Citizen Promaster PMX56-2811
Lug width: 20mm
Weight (with bracelet): 103g
WR rating: 200m
End links: Solid
Retail price (Japan): 42,000 yen (Japanese market only)
I wasn't in the market for another Citizen. I was looking through watchrecon.com at a few of my dream watches- Triple 6 Seadwellers and Omega Seamasters. A Citizen PMX56-2811 on the front page caught my eye right off the bat. The seller was a WUS member, "naihet" (Ian). I've only been a WUS member since the fall of 2011 and have made just a posts since that time. The watch looked so nice I decided I had to get it. I'd recently lost a very nice titanium Ecodrive (BL5250-53L) and I figured, "why not replace it with this model?" 360.00 USD for a NIB watch currently retailing for about 538.00 USD seemed like a good deal. The Mrs. said to go for it, so I took action.
This was my first ever watch purchase through a forum, and at the same time, dealing with a seller from overseas (Australia). So of course I was a bit nervous. I read all sorts of horror stories of deals like this going bad. Money and I are hard to part, but the seller had numerous WUS posts and had sold a few watches as well. After exchanging a few messages, I felt much more comfortable dealing with him than any prior Ebay purchase I've made. A couple weeks later it arrived. As described by Ian, it was perfect. It was no different than if I had actually walked out the local Citizen AD with it; It could easily have been described as 100%. Definitely no different than getting a brand new watch.
I had it sized the next day. This particular watch does not have a micro-adjusting buckle, so the watch was either a bit too loose, or a "wee bit" tight. I left it on the loose size and a week later it occurred to me that the watch has an actual diver extension. So I went back to the watch shop and had them remove the extra link. The watch may fit just a bit snug, but I can let out the extension one notch and the fit is perfect. Today the weather is cool and damp, so it actually feels great with the extension closed up. This feature will work out perfectly, even though I'm not a diver.
Diver extension fully openDiver extension closed
My initial impression of the watch is it's very handsome and well made. This is a very different type of titanium than my other two (much older) titanium Citizens, and a very different watch altogether than any other Citizen I own (I have four others). It seems to be a step up in quality from my other watches and appears like there was extra time spent in finishing and polishing. The PMX is finished in "Duratect" and is supposed to add extra scratch resistance [ref: Citizen Watches Co Ltd / What is Duratect ]. Although older versions of this watch were labeled "Duratect" under the case, the labeling is no longer done.
Closeup highlighting crown detail, and a fingerprint (arrgh)Another close up of crown detail.
The bracelet and case are also much brighter than the grayish finish I've noticed on other titanium watches, to the point where it looks like a stainless steel watch and bracelet. It has a one piece case (no caseback) so everything is accessed through the top in the event something goes wrong or for service. I doubt if the typical wearer will ever attempt to dive inside (including me). And seeing how it does not use a replaceable battery, there is likely no need to have easy access through the back. This may also play a part in aiding water-tight integrity, with one less seal to fail.
Backside of the case.
The crown is nicely done with a Citizen logo over a matte finish. A raised area surrounding the crown is polished as well, giving the piece a nice look. This is a detail I did not notice at all until I was taking pics for the review. The sides of the case and bracelet have polished sides and sets the watch off nicely.
polished sides of the case contrast well with the unpolished portions
The second hand lines up perfectly as far as I can tell. I watched it make a couple of minutes and it lined up consistently. My older Citizen quartz diver is a tad off at times. This one seems to be perfect. As for the bezel, it centers perfectly.
Everything lines up well
The dial does not have the "gridded" or "solar panel" look of the other Ecodrives I own. The dial is a matte black and has a numbered dial. The font used for the numbers is attractive and does not give it a busy or crowded look with the numbered bezel. In bright light at a certain angle, I can see a cross shape from the 12/6 and 9/3 direction. I suspect this is the solar collector or panel. Overall, this is a terrific looking watch.
I've worn the watch three or fours days since it arrived and it's very comfortable on the wrist. The screw-down crown is at the 3 o'clock position and may be an issue for some people, but I'm left handed and wear all my watches on the right wrist (yes, the correct one), so I never have an issue with crowns.
It is very light, just over 100g with the bracelet, and it's hard to feel the watch on your wrist. The bracelet uses solid end links but I'm not sure if the rest of the bracelet uses solid links. Someone on the WUS forum asked me about this, and I'm not really sure. All other reviews I've read have been very positive regarding bracelet quality. The bracelet locks up very tightly and has a good locking clasp to hold it all together.
I can't imagine how much lighter this watch would be if the bracelet was swapped out for a NATO/ZULU or RAF style strap. As a matter of fact, if I ever deploy and actually bring this watch with me, I'll likely do this, giving me a little extra security in preventing it from falling overboard if hit hard enough. This happened to me before and I finally realized the usefulness of these one piece straps.
One warning-- if you adjust the bracelet yourself, be very careful when removing the link pins. The pins slips through a very small additional piece- a friction type collar- that slips into the middle link section and is very small (and easily lost if you aren't aware it's there). Without the collar the pin will not stay in place. If you do lose it, local jewelers or watch repair shops should have one that fits. My local shop had many in various sizes.
The bezel is a 60 click type. It doesn't click as loud as my Citizen BN0000-04H Diver; it's more of a muted click. The first day I had the watch the bezel was difficult to turn and seemed to stick in places and nearly lock up in a couple of areas while turning it. I thought there may be something caught under the bezel, so I dropped in a couple drops of a very lightweight lubricant and worked the bezel for a long time. This appeared to do the trick; It's turning much better, with no sticking points. It's still snug and is not easy to move accidentally.
The hands and numerals have a bluish lume and glow brightly. The 12 o'clock part of the bezel is a small dot which glows green. One nit pick is the second hand. The lume is applied to the opposite side of where the seconds are pointing. I'd prefer to see the lume on the front end, but as I said, I'm nit picking here. I have two other Citizens with the same second hand lume pattern (the BL5250 and my oldest titanium Citizen, 7875-H04945).
I've also read of people criticizing the lack of a micro adjustment on the clasp, but I don't know if they've thought about actually using the diver extension for minor adjusting in day to day use. The diver extension has 4 adjustment lengths- each at about half the length of a link. This works out nice for fine tuning the fit.
Bracelet being worn with the diver extension let out "one notch."
I set the watch to GPS time the day it arrived. After a week, it was still on the second. My other Ecodrives run about a second fast per week. This one seems to be very much on the mark. I'll check it continually over the next couple of weeks but I suspect it will be only a couple seconds off this month. I need an accurate watch because of the type of work I do and Ecodrives perform far better than Citizen advertises them to be (+/- 15 seconds per month).
A nice thing about having a Japan Market Only watch is knowing you'll likely not encounter someone else having one here in the US. It's
like having a "one of a kind model." There's a second style available for the same price (PMX56-2812) and is a bit more colorful and sportier in appearance.
I hope this review was able to describe the watch in enough detail to spark some interest in getting one for yourself. So far, I'm more than satisfied with the purchase. I really love this watch and have had numerous compliments from coworkers. My wife loves it as well.
Some of you may have noticed the date is off by a day on the watches. I didn't want to fix the date on the PMX until I finished my one month comparison to GPS time.
Photos taken with Motorola Droid Razr.