Before they became luxury accoutrements, sailing watches were proper instruments that were purpose-built for use during competitions. These watches had a few common characteristics: they had a countdown timer on their bezel or some sort of disc system on their dials and most of them had a chronograph function.
Citizen produced its Eco-Drive powered Yacht Timer, the Sail Hawk, for a number of years before discontinuing it. Instead we now have the Promaster Yacht Timer JR4063-12E, a sporty chronograph aimed at sailing enthusiasts. To the uninitiated, Citizen’s Promaster series of professional sports watches celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019. These multi-functional watches are known for their build quality and reliability.
The new Yacht Timer shares its DNA with the Sailhawk and there are a lot of similarities including the dial layout. The watch uses a chunky 44 mm stainless steel case with a rose gold plating and a closed caseback. The case is fitted with a bi-directional bezel with a black aluminum insert. The inner flange of the timepiece has sailing maneuvering terms like ‘tacking’ and ‘windward angle’ which are meant to be used in conjunction with the compass markings on the bezel. There are three pushers on the case - at 2 o’ clock, 4 and 7. While the pushers at 2 and 4 are used in conjunction with the crown to control settings (more on that later), the pusher at 7 is used to activate the all reset and zero positioning of the watch.
Being a multifunctional watch, this is a busy dial. The watch has a perpetual calendar, alarm, analogue and digital time display. It can also display dual time and the world time in 30 cities. The watch also has a 1/100th of a second chronograph and a regatta race timer to help contestants prepare for the start of a yacht race. In addition to the analogue central seconds hand, the chronograph (specifically the 1/100th reading) is displayed on the digital LCD screen at the bottom right of the dial. The two sub-dials measure elapsed minutes and hours.
Most of the timing functions – chronograph, race timer, and timer – can be set via the crown and the pushers on the case. Turn the crown to select the appropriate mode and use the two pushers at 2 and 4 are used to choose the desired setting.
The watch is powered by Caliber C660, an Eco-Drive movement that was also used on the Sailhawk models. It has a power save mode that reduces power consumption when light is not shining on the photo-voltaic cell. The watch is paired with a rubber strap and is priced at AED2,399.