Citizen Auto Dater 200m, the Skin Diver


Could this be the first real diver made by Citizen? Well.. maybe it is this one, maybe it is the 120m (that for sure I will write about in the future – read about it HERE). Either way, it is one of the first and what a beautiful watch it is! citizen autodater 200m skin diver The first thing I noticed about this is the “skin diver” engraving on the back, making it really special at 200m (para200mwater). It is the only diver Citizen made with 200m water resistance. The screw retained case back is not marked with a serial no, so unfortunately the date of manufacture is impossible to accurately determine. Because the watch is powered by the Citizen cal 1120 jet movement, and taking other aspects into consideration we can assume it was made somewhere around 1962-1965. The case is made entirely in stainless steel, having the top part brushed in a circular pattern while the rest is polished, with integrated lugs. The Tropic strap dimension is 19mm and is the perfect match for a skin diver. The frictional bidirectional bezel is a one piece design (no bezel insert) and painted black. Because of a lot of usage the edge becomes silver as the paint is slowly being worn away. After all it is a 50 years old tool watch that was used as Citizen intended it to be. On 12 it has a luminous dot, not the usual triangle. An interesting feature of the watch is the fact that the bezel is a count down type, starting from 60 and going down: 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0, not the other way around as usual. Each minute is marked with a dot. The dial is painted in a beautiful glossy black with integrated hour markers that are polished. Wonderful design of the markers and the hands. On 3 there is the date window, that has a polished frame too. Citizen made the date reading better by providing an acrylic crystal with an outer date magnifier. The winding crown is not signed and operates the movement. It is not a screw in type. Although the Citizen jet movement 1120 ( 21 jewels )  is an automatic one it can be winded by hand too. This is done in the first position of the crown. In the second position the time can be set. The seconds do not hack and there is no quick set date. The date changes by advancing the hour hand past midnight.

One very rare variation of the skin diver is the silver dial one with gold accents (bezel, hour markers and hands). By contrast this one has a “normal” bezel counting up not down as the black version. I have yet to find another, or a catalog picture, to be sure this is all 100% original. (Stephen provided another picture of a similar one but without a bezel so it seems it must be legit. Thank you! ) Update: Both variants are now a part of my collection. The silver dialed one is on original rubber bracelet with Citizen golden buckle.

autodater citizen skin diver 200m

All things considered, black or silver, this is a beautiful, rare, awesome diver that has it’s own place in Citizen history, and ofcourse, in my collection. 🙂 Read more about other Citizen divers HERE.

Read more about the first Citizen diver, the Jet Autodater 120m, HERE.

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Vintage Citizen Triple Calendar Watch


One of the oldest Citizen watches is the triple calendar, launched in 1952. It is also one of the most complicated watches they made (except for chronographs).

citizen calendar watch

Apart from telling the correct time it also has a complete calendar powered by the movement. That makes it unique among vintage Citizen watches. The running seconds are off centered, at 6. The date is shown by a pointer while the month and the date are displayed in a twin window on the upper part of the dial. The entire face of the watch is very well designed and balanced. On this particular watch the date hand is a replacement because it is too long, covering the date. On another dial design (for 17 jewels movements) the dates are positioned towards the edge of the dial and a longer date pointer is used. In this case the dates are closer to the center so a shorter hand should have been there in the first place. Because it is such an old watch I think at a certain time that one was replaced. The dial aged beautifully and it is still classy and elegant. The “C” logo, and hour markers are golden and applied, the dates are printed in blue, the month and date are black on yellow disks.

The manual “C” winding movement has 16 jewels and was inspired by the Swiss calibers at the time. The winding crown is at 3 and setting the time is done in the second position. The seconds do not hack. The date corrector is located at  4 while the month and day pushers are at 10 and 2. Very intuitive layout.

