The Citizen Promaster series of watches turns 35 this year, and it's kicking off celebrations this month with the launch of a new mechanical GMT model. Promasters come from one of three families—Marine, Land, or Sky. For this anniversary release, the Japanese watchmaker has turned its attention to the air.
A 35th anniversary might seem like a bit of a forced celebration—nothing about 35 makes most of us particularly excited—but the brand itself can celebrate a history stretching back 100 years. In 1924, founder Kamekichi Yamazaki set up the Shokosha Watch School outside of Tokyo (though the brand’s name actually extends back to 1918 in Switzerland). Thus began Japan’s foray into the watch world, previously dominated by Europe.
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The Citizen Promaster series was built, as the brand states, "to meet the demands of professionals working in challenging environments." A long line of sport-oriented watches would follow—including Japan's first fully-waterproof wristwatch, debuting in 1959.
The Sky series is made up of pilot watches, and this latest release includes a new mechanical GMT—a first for the line. The addition of the 24-hour hand allows the watch to display time in two different time zones simultaneously, adding to its traveler-oriented ethos.
Specs-wise, the new Citizen Promaster Mechanical GMT (models NB6046-59E and NB6045-51H) falls slightly on the big-boned side at 44.5mm wide and 12.7mm thick. This adds to the watch's rugged appeal, as does the stainless steel strap.
The new model also goes the extra mile to ensure we know that it's a pilot watch—and thus inspired by those who make the sky their home. The connection between the case and strap is inspired by air flowing over the cross-section of an aircraft wing, while the case back is engraved with an image of a flight helmet.
Function-wise, the movement has magnetic resistance to maintain the accuracy of the watch by reducing the effects of magnetic fields produced by smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices. It has a running time of about 50 hours.