Citizen Promaster Tough: A Guide to the Most Durable Sports Watches

The Citizen Promaster Tough collection is built to last and perform beyond expectations. This range is home to some of the sturdiest and most affordable timepieces in the industry today. Indeed, if taken care of properly, Citizen Promaster Tough watches could easily last you a lifetime despite their inexpensive prices. For this reason, the Citizen Promaster Tough is also known to be one of the brand’s most popular watch lines. In fact, two of the Citizen’s best-selling watches, the Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E and the Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E, can be found in this collection. 

Today, we will be walking you through the Citizen Promaster Tough, including its outstanding features, six of its best models, and everything they have to offer. Read on to find out how these watches compare against other famous Japanese brands like Seiko and Casio.

How Tough is the Citizen Promaster Tough

front view and features of Citizen Promaster Tough watch

As per its name, the Citizen Promaster Tough is a collection renowned for its highly durable watches. Non-chronograph models in the Citizen Promaster Tough line feature monocoque cases, which are two-piece constructions with no caseback at all. The cases are made of stainless steel, which provides maximum rigidity, anti-magnetism, and excellent shock resistance. The cases also have a Super Titanium™ coating that is five times harder than the usual stainless steel case, preventing the watch from accumulating rust and scratches over time. This coating is even hypoallergenic, so you will not have any problems wearing the Promaster Tough watches on your wrist for hours at a time.

Meanwhile, the chronograph pieces in the Citizen Promaster Tough collection are also resistant to magnetic fields and scratches. However, these watches instead feature ion-plated stainless steel cases with Duratect™ coating. This Duratect coating is known to be harder than stainless steel and has hypoallergenic properties to boot. Both the chronograph and non-chronograph models in the Promaster Tough line can be paired with two different straps. Wearers have a choice of a sleek stainless steel bracelet, or a hardy and comfortable CORDURA® ballistic fabric strap.

Finally, in terms of their technical specifications, all Citizen Promaster Tough watches are equipped with the brand’s famous Eco-Drive movement, which means they are all powered by light energy. As such, these Citizen Promaster Tough timepieces do not need any batteries and can function as long as they are exposed to any light source.

The Promaster Tough watches are also equipped with water resistance ratings of 200m. This allows the wearer to enjoy extreme water adventures without worrying too much about their Promaster Tough watch suffering water damage. Moreover, Super-LumiNova® coatings are placed on all the indices, hands, and hour markers, allowing for optimal visibility in low light conditions.

6 Best Citizen Promaster Tough Watches

We have curated a list of 6 of the best Citizen Promaster Tough models available. As befitting a watch from the Promaster Tough collection, all of these watches are remarkably durable and have highly legible, easy-to-use time displays. 

1. Citizen Promaster Tough Chronograph Ref. CA0727-04E Eco-Drive

front view of Citizen Promaster Tough Chronograph Ref. CA0727-04E Eco-Drive watch

The Citizen Promaster Tough Ref. CA0727-04E Eco-Drive is a chronograph piece for men that can be used during your everyday routines or during extreme adventures with friends. This watch boasts a 44mm black stainless steel watch with surface hardening treatment. The great thing is, even if you have sensitive skin, you have nothing to worry about since this model has hypoallergenic properties.

In addition, the watch’s matte black dial is enclosed under an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. This sapphire crystal provides protection from scratches and allows for great visibility even under bright light glares. On the dial, you can find large Arabic numeral hour markers and hands that are generously coated with Super-LumiNova. The black case is paired with a brown Cordura ballistic strap made of woven nylon, which is a great material in terms of water resistance. Meanwhile, the watch’s 60-minute chronograph, 12/24 hour features, and date display are all powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology.

This watch retails at $550 USD.

2. Citizen Promaster Tough CA0727-12E Eco-Drive

front view of Citizen Promaster Tough CA0727-12E Eco-Drive watch

Introduced in 2019, this Citizen Promaster Tough CA0727-12E is another chronograph model with military-inspired aesthetics. It comes in a 44mm stainless steel case in black with an added surface hardening treatment. It has rugged and robust aesthetics and is designed for men who love to go on wild escapades. On the right of the case, you will find a textured crown, with an oversized crown guard and pushers that are meant to provide an easy grip when adjusting the time and date. This is paired with a matching black bezel that is marked with a 6-minute scale in white for a perfect and more readable contrast during deep diving.

