Just a short video of a custom made vintage automatic chronograph.
Just a short video of a custom made vintage automatic chronograph.
One of the most replicated (so called “aftermarket”) dials for vintage Citizen watches is the dial for the wellknown “bullhead” chronograph. The original bullhead dial, the one with an octagonal SS case is either black with white sub-dials or white with black sub-dials. If you see one with a different color, for sure, it is not original. Sometimes you can find one that looks just the way it should, but let’s wait a minute. Let’t put on the magnifier and compare the original dial with the fake one.
I have posted two photos. The fake dial is the one where you can see the entire watch, on the left, all the details are from an original dial, on the right. Click on the pictures1 to magnify them.
In the first picture we can clearly see:
1 – the “500” is not where is supposed to be on the fake one. It is miss-placed at the 38th marker, not at the 36th, as it should be.
2 – the “TACHYMETER” writing on the aftermarket one is too long (this is why the “500” is misplaced too) and the second “T” on the fake one is after the 1 o’clock hour marker as for the real one the “T” is before the hour marker.
3 – the applied hour markers should have two levels, on the lower level is the luminous dot. On the fake dial the hour marker is flat, without this particularity.
4 – the markings are not correct on the fake one
5 – the sub-dials (minute and hours) should be carefully made (with a nice concentric pattern) and nor shiny
6 – The tachymeter scale numbers are not allowed to touch the other lines printed on the dial. The execution lack finesse at the fake dial.
The second picture:
1 – the “Chronograph” and “automatic” are better centered at the original part
2 – the applied “Citizen” logo has better quality on the real dial
3 – there should be more space between the “Chronograph” and “Automatic” on the original
4 – the overall printing is way better at the original Citizen dial and a direct comparison under magnification will make it all crystal clear
For sure there are other mistakes too but these are the obvious ones.
As a conclusion, I suggest that any buyer and Vintage Citizen Collector should take it’s time (and the magnification) and not waste all this money on fake watches. Remember that “Aftermarket” means “Fake”.
read more about this chronograph watch here:
What’s that The “Grail” watch?
Well… it is the watch that rumor has it that exists but can not be found. You look for it years after years and from time to time you think you find it, but than you realize it was not THE one, but only some pale imitation. You look for it again and again and again. Sometimes you dream about it, sometimes you think you see it strapped to someones wrist but time after time you find out it was just a mind trick. Your eyes see only what your mind fantasizes about.
One glorious night, after hours on web searches, you find a post with pictures attached to a post in a language you don’t understand. That is the real watch! It exists!
Your heart stops; than it races like crazy! With trembling fingers you press the keys on your laptop and start writing a message to the user that posted the pictures, hoping for an answer…
Maybe… Maybe… Should you allow your heart to hope for an answer?
(feb 2014) Let us pray for THE Holly Grail!
UPDATE (oct 2014) I found not one but two owners of this model. One owner doesn’t sell it (yet) and I am still waiting for an answer from the second one. I hope he still has it and will sell it to me. 🙂 Well.. he is not selling it. 😦 The search is still on.
UPDATE (jan 2015) The wait is long, too long! Is it fate? Is it a coincidence? I have to wait! Meanwhile I found out that the two watches I told you about in Oct are not 100% original. Both of them have aftermarket bezels and bezel inserts, and one has a non original crown too. They don’t have the original strap. (one does actually) The closer I get the longer and more difficult the wait gets! It’s been one year since I wrote this article and I feel…
UPDATE (feb 2015) The hunt is over! I have it in my hands! Tired and extremely happy! Read abut THE Citizen HERE!
Thank you all! 🙂
Facebook is a great place to meat great people with really great watches. 🙂 This is why we have created the Vintage Citizen Watches official group page. Check it out and add yourself and your friends! Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagecitizenwatches/354822734656228/?comment_id=354922047979630¬if_t=like Thank you for looking!
This is one of the two vintage automatic chronograph movements made by Citizen, the other is the Citizen 8110A calibre that features an extra 12 hours counter.
A video of 8110A is here:
And here is the video for 67-9631, calibre 8100A. You can see the start-stop-reset mechanism in function, as well as the fly back. Also you can see the way you can change the date and the day. Enjoy!
More informations about this watch here:
Here is a video with the Citizen octagonal “Bullhead” chronograph model 67-9356, that shows the chronograph function, start – stop – reset, and the fly-back function. Also you can see the day date settings.
