Citizen Chronograph 8100A 67-9577 Challenge Timer


This must be one of the most beautiful Citizen ever made. And that is not an easy thing to declare, but I think in this case, it is most likely true. Just take a look at the way the light is dancing on the hour markers, the blue metallic finish, black case… the color of the hands… poetry! This is the Citizen Chronograph Challenge Timer 4-900031TA.

Citizen had three chronograph movements. The first one is a manual wind, found in Citizen Recordmaster – HERE, and two automatic calibres, based on the same main design. The watch presented here is powered by 8100A.

Citizen vintage chronograph 8100A

The case is black coated and has a stainless steel case back and bezel. The chronograph pushers and the crown are also SS. The bracelet is a very interesting combination of black coated metal parts and black leather. Because it is such an old watch, most of the leather parts on these bracelets are, unfortunately, ruined. I am glad I found this NOS example with intact parts. (I have one more bracelet like this in great need of new leather parts, so if anyone interested in that, let me know.) About the caseback – here you can see the way it was sealed with stickers the day it was made –  “passed JWCII” The JWCII was used since 1954 and lasted up to 1991. It was made for a specific reason: to ensure quality control. They were applied in factories producing horological and other technological products. JWCII sticker (initially placed on watches where QC was an important step of manufacture) was later-on seen on Japanese cameras and lenses and a few electronic devices.

The movement is the automatic fly-back, 23 jewls, calibre 8100A with hand winding capability. It was produced by Citizen starting from 1972, just as 8110A. This watch was made in 1973, It is a vertical clutch chronograph (beating at 28.800 bph) with column wheel and fly back function. It also features a day and date indicator. The fly back function means that you can reset the chronograph while in motion and it will start again without needing to go the entire process of pressing stop-reset-start. So, one push can do all of this. Of course that if you want to stop it you can go the classic stop-reset way. A particularity for this movement is that when you want to change the day you should pull the crown to second position (for changing the date) and push and release the reset (5 o’clock) button. It is 27 mm wide and 5,8mm high, (1mm less than 8110A). The column wheel/vertical clutch design of the movement advices to leave the chronograph running for most of the time (this way you can also see the beautiful sweeping central second hand in movement), but from time to time it should be stopped. This is a chronograph that needs to be used. It is not made for design purpose but for timing.

And… now let’s tall about the way it looks. 🙂 The awesome dial is blue, with a sun burst effect, metallic and reflects the light in various ways, making it sparkle to life in direct sun light. In the shade it becomes darker and sometimes even close to black. The hour markers are applied and have orange accents. The hands are orange too, for perfect complementary color contrast (blue – orange). On the outer part of the dial is the white Tachymeter scale.

Beautiful watch, wonderful movement. Great to have, look at and a joy to wear.

Read more about Citizen chronographs on the dedicated page HERE.

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Citizen “Better Starts Now”


I just saw this commercial. I think it is super awesome and I had to share it with you!

  1. Pocket watch 1924
  2. Parashock, Japan’s first shock resistant watch, 1956
  3. Parawater, Japan’s first water resistant watch, 1959 – (read the Later edit)
  4. Cryston Solar Cell- World’s first analog light-powered watch, 1976
  5. Eco-drive – satellite wave F100

Here it is!

Better Starts Now is the simple belief that it is always possible to make something better, and that now is the time to start doing it.

Read more about the historical Citizen watches HERE.

Enjoy!

Later edit: Unfortunately Citizen Co. got the wrong watch in their commercial. The first water resistant watch didn’t have a date as the one featured here dropped into the aquarium. Read more about the REAL first Japanese water resistant watch HERE. – The Parawater! 

Citizen Auto Phynox – the first automatic Citizen


Do you want a dress watch? One that is an important part of Citizen history? Maybe one that is really rare? Look no more, here it is the awesome Citizen Auto!

Citizen well known Jet movements are often believed to be the earlier automatics that the company produced, prior to the swinging central mounted rotor, BUT, in fact that is not true. Well, even before the Jet, Citizen had a traditional, more common type automatic movement and this is the watch to have it!

citizen auto 20 jewels phynoxThe case is made of stainless steel, and so is the screw in caseback making it water protected. Overall it has a clean design, with applied hour markers, three hands, central sweeping seconds, no luminous material. Nothing fancy about the design, just a clean elegant look. But, let’s take the case back off!

