Ever since Citizen updated their iconic “Fugu” diving watch from 1989, with subtle design tweaks in 2018, it has steadily become a fan favourite in the brand’s line-up, a testament to the importance of the original in the brand’s history as well as its relative affordability.
It has helped that Citizen has along the way, introduced a number of variations to the original design, with various dial and bezel options, and even a black coated titanium cased with bracelet variation.
The basic ingredients to the “Fugu” watches have always been there – 200 metres of water resistance in compliance with the ISO 6425 standard for diving watches, newly designed hour markers that were introduced in 2018, as well as the unique bezel with serrated teeth for easy gripping in wet conditions which was the basis for the series nickname – “Fugu”, given by fans of the original 1989 watch.
Incidentally, “Fugu”, means “Pufferfish” in Japanese, and if you look at the bezel with this in mind, you might be able to see how the nickname has come about. A key design feature of the recent generation of watches relates to this point – there is an engraving of a “Fugu”, or Japanese for “pufferfish”, on the case-back.
This year’s new Promaster NY013 has the same new generation 44mm case that was first introduced last year with the Promaster NY011 series, as well as a sapphire crystal. Previous to this, the Fugu watches were only available in 40mm with a mineral crystal.
Another subtle upgrade comes in the form of a brand new movement, the Cal.8204, that adds a hacking function over the previous Cal.8203. This is a feature that should please fans of the series as well, as it is a somewhat “premium” feature that has been missing from the more affordable end of the mechanical watch market.
While there are a number of non-coated stainless steel options on bracelets offered this year, these two models, with Black-Ion Plating on a polyurethane strap are the limited edition options that should prove the most popular for fans.
There are two dial variations offered, one with a black dial and the other with a fully lumed dial. It’s nice to see the latter variation. Citizen is one of the new brands that has always offered a fully lumed dial option in the Fugu series, and this has always been the case even with the original version.
Unlike a typical application of lume on the hands and hour markers, the lume is applied on the entire area of the dial. This contrasts with the normally lumed hands and hour markers, and is immensely more readable in the dark than the former method. With more luminescent material comes the ability of the watch to store more energy and so remain readable in the dark for linger.
Being limited edition models (to 1989 pieces in remembrance of the year of the original’s introduction), each piece is engraved with its own series number and comes with an individual certificate card that comes in the same box as a golden commemorative coin. The watch itself is presented in a special box in the shape of a diving oxygen cylinder that is Gray in colour for a stealth look.
Movement: Calibre 8204, automatic 40 hour power reserve
Case: 44mm wide, 200 meters water resistance, stainless steel Black Ion plated.
Strap: Polyurethane with accessory diver extension.
Limited: 1989 pieces for each dial variation.