Citizen Recordmaster Sportsmaster Chronograph


Looking back at 1970 I see a world that started focusing it’s attention on automatic chronographs while at almost the same time, the quartz revolution is about to play it’s role, somehow stopping, or at least slowing down, the mechanical movement development.  This Citizen model was introduced in 1967 and was produced for only 5 years.

The Recordmaster is a beautiful piece, a real column wheel flyback chronograph, with a hand winding movement. It counts only up to one minute elapsed time but in such a memorable way!

citizen recordmaster 63-0110

The case is classic, made in stainless steel, 36 mm wide. It has an elegant case, entirely polished. The winding crown is signed “CTZ” and the pushers are polished too. There is a nicely chamfer edge that add further beauty to the overall design, very elegant and yet a real sport chronograph. The caseback is polished with the usual markings (parawater as it was made prior to ’73). The acrylic crystal sits above the case and has a flat surface. I love the way it bend the light at the edges!

The dial is absolutely stunning! Plain black, with simple applied polished hour markers. The hands are polished too. There is an inner tachymeter for calculating speed. The writing is simple, white. Beautiful contrast white on black.  It looks like chalk writing on a blackboard. The date wheel is white with black numerals. There is also luminous material that, 40 years later, is in wonderful condition. There is one more dial color version that is white with black writing. (I added pics of the white dial model, found on internet – rakuten)

citizen recordmasterThe movement is Citizen calibre 5702 with 21 jewels. It beats at a slow rate, half the speed of the fastest Citizen Leopard movements, at 18,000bph.  It is the first chronograph and the only hand winding chronograph movement that Citizen produced. There is also an automatic one with a two variations: 8100A and 8110A. All of the Citizen chronograph movements are flyback and so is this one. The date is not quick set but changing by advancing the hour hand.

The bracelet is original to this model (most of the Recordmaster I have seen are on replacement straps). Not much to say about it. It has a combination of polished and brushed surfaces, a signed sandblasted clasp and perfectly fitted end links. It is tapering starting from the case towards the stainless steel clasp.citizen recordmaster chronograph 63-0110Update: A few more versions I found (some of them are my pictures, some are from online sellers and fellow Citizen collectors) are these:

1 – Black dial, red chronograph hand.

recordmaster citizen watch

2 – Black dial with the tachymeter scale starting from 1000, black hands and a white, square luminous tip, chronograph hand. Reference 4-570091T Citizen Recordmaster recordmaster citizen black hands

3 – The first version made is the following one (see the details on the caseback):first black citizen recordmaster

4- A special case design, with the original bracelet, white dial Citizen Recordmaster:white dial citizen recordmaster vintage

5 – A rare Kyoto Recordmaster (the only one I saw and also had) version, made for French market:

citizen kyoto recordmaster

Here is the awesome Recordmaster collection of my friend John from Australia:

Update Nov 2017 – Citizen Museum in Tokyo has one on display that has the “Sportsmaster” dial print rather than the Recordmaster.

Conclusion: Beautiful, timeless design. A rare piece that has its specific place in any Vintage Citizen Watch collection. This is the perfect combination of simplicity combining in perfect harmony elegance and sportiveness that (as far as I know so far) came in 4 dial variants plus the additional different RallyCustom one – read about it HERE.

For the VIDEO of this watch visit:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/03/12/video-citizen-recordmaster-chronograph-63-0110-2/

Read more about automatic Vintage Citizen Chronographs here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronograph-vcw/

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Dating a vintage Citizen watch


One of the advantages of collecting Vintage Citizen Watches is the fact that most of them can be easily dated. This is important for any collector. It is always nice to find a watch that was made the very same year you were born. And guess what, for Citizen you can go even further! You can date it by month also!

How do we do it?

Well… it is a combination of different clues:

1. First of all, we turn the watch over and look at the caseback. Most of the time over there we have a lot of information regarding the case model, the watch model, the material and, very important in dating one, the serial number. This serial number is usually 8 digits. Those 8 digits show the year and the month.

The first digit is an indication of the year. The next two are for the month.

In the example below the first digit is 6 so it can be only a year ending in 6 such as 1956, 1966, 1976 or 1986.

dating a citizen watch 2. The “water resistant” marking illustrates the fact that the watch was made after ’72-’73 because prior to this the term used was “parawater”. So we can narrow it down to 1976 or 1986.  Read about “Parawater” here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

3. After we identified the serial and the possible year we go deeper. We look at the model and at the movement. Certain models and movements indicate a specific time frame so it is easy to identify the exact year. We know this model was not made so late as 1986 so it is made in 1976. 

4. The next two digits are 07 so the month is the seventh one – July.

5. By putting all the information together a Vintage Citizen Watch can be, this way, dated. The watch here is made in 1976, July.