Moreover, this watch also has a black dial with bold silver-toned markers, a sizeable date display at 3 o’clock, and a chronograph feature. The chronograph function comprises of three textured subdials placed at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions, giving an accurate presentation of the elapsed time, hour time, and minutes. These functions are driven by a solar-powered caliber B612. Lastly, this model is paired with a camo-patterned ballistic nylon strap. This strap even has polyurethane material on its edges for better comfort and durability. 

You can purchase this watch for just $275 USD.

3. Citizen Promaster Tough Stainless Steel Chronograph CA0720-54H Eco-Drive

front view of  Citizen Promaster Tough Stainless Steel Chronograph Ref. CA0720-54H Eco-Drive watch

The Citizen Promaster Tough CA0720-54H model is the stainless steel variation of the previous watch. If you are looking for a sleeker, more professional looking chronograph watch, then you simply have to get this piece. It features a 44mm silver-toned stainless steel case with a layer of hardened coating as well. The main difference between this model and the Promaster Tough CA0727-12E is that this one uses stainless steel for both the case and bracelet. In addition, its dial comes in a different hue of light blue-grey.

This watch retails at a slightly higher price of $297 USD.

4. Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E

front view of Citizen Promaster Tough Ref. BN0211-50E watch

The Citizen Promaster Tough BN0211-50E watch is one of the best picks for people seeking a durable yet classic watch option. This men’s watch comes in a 42mm monocoque stainless steel case with a surface hardening treatment. In addition, the exterior is coated with Super Titanium™ as well.

This watch boasts a straightforward black dial with silver-toned hands, hour indices, and a date display at 3 o’clock. It also has a vibrant red seconds hand that adds a splash of color to this otherwise monochrome watch face. This model is powered by a caliber E168. Unlike the models in the Citizen Promaster Tough collection, this watch stands out as it does not utilize light energy, but instead has an analog quartz movement with a six-month continuous operating time.

This Promaster Tough watch costs $495 USD in retail.

5. Citizen Promaster Tough Green BN0211-09X Eco-Drive

front view of Citizen Promaster Tough Green Ref. BN0211-09X Eco-Drive watch

This model is the military green version of the previous model stated above. Like the Promaster Tough BN0211-50E, the Promaster Tough Green BN0211-09X Eco-Drive has a 42mm silver-toned stainless steel case with surface hardening treatment. This is paired with a green ballistic strap that adds to the watch’s rugged aesthetic. This makes the Promaster Tough BN0211-09X an ideal field watch since it is very comfortable and durable, and even fits the theme of a field watch with its colorway. 

This watch also has a 10.75mm thick dial that comes in an army-green hue. In lieu of the usual numeral hour markers, this dial boasts wide silver-tone indices and hands. In addition, you can see a compact date window located next to the 3 o’clock marker. The watch’s hands and hour indices are also generously coated with Super-LumiNova feature to allow for high visibility in the dark as well. Moreover, a caliber E168 powers this Citizen Promaster Tough model with a rechargeable cell.

For $425 USD, you can purchase this rugged field piece.

6. Citizen Promaster Tough All-Black BN0217-02E Eco-Drive

front view of Citizen Promaster Tough All-Black Ref. BN0217-02E Eco-Drive watch

If you prefer a more simple and minimal timepiece, then the Promaster Tough All-Black BN0217-02E should be your pick. With its bold all-black aesthetic, this a great option if you want to prevent visible scratches and rust from being noticed on the case. This watch consists of a black stainless steel case, a matching black Cordura® ballistic fabric strap, and an analog dial. This is contrasted against silver-toned indices, hands, and a date display outlined in silver for better readability.

Like the Promaster Tough BN0211-50E, the Citizen Promaster Tough All-Black uses a caliber E168 to power its time and date functions. It retails at a price of $450 USD.

