Citizen's New 'Ecozilla' Watches Are the Kinds of Monsters We Can All Love
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Japanese watch brand Citizen just added two chunky new divers to its popular Eco-Drive Promaster 300M range. Available—while stocks last—in stainless steel with a blue dial and bright yellow strap or black DLC-coated stainless steel with an olive green dial and matching strap, the Promaster "Ecozilla," as fans call it, is a watch that delivers serious professional performance. Aside from 300 meters of water resistance, its steel case is constructed to protect against shocks and magnetism, while the polyurethane straps have built-in extenders so you can wear them over a dive suit. The unidirectional bezel has to be depressed to turn it, adding a handy safety feature that's rare at this price range. If this all sounds a bit macho-serious, this is also a fun watch in these new colorways, and at 48mm in diameter it's hardly something that will hide its light under a bushel. (It's worth noting that the lugless design means it wears a little smaller than it sounds.)
Eco-Drive, the handy proprietary technology that powers many Citizen watches via solar energy absorbed through the dial, has been a pillar of Citizen since the mid-1970s—and it's a pretty big deal. Much like self-winding movements freed mechanical watch wearers from hand-winding their timepieces, Eco-Drive freed quartz watches from the hassle of switching out batteries.
From that starting point, just a few years into the quartz era, Citizen has maintained more or less continuous product development to improve both the power reserve and the efficiency of the solar sensor, even in low-light conditions. Functionally, that means the Ecozilla can run for up to six months on a full charge, and is accurate to an impressive +/- 15 seconds per month. Aesthetically, you wouldn't know it's an Eco-Drive watch without reading the dial; one of the biggest developments since the early days is that Citizen has made its photovoltaic cell function invisibly behind the dial.
All told, the Ecozilla is a big, bold statement watch with a lot of useful stuff under the hood that will also add some color to your wrist come spring. It won't break the bank in the process, either. So even with its (slightly) scary name, there's a lot to love.
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