|03-02-2010, 10:55 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Citizen Aqualand/Promaster Analog AL0000-04E 200m Diver's
Authored by: Claud
I am reviewing the Citizen Quartz Analog Aqualand model number AL0000-04E. This watch uses a Citizen quartz movement #5810.This is a professional diver’s watch designed with diving in mind. Inmy opinion this watch does a good job of being a diver’s watch as wellas a casual watch. I bought my example around three months ago off ofE-bay and have been wearing it almost every day since. Thus my exampleis a second hand with a simple but effective aftermarket rubber divestrap. My example is in good/very good condition with only slight wearand tear.
I used the watch only in dry weather conditions,not for diving. In this respect I used the watch for day-to-day use andfor sport, which I do three or four times a week. Thus I cannot and donot assess its diving capability. The watch ranges from around 450 to 500 Euros here in Europe.
Brand: Citizen Aqualand (part of the Promaster range)
Model number: AL0000-04E
Official additional names: along with the model number, the watch uses the name Aqualand which refers to Citizens professional range of dive watches. The watch also carries the Promastername which refers to Citizen’s range of professional-use watches. Acombination of the model number and/or Aqualand/Promaster is usuallyused.
The watchcase is 100% stainless steel and meets the full specifications forbeing a diver’s watch including: 200m water resistance (ISO/6425),rotating timing bezel and luminescence hands and markers. Additionalfeatures include a screw-down crown and screw-down case back, rubberdive strap, date indicator, a flat mineral glass and an electronicdepth meter (with an analog read-out). This watch was the first diver’swatch with an electronic depth meter which uses an analog read-out.
The movement is quartz and uses a quartz oscillator frequency of 32,768Hz. The accuracy is quoted as 15+/- a month by Citizen. I have testedthe accuracy and it comes within this figure. The movement comes with atwo-second low battery warning indicator. This means that when thebattery is low the second hand will move in two second intervals towarn the user. This is especially important in a dive watch as amalfunction underwater could be dangerous. The movement also has afour-second shock indicator. If the watch experiences an extreme shockthe second hand will move in four second intervals to warn the user.The watch can be reset and checked for damage should this occur.
This scenario should be rare as the quartz movement is of high quality.The manual states that the watch “will withstand the bumps and jarsnormally incurred in daily use and while playing such non-contactsports as golf and catchball. Dropping the watch on the floor orotherwise imparting severe shock to it may cause malfunctioning ordamage”. This suggests that the watch is more rugged than someautomatic divers where shocks (such as those produced when playinggolf) are not recommended. Additionally, “this watch is antimagnetic upto 60 gauss and not affected by the magnetic fields produced byordinary household electric appliances”. The watch is not, however,protected against strong magnetism and the watches’ functions may betemporarily affected.
I think the movement in this diver watch is very nice and of highquality compared to some of the other watches I have owned. Forexample, the second hand hits all the markers and the minute hand hasno noticeable movement “clicks”. Instead of the minute hand clickingaround the face 6 times per minute or so, the minute hand sweeps aroundand makes a high number of smaller movements. This gives the impressionof quality and I really appreciate this in a quartz movement.
The movement has a quick-set date and the date window appears at the 3o’clock position. The date is easy to set, however some may find thedate size on the small size. Citizen seems to incorporate the smallersize date window on many of their modern watches and I do not know why.For me the size was not a problem, but I think my eyes are still quitegood. The battery has a two year life when used under normal conditions(which includes X amount of divers per year). This means, should thiswatch be used under normal casual conditions I expect the battery tolast longer.
In general, the movement displays the high quality of the watch andhelps to justify the new price tag (400-500 Euros depending on thesource). I think having a high quality, rugged movement is important ona diver watch and this does a great job of doing this.
Case and bezel:
The entire case is stainless steel and incorporates screw-down crownand screw-down case-back, 3 additional buttons which work the divemeter and a rotating bezel with black painted numbers and markets and aluminescence dot at the 12 o’clock position. On the left of the watchis the depth meter sensor which protrudes from the case ever soslightly.
