Citizen first started the Promaster line of watches back in 1989 and in this range the Altichron became one of the flagship models. The Altichron has now been updated with the introduction of the new Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus model. So far this will be the most technically sophisticated Altichron on the market until now with a compass and the capability of measuring altitude as high as Mount Everest with its analog altimeter. As well as time the measurements of depth, height and direction are instantly accessible through the push of a button. Multilayer hands and dial which have been colour coded are used in its design and intended to make access and reading of this information easier, with familiarity this also helps the user speedily and easily bring up the information they need.
Citizen Promaster Eco-drive Altichron Cirrus – Movement
One reason this Altichron model is so advanced is that powered by the Eco Drive J280 movement and features a compass and an altimeter with sensors for them built into the case giving it the capability to provide precise measurements for current depth, height and direction no matter where in the world the wearer is. It is capable of reading as low as 300 meters below sea level and up to as high as 10,000 meters.
To activate the altimeter the lower left button is pushed, this is signified by the yellow ring around the button which matches the yellow of the altimeter hands. This button is pushed again to turn off the altimeter function although it will switch off automatically after 12 hours. For the US market altimeter readings are given in feet so the highest reading would equate to the 33,000 feet for Everest.
The compass can be used simultaneously as the altimeter and is activated by the right button. The orange hand is used to indicate magnetic north and its best to keep the watch level in order to get an accurate reading. The compass function operates for 30 seconds before it automatically shuts off.
By the unscrewing the upper right crown the inner bezel can be rotated and this can be used to by putting the arrow at your 1st altitude measurement as reference and checking the difference as your altitude changes. This inner bezel can also be used for compass bearings.
Citizen Promaster Eco-drive Altichron Cirrus – Case
The name Cirrus is derived from a type of cloud and apparently the case design also draws inspiration from this. It measures 51.1 mm in diameter and is made of titanium so despite its hefty size it’s not heavy and this should help make it more comfortable to wear. The case has been coated with Citizens proprietary Duratect, this is a clear coating that makes the watch case 3-4 times harder than it usually would be. The watch comes on a strap made from Citizen’s new liquid rubber and is available with either polished or matte titanium case.
Citizen Promaster Eco-drive Altichron Cirrus – Dial
The dial is rather impressive and all functions are displayed using an analogue style rather than the digital one that you would typically expect for a multi-function watch of this sort.
Rendered in matt black and protected by an anti reflective sapphire crystal it features luminescent white hour markers with a date aperture sits at the 3’0 clock position. According to Citizen the dial is designed to enhance the three dimensional depth of the piece and the floating indexes, hands and dial are all positioned to resemble the earth and sky.
For altimeter readings measurements in 10,000 feet increments are taken using the 9 o’clock sub dial while the orange hand reads 1000’s of feet and the yellow tipped hand is used for reading 25ft increments. Apart from activating the funtions the buttons are also used to calibrate the watch’s complications.
Citizen Promaster Eco-drive Altichron Cirrus – Price and Conclusion
The multilayer dial of this new Altichron Cirrus is simply mesmerizing and brimming with technical data making for an extremely dynamic ensemble that is artfully touched with its colour coded nuances. The analog display does away with any time wasted “flipping” through the numerous screens typically found on the LCD-base navigational watches and looks striking, all in all an impressive ‘tool’ watch the Citizen Promaster Eco-drive Altichron Cirrus retails for $550.