As more information will become available on this model I will update the page. So far… I can tell you I love the vintage elegant look of this awesome watch. The only thing I wish is that Citizen would have placed a moon phase in one of their watches. And this particular one would have been perfect for that. 🙂

Update 2016 July – Here is the booklet:

citizen triple calendar

Update 2018 April:

Here is my NOS one, I have it for one year already  but somehow only today felt like the right day for a photo shoot:

Read more about another (Citizen Monthly) full calendar watch HERE

VIDEO – Citizen Shine


Citizen launched the “Shine” model in 1960. An official press release states that in 1967 a number of 215 watches were donated to 29 different countries to help the blinds, as an effort to support the United Nation program of promoting friendship and world peace. In 1975, 45 years after the first ever Citizen was produced, the company donated 5,000 of these watches to all 10th to 12th graders visually impaired students in Japan.

 

Read more about this model here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2015/01/31/citizen-shine-braille-watch-4-300017ta/

Enjoy!

Citizen Seven Star Para100mWater APSS2812-Y


The watch I introduce to you today is a variation of the Vintage Citizen compressor style diver 4-520343 Y, I wrote about HERE.

I called it a compressor style case because it is not a real compressor one but it only has the look of one. It has two crowns and an internal bidirectional rotating bezel that is operated by the crown at 2 o’clock.  Because I have already reviewed the sister model in the article about 4-520343Y HERE, I will only post the pictures and point out the differences.

citizen seven star parawater compressor diver

So, this is the blue dial one, as clearly seen in the picture, and the dial in marked Seven Star. The case, movement, hands, crowns and straps are shared between the two models. The dial on this one is marked parawater and has the Seven Star logo “7” applied. The caseback is also different with different engraving.

For this particular watch I think the Tropic strap is a good match and really nice to wear.

Read about more diving watches here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diving/

Citizen Dandy Seven Para100mWater Diver


Citizen Dandy Seven Para100mWater Diver – The True Diving Watch

Model 4-520688 Y

There are common watches, rare watches, ultra mega extra rare watches and… this. 🙂

Let me tell you this watch in not rare, it is something none of my Citizen collector friends knew it existed. If you saw another one, let me know. To add to this story, it comes in mint NOS condition, with price tag, model tag, papers, box (inner and outer one), stickers… complete package as the day it left the Citizen factory so long ago. By the way, it was made in 1969.

Here it is, the way I got it:

dandy seven diver citizen

Now let’s get to the watch itself!

Citizen named it Dandy Seven Diver and marketed it as a powerful waterproof watch designed for underwater use. The powerful Citizen “Parawater” (waterproofing) enables this watch to resist 10 atmospheric pressures at the depth of 100m underwater. It is equipped with a register ring that indicates the time lapse  and the remaining time after submerging, and a safety diving depth graduation witch indicates the safety limit of diving depth and acts to prevent submarine sickness. Thus, it can be said that this watch is ideal for those who make diving their profession and therefore it is called the true diving watch.

What can I say, it is a true diving watch and such a beautiful one! I love the colors, the shape, the size. The bezel is bidirectional friction type (as most of the Citizen divers are – except from the 500m Chrono Master). The bezel insert has a metallic blue color that contrasts with the orange inner bezel. Blue and orange are complementary colors so this watch really catches your eyes especially in bright natural light. On the bezel Citizen placed a luminous dot rather then the usual triangle. The crystal is acrylic, beautifully bending the light. The crown is signed “C”. Both the case and the bracelet are made in stainless steel and are carefully finished in brushed surfaces and polished ones. The clasp has the usual diving extension Citizen used for a lot of their models.

citizen diver dandy seven

As for the features:

  1. It adopts Citizen’s “Parawater” (powerful water proofing) device and is capable of resisting 10 atmospheric pressures.
  2. It adopts a time register ring.
  3. It has safety diving depth graduation.
  4. An automatic winding watch equipped with a manual winding mechanism.
  5. It has clear viewing day and date indicators.
  6. Equipped with Citizen’s unique quick date setting device.
  7. Adopts Citizen’s unique Parashock (shockproofing) device and unbreakable spring.

