dive watch should come with a dependable strap that is not afraid of getting wet. That’s why you shouldn’t expect leather or metal straps in a dive watch.

Nylon straps are quite good, but it can also annoy you with the ‘wet’ grip onto your wrist.

So, what’s the best option?

Silicone or polyurethane (PU)!

The good news is that Citizen Promaster Diver comes with a PU strap — a perfect option for a dive watch.

Also, the tang-and-buckle style clasp is a great match with the PU strap.

More: Best Watch for Basic Training: The Ultimate Showdown of Tough Watches

Product Specifications and What to Expect?

Feature Type Seiko SNZH53 What to Expect?
Movement Quartz (Eco-Drive) A dependable movement that uses any kind of light to power the battery
Caliber No. E168 Superior accuracy of ±15sec/month
 Case and Bezel Material Stainless Steel Very sturdy, can withstand the toll of regular usage. Silver-tone color complexion offers better design
 Case size 44mm Diameter and12mm Thickness Suitable for both thin and thick wrists, you can find your suitable size option
 Band Width 20mm Standard size, the strap can be replaced with aftermarket custom straps
 Band Material PU Waterproof and sturdy
 Water-Resistance 200m/660ft. (ISO Standard Compliant) Superior WR performance, suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving
 Dial Protection Anti-Reflective Mineral Crystal Above-average durability but the anti-reflective feature is quite desirable
 Weight 155 Grams (5.46oz.) Lightweight and comfortable to wear
 Luminosity Hands and Markers Great visibility, even in underwater

Social Proof: What Other Customer Says?

Citizen Promaster Diver is a very popular option among users and watch lovers. There is hardly any negative review of the watch online.

See for yourself –

Social Proof 1
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Social Proof 4
Social Proof 5
Social Proof 6
Social Proof 7
Social Proof 8

Best Alternatives to the Citizen Promaster Diver

Due to the pricing, there are some great alternatives to this watch in this price bracket. All of the following watches share the same ideology — offering the highest value and functionality.

You certainly can’t go wrong with any of these watches –

Seiko SKX007

Seiko SKX007

When we are discussing the alternative to a Citizen watch, Seiko is a name that was sure to come. After all, Seiko is the biggest competitor of Citizen.

Both of these brands are renowned all over the world for the uncompromising build and value proposition.

Seiko SKX007 is a direct competitor of the Promaster Diver. Both of the watches even look awfully similar.

However, SKX007 is an automatic watch with the famous 7S26 caliber from Seiko. Due to this ‘upgrade,’ SKX007 is a bit expensive.

Factors Citizen Promaster Diver Seiko SKX007
 Movement Quartz (Eco-Drive) Automatic Mechanical
 Caliber E168 7S26
Case Size 44mm 44mm
 Band Size  20mm 22mm
 Case Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Band Material PU PU
 Water Resistance 200m. 200m. 
Weight 155 grams 155 grams
Crystal  Mineral Mineral

Seiko Prospex

Seiko Prospex

Just like the previous option, Seiko Prospex Diver is also another automatic mechanical watch. However, this one comes with a much superior caliber that offers both hacking and manual winding.

Design principle takes the same road, and all of the three watches look very similar with some minor changes.

However, when it comes to pricing, Citizen seems to be the clear winner with a much impressive price point.

More: Check our guide to Casio F 91W Review here

Factors Citizen Promaster Diver Seiko Prospex
 Movement Quartz (Eco-Drive) Automatic Mechanical
 Caliber E168 4R36
Case Size 44mm 45mm
 Band Size  20mm 22mm
 Case Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Band Material PU Silicone
 Water Resistance 200m. 200m. 
Weight 155 grams 181 grams
Crystal  Mineral Hardlex

Casio Duro

Casio Duro

One thing is for sure — the price of Casio Duro WILL drop your jaw!

Yes, Casio Duro is indeed a league behind the three watches that I’ve discussed. However, all of them look the same, and this watch costs the only fraction of the others!

If you’re looking for a budget version of the Citizen Promaster Diver, Casio Duro is your go-to option!

Check our Review to Casio Duro

Factors Citizen Promaster Diver Casio Duro
 Movement Quartz (Eco-Drive) Quartz
 Caliber E168 MDV106
Case Size 44mm 44mm
 Band Size  20mm 20mm
 Case Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Band Material PU Resin
 Water Resistance 200m. 200m. 
Weight 155 grams 81 grams
Crystal  Mineral Mineral

Conclusion

Citizen Promaster Diver is truly an astonishing watch — very few watches can match this watch, especially at this price point.

This watch is a complete all-rounder for a diver. Also, this is one of the watches in the market that has ISO certified water resistance and good enough to take the toll of scuba diving.

If you have any question regarding this watch, feel free to shoot it in the comment section!

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