Read more about Citizen history here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-history-from-1924/

Vintage Citizen Alarm Date (4H) – ALDS51301a-y


Beautiful watch, elegant design, and excellent, close to mint, condition. The sound of this watch is loud and powerful. The bracelet is comfortable and… let’s take it one step at a time.

For now… enjoy the video:

For more information about this watch go to:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/04/vintage-citizen-alarm-date-alds51301a-y/

Blue & Orange 1971 Citizen 100m diver 67-5776


This was one of the last years (1971) that Citizen used the term “parawater”. Unfortunately it came to an end and this particular model was one of the last parawater divers. It marked the end on an era.

citizen diver 67-5776It was made in four dial color variations: black, blue, silver and orange and my favorites are the blue and the orange. It was a colorful time and full of life. This is also the case for Citizen watches.

The case is the well known Citizen cushion shape having a diameter of 44 mm without the crown. It is made in stainless steel and so is the caseback and the bidirectional frictional type bezel. The bezel insert is aluminum? painted black with white numbers and markers. At 12 there is a luminous dot inside an upside down triangle. The entire case is polished, except for the frontal surface that has a circular brushed finish. The acrylic crystal is raised and flat. I love the way the light  bounces back from underneath an acrylic crystal! The water resistance is 100m, maybe because the signed CTZ crown is a non screw in type.

blue dial citizen diver 67-5776

The dial is made from two distinct pieces, glued together; an outer ring is sitting higher than the dial itself and has hourly numerals from 13 to 24. A silver ring delimitates the tho surfaces and has minute markers. The lower part has raised polished hour markers with luminous material. The spade shape hands have luminous centers as well. By contrast, the second hand is simple, entirely polished. At 3 o’clock the watch has the day and date display inside a polished frame that connects the two parts of the dial. The usual Citizen logo is at 12 and at 6 it reads: “para 100m water, automatic, 21 jewels”

citizen 7270 automatic 21 jewels

The movement is the 7270 calibre – simple, reliable, automatic with 21 jewels and beating at 21,600bph. As usual with Citizen, the automatic movement can be hand winded. It has jewel bearings for barrel and a power reserve of 41 hours. It features a quick set date and the day changes from advancing from 20 to 0:30. The sweeping second hand doesn’t hack.

The bracelet is a common Citizen design called bead of rice that fits the case shape really nice. I have seen other designs and some watches have nato replacements or rubber. Certain leather straps look good on it too. It is easy to find a bracelet or a strap because it has 20mm between the lugs and a 

vintage citizen 100m 67-5776

Conclusion: Beautiful watch, warm, colorful and full of life.  One of the last “parawater” divers made. A real joy to wear and look at.

Read about other Citizen divers here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

Read about “Parawater” here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

Looking for the “Holly Grail” watch


What’s that The “Grail” watch? 

The holly grail watch

Well… it is the watch that rumor has it that exists but can not be found. You look for it years after years and from time to time you think you find it, but than you realize it was not THE one, but only some pale imitation. You look for it again and again and again. Sometimes you dream about it, sometimes you think you see it strapped to someones wrist but time after time you find out it was just a mind trick. Your eyes see only what your mind fantasizes about.

One glorious night, after hours on web searches, you find a post with pictures attached to a post in a language you don’t understand. That is the real watch! It exists!

Your heart stops; than it races like crazy! With trembling fingers you press the keys on your laptop and start writing a message to the user that posted the pictures, hoping for an answer…

Maybe… Maybe… Should you allow your heart to hope for an answer?

(feb 2014) Let us pray for THE Holly Grail!

UPDATE (oct 2014) I found not one but two owners of this model. One owner doesn’t sell it (yet) and I am still waiting for an answer from the second one. I hope he still has it and will sell it to me. 🙂 Well.. he is not selling it. 😦 The search is still on.

UPDATE (jan 2015) The wait is long, too long! Is it fate? Is it a coincidence? I have to wait! Meanwhile I found out that the two watches I told you about in Oct are not 100% original. Both of them have aftermarket bezels and bezel inserts, and one has a non original crown too. They don’t have the original strap. (one does actually) The closer I get the longer and more difficult the wait gets! It’s been one year since I wrote this article and I feel…

UPDATE (feb 2015) The hunt is over! I have it in my hands! Tired and extremely happy! Read abut THE Citizen HERE!

Thank you all! 🙂

 

 

Citizen Leopard 36000 pocket watch 67-2192


The first pocket watch presented here, a rare (never seen another one and my searches lead me nowhere) Citizen Leopard.

This is not only extremely rare but very interesting too.