The video shows the fly-back in slow motion.
Here is a more detailed article about this wonderful vintage Citizen flyback chronograph.
Citizen had two automatic calibres.
One automatic chronograph is the 8110A and you can read about the “octagon bullhead” that had this movement here:
And the other one is the one I will write about now, the 8100A.
Both of them came with different case design, shapes and sizes with a lot of dials. This is why sometimes is difficult to identify if a certain watch is correct or “reconditioned” with aftermarket parts.
This is a one sub-dial design chronograph featuring a lot of interesting details. It was made in November 1973.
The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel. The chronograph pushers are on the side, where the winding crown is. It is a cushion shape with a circular grain brushed front surface (I have seen a sunburst grain also, and polished – the polished is for sure not correct) and polished everywhere else. The caseback is screw in with a circular brushed flat surface. The crown is signed “CTZ”. The mineral crystal sits a little bit taller than the case, with chamfer edge. Nothing out of the ordinary, jut a simple, normal ’70’s design by Citizen, 38mm wide without the crown.
The dial is blue with orange and silver accents. It is nothing less but gorgeous! The blue changes from dark blue (almost black sometimes) to bright blue and then to a type of green really difficult to picture. Sometimes it seems unreal. You have to see one in real life in order to fully appreciate the beauty of this one. On 6 it is the sub-dial, counting the elapsed (30) minutes. This is the only sub-dial (normal for cal 8100A). The central, orange central sweeping hand counts the seconds. This sub-dial is silver with highlighted 5 minutes periods. The 5-10 minutes is blue. Not only the chronograph hands are orange but also the current time hands are painted (not entirely) orange and they have a luminous line. On 3 o’clock there are the day and the date windows, with a silver painted frame. The days and the dates are printed on black disks. The polished Citizen logo is applied and so are the hour markers. The hour markers have an orange central line ending with a luminous dot. On the outer side of the dial there is a white Tachymeter scale, for racing, you know!
The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewls, calibre 8100A with hand winding capability. It was produced by Citizen starting from 1972, just as 8110A. 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.
The bracelet is an usual one piece link design, made by Citizen, with a brushed surface that suits the watch perfectly. It is made in stainless steel with a signed “Citizen” clasp. As usual, Citizen bracelets are very comfortable with a lot of adjustments so finding the perfect fit is easy.
Conclusion: Wonderful Citizen chronograph, vintage yet so modern, with a nice wrist presence and amazing dial!
Enjoy the video of this watch here:
The Mayor of Tokyo, Mr Shimpei Goto, named the watch “CITIZEN” with the hope that the watch, a luxury item of those times, would become widely available to ordinary citizens and be sold throughout the world. He got this right.
The official table (from official Citizen website):
|1918||3||Shokosha Watch Research Institute established, the forerunner of Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.|
|1924||12||First pocket watch completed.|
|1930||5||Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. established. Yosaburo Nakajima appointed president.|
|1931||6||First wrist watch completed.|
|1936||5||Tanashi Factory constructed.|
|1941||7||Production of machine tools begins.|
|1945||10||Shinji Nakajima appointed president.|
|1946||3||Eiichi Yamada appointed president.|
|1949||6||Citizen Trading Co., Ltd. established.|
|1952||3||First Japanese-made watch with a calendar introduced.|
|1953||3||Rhythm Watch Co., Ltd. becomes an affiliate.|
|1955||12||Export of wrist watches begun.|
|1960||3||Import-export agreement concluded with the U.S. Bulova Watch Co.
Technical assistance agreement with India.
