As my collection and experience with watches grow, I find myself drawn to either higher-end, or increasingly unique watches. One such line from the latter category is a squared-off Citizen diver that is available in a number of colors. I've had my eye on these since trying one on at Windup NY in 2022.
I couldn't find a universally accepted nickname for this watch, but I've seen it referred to as the "Beast," "Ashtray," "Ninja Turtle," and "Land Mine." Whatever it's people are calling it, it's a modern interpretation of an older Citizen reference, albeit with the crown on the right, and 200m (rather than 1300m) of water resistance.
Much of my collecting "career" has focused on Seikos, but I've been wanting to try out a Citizen diver for some time. Temptation finally got the best of me, and I purchased the green camo dial version, reference number BN0228-06W. I look forward to it being a fun summer watch to wear, especially with its solar-powered convenience.
The watch has a rugged and chunky look. The dark gray DLC application gives the titanium a pre-weathered look. Its sandblasted finish makes it interesting to touch, and like with my Sinn U1S, you immediately feel tougher when it's on your wrist. Citizen calls this coating Duratect and refers to the case material as Super Titanium. It feels like it should be very scratch-resistant, but time will tell.
I think it's more likely, however, that this watch would be cross-shopped against a Seiko Tuna. Maybe not the 1000m monocoque case Tuna, due to price, but rather something like an SRPE29 Safari Tuna. That watch is smaller but also has a darkened, shrouded case, and military-inspired colors.
Citizen BN0228-06W Details:
In indirect light, the translucent camo pattern covering the solar panel is subtle and looks mostly black. It does have a lot of green in it, however. The green also expands from the dial to chapter ring markers, and to the paint filling the numerals and hash marks on the black bezel insert.
Japanese divers typically use funky hands, and the BN0228 is no exception. Although not the most beautiful, they are easy to distinguish from each other, and the arrow minute hand is large and easy to read.
The seconds hand also uses a reverse lollipop design that is common on this style of watch. The newest lume dial version of this watch, BN0227-25X uses a cool orange minute hand to aid legibility, but I don't feel that would have looked as good on the green version.
While a sapphire crystal would be preferred, a mineral crystal is to be expected at this price. It does tend to show reflections, but it was still easy to read the time.
Wearing the Citizen BN0228-06W:
This is another one of those watches that wears better than expected if you can get past its dimensions on paper and visual heft. A titanium case makes it light and comfortable. Despite its 47mm width, a lack of lugs makes it only 45mm tall (a 2.5mm smaller lug-to-lug distance than a 39.5mm wide Zodiac SSW).
The large, knurled crown is easy to grip. Despite sticking out quite far, I never had discomfort with it contacting my hand.
The 60-click bezel has a chunky feeling with distinct clicks and minimal play. It reminds me of the U1 bezel but with quieter and smoother clicks.
The legibility is also quite good, as you'd expect of a tool diver. The dial is slightly busy due to its camo pattern and a bit small for the watch's size. But unlike the last camouflage watch that I reviewed, the Sinn U1 Camouflage, the Citizen has bright white hands and indices. The camo pattern is also fairly dark (impressive, since a solar panel is behind it). The result is great legibility during the day.
As I'm used to Seiko's fantastic Lumibrite lume, I wasn't sure what to expect with Citizen. Color me impressed, as the lume is quite bright and subjectively equal to some of the best Prospex watches that I've owned.
Citizen BN0228-06W Strap:
The green 24mm strap on the BN0228 is comfortable, and with its wave design, looks the part. A beefy-looking buckle in matching PVD titanium finishes off the package. Citizen describes it as polyurethane, but it feels similar to Seiko's recent silicone straps. It's soft and comfortable but feels a bit sticky. Like Seiko, it has metal sleeves around the spring bars, but unlike Seiko, Citizen thankfully doesn't use uncomfortable metal keepers.
A dive extension is also included.
But of course, I've been using it as an excuse to exercise a few StrapHabit 24mm rubber straps. I find that orange looks quite fun with the green dial, but other colors work well too. I like the way that the Smooth Rubber strap integrates with the lugless case
The idea of a tool watch with a solar-powered movement is growing on me. I love the idea of having something that is grab-and-go, and participating in its recharging while doing outdoor activities.
The E168 movement in the BN0228 should run for 6 months on a full charge. It is rated at +/- 15s/mo and features a low charge indicator.
It also features a white date wheel. It's not very well integrated, but I'll give it a pass since this is an affordable watch and nothing about it is elegant.
While it's certainly not going to appeal to everyone, the BN0228 scratched my itch for a fun new summer watch to wear. The utility of its solar movement is excellent, and I enjoy how it looks like nothing else.
It was an affordable way for me to try my first Citizen diver too. Hopefully, it won't be my last! The brand now has a number of compelling dive (and other) watches in its catalog, and I like the direction it's heading.
Name: Citizen Promaster Dive Super Titanium
Reference Number: BN0228-06W
Lug Width: 24mm
Movement: E168 Eco-Drive Quartz
Water Resistance: 200m
Power Reserve: 6 months
Bezel: 60-click, unidirectional
Shop Other Straps for the Citizen Promaster Dive Super Titanium BN0228-06W: