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- The striking design of the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk is meant to evoke the sleekness of a military stealth helicopter.
- This watch is ready for adventure thanks to its Eco-Drive technology and functional slide rule bezel.
- It’s nice enough to feel like a treat-yourself splurge without being prohibitively expensive.
Living through 2020 has altered the way I think about time. This year, hours dragged on as weeks seemed to fly by. Days of the week and months of the year sometimes felt empty and devoid of meaning. Searching for something—anything—that could make time feel a little more anchored and, well, real, I found myself constantly wanting to check my watch. Which didn’t work out super well for me, because I didn’t own a watch. Never have. (Not a proper “grown-up” timepiece, anyway. I’m not counting fitness trackers.)
I’m not sure if it was the expense or my perceived lack of sartorial expertise that was holding me back from dressing up my wrist, but this time around, I decided to go for it. Maybe I’d never become a full-fledged Watch Guy, but at least I’d be tethered to the space-time continuum.
After testing the Promaster Nighthawk from Citizen for about a month, I’m so glad I made that choice. Not only is this watch gorgeous to look at, it’s a portrait in functionality, with a wide range of features that will appeal to discerning watch aficionados as well as relative newcomers like myself.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your watch or cop your first real timepiece, here are a few reasons I’d recommend considering the Promaster Nighthawk.
It looks cool as hell
Fun fact: You don’t need to have your pilot’s license to own a pilot watch. Pilot watches were initially designed with flying in mind, becoming an indispensable tool for all types of aviators, from commercial airlines to fighter jets. And although I am not—and most likely will never be—a pilot, I can still appreciate the fact that aviators are typically total badasses.
The Promaster Nighthawk was designed to pay homage to the sleek design of military aircraft. Its sophisticated lines emulate a stealth helicopter, while the jet-black dial is a nod to a nighttime cockpit. The leather strap is an attractive olive green, which was directly inspired by military uniforms.
I wanted a watch that could work not only for dressier occasions, but also as a day-to-day timepiece that projected class without veering into ostentation. There’s a boldness to the Promaster Nighthawk that I appreciate, but I’m also grateful that it’s relatively inconspicuous for casual dog walks and working from home.
It goes with everything while simultaneously elevating whatever I’m wearing, completing relaxed, business casual, and even dressier ensembles.
It’s ready for adventure
One of my biggest hesitations about committing to a watch has been the fear that I might damage it. Rather than risk my clumsiness, I preferred to just live my NWL (non-watch lifestyle, it’s a thing). But the tough Promaster Nighthawk quickly calmed those fears— it’s water-resistant, made of stainless steel, and the face’s mineral crystal offers superior scratch protection over other traditional materials. The 42mm case feels solid on my wrist without being too heavy. The slide rule bezel and knobs on the side are sturdy, well-made, and functional; adjusting the dial will allow you to calculate navigation times.
This watch features a 200m water resistance, which means you can shower, swim, and even snorkel while wearing it (although you might want to swap the leather strap for a nylon mesh strap if you plan to do a lot of aquatic activities). It’s powered by Eco-Drive, Citizen’s solar-powered tech, which charges the watch with any natural or artificial light. That charge will hold for six months, so even if you leave it in a dark drawer for half the year, it will re-emerge with accurate date and time.
I also respect Citizen’s legacy of craftsmanship. There’s a reason that people have been buying these watches for the last hundred years, and it seems like the watchmaker is primed to continue being a favorite brand well into the future.
It’s a great way to treat yourself without breaking the bank
For all the functionality that watches provide, they’re also status symbols. This, perhaps above anything else, is why I’ve dragged my feet on being a Watch Guy: It’s always felt a little bit extra to me to rock a really nice watch on your wrist.
But in a year when I’ve been looking for ways to treat myself, the Promaster Nighthawk, at less than $400, sits in a price range that feels perfect for me. It’s not so expensive that I’ll only wear it on the most special of occasions, but I also feel cooler and more adult when I look down at my wrist and see this gorgeous timepiece. It makes me think a little more each day about time—not only the time that’s passed, but the good times on the way.
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