"Iconic timepiece" isn't a tagline you associate with every watch, but when you choose to do so with a particular timepiece, then there has to be something to it that is special. Indeed there are loads of things special about this legend of a timepiece, the Citizen Promaster Aqualand JP2000-08E. To geeks, I am going down a familiar path already. Still, since this article is for the reading pleasure of both old and new in the watch-making industry, I would mention every detail as though you are being introduced to it for the very first time.
Some Divers would be quick to place this watch on their Mount Rushmore of the most certified diver's watch, but Citizen as a brand maybe didn't anticipate this back in 1959, when they started dive-watch development with the Parawater- the first Japanese invented and produced water-resistant watch. The idea at the time was to contribute their quota to the dive-watch movement by playing their role as a pioneering watch-making brand and kickstarting the beginning of "Water Resistance," being a norm in all Citizen Watches. When they came in with the Promaster line in 1989, it is fair to say that they stirred up the entire scuba-diving scene.
The Citizen Parawater Circa 1959
Aqualand made its debut in 1985, and while it has gone on and evolved into a few different variations, such as the two-toned version and the popular FUGU with a black case, not a lot has changed in between these variations. The Aqualand happens to be the only one out of its inaugural trio of models (the other two being the Altrichon and the Promaster sky) to have remained relatively unchanged, but the one time it played host to a remarkable difference in its 37 years of existence was in 1996, when it had a change in module and platform, by relying on solely one battery.
The Citizen Aqualand back to 1985
This new module was the C520. With the C520, we witnessed a new watch with a new case back and an even more conventional outlook, but that hasn't been the only remarkable thing in the rich history of this Promaster series. Three years before marketing the Aqualand in 1982, Citizen rolled out The Citizen Professional series, a collection of watches forged out of titanium.
These professional divers watch was the third in a row of watches that had two other variants rated to depths of 1300m in 1982, 800m in 1984, and also 300m. This collection had massive growth and soon became the forerunner of the modern Promaster collection, the same way the first Promaster collection followed the antecedents of the Aqualand. The Citizen Professional, rated up to 1300m, set the tone for other dive watches at the time with its 1300 meters rating. While it packed a punch with its tough four-sided bezel shroud, its non-rusting titanium case was Citizen’s way of telling their counterparts that they had no intention of ceding their role as the torch bearers of diving watch technology.
Citizen Promaster Diver BN0228-06W 1300m titanium watches in 1982, the first titanium diver’s watch
The Aqualand emerging in 1985 only felt right after the exploits of the Citizen Professional series. Unique for its aesthetics, the watch rode on the back of its additional dive-related functions to become a beloved watch amongst watch lovers at the time. A look at the current Citizen Promaster Aqualand JP2000-08E reveals an instantly recognizable timepiece that was relatively unblemished for over three decades. There are now changes, though. The case back, crown and bezel have been slightly modified (even though not the most noticeable).
The current Citizen Promaster Aqualand JP2000-08E
One must remember that its dive-related functions made it popular and those features are still in play decades later. The hours, minutes, seconds, date, and day functions are quite standard, and in regular operation mode, the user can glide through these functions by nudging the set button. Pushing the bottom-left (mode) button helps to switch to the alarm function and the digital chronograph.
There are also the dive and warning functions; while on the wrist, the diver gets to see important data from their diving routines, such as data from last dives, actual dive depth, and more, by just pushing the top right button. But while you want to dive and enjoy your time in the water, this watch is committed to keeping you safe with its warning functions. The JP2000 C520's module has an alarm that warns you of potential dreadful speed levels. Sudden change in depth shows in the display, and the battery has a feature, the end-of-battery-life indicator, that advances the seconds hand once every two seconds.
Citizen Caliber C520 case back, Image Credit : CitizenPromaster @watchuseek
With the prices varying from 398 to 448 euros depending on which model you would like to cop, you get to part with a decent amount for an iconic timepiece. In terms of where to get it, we find it rather weird that it isn't on the UK, US, or other local official Citizen websites, but if you do have Italian or Spanish friends, you can ask for assistance as certain models/limited editions are available on their local websites, luckily.
Before I wrap this article up, I would like to mention this integral set of timepieces that plays a key part in the overall framework of the Promaster collection. These sets of watches account for mechanical diving watches that are all based on the original iconic 1989 model – the NY004. Fans of the original 1989 watch were quick to give it the nickname, Fugu – Japanese for "Pufferfish."
Citizen Promaster Fugu Series paired with FKM quick-release watch bands with raised center feature
These iconic watches embody the signature elements of Citizen watches - 200 meters of water resistance in compliance with the ISO 6425 standard for diving watches, effective hour markers that were first introduced in 2018, as well as the unique bezel with serrated teeth for easy gripping in wet conditions. You will know “Fugu” watches when you see them as the engraving of the Japanese Pufferfish is deftly placed on the case back of these watches.
Citizen Promaster Fugu Series paired Tropical-Style Pro FKM with quick-release watch bands
Written by Victor, images by Toni and others as noted
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