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A Beginner’s Guide to Every Citizen Watch

Citizen Watch Collection Guide

Citizen are without question one of the most prolific watch brands in the world, producing a vast array of timepieces in an equally vast range of styles. From the sporty and cool Tsuyosa to the action and adventure ready Promaster, there’s a lot to take in here. As a short disclaimer, Citizen produce so many watches that there will almost certainly be a few obscure references which you may love but that we don’t mention explicitly – so if there are any models or sub-collections you think deserve a mention, sound off in the comments at the bottom of this guide to every Citizen watch.

Tsuyosa

Citizen NJ0150 Tsuyosa Series

The Tsuyosa was initially released exclusively in Asia before its immense success led to a global release in 2023. It landed in the UK and USA at the perfect time, right at the height of interest in steel sports watches with integrated bracelets. The core model has a 40mm diameter case with facetted lugs leading into a three-link steel bracelet.

However, the signature aspect that makes the collection so popular is the combination of incredibly vibrant and colourful dials (the yellow is a particular highlight) as well as accessible automatic movements. As far as value propositions are concerned, the Tsuyosa is right up there with the best.

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Citizen

Citizen Limited Edition Washi Paper Dial AQ4100-65W

Next is the somewhat confusingly named Citizen Citizen (the model has the same name as the brand), which is actually one of their coolest. It’s the collection where Citizen explore traditional Japanese craftsmanship with washi paper dials and intricate patterned displays. It also happens to be one of the most restrained and subtle designs from a brand who typically go over the top with subdials and distracting elements.

Interestingly, the Citizen watch concept has found its way into other collections as well, with a notable one being the Citizen Series 8 from 2021 that bridged the gap between the Citizen collection and the Series 8 collection. Speaking of which…

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Series 8

Citizen Series 8 880 Mechanical GMT

The Series 8 bears a certain degree of similarity to the Tsuyosa in that both models are inspired by integrated bracelet sports watches. However, the Series 8 doubles down on this by featuring more overt Gerald Genta influence. Specifically, the octagonal bezel of the automatic bears a strong resemblance to the Royal Oak. Although there are also models that pay tribute to other sports watches like the Hublot Big Bang and Zenith Defy.

Importantly, it’s one of Citizen’s exclusively mechanical ranges, featuring automatic movements like the 0954 GMT and 9051 time and date. It elevates the collection to one of the coolest and most collectable that Citizen produce.

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Promaster Diver

Citizen Promaster Mechanical Diver 200m 35th Anniversary Limited Edition

One of the most expansive collections in Citizen’s impressive repertoire is the Promaster Diver, which could feasibly be split into multiple sub-categories. You have the Promaster Diver Automatic Super Titanium, which follows the traditional dive watch aesthetic established by brands like Rolex in the late 50s and 60s. Then there are models like the Ecozilla that are modern and bold, as is the so-called Orca with its uniquely patterned dial.

Focussing in on the Promaster Diver Automatic Super Titanium, it’s based on the 1977 Challenge Diver. The Challenge Diver is connected to a famous story within Citizen folklore, as in 1983 a Challenge Diver was discovered on a beach in Australia covered in barnacles, having spent a long time submerged in the Pacific Ocean, still operational.

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Promaster Tough

Citizen Promaster Tough

The Promaster Tough is Citizen’s answer to the field watch, an all-purpose adventure watch that can go anywhere and survive almost anything. It has a 41mm diameter case in Citizen’s Super Titanium, which is their proprietary titanium with super hard coating for increased scratch resistance. Robust and rugged with 300m water resistance.

Aesthetically, the display is all about being hyper legible. Oversize Arabic numerals make it easy to read and the presence of lume on the hands and markers mean you can also read it in low light conditions. Those markings are set against a monocolour dial in a variety of traditional adventure colours such as black, blue and green.

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Promaster Air

Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A.T

When it comes to aviation instruments, Citizen take things seriously. Which means that while we might enjoy the aesthetic of mechanical, analogue watches more, quartz watches with digital display elements are far more practical. Enter the Promaster Skyhawk A.T, an advanced timepiece with atomic clock synchronisation with time adjustment in 43 cities, a 1/100th of a second chronograph, a calendar, a dual time display, two alarms and a 99-minute countdown timer.

The Skyhawk isn’t Citizen’s only pilot’s watch though, as they also produce the Navihawk and the Promaster Air Automatic GMT, which feature more traditional analogue displays and in some cases, mechanical movements.

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Red Arrows

Citizen Red Arrows Chronograph

The Red Arrows is technically more of a subcollection than a fully-fledged collection in its own right as it consists of models found in other ranges. However, they feel unique and stand out due to their connection to the British aerobatics display team (although these days Breitling is their official watch partner). Each of the designs feature the RAF team’s logo on their dials and display the signature colours in some manner. For the Red Arrows Chronograph, that means red accents on the chronograph subdials and minute scale.

As most of the models here are drawn from the Promaster Air, you’ll find that they all feature Eco-drive movements, which is Citizen’s take on solar-powered quartz (hence, eco). Precision and accuracy are of vital importance when flying wing tip to wing tip with your teammates.

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Attesa

Citizen Attesa UNITE with BLUE Limited Edition AT8188-64L CB0215-18L

That brings us to the Attesa, one of Citizen’s sportier models, built with performance in mind. Introduced in 1987, it was an early adopter of titanium as a premium watchmaking material. Utilising the metal’s lightweight and high density to create a strong and durable case that is comfortable day in and day out. It’s also a very versatile collection housing eco-drive chronograph movements, calendars and most recently a world time variant.

The world timer has a 41mm diameter case in black ion plated Super Titanium with 100m water resistance. The dial is relatively understated with wedge-shaped hour markers and orange accents. Around the bezel are the acronyms of famous cities from around the world, allowing you to keep track of the time in every time zone simultaneously.

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Classic Eco-Drive

Citizen Classic Eco-Drive

One of the largest and most diverse collections in Citizen’s oeuvre is the Classic Eco-Drive. This is a collective name for dozens of hyper accessible eco-drive watches with designs that fluctuate between chronographs, dress-style pieces and daily beaters. These are bread and butter watches that appeal to a mass market. Eco-Drive watches typically feature translucent dials that allow light to pass through their surface, charging the solar-powered quartz movement inside. In this manner, their power reserve is theoretically limitless so long as they are exposed to light regularly.

You could also include the dedicated women’s collections such as Diamond and Crystal within this category, as they too are classically styled eco-drive watches, simply with a feminine slant to their design.

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