Complete Vintage Citizen 150m Divers


No Citizen collection can be considered a real collection until a 150m diver is included. This is the most recognizable diver line in vintage Citizen so sooner or later for sure one model will come up for sale, just in time for you to grab and never let go. In fact there are 7 different models that to the untrained eye look almost identical. One for every day of the week, I would say. Well.. now that you have one, you will soon feel the urge to get another one and another one, and then a better condition fist one, that you already have, and another one. Without even realizing, it soon becomes an obsession, to have them all, and to have them all in top condition! The hunt is on!

So, it is my pride and joy, my pleasure to introduce to you the entire 7 watches collection! 

vinatge citizen divers 150m

Let me tell you about them, in chronological order, starting from 1967 up to 1978:

  1.  Citizen Super Auto Dater, SADS 52801-Y was made in June 1967. It is my favorite. What is there not to like? It has a unibody case (the case back doesn’t come off), it has a top of the line 39 jewels Jet movement, calibre 1150, (read about Jet movements HERE) and it is marked Professional Parawater. The crown threads are on the outside of the crown tube. The case is shaped differently and it shows that a lot of effort was placed into designing and producing it. I just love the angles and the contrast between the brushed and the angled polished surfaces. Read about this model HERE. Is is on a Tropic strap. I didn’t see any on bracelet. I hardly saw any at all in fact. 🙂 Super rare!
  2. Citizen Crystal Date, AUDS 52802-Y OR-O was made in 1968. Did you ever see a better case back? Maybe you think you did, but take a look at this one! I am sure you will love it! The hands are different then the rest because there is no “Mercedes” style hour hand. The mesh bracelet is awesome, the crown is as it is for the first model and starting with this model the top part of the case has now a circular brushed finish rather then a longitudinal one. The uni case was dropped and starting now the case back screws into place. Starting with this model the Jet movement was replaced with a centrally mounted swinging weight. This one has the most beautiful aged lume. Read about that HERE. The movement is the Citizen automatic calibre 5410.
  3. Citizen Diver OR-O B52806 or 62-5370 are the same model but the first one is the one to have, because of the beautiful engraved case back. The 62-5370 is made for domestic market and the B52806 for export. They have different case backs, different hands sets and dial codes even though they share some of these features sometimes. The second hand tip received a luminous ball for better visibility (The 62-5370 can be found with a simple second hand too) The only thing that is constantly different is the case back. The movement is Citizen cal 5470. I had to chose between these two and I decided in favor of the first one. You can’t beat that awesome diver engraved case back! It is marked water proof in a period when the term Parawater was about to… unfortunately disappear. Is was made in ’69-’70 but the exact period is impossible to determine because it has no serial no. The 62-5370 on the other hand, has one and the manufacturing date can easily be seen. Read about these two variants together HERE.
  4. Citizen 150m 68-5372, 4-740131-Y is made in May 1971. It is still marked “parawater”, for the last time in this line. Read about “parawater” HERE. Starting now the case is different again and the crown has the threads on the inside, not on the outside of the crown tube. It has a different shape too and it is made in stainless steel. The previous ones I think are only capped in SS. And this is when the case backs became… well… displaying a lot of information but… boring. It is powered by Citizen calibre 7470. vintage citizen 150m divers
  5. Citizen 150m 4-722410 Y is made in October 1973 and is the only one displaying the date as well as the day of the week. The movement is from the leopard family, calibre 7200. That is always nice to have. You can read about it HERE. The bezel insert got a thin crystal layer on top of the luminous dot making it more resistant to water and normal usage while giving it a special look with a black ring around it. The sweeping second hand is straight again. And, as I said before, no more “parawater”, time for internationally common used “water resistant”.
  6. Citizen 150m 62-6198, 4-600851 Y is made in June 1974 and got a luminous marker near the date window. Pay attention to the fake “aftermarket” bezel inserts that you can learn about HERE. The date can be printed in red and the rest is, more or less, the well known design we grew to love so much. The bracelet is the H style links. Read more about it HERE. The movement inside is the Citizen calibre 7000.
  7. Citizen 150m 52-0110 is one of the very first Citizen watches I had. It is in fact my birth year watch and my month also. 🙂 It is made in July 1978 and marks the end of an era, 1978, the last year for vintage Citizen watches. It is the the one that started this hunt a few years ago. It comes in various forms, even with an orange dial, maybe blue one? maybe an orange dial and blue bezel insert? (I think the “blue bezel inserts are in fact faded and originally black) Two dial variants 1977 and 1978 that you can read about HERE. You can also read more about this model HERE. The beating heart is the well known Citizen calibre 8210. 150m citizen vintage divers copy

