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Review: The return of the Fugu: Citizen Promaster NY008 aka Fugu

by Peter Chong on October 23, 2018
Overview
Brand

Citizen Promaster NY008 Fugu

Complication / Type of Watch

Dive watches

In 1959, Citizen started making dive watches, with the first Japanese made water resistant mechanical watch known as “Parawater”, rated to 100m. And in 1993, the Italian Navy Seals Comando Subacqueo Incursori adopted the Citizen NY004 for official use. Now they have updated the NY004 with the NY008. Here is our hands-on review.

 

Six of the seven Fugus released by Citizen. Missing from the photograph is the Thailand Limited Edition.

 

Citizen NY008 Fugu

The first Fugu was the NY004, a legendary tool watch. The signature left hand crown at 8 o’clock ensured a protection against knocks as well as comfort for the wearer without the crown digging into the wrist. For 2018, Citizen has updated the NY004 with the NY008. Seven new models are released. Five in the regular collection, limited to 1000 pieces each, and a further two released in a more limited edition of 500 each for the Singapore/Malaysia market and the Thailand market. All are available from August and November.

 

The case, dial and hands

All models are 42mm case diameter, and use the same Caliber. Despite the case size of 42mm, the watches do wear a bit smaller, and feels quite comfortable on the wrist. The case height is 12mm.

 

The Singapore/Malaysia Limited Edition NY008 is limited to 500 pieces, and has a case in stainless steel with rose gold IP. The distinctive brown dial matches well with the green bezel.

 

The case is a tonneau shape with lugs extending to form a slightly elongated shape. This perhaps accounts for the seemingly smaller wearing impression. The bezel has alterating smooth and serrated edges provide a positive grip in wet conditions, and is inspired by the pufferfish, or “Fugu” in Japanese. The bezel gives the watch its signature look, as is the machine knurled crown at 8.

 

 

The bezel is unidirectional and moves in very pronounced clicks and feel very positive. The crown offers screw down protection against water ingress, and in our samples, does feel a bit industrial, but does the job well. The crown is able to handwind the watch, and in the first pull out position is used to quick set the date in one direction and the day of the week in the other. The second position is used for hand setting.

 

 

The hands are huge, but appropriately armed with sharp ends, which is able to provide a rather accurate reading of the time. The indices are similarly huge, and appear to be polished steel appliques filled with Superluminova. These indices are modeled after Citizen’s Aqualand model – the JP2000 instead as the circle indices used in the NY004.

The hands are also clearly delineated with colour markings, with red to show the minutes and seconds. The hour hand is in blue, and is allowed to be less distinct, as it is relatively less important during dives to see the hour.

 

 

The case is rated to a water resistance of 200m, but is able to survive the Commando Subaqueo Incursori pressure test of 500m. The historical Italian edition, NY004 was given a dial that was signed “Marina Militare 500m Automatic”, as a sign of confidence the Italians had on the performance capabilities of the watch. Other than then the dial, no other modifications were done to the standard specification and these divers were used for almost 10 years.

 

 

The NY008 differs minimally from the NY004, and bears the Promaster logo which is Citizen’s mark for their professional diver series.

Citizen has elected to use mineral glass as a nod to the NY004.

 

The movement

AS a dive watch, the caseback is closed, and appropriately marked. The Citizen Caliber 8203 is an automatic movement with 40 hours power reserve. The watch allows hand winding as well as automatic winding. The 21 jewel movement has been production since 1977, and seems to be a robust and reliable movement. It runs at 21,600 bph, and measures 25.6mm in diameter.

The movement does not hack.

 

 

 

Competitive Landscape

Priced rather competitively for a 200m certified diving watch with an automatic movement, the Citizen Promaster NY008 Fugu is set to be a great success. Throw into the mix, the limited edition status, albeit 1000 pieces each for the the Asia Limited Edition and 500 for the Singapore/Malaysia and Thailand Limited Editions, it is set to be a winner.

 

In red and blue bezel, aka Pepsi, it looks distinctive.

 

Seiko PADI Automatic Diver SRPA21 (S$667) is slightly more expensive, but offers a very similar look as well as specifications. Seiko does offer their Automatic Diver without PADI collaboration for a less money. Other than the crown position at 4 instead of 8 and the a regular notched bezel, the PADI looks almost a dead ringer for the NY088 with the distinctive red and blue “Pepsi” bezel. The case shape is also the very similar tonneau shape, which Seiko fans call “Turtle”. Even the hands and indices and the day/date indicator is similar. It is a bit larger at 45mm in diameter, but also wears well, and comes with a SS bracelet.

Other than the obvious Japanese competitor in the landscape, the Swiss pulls in a bit higher in prices. We may have missed out Swiss diver watches at the similar price range as the Japanese offerings, but we offer two rather more expensive watches in the landscape:

Luminox Scott Cassell Deep Dive Automatic (S$2,800) is rather more expensive, but is rated to 500m. The construction of the case seems to be of a finer finishing than the Citizen. It is also certified to ISO 6425 Divers’ Watches International Standard.

Oris Great Barrier Reef II (S$3,000) is perhaps another. Also rated to 500m but with a larger case at 46mm and very thick. The Oris does wear its size. The feel of the Oris is very substantial.

 

 

Concluding thoughts

The Citizen NY008 feels like a robust, sturdy dive watch made for the masses. With prices held at rather reasonable levels, hovering around the S$500 mark, it will prove to be very popular. Plus the great looks, and the fact that it wears very well and beautifully makes it a great choice for a casual watch.

Our preference among the 6 watches which we managed to spend time with is the Singapore/Malaysia Limited Editon with the rose gold plated case and the rather beautiful brown dial with the green bezel.

 

Our preferred model is the rose gold plated Singapore/Malaysia Edition with the beautiful brown dial and contrasting green bezel.

 

Citizen NY008 Technical Specifications and price

 

The presentation box is designed to look like an aqualung.

 

PROMASTER Mechanical Diver 200m – ASIA LIMITED

Launch August 2018

 

 

 

Models / Retail price

NY0080-12E / S$545.75

NY0080-12X / S$476.15

NY0081-10L / S$435.75

NY0083-14X / S$479.55

NY0088-11E / S$454.75

Case/Band Stainless Steel / Polyurethane
Crystal Mineral Crystal

Dial Colour Black / Luminous / Blue / Brown / Black
Size Diameter 42mm (Design specification only)
Movement Cal.8203 / Automatic / Day & Date Display / Rotating Bezel /  200m water resistance / Luminous (hands + indices + bezel at 12 o’clock)

 

PROMASTER Mechanical Diver 200m – Singapore/Malaysia and Thailand LIMITED EDITION

 

 

 

Model / Retail Price

NY0082-17X / S$609.90 Launch November 2018

NY0089-18E / S$454.75 August 2018

Limited Number 500 pcs each
Case/Band Stainless Steel / Polyurethane
Crystal Mineral Crystal
Dial Colour Brown / Black
Size diameter 42mm (Design specification only)
Movement Cal.8203 / Automatic / Day & Date Display / Rotating Bezel / 200m water resistance / Luminous (hands + indices + bezel at 12 o’clock)

 

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