Here is the movement! And that is the first automatic movement Citizen ever produced, calibre 3KA. Citizen had to come up with a self winding mechanism as a response to the first Japanese automatic made by Seiko in 1955. At the time Seiko was the main competitor and most of the time ahead of Citizen, so the company needed to keep up. They made this starting from May 1958 for only about 3-4 years (not sure about this). Citizen stoped making it because of the introduction of the fabulous (in my opinion) Jet movements that were made from ’61 to ’67. Read about Jets HERE. So, here is the Citizen AUTO! In fact it has a manual wind base movement that was added a large bridge that covers almost all of the inner parts. On this bridge the swinging bidirectional winding weight was placed so the watch became an automatic. Cal. 3KA runs at 18,000 vibration (5 vibration/sec) and has a power reserve of about 35 hours. It can also be winded by hand. Just give it a few turns of the crown and the seconds will tick away easily.

citizen-auto-vintage

Read more about other important Citizen watches HERE.

Vintage (clear caseback) Citizen Shock Proof


This time the watch presented is not a diver, neither a fly back chronograph. Not a hi beat movement and not a Chrono Master but what a beautiful timepiece it is!

What makes it special is the fact that it has a transparent casback for an easier way to look at the  movement. It was made around 1960?

citizen shock proof parashockThe case is gold plated and has a two acrylic crystals, one on the dial side and one on the movement side. This way, it makes this watch the oldest I have seen with a display back. You can see an interesting Leopard pocket watch with a display back HERE. Removing both crystals we can have a better look at the beautiful dial and movement. The dial, as well as the movement, is placed inside a black disk, with hour markers on the dial side. This gives it a great contrast to the white simple center. The hands are also golden and the small seconds are eccentric, at 6 o’clock. The “C” logo and the hour markers are applied. The same logo can be found on the winding crown.

To compliment the watch, a genuine vintage green leather strap with a gold plated Citizen buckle was used (not sure if the right one for this piece but a really good match).

The movement is a Citizen calibre H that I don’t have much info on so far. Hopefully in the future I will be able to add more facts about this watch, meanwhile let’s enjoy the pictures and the way the movement works through the clear case back.

Citizen “Leopard” 150m diver day-date 4-722710 Y


In fact it is not really a “Leopard” but it is equipped with the same movement that can be found mostly in the Leopard range. Also, the case style is the well known one used by Citizen in their 150m divers. What can I say, the perfect combination of style and functionality. This is the (October 1972) Citizen 150m day-date diver model 4-722710 Y.

citizen 150m day date leopard 7200 4-722710 y

The case, as stated before, is similar (not exactly the same though) with other 150m divers. Read about similar divers HERE. It has the same 40mm diameter, brushed top surface, polished sides, large unsigned screw in crown, screw in case back. The lug width is 20mm. There is also a bidirectional friction type bezel. Again, the bezel has a few variation among 150m divers. It is important to pay attention to this because a lot of these pieces come with aftermarket bezel inserts or wrong ones. I wrote an article about one particular fake & real inserts HERE. The crystal has a flat surface and it is concave on the inside. Of course, the water resistance is 150m.

The interesting feature of the watch is the automatic movement, Citizen cal 7210, 24 jewels. It works at 28,800 bph, 8 ticks per second, 4 Hz. It can be hand winded too as most of the Citizen movements do. Because the watch has this calibre, it displays the date as well as the day of the week. The dial is black, with raised hour markers, logo and day-date frame. The printing is white. On the bottom it is also printed the dial code 726257 Y and Japan. The hands are similar all across the range, with slight variations in size and shape. In this case the sweeping second hand is straight without the luminous dot as others have. I have seen a variation of this exact model with a black day and date wheel and that one has a second hand tip with a luminous ball.

The strap is a curved end Tropic rubber one that fits the watch nicely and gives it a lot of personality. Lovely watch to have and wear.

Read more about Citizen divers HERE.

Citizen Highness Chronometer Officially Certified 36000


COSC is Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which is the institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of wristwatches in Switzerland.