Citizen Leopard pocket watch 67-2192First of all it is a pocket watch. Citizen had a lot of pocket watches but why is this so special? Well, because it is a Leopard – the hi-beat range – 36000 bph. Also, very interesting, it is an automatic! Why is it an automatic, I don’t know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense because as a pocket watch it doesn’t get enough movement to wind up. Nevertheless, a beautiful movement that is a joy to look at.  The case seems to be mirror polished stainless steel but I see no references to the material . It is not large but rather small, the same as a wrist watch. There is also a nice chain that compliments it really nice. Both sides have a thick mineral crystal that sit high above the case. Beautiful design! As for the crown, is signed, as usual, “CTZ”.

The beautiful hi-beat parashock Citizen calibre 7230, running at 36000 bph can be admired because the watch has a see through back crystal. In fact the watch face has the same crystal shape and size as the back, so the same importance was given to displaying the movement as it was given to the dial part. This says something about this movement. It has 28 jewels, it has a sweeping central second hand that hacks, it can be winded by hand also and has a quickset date feature.

citizen leopard 7230C_0048 copy

Here is a scan of the movement from a vintage Citizen book to better understand the beautiful movement.

Citizen leopard calibre 7200 36000

One of the nicest feature of the back (apart the movement and the crystal) is actually the metallic blue ring that has printed: Automatic Citizen 67-2192 OR-D-1 (or is it OR-D-i ?) 4-721811 . Not too much information unfortunately. If someone knows more about this magnificent piece, please let me know!

The dial is simple silver, with delicate vertical brushed lines. The hour markers are applied with black  painted center. They share the same design as the hands. Only the sweeping hand is bright orange to accentuate the hi-beat movement. It has a wonderful sweeping motion, almost gliding above the dial. The Citizen logo is applied too.  The day and date are located at 3 o’clock, inside a window, both having it’s own frame.

citizen leopard 36000Conclusion: A rare elusive watch, beautiful to operate, listen to and look at. It has a wonderful design with an orange accent on the face (the second hand) and a bright metallic blue on the back (the ring).

Check out the video here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/28/video-citizen-leopard-pocket-watch-67-2192/

Here is the elegant wrist watch version with the same movement:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/11/22/citizen-leopard-36000/

Enjoy!

UPDATE:

I found its pair, the Citizen Seven Star Deluxe pocket watch, so you can see them side by side HERE.

VCW Facebook group page


Facebook is a great place to meat great people with really great watches. 🙂 This is why we have created the Vintage Citizen Watches official group page. Check it out and add yourself and your friends! Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagecitizenwatches/354822734656228/?comment_id=354922047979630&notif_t=like citizen facebookThank you for looking!

Citizen automatic diver 51-2273


Another vintage diver is the model 51-2273.

This one is  more recent than the previously featured watches here.

citizen diver 51-2273One of the main feature about this one, compared with the others, is the unidirectional rotating bezel. Also, the “Mercedes” hands are gone and are replaced with a different style.

The case is made in stainless steel,  with a brushed (circular) front surface and polished sides. The case back screws in and it is polished too. This case features crown guards for protecting the crown, a nice diving detail that enhances the “tool watch” appearance. Another diving feature in the screw in crown and the unidirectional bezel. This time the bezel has 60 solid clicks and rotates only counter clock wise. On 12 it has a triangle with a luminous dot. Every 10 minutes are marked with numbers and every minute by lines. The overall size is perfect, at 40 mm diameters without the crown and 20 mm between lugs.  The mineral crystal is flat.

The dial is mate black without any reflections. The hour markers are dots or lines, depending on the position. They are filed with luminous material. The hands are also luminous and they have a distinct shape, more geometrical, that I think enhance the overall look of the watch. On 12 there is the applied Citizen logo and “automatic”; on 6 there is the writing: “21 jewels – water resistant – 150 M ” On 3 there is the day-date window, in a single frame. The day is bilingual with red “Sunday” while rest are black.

citizen diver 51-2273The movement is the well known automatic Citizen calibre 8200A (Miyota). It has 21 jewels and offers a hand winding capability. First position of the crown wind the watch, the second will change the day and the date (in different directions) and the third will set the time. It beats at 21,600 bph and has a power reserve of 43 hours. The rotor will wind the watch in one direction only. Nothing fancy about this, just a reliable, simple movement that is doing it’s job as it should.

The strap on this watch is a rubber one with a stainless steel clasp. Rubber fits it very well and next to the nato straps it is the best option for this model.  The width at the lugs is 20mm so plenty of strap options are available at this size.

citizen diver 51-2273 Miyota 8200AConclusion: A nice diver  that has all the features of a real diver: unidirectional 60 clicks bezel, easy to read, mate dial with clear hour markers and hands, a sweeping central second hand, screw in crown protected by crown guards, a reliable simple automatic movement and a long rubber strap. A real tool watch!