The case feels and looks high quality. It’s a thick piece of metal at14mm high, 47mm wide (including depth meter), and 46mm high (from topof the lugs to the bottom). The bezel diameter measures 41mm and thevisible face area measures 31mm (measurements made with a ruler). Theweight is 110g (quoted from the Internet) and the watch does wearslightly top-heavy, but this is expected from any diver watch with arubber band. The depth meter on the left is much smaller compared tothe older Citizen JP2000-08E Aqualand Classic and does not stick out,stick into the wrist or look strangely out of place on the watch. Thisis a great visual improvement I think and does not make the watch sotool-like. The lug-width is 21mm and the lugs are solid (not drilled).
The bezel has a very nice 60-click action. I would describe the actionas precise, sufficiently weighted with a nice feedback. The bezel hassix points to grip onto, which makes turning the bezel no problem atall. I really like the bezel action, for me it has a great balance ofresistance with positive almost “weighty” clicks, while not being soeasy to turn that you feel it may slip around when you don’t want itto. The numbers are clear but are prone to rubbing off after some yearsas they are only painted on. One can re-paint them with a steady handand some paint. The luminescence dot is not visible in my opinion, or Idid not notice it (but I did not make any efforts to notice it in mydaily wear). I really like the classic, proven appearance of the bezeland I think it is a design which will still look attractive for someyears to come. The bezel does have an ever-so-slight play in it andmakes a slight noise when the watch is swung around – which is thebezel touching the glass/case. I do not know if this is only my exampleor the model in general. This does not detract from the high qualityand feel of the bezel so I do not consider it to be a problem.
The screw down crown is one of the best I have used (even compared toother Citizen divers), it’s smooth, accurate and I never had the casewhere the threads misaligned slightly – something which happenedsometimes on other watches. The crown is not overly big or small but isjust a good size to use. The buttons have a quality feel and do notwobble around at all. I cannot comment on the screw-down case back as Ihave not opened the watch but it seems like it is of high quality.
In general the feeling of the case, buttons, crown and bezel is of verygood quality and one can tell this watch is well-made and made to takea beating. I would argue having so many buttons creates more weakpoints in the design, but these are necessary to work the depth meter.The crown fulfils the normal watch functions of time and dateadjustment.
The watch face is 31mm in diameter, which I think makes for a veryreadable size. Having a large watch with a small readable face areareally annoys me and I am glad Citizen designed the face to be largeenough to read easily.
The face is somewhat recessed down into the case, partly I assumebecause of the two additional hands required for the depth meter (morehands = more height when they are stacked on top of each other). Therecessed dial is not a problem and I never thought it an issue at all.Around the circumference of the watch face there are the white numbermarkers for the depth meter. These are well designed and easilyreadable. They are angled on a slope which leaves more room for theactual face area. They do not over-complicate the dial in any way. Thedepth meter and the depth scale are in meters only.
The face has luminescence hour markers on the face which are alsochromed. The hour, minute and second hands have luminescence and arealso chromed. The remaining hands are orange. The large orange hand(depth hand) has luminescence and is not chromed. The skinny orangehand (maximum depth hand) has no luminescence and is also not chromed.The smaller sub-dial (10cm increments in depth hand) at the 6 o’clockposition has no luminescence and is not chromed. The fact that thethree additional depth meter hands are not chromed, and the fact thatthey are orange is very important. Having the main hour, minute andsecond hand chromed and with white luminescence makes them much moreeasily distinguishable from the other depth meter hands. Personally Ido not like busy dials and for the first three weeks or so I wasconstantly confusing the hour and minute hands with the large orangedepth hand. This meant having to glance at the dial for that muchlonger to recognise the real reading. Personally this is annoying forme as I do not like busy dials but one does adjust and it becomeseasier. This would be my biggest complaint about the watch, but onecannot have an analog depth meter without the extra hands so one mustlive with it. After some time it becomes much easier and the chromehands really help.
The face is plain black/greyish with no special design – justfunctional and to-the-point. The luminescence is average, especiallycompared to my Seiko but does glow in the dark and lasts for prettymuch the whole night, although not amazingly brightly. It’s good enoughbut nothing great.