|1964||8||Technology research laboratory established.|
|12||Citizen Business Machines established.|
|1965||3||Production of business machines begun. (Adding machines, camera shutters)|
|10||Office opened in former West Germany, start of full-fledged exports to Europe.|
|1966||3||First Japanese-made electronic watch “X-8” introduced.|
|1970||3||CNC automated lathe “Cincom” developed.|
|1971||6||Precision Machinery Division established.|
|1976||3||Production of quartz oscillators begun.|
|1978||2||Head Office moved to Shinjuku Mitsui Bldg. in Tokyo.|
|1980||6||Industry’s first microcomputer controlled line impact printer introduced.|
|1981||6||Rokuya Yamazaki appointed president.|
|10||Systems and Peripherals Division established.|
|1982||9||Special Sales Division established, full-fledged sales of watch components started.|
|1983||3||Chip LED lamp CL Series developed.|
|5||IC sensor electronic thermometer introduced.|
|1987||6||Michio Nakajima appointed president.|
|1990||1||Citizen of the Year annual award established.|
|1992||2||Acquired German machine tool company, Boley GmbH.|
|1993||5||World’s first multizone “Radio-Controlled Watch” introduced.|
|1996||4||Solar-powered Eco-Drive received the Eco Mark the first for a watch.|
|1997||6||Hiroshi Haruta appointed president.|
|2001||3||Head Office moved to Nishi-Tokyo.|
|2002||3||Sales of white LED as a backlight for color LCDs started.|
|6||Makoto Umehara appointed president.|
|2003||6||World’s first full metal case radio-controlled watch with built-in antenna introduced.|
|2004||1||Implemented Citizen Code of Conduct.|
|10||Merged with Citizen Trading Co., Ltd.|
|2005||4||Citizen Systems Japan Co., Ltd. established.|
|10||Five consolidated companies (Citizen Electronics, Miyota, Cimeo Precision, Sayama Precision Industries, Kawaguchiko Precision) become wholly owned subsidiaries. Names of Citizen Group companies changed.|
|2007||4||Company name changed to Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd.|
|2008||4||Mitsuyuki Kanamori appointed president.|
|7||Citizen Miyota Co., Ltd. and Citizen Finetech Co., Ltd. merge.
Citizen Finetech Miyota Co.,Ltd. established.
|10||Miyano Machinery Inc. becomes a consolidated subsidiary.|
|2011||4||Citizen Machinery Co.,Ltd. and Miyano machinery Inc. merge.
Citizen Machinery Miyano Co., Ltd. estabilished.
|2012||4||Toshio Tokura appointed president.|
And a few additions from here: http://forums.watchuseek.com/member.php?u=15164
The forerunner to what we now know as The Citizen Watch Co. Ltd., began life in 1918 under the name Shokosha Watch Research Institute. Buoyed on by an ambitious Mayor who demanded that the Shokosha-Watch Institute should have a bearing on all citizens, in so far as “people appreciated and benefited from the institute’s results”. Prophetic words indeed – from this statement, the seeds were sown that would help produce the world’s largest watch manufacturer.
In 1924, the first pocket watch to bear the Citizen moniker was produced.
One of these first products produced by the company was purchased by Emperor Showa, Prince Regent at the time (Emperor Taisho era).
In 1930, Yosaburo Nakajima laid the foundations of the Citizen watch empire.
In 1931, a 10½ ligne caliber is in production, followed in 1935 by an 8 ¾.
1936 saw the company expand beyond the boundaries of Japan, exporting watches to many parts of Southeast Asia.
In 1940 a 5 1/4 ligne caliber was introduced. During World War Two, Citizen moved their production facilities to a small town 200km from their former location in Tokyo. The company manufactured many components, amongst which were chronometers and igniters for military use.
1949 saw the creation of The Citizen Trading Company. This entity controlled the distribution and marketing of Citizen watches throughout the world.
In the early part of 1950’s, Citizen completed Cal. 960(M), its first 6 beat caliber with 17 jewels, and Cal. C, Japan’s first men’s wrist watch fitted with date display known as “Citizen Calendar”. In 1953, Citizen acquired a clock manufacturer, The Rhythm Clock Co. (currently named “The Rhythm Watch Co., Ltd”), as an affiliated company.
1956 was a momentous year for the brand. The company produced the first shock-proof Japanese watch, known as the Parashock.
In 1958, the company produced its first automatic-winding wrist watch “Auto” fitted with Cal.3KA, and Japan’s first manual winding alarm caliber with 19 jewels, Cal.980(A). Also the introduction of “Citizen Deluxe” fitted with Cal.920, Citizen’s first caliber with central seconds, proves a hit with the watch buying public, with sales of over 100 million pieces.
In 1959, the company produced the first Japanese water-resistant wrist watch, the “Citizen Parawater”, Cal. 920(2B).
At the start of the 1960’s, the Parawater completed two trans-Pacific tests, as well as one in the Sea of Japan – all passed with flying colors.
1960, Citizen signed an export/import agreement with USA’s Bulova Watch Company.
1962 saw the company introduce an officially certified chronometer and the world’s thinnest men’s wrist watch with center seconds, the “Diamond Flake”, Cal.0700.
The year 1963 heralded the introduction of the Quartz-transistor clock.
