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.

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”.  Read about this 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. 

By putting all the information together a Vintage Citizen Watch can be, this way, dated.

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

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25 thoughts on “Dating a vintage Citizen watch

  1. Good article. Thanks for that.
    What are the two sets of numbers below the serial number? In the process of dating the watch I mentioned in another post I see that it has the same number below the SN:

    GN 4-5
    Below that is this number:

    7750-770692Y
    At first I thought this was the movement number, but then realised that the 7750 is the Valjoux chronograph movement which obviously is Swiss.
    The watch is indeed Parawater so it looks likely it is from the 1960s.

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  2. I was given 2 citizen watches about 20 years ago that belonged to my great grandmother. 1 stainless steel and the other gold plated I’m trying to figure out how old they are and whether they are valuable. The gold plated one has j702 and 5040585 on the back of it. It has a stretchy type band.
    Would you have any info on it?

    Thanks.
    Kylie

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  4. Hello guys!
    Awesome blog!
    Id have a Citizen that my father used on his wedding with my mother, in 1975. I sent the watch to repair and now its running. With your information, I discover that the watch was made in August, 71 (I dont believe its a 61, and 81 was after the wedding), but if you do have any kind of information beside that, I appreciate! This is what is written on back: Citizen / Stainless Steel / Parawater, and inside that is 4-740068-K / Automatic / 10800631 / 68-5097. Thank you so much!

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    • Hello Leandro! I am happy you like the blog and you find it useful. It is a good thing that you serviced the watch! Even though it is not highly collectable it is awesome to have your fathers watch. Wear it in good health! Yes, the watch is made in August 71. The 68-5097 is the model, and the 4-740068-K is the case model.

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      • Thank you very much!!! And thanks to you I was talking to my father yesterday on the phone (we live 3000 km away from eachother, unforntunately) I said “Dad, your watch was made in August 1971! That bad boy has 44 years!” He became quiet for a while, then “yeah, yeah….I remember that now…yeah…. I bought it just before I’ve finished my military service son!!! I remember now!” This is priceless my friend! Thanks to bring this memorable moment with me and my father!

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  5. Pingback: Citizen Chronograph “Speedy” 67-9313 – Vintage Citizen Watches

  6. Dear Bogdan,
    Great blog! I was looking some details for my dad’s watch and came across your blog. So far I spent several hours! I have few questions and I’m sure you have the replies 🙂

    My dad gave me his watch. As you asked to someone else, I have linked its 2 photos. ( https://goo.gl/photos/koTQoZDxPdCfAqYu9 )

    1) Back of the watch it is written as 4-280865 KT and on bezel 8200-281770-KY. Which one is correct?
    2) I’ve calculated production date as September’80. Is it correct?
    3) Watch hasn’t been used for 15 years and I’m sure no maintenance has been done. Fortunately it is still working.. I took the watch to repair, the man told me that the glass has been replaced (my dad’s brain is still healthy and he doesn’t remember it 🙂 As you will see bezel is quite dirty and glass replacement can be the reason behind it. Is it possible?
    4) the man suggested to replace the glass again (because it is cracks at edges). during the replacement, can bezel be cleaned ?
    5) last but not least, polishing, mechanical maintenance and glass replacement will cost ~80$ here in Turkey; is it similar at your country?

    Thanks a lot for such a perfect blog, I’m ready to support if you need any help from Turkey. Cheers!

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  7. Pingback: Citizen Jet Autodater 120m – the first diver – Vintage Citizen Watches

  8. Hi,
    I have just acquire an NOS of a Citizen Automatic. The dial has this – Japan 6501-659586KA at the bottom. I picked it because of the movement 6501 but have no details on the model. The case back says 4-653751K and below that 61-8454. Could you help me with this.
    Thanks in advance.

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  9. Hi. I found an vintage citizen watch sitting in my closet , can you date the watch please, and also the price. Thanks
    Details-
    Dial : P-8200-989870-KY
    Back : 4-283449 KT
    60701507
    71-3759
    GN-4W-S

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  10. I own two citizen watches, which I have used for many years. Just how many is a good question. I actually don’t recall whether I bought them in the 70s or 80s.
    6100 K2759 CKK
    2073631
    GN-4-W
    6100 K02741 CKW
    6020267
    GN-4-W

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  11. Hi, I have just bought a ladies gold tone citizen automatic watch with date and weekday. The numbers on the back are:
    4-r02114- rw,
    40901748,
    gn-4w-s.
    The rest says Citizen Watch co. Water resist. Base Metal YP.
    I have established that it that it was probably made in September 1974 but what do the last 5 digits of the serial number mean? And what would the approximate value of it be? It works perfectly and has been keeping time since I bought it so I don’t expect to have to service it any time soon.

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