Japan had something similar and so did Citizen with this model. It is a gorgeous piece powered by a very accurate movement. This particular watch, model 4-720300 Y ,  was made in February 1970 and it is marked Parawater.citizen chronometer officially certified 36000So, let’s start with the movement! It is the Citizen calibre 7230 based on 72xx calibre that is found in most of the Leopard range. Read about Citizen Leopard watches HERE. It is an automatic with 28 jewels, day and date, hacking seconds and it is running at 36000bph. It is operated by the “C” signed crown that sets the time, day and date, and winds the movement. It is engraved with it’s own serial, like most of the special movements Citizen produced. All this makes it a special piece and very accurate; after all it is Citizen Chronometer Officially Certified, the first generation of what later became Citizen Highness. In fact this one is called Leopard Highness. Such a special movement needs a special, stainless steel, all polished cushion shaped case. The caseback has it’s own special logo, a gold inlay medallion. The same logo is applied on the dial too. Talking about the dial, well, it is awesome! It’s simple, clean, with a vertical grain brushed surface. It has applied hour markers, logos and day-date frame. All the rest is printed in black. The skeleton hands are also black and so is the simple sweeping second hand. The entire face is protected by a mineral faceted (9 surfaces) crystal that plays with the light making it look really special; well after all it really is!

citizen highness manual

UPDATE:

Here is it one with a black dial I found on-line (pictures from the seller)

vintage citizen chronometer officially certified black

And here we have a beautiful story about a similar watch written by Adam: enjoy it! LINK HERE

Citizen Chrono Master strap & buckle


As any collector of vintage watches knows, finding a certain watch is difficult but often it is more difficult to find an original strap with an original buckle. This is so true for Citizen Chrono Master. Unfortunately the leather gets dry in time and cracks easily. The glue as well dries and the strap might disintegrate if used. But it is such a joy to find a good one!

Here it is, the original Chrono Master strap and buckle!

citizen chronomaster strap

The Chrono Master came with a lug width of 18mm for straps and 20 mm for (straps?) bracelets. I have yet to find a 20mm strap for one. This strap is made of leather, tapering from 18mm to 14mm. The top part as well as the underneath is black and is branded.  The alloy (aluminum?) buckle has a black leather inlay.

Read about the Chrono Master box HERE!

Citizen Alarm Disk 19 J Phynox Center Second


Citizen had three calibers for their alarm watches. The first one, and probably one of the most beautiful timepieces, is this little part of history. Watches powered by this movement were made around 1960. The first one seems to have come out in 1958? making it the first one of a long successful series of alarm watches.

vintage citizen alarm phynox disk

The case is gold filled and has an elegant look, with beautifully shaped lugs and well chosen crowns. Speaking of the crowns, the lower one sets the time and winds the movement. The upper one is for setting the alarm and winds it as well. This is the same for all Citizen alarms. The entire case is polished except for the snap on stainless steel case back that has a central circular brushed surface. The case back can be placed only in a certain position so that the hammer of the movement could strike the pin attached on it. In fact this is how the alarm works. (To hear a Citizen alarm, click this LINK) I like the way the inside of the case back is finished and engraved. The strap is black, original too, and the buckle is, as expected, gold plated (filled?).

The dial is made out of two parts, one central disk that rotates and has a red triangle that is the alarm pointer and the outer part that actually has two concentric shades due to the way it was finished. The hands and the applied hour markers are gold to complete this beautiful look. There is not much text on it except for “Citizen Alarm” and “19 jewels Phynox” and in the lower part “Japan”.

The movement is the most important part of the watch and the reason why this watch is a real success, the first Citizen alarm movement. It is the manual wind Citizen calibre 980, 19 jewels, 3 adj, 18,000 bph. Very beautiful and working like a champ.

citizen alarm disc vintage

The blue central disk watch above has a special case-back, made of two connecting layers, the top part having 6 holes and the entire piece acts like a resonance chamber so the sound of the alarm is really, really loud!

update: another version I found online is this one, black dial with contrasting off-white central disk. Notice the red and blue writing on the dial! Beautiful! The case is gold plated. citizen alarm dick black vintageBottom line, it is a gorgeous watch with a wonderful movement, a real time capsule and one of the most important watches Citizen made. Every collector should have one.

Read more about another simple, no date, vintage citizen alarm watch HERE. The rest of the alarms (date or no date, elegant or sportier) you can find HERE.