In 1964, pursuing a diversification strategy, Citizen founded the Citizen Office Machine Co., Ltd. (today’s Japan CBM Corporation).
In 1965, Citizen started producing office equipment and precision manufacture components.
In 1966, Citizen introduces Japan’s first electronically regulated balance wrist watch known as “X-8” or “Cosmotron”.
1967 saw the company put the world’s first quartz transistor clock into the market.
The 70’s were another prolific decade for Citizen, and also the beginning of the company’s move towards the quartz technology that dominates its current output. However, Citizen did not completely move away from mechanical movements during this decade.
1970 saw the introduction of the world’s first Titanium cased watch “X-8 Chronometer”, followed by a tuning fork caliber a year later.
In 1972, Citizen evolved the 60’s “Sports Master”. They developed an brand new automatic chronograph, named the “Easter Rabbit” – commonly referred to by English speaking collectors as the “Bullhead” (or the “Panda” in Japan). The “Easter Rabbit” showcased calibre 8110, which included a zero-position reset mechanism fitted with a shock absorber.
In 1973, the company launches its first quartz wrist watch, fitted with Cal. 8810.
During 1974, Citizen signals its intent to seriously pursue quartz technology by introducing a quartz movement, Caliber 8600EX, fitted with Japan’s first stepping motor mechanism*.
By 1975, the launch of the now legendary Crystron Mega Quartz left the watch world with little, if any, doubt about where Citizen were heading as an brand. Fitted with caliber 8650, generating a frequency of 4,194,304Hz, it is still to this day one of the world’s most accurate (and priced at approx. Y15,000,000 one of the most expensive) wrist watches ever offered for public sale.
In 1975, The Citizen Watch Co. of America Inc. is established.
In 1974, solar powered technology is first introduced, not to mention the first Japanese LCD technology watch.
1978 saw the company introduce a 0.98mm thick quartz caliber, “Quartz 790”.
By 1978, the company moves to the Shinjuku Mitsui building in Tokyo, followed in November of that year with the release of the Citizen Quartz Digi-Ana, fitted with caliber 8900 – it featured a combination of digital LCD and analogous time indication.
By 1980, Japan had become the world’s largest producer of watches and watch movements. November of this year brought the release of ladies wrist watches fitted with the world’s smallest volume movement, “The Exceed Gold”.
Towards the end of 1981, Citizen released their 1300m Professional Diver’s watch. At the time, it was the world’s most water resistant watch available for public use.
By 1982 the diversification that started in the 1960’s, saw Citizen produce the world’s largest Neon-Light advertisement installed in Hong Kong.
1985 saw the release of the world’s first watch fitted with a depth gauge, the “Sport Depth Meter”.
By 1986, Citizen becomes the world’s largest single manufacturer of watch movements.
In 1987, the company introduced the “Voice Master” or “Voice Memo” (in Japan)”, VX-2, the first wristwatch with voice recognition.
The 1990’s were almost as significant and prolific in terms of world’s firsts than the 70’s were for the company. In the early 1990’s Citizen launched the Analog-Aqualand, the first quartz watch with an analog depth gauge.
In 1992 Citizen became the official timekeeper of the America’s Cup yacht race.
In 1993, Citizen introduces radio-controlled watches to the market place.
1995 saw two significant additions to the world of Horology: “The Citizen” was released in May, backed with a ten year factory warranty and +/- 5 second a year accuracy; and November saw the introduction of Eco-Drive power generating technology, which quickly became Citizen’s number one seller.
1996 was another busy year. Citizen’s Eco- Drive technology was awarded the first “Eco-Mark”, an officially certified Japanese award for environmental protection. In July Citizen released the world’s thinnest solar cell equipped movement, only 3.14mm thick.
In 1997, Citizen launches the “Exceed Eco-Drive” to the Japanese market, featuring accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per year, followed closely by “Eco-Drive Signature Technology”, which corrects time differences when traveling between time zones.
1998 saw the introduction of the “Promaster Eco-Drive Aqualand” or “Promaster Aqualand Eco-Drive Analog Depthmeter” (in Japan) , the world’s first solar powered diver’s watch with an electronic depth gauge. In October, Citizen unveil the world’s smallest quartz movement, fitted to the Exceed Lady’s Eco-Drive.
By the end of the millennium, Citizen introduced “Promaster Eco-Drive Super Tough”, which can survive/withstand/resist the shock of an impact hammer 5 times more than non para-shock watches.
