The Citizen Promaster Aqualand JP2007-09W is now available in the Worn & Wound Shop
Twenty meters down, I slowed my descent by squirting a puff of air into my buoyancy wing. I hovered just under the overhanging edge of the massive wreck. In contrast to the bright tropical sun streaming down from far above, the maw inside this upturned ship was in deep shadow. To venture inside was to go from day to night, and despite years of exploring shipwrecks, it always gave me pause to penetrate the bowels of one.
There’s nothing particularly dangerous about the Hilma Hooker, and indeed it sees hundreds of divers a year, due to its proximity to shore, warm water, and relatively accessible depth. The wreck rests at the bottom of a lush coral reef, hard on the sand at just over 30 meters. Most divers are content to kick along its hull, snap some hero shots near the propeller, and marvel at the huge tarpon and barracuda that spend the daylight hours hovering in the shadows. But somehow, the yawning darkness inside beckons—hollowed-out cargo holds and engine room, long empty compartments that once purportedly held contraband drugs before the ship was seized, abandoned, and then mysteriously sunk. I hesitated, then switched on my powerful dive torch and swam into the darkness.
Truth be told, I wasn’t really penetrating the Hilma Hooker to search for sunken treasure. I’d been inside this wreck many times before, in over a dozen trips to Bonaire. I had a different, more quixotic goal: a lume shot of the watch on my wrist. You see, I was wearing the Citizen Promaster Aqualand, ref. JP2007-09W, a new version of the vaunted Aqualand line with a black PVD case and fully luminescent dial. It is a watch that truly comes into its own in the dark.
Since 1985, the Aqualand has been prized by divers as a legitimate instrument, due to its integrated depth gauge. There have been many iterations of the Aqualand since its groundbreaking introduction close to 40 years ago. Some have had larger digital displays or dual digital screens, while others had fully analog depth gauges. But to me, the original form factor remains the quintessential Aqualand. The mid-80s saw a transition period for dive watches. The digital dive computer was on the verge of revolutionizing scuba diving, with its ability to track depth and dive time and calculate no-decompression times on the fly. The old analog dive watch was soon to become obsolete.
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