Did you know that orcas sometimes intentionally beach themselves? They do it to hunt for shoreline seals, for instance. It’s a spectacular sight, but there’s quite a bit of risk involved, and seeing them struggle to get back to sea is a nerve-wracking experience. Last week, a Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca beached on the shores of Fratello — was it hunting for Fratelli? Finding the stranded 46 × 14.6mm Orca with a 50mm “fin-to-fin” length was quite a surprise. We soon found out we were not on the Orca’s menu, and after playing around with the 118g beast, we sent it back. Here, you can read about the time we spent together.

The original Citizen Orca was “discovered” in 2006. The watch came in a 48mm titanium case and became somewhat of a cult hero before it disappeared. In 2022, the Orca resurfaced. It was 2mm smaller and not in titanium but, rather, in steel and with three different colorways. Two regular steel references come with either a blue or a black dial, and there’s a version with a black PVD case. We had the regular steel version with a black dial at HQ, the reference BN0230-04E, with a price of €279.

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca

Observing the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca

Before diving deeper with the Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca, it’s best to first observe it. The watch from the Promaster Sea collection has a shape clearly inspired by the form and colors of the orca, the majestic black and white killer whale with no natural predators. The striking, somewhat organic, and simultaneously futuristic design of the Diver Orca is also sporty. Rounded shapes dominate this functional dive watch, which features a black three-hand dial with a date window at 3 o’clock. Very orca-ish are the domed white hour indices and bezel indentations. The bright orange marker at 12 o’clock, the text “DIVER’S 200m” at 6 o’clock on the dial, and especially the vivid minute hand stand out like buoys in the ocean.


The Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca is compliant with the ISO 6425 standard and also offers resistance to shocks and magnetism. As you would expect from a 200m-water-resistant watch, it features a screw-down crown. You also get a unidirectional bezel with huge numerals and hands and indexes filled with plenty of luminous material. The indexes glow blue while the hands glow green, ensuring the watch is legible in the dark. The black polyurethane strap mimics the form of the orca’s fin and fastens with a pin buckle. Also, because the strap is very long, it will easily fit over your wetsuit.

Citizen Promaster

Inside the sturdy frame of the Orca ticks a movement powered by light. The E168 Eco-Drive solar quartz caliber can do without light for 180 days before it runs out of power.

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver

Wearing the Orca

The Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca is an acquired taste. Yes, it does have visual elements that say “orca” loud and clear, but whereas the beauty, grace, and power of its namesake that reigns the oceans is undisputed, the Orca dive watch is not. Its rugged nature and solid build make for an excellent dive watch. Also, the combination of functionality and original looks, which someone at HQ described as “fun,” makes for a casual, easy-does-it vacation watch. By the way, does a watch named Orca designed in the spirit of the whale scare away the fish when you go splashing around in other waters than the pool?

Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca

“Free Willy”

Full disclosure: I devour documentaries on orcas, and I am in utter awe of them (did you know that researchers found out that the IQ of orcas is equivalent to that of 15- or 16-year-old humans?). The Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca, on the other hand, is not for me. Hey, I’m not saying it’s a stupid watch. On the contrary, I do appreciate its original looks. I just don’t love the rounded bezel, even if it is (apparently) easy to operate while wearing wet gloves. I also don’t dig the way the strap is shaped and flows into the case. It’s all just a bit too rounded for my taste. These rounded shapes kind of remind me of Oakley watches from the 1990s, and I sure don’t want to be reminded of those.

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca

The Citizen Orca is also just too big for my wrist, which will never be covered by a wetsuit. That’s why I didn’t feel any regret when I had to let the Orca go “Free Willy.” I’m sure it will be better off roaming the seas on the wrist of someone else.


Still, €279 buys you a strong, sporty, and multifunctional dive watch with unique design features. The Citizen Orca sure doesn’t look like anything else on the market today.

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca

Watch specifications

Promaster Eco-Drive Diver Orca
Black with oversized luminous indexes and date window
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
46mm (diameter) × 50mm (lug-to-lug) × 14.6mm (thickness)
Convex mineral
Case Back
Stainless steel with black and white decoration of an orca
Citizen E168: Eco-Drive solar quartz movement, 180-day power reserve
Water Resistance
200m (20 bar)
Black polyurethane with stainless steel pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), date, 60-minute dive bezel