Regarding the movement, I tried to open it but was afraid to scratch it so I left it this way because as for most of NOS pieces I have found out that this is a difficult and risky operation. I tend to believe that the movement inside is the Citizen calibre 5204?

Citizen also provided information about how to use the time register ring, time, day and date setting, and reading the safety diving depth graduation. Also some instructions on the maintenance of the waterproofing quality were given.

All things considered this is an awesome powerful watch that I hope you like reading about. Awesome Citizen! My first 100% complete vintage Citizen package and such a beautiful, rare one it is!

UPDATE: I managed to find another one so here they are side by side:

citizen dandy seven vintage diver

The movement inside is indeed the Citizen calibre 5204.

dandy seven vintage citizen diver parawater.jpg

Read more about vintage Citizen divers here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diving/

Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J 150m Professional


That is a long title! In fact it is even longer, it is:

“Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J Para150mWater Professional SADS52801-Y”

This must stand for something and for sure it means business! 🙂 Citizen Super Auto Dater

This one is one of the very best Citizen has ever made. I was lucky enough to find a mint, NOS example.  It has all the characteristics that a top quality iconic vintage diver should have. Even today after almost 50 years it stands out proud in the tough world of diving watches.

It has a unibody case (the case back doesn’t come of and the movement can be taken out only by removing the crystal)  made in SS, 40mm diameter, all polished except for the upper part of the beautifully shaped lugs. The fact that the case is monocoque is obvious when reading the engraving on the back where a small “X” inside a circle can be found. This is the sign that Citizen used for a unibody cases. The crystal is tightened in place by a steel pressure ring and there are two rubber seals that protect it from water intrusion. One ring in under the crystal and one on the side of the crystal. The crown too has it’s own rubber O ring making the watch water resistant up to 150m. Citizen used the term Para Water. (I love these words) So the watch is Para150mWater, making it the first of the iconic line of 150m divers Citizen made with the same overall look and function. No Citizen lover should miss having at least one 150m vintage diver, no matter the model.  Back to the crown (unsigned and polished), one interesting feature is the fact that the threads are not on the tube connected to the case but on the crown itself. So the crown indeed screws INTO the case and not ON the case like most of the screw-in crowns do.

The thick crystal,  flat on the surface and concave on the dial side gives beautiful reflections and makes the polished hour markers really pop. In fact the entire face of the watch is pure gorgeous! The elegant writing, the polished hands and hour markers, the green luminous material (still glowing powerfully today), the date window… awesome! How beautiful is it to read: “Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J 150m Professional” and then, the 3 stars, the sign that Citizen used for superior watches at the time. “Professional” – nice! 🙂

The bezel is bidirectional friction type with a simple insert with a luminous dot inside a triangle.

The strap in this case is a Tropic curved ends one, 19mm wide at the lugs part that I think compliments the overall appearance of the watch a lot. It is a diver, Citizen used Tropic straps and this combination is gorgeous.

Citizen Auto Dater 39J 150m

Inside the watch the magic continues! The 1150 citizen calibre with 39 jewels is, if not one of the best, for sure one of the most beautiful movements Citizen has. The Super Jet movement was introduced in 1963, my watch is made in 1967, June. It beats at the usual 18,000 bph and it is automatic with hand winding feature also. It has a date that can be adjusted by passing the hour hand over midnight. It is not a hacking seconds. The beautiful part is the circular geared rotor. This is what Citizen called Jet movements. Some say that Citizen replaced this type by the centrally mounted oscillating weight because it was more economical to produce and service even though not as qualitative. I would have expected to see a six screws  rotor when opening the watch but I was equally pleased to find a rotor type that had four and is engraved “Citizen”only, without the usual “super jet”. The entire movement is gold plated.

Here it is how the papers should look like:

citizen-super-auto-dater-39j

As a conclusion all I can say is that finding one of these is not an easy task but when completed the joy is huge and for sure this is a watch that once in your collection you will never ever sell.

Read more about Citizen diving watches HERE.

Read about another ultra rare diver HERE – the 500m Chrono Master Chronometer