Vintage Citizen compressor style diver 4-520343 Y


Vintage Citizen divers  – this time a compressor style. And what is better than one diver? Two divers, or even three! 

A compressor case means  that the bezel is not outside the case, but actually inside the case, under the crystal. It is not operated directly but with the turn of one of the two crowns. As Gray showed in the comment of this post these are not actually compressor cases, but actually compressor style inspired.

“These are beautful watches and I enjoyed reading about them but I must correct your assumption that they are compressor watches. Its a common misconception that if a watch has two crowns and an internal bezel, it must be a supercompressor but infact Compressor and Super Compressor watches are defines by the company which made the cases and held a patent for their design. These cases were made by the specialist manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. of Switzerland. No Japanese manufacturer used EPSA Compressor cases. Information about Compressor cases is not hard to find. The link below shows the three types of Compressor case, including the Super Compressor from which your Citizen watches are inspired. True Super Compressors are typically identified by a crossed hatched design on the crowns, a diver helmet logo on the case back or inside the case back, but always, they have the brevet (patent) number on or inside the case back. http://wornandwound.com/2014/03/24/guide-super-compressors/” – Is the comment from Gary. Thank you for the clarification!

Citizen Diver compressor 4-520343 Y

This particular model is one of the early Citizen divers, with compressor style case.  I have seen it in black dial, red, blue and silver dial. The red dial is one of the most beautiful dials ever. Actually is more a burgundy red. The blue is awesome in different lightning conditions, the black is subtle and classy and the silver is  really special.

The case is larger than the usual divers of that era, but similar with other vintage Citizen. It is about 44mm, with a brushed frontal surface, with a radial pattern. The sides are polished. The lugs are well integrated in the overall design, with the same finish as the case. The two crowns are protected because the 9 o clock side (flat) and the 3 o clock side (angled) are not symmetrical, so the crowns are not sticking out a too much. They are signed “C”.  The outer bezel that keeps the domed acrylic crystal in place is polished. The crown at 2 operates the inner bidirectional bezel, and sometimes is very easy to move it by accident so i prefer the models with an outer bezel. The crown at 4 winds the watch and sets the time and sometimes is hard to operate.

The dial is  the best part of this watch. The red one is gorgeous, the blue is beautiful, the black is classic but the silver is not really at home for this model (IMHO) but it is rare and special.. In fact all the colors have a matching rotating bezel except for the silver one that has a black bezel. The black dial is flat, matte. The red and the blue one have thin black longitudinal stripes so the color gets a little  darker. All of them have the cross hair lines. At 12 they have the polished applied Citizen logo and on 6 it is written “water 100M proof” “automatic” “21 jewels”. It is very interesting the fact that the dial is marked waterproof (sometimes parawater) and the caseback parawater. This is due to the fact that it was manufactured in an era when Citizen transitioned from parawater to water resistant. Also some of them were designated for export so a different marking was needed than the ones for domestic market. Read about this here:  https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/ The ones that have “waterproof” on the dial are for export. At 3 we have the day and date window, in a divided frame. The Sundays are in red lettering, the rest are black. The hour markers are trapezoidal, applied with a polished frame, jus as the date frame. The hands are the usual “Mercedes” type and the second hand has the luminous tot at the very end of it. One rare model has straight hour hand, matching the minute one. For a long time I thought it might not be original but thanks to Pawel I now saw the model in real life and it is for sure 100% original. I also saw one picture from a German catalogue on Stephen‘s blog who says: “There was also a version of this model, maybe only an export version, that had a straight hour hand, rather than the ‘Mercedes’ type. At the moment this image, from a German brochure (with credit to ‘Axel’ on the old SCWF site) is the only one I have seen.” Thanks Pawel for the pictures of the straight matching hands one! Great watch!  After 40 years, the luminous material still glows beautifully at night. The rotating bezel is rather shiny, with a luminous dot inside a triangle at 12, and painted numbers every 10 minutes. The rest of the minutes are dots and every 5 minutes we have a rectangle. Great quality for this bezels. You have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them!

citizen 4-530343Y compressor

Here it is another straight hour hand piece, a black dialed one. Thank you Christian for the pictures!

compressor diver vintage citizen

And a pic that I like:

citizen compressor diver vintage

The movement is the automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels, (and a black rotor that I like a lot). It is a common movement used in a variety of models, not only divers. This means that replacing parts are easy to source.  It is reliable and offers hand winding possibility. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown (first position for winding, third for time setting) but the day changes only by passing midnight with the hands. The operating crown for the movement is the one at 4.

The strap I’ve seen is most of the times a replacement one. Sometimes I have seen them on Citizen or replacement stainless steel bracelet, sometimes on rubber, nato or even leather. They can take any type you want to throw on them. I keep them on matching nato straps, red for red, black for black. This way they are really comfortable and I thing a Nato suits them well. The width at the lugs is 20mm.

automatic Citizen 5270Conclusion: Just as most Citizen divers – wonderful, easy to wear, a pleasure to look at, modern and vintage at the same time… timeless beauty!

Read abut my favorite Citizen diver here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-automatic-diver-150m-52-0110/

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8 thoughts on “Vintage Citizen compressor style diver 4-520343 Y

  1. These are beautful watches and I enjoyed reading about them but I must correct your assumption that they are compressor watches. Its a common misconception that if a watch has two crowns and an internal bezel, it must be a supercompressor but infact Compressor and Super Compressor watches are defines by the company which made the cases and held a patent for their design. These cases were made by the specialist manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. of Switzerland. No Japanese manufacturer used EPSA Compressor cases. Information about Compressor cases is not hard to find. The link below shows the three types of Compressor case, including the Super Compressor from which your Citizen watches are inspired. True Super Compressors are typically identified by a crossed hatched design on the crowns, a diver helmet logo on the case back or inside the case back, but always, they have the brevet (patent) number on or inside the case back.

    Regards,
    Gary.
    http://wornandwound.com/2014/03/24/guide-super-compressors/

    Like

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  4. I have been reading your articles since discovering older citizen models and have just purchased my first citizen watch to add to the collection.

    It’s a seven star 100m parawater like these.

    I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as I am after a replacement crystal and a replacement for both crowns. I live in Australia so would more than likely be searching for parts worldwide.

    Thank you!

    Like

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