Citizen Challenge Golf 7760-770901K BLS


Finding a NOS watch or a mint one, (new old stock – one that was never worn) is not an easy task when talking about vintage watches. Finding one dating more than 40 years ago is even harder. But finding one that has its original box is pure luck. Add the fact that it has not only the hinged box but the outer cardboard cover too, and it is a rare model, and you have now the full picture of this extraordinary package. vintage citizen challenge golf This in the Citizen Challenge Golf 7760-770901K BLS. During 70’s Citizen was developing a wide range of watches and because golf was a not to miss opportunity, one watch dedicated to this sport was released by the manufacture. Read about more sport related Citizen watches HERE. This particular model came in two case styles, a round one and the one I am presenting here, a TV style one. Usually I see them on leather straps (in fact this is the only one I saw on a bracelet). So a TV coated case, with a beautifully polished / brushed stainless steel ? bezel on a matching coated bracelet. The bracelet is very light and might be aluminum. The coating is not black, but a dark army green. The acrylic crystal is flat and on the underside surface, at 12 o’clock, it has a magnifier for better visualisation of the golf score window. The casebak is made in stainless steel and is engraved 7760-770901K BLS, water resistant, Citizen, and the serial dating it to March 1973. The outer part of clasp is coated, as well as the clasp extension, while the folding part is polished and engraved: Citizen watch Co Japan, base metal tops, stainless steel back.citizen-challenge-golfThe movement is the Citizen calibre 7760, developed specially for this model. It is a nicely constructed one, automatic, with hand winding capability also. It has 26 jewels, it hacks and has a date that can be changed only by moving the hour hand (not quick set). The window at 12 o’clock is for keeping the score. Pushing the crown advances the score is the watch is held vertically and goes the other way around if the watch is held up side down while the crown is pushed. I don’t know much about golf but the watch has these numerals on this score wheel: on blue, from 0 to 18 and then prior of 0 we have on red 1 and 2. The dial is blue in bright light but green in normal light. It is darker on the sides and brighter in the center. The hands, the applied logo, window frames and hour markers are polished.

Update: 

Here is another completely different model, round case with original white strap. (pictures from online seller)citizen challenge golfBeautiful interesting watch with a great dial too look at but a difficult one to photograph right. So… I will keep on trying until I have the perfect picture! 🙂

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Citizen Crystal 7 – 33 jewels


Among the interesting vintage Citizen, this one has it’s special place.

It is the para water Crystal 7 with 33 jewels and a uni body case.

citizen crystal 7 33The watch is the perfect size for a dress one, not too small, not too large just as it should be even by today standards, at 37mm diameter. The case is elegant, entirely polished, made in one piece of stainless steel. That means that the case back can not be removed and the movement comes out only by removing the mineral flat crystal. This is a nice feature that makes the case a little more water resistant by eliminating the risk of water entering the watch through the back. Because the case back is the same piece with the entire case it is possible to place the beautiful engraving in such amanner that it is always crown side up. This is a nice bonus to the overall look of the watch. The engraving shows the water resistance by “para water” marking and the uni case body is marked by a small “x” inside a small circle. The model is ACSS 51401-Y and was made in April 1966.

The dial is silver, with a sun burst effect and a lot of applied markers. The hour markers are applied, the day and date frames are applied, the Citizen logo, the 7 logo and 33 marking are also applied. The “Crystal” writing is in black and so are the minute markers. The hour markers have a longitudinal black line just as the hour and minute hands. The overall look of the face is beautiful, silver with black, elegant accents. The only color used is the “SUN” in Sunday on the day wheel.

citizen-crystal-7-33 copy

The movement is the automatic (hand winding is also possible) 33 jewels Citizen cal 5204 ? , beating at 18,000 bph. It is a quick set date while the day changes by advancing the hourhand past midnight. It proved to be very good at time keeping; some people even say it is very close to Chronometer grade and Citizen Chronomaster line.

The strap is a replacement black leather Citizen strap with a simple stainless steel tang buckle. I think it fits the watch and adds to the overall elegant look.

Beautiful, elegant, classy day-date vintage Citizen.

Citizen Chronomaster 500m Chronometer


This is THE holly grail of Citizen collectors! This is one of the most sought after vintage watches! This is my dream, my so long waited one and the answer of all my intensive searches!

People ask me where did I find it? I am going to tell you the story of finding this one.

I started collecting vintage Citizen a few years ago. (I write this article in 2015 February) I always loved divers and chronographs. The first watch I had as a kid was a blue Volkswagen quartz “diver”. I still have that one.  Then as time passed I found myself over my head into buying and selling, repairing and loosing money because of my passion, reading, writing, comparing and… you know… collecting. 🙂  I learned that there are fakes, aftermarket parts, interesting watches and common ones. I found out what I like and tried to let the other watches go. I learned not to buy only because it is a good price. I learned a lot and I am still learning. Then about two years ago a piece of information came to me. It seemed that there is a certain diver made in stainless steel, Chronomaster, 500m WR, Chronometer grade. So I started looking for one.  Sometimes I dreamed about it, sometimes I thought I found a lead but time after time,  it was just a mind trick. In all these years I searched for one each and every day. I found four so far. I bought one. The first one was sold as “junk” in Japan for USD 4.100. The second one I found online, on a watch forum, and has a replacement bezel and bezel insert and is not for sale. The third one, on facebook, has a replacement crown, bezel and bezel insert and non original strap and is nor for sale. The fourth one is my watch.