In general the watch face is well designed but somewhat busy with allthe extra hands and the sub-dial. If the depth meter is important tothe user then there is no getting around it. If the depth meter is notimportant and you do not like busy dials or do not like having to putup with that extra few split seconds to glance at the watch, or theoccasional confusion and second glance then I would recommend lookingat another watch. This is the biggest drawback of the analog depthmeter for me. Of course the benefit is the ability to display time,current depth reading and the maximum depth reading all simultaneously.
The glass is flat mineral glass and sits flush with the bezel. Ipersonally like this fact as I find flat glass much easier to read thandomed glass, especially when viewing from an angle. I am not sure ifthe glass has an anti-reflective coating but I never had any problemswith viewing the glass or any excessive reflections. In general I thinkthe glass is of a good quality and helps the watch take on the doublerole as diver’s tool and casual or sports watch.
The watch I have came with an aftermarket strap which probably costs10/15 Euros. I cannot imagine the original strap being much different,however, should the original strap not do the job well enough,replacements are relatively cheap. Since this is an expensive watch itwould be worth spending the money to get a strap the user is happywith. The lug width is 21mm so maybe a 20mm or a 22mm strap would fit(but I cannot guarantee this as I have never tried). I have a 20mmstrap on and it work just fine.
Special Features or Additional Complications:
The main special feature of this watch is the depth meter. Apart fromthis it’s pretty much a regular quartz dive watch. The maximum depththis watch records up to is 55 meters and measurements are taken everysecond. The depth functions are quite complicated and extensive so tomaster them one really needs to read the manual.
The depth features include two additional hands and one additionalsub-dial at the six o’clock position. The large orange hand is for thedepth reading in meters. The skinny orange hand is the maximum targetdepth and the small sub-dial shows the 10cm depth increments (for ahigher accuracy reading).
The watch has a dive alarm (not time alarm) integrated into it whichcan be set for the following functions. The user can set the maximumtarget depth required and the alarm will sound once this depth isreached. The alarm will also sound if the diver exceeds the maximumdepth at which the watch can take a reading (which is 55 meters). Thealarm will sound if the diver surfaces too quickly (to avoid “thebends”).
The watch also has the ability to save one set of recorded divedetails, which can be recalled. Starting a new dive will reset thisinformation, as will replacing the battery. Furthermore the manualstates the watch should be used as a back-up device to a dive computerand should not be solely relied upon as a dive meter. Should the watchmalfunction the watch will display a warning and lock-out, and thewatch must be reset.
Closing Opinions and Impressions:
Thank you for reading my review. My general impression is that this isa high quality watch – the movement and the build quality are among thebest I have seen on a diver. While this watch is primarily a diver toolI think it does a great job of being a casual/sport watch also.Personally I think it looks amazing, very sporty, very masculine andthe looks should not go out of fashion for some years yet.
In terms of practicality it’s a large watch with some weight to it,however it wears quite comfortably and does not look out of place evenon a smaller wrist (my wrist ranges from 6.5” to 6.75”). In thisrespect I think Citizen did a great job of creating a dive tool whichcan also look good in a casual setting. However, for a formal “shirtand tie” setting this is not the watch to wear.
My only complaints are the hands. While for a diver who needs theanalog diver meter the additional hands are imperative, for me thecasual/sport user, I found the additional hands slightly annoying andconfusing (but I am a strict minimalist and like really clean, plainfaces). Sometimes I would confuse the depth meter hand with theminute/hour hand for example and I prefer to have a quick-glance watchwhere I don’t have to think so much. Saying that, it does become easierand features like the chrome hands really help.
I think this watch would appeal to users who like the styling,ruggedness, build-quality and feel of the dive watch with quartzaccuracy. It would also appeal to divers who maybe want a diver toolthat can double up as a casual watch as well or just a solid divewatch. I hope this helps and makes an interesting read.
Feedback or additional comments welcome (if I have missed anything ormade a mistake just let me know). Also just PM me for any furtherquestions.
|10-10-2013, 01:56 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Like this one also
Have one a Depth sensor type but its missing it bezel part.
Only half a bezel right now, hopefully find a replacement
for it. its in top shape too, and working just fine also
but cant use yet so its in a box for now.
Hard to find they said. Has to be one some where hopefully.
Last edited by LongBike; 10-10-2013 at 01:59 PM.
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