And… the rest is history. 🙂 I hope you found you perfect 150m diver and if you didn’t, don’t give up, I promise you you will love it and the wait is worth it!

Read more about other awesome Citizen divers HERE.

PS – who knows… one day I might find out there is another one and maybe another one… So far, these are all I am aware of. 🙂

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Vintage Citizen Watches Lume Patina


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Lume is a short term for the luminous phosphorescent glowing solution applied on watch dials. There are some people who “relume” watches, or replace faded lume. Formerly, lume consisted mostly of radium; however, radium is radioactive and has been mostly replaced on new watches by less bright, but less toxic compounds.

Common pigments used in lume include the phosphorescent pigments zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate. Use of zinc sulfide for safety related products dates back to the 1930s. However, the development of strontium oxide aluminate, with a luminance approximately 10 times greater than zinc sulfide, has relegated most zinc sulfide based products to the novelty category. Strontium oxide aluminate based pigments are now used in exit signs, pathway marking, and other safety related signage.

Strontium aluminate based afterglow pigments are marketed under brandnames like Super-LumiNova, watchlume, NoctiLumina, and Glow in the Dark (Phosphorescent) Technologies.”

vintage citizen diver lume

Vintage collectors grew up to appreciate a beautiful aged lume on their watches and a rich yellow patina, orange or brown is always desired if original and natural. Even some modern watches (Jeager leCoultre and Omega, to name a few) are made with “fake” patina, yellow luminous material. Some of the dials are called “tropical” because they also changed color in time due to exposure to sunlight in tropical areas (usually). Some say that the Sun is not the main factor to this process but the passing of time and the original formula of the pigments. Either way, I love a beautiful patina too, just like most of us. Most of the dials that age are made with radioactive material, like tritium or radium.

citizen-150m-diver-vintage

Citizen never used radioactive material on their vintage watches (1932-1978) but used some Promethium-147 after this date on some models but only for a few years. I am still looking for a watch made prior to 1978 that has it. It should be marked on the dial code P-JAPAN-P. They used this in small amount so the patina is only slightly influenced by this. I found this in a Citizen diver instruction manual: “Luminous Paint: Being a diver’s watch, luminous paint is used for this diver’s watch (200m) to facilitate time readability in a dark place. This luminous paint contains a trace quantity of radioactive substance pursuant to ISO safety standard. There is no problem for normal use; however, in the event that the watch glass has been damaged or broken, immediately carry it to the store where you purchased or to an authorized Citizen Dealer.” So, there are only traces of this material. No need to worry for radiation.

citizen 500m chrono master diver vintage

Most of the lume of vintage Citizen is still glowing brightly in the dark even today and keep, more or less, the same color as they had when they were made. Only a few of them get the desirable patina but making them so rare only makes the reward of finding one even greater. So, good luck finding the perfect Citizen patina! 🙂

UPDATE: Well… it seems that I had one 1978 diver with P-JAPAN-P 🙂 Read about it HERE.  Another watch I love, but it is made after 1978, is the Walter Wolf titanium fly back chronograph that you can read about HERE.