One month ago (2014 December) I was on a trip in Hong Kong and of course I had my share of watch hunting. So I found a vintage watch store that had an Alarm Citizen. I asked if they had any other Citizen and was told to return tomorrow. They will look for more in the back of the store. This is what I did. The next day I saw 5-6 watches and got myself THIS Citizen Leopard. I got the watch and went to dinner. Waiting for the food, I google searched the serial of the Leopard I just got. I might have entered the wrong digits because one among the images I found online showed a Citizen 500m. There was a new image that I didn’t see before. I clicked it. Imagine my surprise when I found that the Chronomaster was for sale in Japan, posted one day before! I tried to translate the page on my mobile and contacted the seller. They were not selling outside Japan. My world tumbled down! I wrote on my facebook page asking if maybe I have some friends from Japan. Eric said yes! So I wrote him. We never spoke before that day but now we are good friends. Thanks Eric! He said he was willing to buy the watch for me and send it my way. To make a long story short, I sent him the money, he contacted the site where the watch was sold, the site contacted the seller, the seller sent the watch to the site, the site said the watch is not ok and maybe they will cancel the transaction if they can’t solve it. The watch was running fast but I didn’t care. Eric said that if they don’t fix it they will not send it. I worried and I waited. What was I supposed to do? Nothing. It was not in my power. A few days later Eric had the watch! Then the watch was on the way to me. 🙂 Let me tell you that the original pictures of the watch were of a very poor quality and I had only a vague idea about what I was buying. Later I found out more information on the watch by talking directly to the seller. This was a very difficult task to achieve. Not easy to find the original owner, trust me on this one. 🙂 So, the only info I got is that the watch came from Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan. I hope I will find out more. (I found nothing more – 2017)

So this is what I got:  A huge 44mm one piece stainless steel case (uni body case – the movement comes out through the frontal part of the watch, after removing the crystal and the bezel of course), thick slightly domed mineral crystal, unidirectional 60 clicks bezel, screw in crown, rubber strap marvel! I got the whole package! One thing I found (June 2017) is that the eagle engraving on the back is not actually directly on the case but rather on a steel inlay (like the gold inlay used in the dress Chrono Master) I didn’t remove it but I am quite sure I am right. Anyway, back to the story. 🙂 My watchmaker opened the watch only to find a perfect movement as the one in THIS Chronomaster (but Chronometer grade – Citizen 5440). Everything works as it should! I am so happy!

Well… the hunt is over, the dream has come true, the wait was long. I am tired and so happy!

Thank you: Eric (Japan), Stephan (UK) , Claudiu (Romania),  Jack (Singapore), Fred (Austria), Daniel (Germany) for all your contribution. You all have your part in making my dream come true! Thank you my friends!

Update 2016: Here is another one. 🙂 So I have two now. (Well… I sold one to have the money for the other Grail, the Glorious – 2017)

citizen 500m chrono master diver vintage

Update 2017: Hard to believe but I found another one for sale in Japan (the best condition I saw, really beautiful!) at the asking price of USD 14,500 (it got sold). Not cheap at all. (pictures below and all credit for them to the seller – Kyotoya – Japan) This one was made in January 1969, the first production date I saw. Here it is:

Update July 2017  – I bought and instantly sold another one, the first serial January 1969, never polished, 100% original. Here it is:

Conclusion 2018 September:

In all the years of hunting these watches I saw only 15 pieces, in private collections or online. I had three of them. Putting together all the serials and details the conclusion so far is:

  • 9 of them are made in April 1969, 3 are made in January 1969 (901006xx) (I cant see the serial of the other three in order to date them)
  • there are two dial variations: “CHRONOMETER” & “Chronometer” Why?
  • the “Chronometer” variant has an aging yellow lume. The other remains more green.
  • the serials range is from about 90400420 up to about 90401130 (except the January 69 pieces, the first one being is 90100xx) How do the last 5 digits of the Citizen serial actually work ?
  • the finishing of the case  – all brushing should be longitudinal
  • they came on 20mm straight end Tropic straps with Citizen signed buckles (and maybe another rubber strap model that I am still investigating).
  • two of them were sold as junk, not moving (no even sure a movement was inside), really deteriorated, in really bad shape, really bad… and each of them fetched over 4,000 USD
  • the most expensive one sold at 14,500 USD

Read more about Citizen divers HERE.

Read about another ultra rare diver HERE the Citizen Super Auto Dater Professional

Read about another HOLLY GRAIL watch, the Glorious, HERE.