Citizen’s Promaster series is legendary. This solar-powered diver has been featured not once, but twice on GearJunkie. So, when the makers of this fan favorite announced that the latest model had sprouted legs and climbed out of the sea, we were immediately intrigued.
Meet the Promaster Land, a real 4×4 of a watch featuring Citizen’s techno-wizard E660 EcoDrive movement. According to the company’s website, this $460 timepiece “is perfect for high-speed adventurers and has all the tools for the toughest terrain.”
The Land covered a lot of ground in its week-long stay aboard my wrist, from subzero temperatures to several days’ worth of travel. But did it live up to the Promaster pedigree? Read on to find out.
Citizen Promaster Land Watch Review
Let’s start with the most striking feature of this watch, the green dial. While this iteration of the Promaster is available in black, it is called the “Land,” after all.
The particular shade is closer to forest than olive and feels perfectly at home out in the woods. The placement of its three sub-dials (24-hour time, mode select, and chrono) feels sensible, as does the date window. Yes, it appears a little busy at first. But once you’ve worn it for more than an hour or so, even a cursory glance allows you to pick out the proper time.
Let’s quickly cover the hands and lume. I can’t decide whether I’m a fan of the triton counterweight on the second hand, though it’s inoffensive at worst. But what I do enjoy are the simple hour and minutes, as well as the bright gobs of glow-in-the-dark compound that’s been painted across them. These, along with the indices, illuminated my bedside table all through the night.
Above all this utility rests a sapphire crystal. It’s slightly domed, giving the Land a different feel from its flat-topped, ocean-dwelling counterparts.
This is an excellent step up from acrylic or mineral crystals, offering reduced reflectivity and excellent scratch resistance. At this price point, sapphire should really be a given. (Looking at you, Seiko.)
With its stainless steel chassis and bracelet, the Promaster Land is no lightweight. The case itself measures 45 mm, with a solid case back that brings the water resistance to 200 m.
While this figure is identical to its aquatic cousins, I’m vaguely skeptical. That’s because, unlike my standard Promaster, the Land eschews a screw-down crown in favor of a simple push-in affair. And the same goes for the two buttons on the right side.
I’m not saying that Citizen’s number is inflated, but I am curious how the brand did it. Even if it’s slightly under the advertised figure, I have no doubt that it will survive trips to the beach. Just don’t work the buttons while you’re underwater.
Despite its footprint, the Land rests comfortably on the medium-size real estate of my wrist. If I have a problem here, it’s with the bracelet.
On its own, the metallic construction and clasp are just fine. My nitpick comes with the adjustment process. Its pin-and-collar system is difficult to adjust at home, even if you pony up for the specialized tools.
More often than not, you’ll be best served getting the main fitting from a jeweler, and then using a pin to move it across the clasp’s micro-adjust holes should you need to make small corrections.
The coolest feature of this watch, by far, is the atomic timekeeping. Thanks to an onboard receiver, the Promaster Land reaches out each day for a signal from one of the world’s atomic clock stations.
You can check to see if your particular model has synced successfully simply by pressing the button on the lower right. If the second hand snaps to “OK” (1:00 position), then you’re good to go.
In the likely event that the hand swings over to “NO,” fear not. By holding down this same button for 5 seconds, you will trigger the manual sync. This usually takes a minute or so, after which the Land should grab the proper time.
If you’re in an area with high interference, this may take a couple of tries. But settle down; being a quartz watch, this will hold onto its accuracy for days or even weeks before you’re off by a remotely appreciable amount.
Beyond this, the E660 movement also offers an alarm, weekday indicator, battery meter, chronograph, and the ability to shift between 24 time zones.
And it wouldn’t be a Citizen would the requisite EcoDrive. This solar-powered component allows the Promaster Land to draw its energy from the sun, though indoor lights will also serve to top off the power cell.
After more than a week on the wrist, I can confidently say that the Promaster Land lives up to the hype. Its solid construction, excellent materials, and unique combo of sophistication and simplicity make this one of the more interesting timepieces I’ve seen from Citizen.
Yes, it’s a bit large, and the interface can appear intimidating at first. But once you’ve got the basics, the atomic timekeeping, sapphire crystal, and EcoDrive power make this an incredible one-stop option for outdoor enthusiasts.
In short, this watch should always be charged, accurate, and as ready for the elements as its wearer.