The first photos of Citizen’s latest addition to its Grand Touring range surfaced in spring 2014 and immediately generated quite a lot of interest among dive watch fans all over the world – which was totally understandable. After all, the watch is a bold (one might even say “chunky”) yet still somewhat elegant blue-dialed divers’ watch with an orange hand and an in-house caliber, produced by a company that can be considered a driving force not only in supplying scuba divers with (quartz) watches equipped with integrated depth meters, but in contemporary dive watches in general.
Furthermore, since more and more watch fans have started to understand and appreciate high-end Japanese watches over the years, potential buyers were not even too irritated by the new watch’s price tag of $1,195 for the stainless steel version (and $1,295.00 for the two-tone version with a black dial and rose-gold parts). Only two problems: the Citizen Grand Touring Sport appears to have not been intended specifically as a divers’ watch, and it seems to be targeted exclusively to the U.S. market (which is a only a problem if you do not live in the U.S., of course). Despite its looks, this new Citizen watch is not called a “Promaster” or “Aqualand” or even a “Diver.” Instead, it carries a name that seems to be inspired by motorsport rather than diving. Secondly, its massive metal bracelet does not come with a divers’ extension or safety clasp, which would make it rather difficult or even risky to wear during a dive. The elegant exhibition caseback also indicates that it was meant as more of a “desk diver,” and the lume is not as intense as one would normally expect on Citizen watches.
The bezel, large crown protector and the orange minute hand, however, would seem to indicate a rather action-oriented dive watch. And the red dots marking the first 15 minutes on the dial do not have any functional purpose at all. Still, we at DiveIntoWatches.com simply could not resist having one sent over to us in Switzerland, and so far have not regretted getting it. It is a substantial, great-looking diver with a beautiful sandwich dial (highlighted by the deep date window and the applied markers), and an overall quality that should not disappoint. What we personally did not like was the large, plastic ring around the 9012 caliber (based on the 9015 from Miyota) —when treated as a desk diver — and the missing safety clasp when treated as a dive watch. Here’s a piece of consumer advice: the one thing you should probably be most aware of if you are planning on purchasing a Citizen Grand Touring Sport, is that the cushion-shaped case measures a substantial 44 mm – quite the wrist presence, since the bezel is near as wide as the case. Considering the addition of the large crown guard to that, you’ll want to make sure that the total size is not going to be a problem.
Technical Data: Citizen Watch Company, Grand Touring Sport (NB1031-53L), 44-mm stainless steel case (excluding crown protector), screw-in crown, unidirectional bezel with 60 clicks, AR-coated sapphire crystal, exhibition caseback, 300-meter water resistance, Citizen Caliber 9012 (Miyota 9015).