Thus far, during the decade of 2000, Citizen has:
– Relocated its headquarters to Nishi-Tokyo City;
– Founded the Lead-Free Committee;
– Founded the Eco-friendly product subcommittee and green purchasing subcommittee;
– Developed the world’ slimmest radio-controlled watch;
– Introduced automatic time keeping for marathon/ekiden races through the use of IC chips;
– Introduced the Campanola range of High End Quartz watches.
– Merged [with] Citizen Shoji;
– Acquired Miyota Co. Limited as a going concern, which included several small component manufacturing subsidiaries; and
– On January 10th 2008 Citizen acquired USA’s Bulova Watch Company, including all its affiliated brands (Bulova, Caravelle, Wittnauer and Accutron) for US$247 million, making the combined company the world’s largest watchmaker.
*EDIT – Switzerland’s Girard-Perregaux hold the record for the worlds first stepper motor equipped quartz wristwatch.
Citizen Watch Co.
Citizen Watch Co. of America Inc.
History of CSR – Citizen Watch Co. Ltd
Citizen Watch Co. Ltd – Wikipedia
Watches for the World – Uhren Juwelen Schmuck – Author; Gisbert L. Brunner
I would like to thank to all involved in putting together this information and I hope that the amount of known data that will be available will grow constantly.
Read more about the first Citizen here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/09/27/citizen-shokosha-pocket-watch/
This is one of the best vintage chronographs that i can think of!
Of course you could say that a vintage “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona is way better, but let’s take a look at this beautiful timepiece.
This is THE vintage automatic Citizen chronograph, Challenge Timer, also known as bullhead, Easter rabbit or Mikey Mouse – due to its particular shape. It was first introduced in 1978. (on the caseback the first digit of the serial shows the year and the next two digits are for the month) The reference number is Citizen 67-9356. Regarding the shape, you can instantly see that this is not like all the other bullheads. This one has a beautiful octagonal shape that gives it personality, masculinity and a lot of refined power.
The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel and the case back screws into place. The round bezel is polished and the glass crystal is flat. The shape of the watch is octagonal with the lower part dropping towards the bracelet and the upper part, flat, hosting the crown and two push buttons that operate the chronograph function. The winding crown is a little bit longer than the usual so that it can be operated due to the special case design. It is signed “CTZ”. Back to the shape of the case: – all the frontal part is brushed, from top to bottom. The top flat surface is also brushed but from side to side. The sides of the watch are mirror polisher reflecting the light in unexpected, beautiful ways. The caseback is also polished. The case alone has on the visible side alone, 21 different surfaces, not counting the bezel, crown and buttons so the visual effect of brushed and polished surfaces, with a lot of angles, gives a powerful feeling.
The dial is classic, with three contrasting subdials positioned at 3, 6 and 9. There are only two types of dial colors for this model – black with white subdials and white with black subdials. (The metal base round case model has a lot of variation in dial color but for this model we have only black and white.) A lot of “restorations” are with aftermarket dials, so pay attention on this aspect when thinking of buying a Citizen chronograph. The indexes of the dial should be raised but the luminescent dot (green) should be on a lower part of the applied index. The Citizen logo is also applied. The hands are painted to better contrast with the dial. The subdial at 3 counts the elapsed minutes (30), the one at 9 – the hours(12) and for the seconds we have the central hand. The subdial at 6 is for the day and date. The day is in two languages, and sundays are painted red. For the white dial version the day and date wheels are black and for the black dial the wheels are white. This gives them a better integration in the general design. On the outside of the dial we have the classic tachymeter.
The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewels, calibre 8110A with hand winding capability. It was produced by Citizen starting from 1972. It is a vertical clutch chronograph (beating at 28.800 bph) with column wheel and fly back function. (how many modern chronograph do that, and what is their cost?) Lets don’t forget it has 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 (1 o’clock) button. It is 27 mm wide and 6.9mm high. 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.
The bracelet (i saw different models but the one on the black dial in pictures is 100% sure it is original to the watch, and my favorite design for this model) is stainless steel, wider where it connects with the case and narrowing towards the signed “Citizen” stainless steel clasp. Each link is made of only one piece. Pay attention that most of aftermarket bracelet are with full links, the original is made of folded steel.
Conclusion: Beautiful to wear, beautiful to look at, interesting special design, wonderful automatic fly back chronograph movement that needs to be used… what else to ask for a vintage chronograph?
Here are some beautiful pictures of this movement: