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:

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:

55 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:

    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.


  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?



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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!


    • 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.


      • 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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  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. ( )

    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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  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.


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


  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
    6100 K02741 CKW


  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,
    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.


  12. Hi! Great article on dating Citizen Watches! I have a Newmaster that i wish to restore.

    Caseback info are as follows:
    4-180615 Y

    In front, On the dial, It says:

    NEWMASTER (Next to the 9 position)
    21 JEWELS
    PARAWATER (Next to the 3 position, Date Window)
    (Applied Crown Logo on 12 position)

    On the Movement, Chiseled:
    21 JEWELS

    Thank you very much and looking forward to more great stuff!


  13. Hi. Trying to date a Citizen with the guide, but It seems impossible. The serial number is 11524720, so using the guide It should be x1 for the year, but 15 for the month. Any help? Thanks.


  14. My father brought this watch for me when I was very young. it looks I have a 1977 june
    it wold have put me a 11 yo. I remember the the band being to big to size and they put a stretch flex ban on it I wore it that way till the mid 80’s they the citizen came loose in side and got stuck inn the day date and it went in to my draw. after years of looking at the watch every so often i took it and got a proper band and the watch it self fixed. I just picked it up and would like for information on it. it is fun to have it back and wearing it

    citizens Automatic day and date
    Japan / All stainless / Water Resistant

    /Users/frankstapley/Desktop/Photo on 2-27-18 at 3.16 PM.jpg
    /Users/frankstapley/Desktop/Photo on 2-27-18 at 3.16 PM #2.jpg
    /Users/frankstapley/Desktop/Photo on 2-27-18 at 3.15 PM.jpg


  15. Hola buenas tengo una consulta.
    me entregaron el reloj de mi abuela y sale lo siguiente:
    watch co.
    water resistant
    All stainless stell
    4-754280 TA


  16. Hi
    After trawling the internet for hours trying to find some help regarding a citizen watch that I have acquired, I was wondering if you could tell me if it was real or fake?
    Its a rectangular cream face gold tone watch with a 5-link wide strap. There isnt any logo on face except for the words ‘Citizen quartz’ and at bottom, ‘Japanese movt 6010-N43821-??’
    on the back it says:
    Citizen watch co.
    water resist
    base metal ypm
    6010-s51482 HSB
    GN-0-S *looks like an imprinted arrow* 6

    Any help would be much appreciated


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  18. I have citizen watch with the following info on the back – 2030-069978 SMO under this is 2061212 and under this is 31-05001
    Can’t work out what it means – have some pics if that helps.

    Many thanks

    Bruce McCarroll
    Auckland, NZ


  19. Hi there,

    Thanks for the great article! It’s awesome to have so much info on these -in my opinion overlooked – watches.

    I was lucky to get my hands on a 8110A on eBay.

    I am trying to find out the production year and I am confused. I understand the watches where made between 1972 and 1980. Following your manual it could be 71 or 81?

    4-901045 TA

    I am guessing 1981 April?
    Thanks for the help!


  20. I found this watch in parking lot, keeps great time! on the back is following info. G.P 4-540166 T , 00201088, 62-5221. around the back is; citizen, automatic, parawater. The face is gold tone, has date window, has hours 12 and 6. under the 12 has citizen, 21 jewels. above the 6 has automatic, waterproof. Is this a 1970 watch? great watch.


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