3 Alternative Models to Citizen Promaster Tough

If you enjoy the features that the Promaster Tough offers, but find that it is not quite your style, fear not! Here are three excellent alternatives which are just as rugged, durable, and functional as the Citizen Promaster Tough.

1. G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio Watch Ref. MRG-7700B-1BJF

front view of Casio G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio Watch Ref. MRG-7700B-1BJF watch
Image from Watchshopping

Worthy of being number one on the list is the G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio. Coming from a fellow well-known and reliable Japanese brand Casio, you can safely depend on this hardy G-Shock watch regardless of whatever conditions you are in.

The G-Shock MR-G Tough Solar Radio comes in an oversized 46.8mm titanium case with a hard coating, making it highly resistant to scratches and rust. The dial boasts a hybrid analog and digital time display, with a black LCD screen under the skeletal hands. Aside from that, you can also find handy features like a perpetual calendar until the year 2100 and a power reserve indicator on this dial. While this watch is quite large, it is relatively understated and will not look too flashy — thanks to its sleek, monochromatic appearance.

When it comes to the technical details, this model is equipped with a quartz movement that is powered by solar energy, making it an eco-friendly watch like the Citizen Promaster Tough. It is also equipped with a water resistance rating of 200m, so it is great for extreme water activities.

For $1,649 USD, you can enjoy the toughness and functionality this piece has to offer.

2. Casio Pro Trek Ref. PRW-60T-7AJF

front view of Casio Pro Trek Ref. PRW-60T-7AJF watch
Image from Watchshopping

Another option that you should consider is the Pro Trek Ref. PRW-60T-7AJF. This Casio men’s watch is a great digital sports model. It is equipped with the brand’s new Triple Sensor Version 3 engine, which includes a digital compass, a thermometer, and an altimeter. In addition, this solar-powered watch comes with additional key features like a chronograph, an alarm, a world time function, cold resistance, and much more. This hardy and robust sports watch can work as your best companion for outdoor adventures.

In terms of its specifications, this Pro Trek watch also has a large case size of 47.2 mm, so it is best suited for those with average-to-large size wrists. The case and bracelet are both made out of tough, scratch-resistant stainless steel, reinforcing this watch’s status as a tough outdoor watch. It is also incredibly convenient to use because it is equipped with a backlight which can illuminate the dial whenever you need it.

You can purchase this Casio piece for $609 USD.

3. Luminox Navy Seal Chronograph 3580 Series Ref. XS.3581

front view of Luminox Navy Seal Chronograph 3580 Series Ref. XS.3581 watch
Image from Watchshopping

The Luminox Navy Seal Chronograph 3580 Series Ref. XS.3581 is a good pick if you want a straightforward analog watch over a digital or hybrid one. This model features big and bold numerals on its unidirectional bezel and dial. Moreover, all of the markers come in white and are placed against a black background for a perfect contrast. The highly luminous markers and hands also add to the watch’s legibility; in fact, according to Luminox, this watch can glow 100 times brighter than other luminous timepieces. This Luminox watch comes in a robust 45mm carbon fiber case, which makes it durable, lightweight, and very easy-to-wear.

This Luminox Navy Seal piece is powered by a Swiss quartz movement that provides a 200m water resistance capacity and two years of battery life. Rest assured that you can rely on this watch since it is inspired and approved by military forces such as the US Navy SEALs and US Air Force Pilots.

This Luminox timepiece retails at $429 USD.

Final Thoughts

The Citizen Promaster Tough watches are the perfect choice if you are looking for a watch that is highly resistant to everyday wear and tear. A watch that cannot keep on ticking when faced with the toughest conditions is not one you should consider. As such, you cannot compromise on a watch’s durability and functionality simply for aesthetic purposes. If you want to have strength, functionality, and affordability all in one piece, then the Promaster Tough watches should be your go-to choice. 

Photo credits: Citizen’s official website unless stated.

If you want to know more about Citizen watches, check out our guide to Citizen NY0040.

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