Citizen Auto Dater para40mwater Diver


Beautiful watch but such a difficult one to take a good picture of. Here it is the Citizen Auto Dater para40mwater, reference ADOS 3001-DM, Diver!

citizen autodater diver 40m ADOS 3001-DM

There are so many aspects of this watch that I like that I don’t know where to start from! Let me begin by saying that even though Citizen marked it so boldly “Diver” on the case back it is water proof only up to 40m. The unsigned crown is not a screw in type but the engraved case back is. The entire case is made of stainless steel, polished, with brushed lugs on the upper part. The case back, as mentioned before, screws in and is engraved with the Eagle motif and “Diver”, also “40m water proof” and “stainless steel” The ADOS 3001-DM reference number is there too, but no serial so an accurate dating of the watch is, unfortunately, impossible. As a result of my research I date this watch around 1965.

The dial is pure awesome! It is very dark satinated grey almost black. In bright light the sunburst effect is obvious but on low (normal) light it becomes matte pure black. Due to the domed mineral crystal the sunburst effect of the dial is enhanced and looks somehow… circular. The hands are simple, matching, with large luminous areas, the hour hand being shorter than the minute one. The sweeping central second hand is simple without any luminous material. The hour markers are applied and they glow in the dart too, just as the hands do. The bezel has no luminous dot at 12 but just a simple triangle. Speaking about the bezel, it is a bidirectional friction type and, as a particularity, it is a count down starting from 60, 50… all the way down to 10, 0. This way you can directly say how much time is there left out of an hour, not as usual the elapsed minutes.

Opening the watch we see the beautiful jet movement (read about these movements HERE). It has 21 jewels and can be winded by hand too. It can also display the date, in the widow at 3 o’clock.

The strap in this case is a vintage Tropic but it also looks gorgeous on nato, leather or stainless steel bracelet.

It is a beautiful piece, lovely addition to my diver collection and makes me so happy when I strap it on my wrist, especially on these sunny autumn days.

Read more about Citizen divers HERE.

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 auto Dater UNI – ADUS31201-T


It may not be a real diver but what a gorgeous watch it is! It was made in 1964, just 5 years after the introduction of the first Japanese water resistant watch, the Parawater, and about one year prior to the first real diving watch made by Citizen.

Let me introduce to you the Citizen auto Dater UNI reference ADUS31201-T

citizen autodater uni

The main feature of the watch is the fact that it is a twin crown, similar in appearance with a compressor. The upper crown, located at 2 o’clock, operates the inner bidirectional rotating bezel. By contrast, the lower crown located at 4 o’clock winds the movement and sets the time. The case is made entirely in polished stainless steel and measures about 38mm. The Tropic strap is 18mm at the lugs end and is secured in place by pins that can be easily removed due to the holes in the lugs (a feature that I like a lot in vintage watches). Hopefully one day I will find one on original bracelet. Will see.

The domed acrylic crystal protects the beautiful face. The dial is silver, having a sunburst effect. The doubled hour markers are polished and applied. The black elegant lettering are printed and so is the “40M” blue para water feature. The dauphine hands are polished and the hour and minute one have a central luminous part. The inner black rotating bezel has white printing and luminous material markers. On the dial itself the hours are marked with luminous dots too; all except the one at 3 where the date is. The date window has no frame but instead a beveled edge. The dates are printed in black on a white date wheel. I just love the way it looks! It is one of those beautiful watches, elegant and easy to wear.

citizen uni cal 2400 auto dater

The snap in case back is engraved “Para water,  Star, SS, Citizen auto Dater, UNI, ADUS31201-T” and the serial no. Strangely Citizen decided to mark them with the production date and so did they do it on older ones but not on their first divers. 😦 I wish I could say for sure when the first real diver made by Citizen was manufactured. Under the case back we have the automatic (hand winding also possible) Citizen 19 jewels movement, cal 2400. In the early till mid 1960’s Citizen used its own circular geared rotor (Jet rotor movements) in its automatic watches.  In 1963 they began replacing the Jet rotor with the more common oscillating weight, which, some say it was cheaper to manufacture and more easily to service than the Jet rotor. The first model to use the swinging weight was known as the “Uniauto” (cal 1200) and came in several versions, all with a special logo on the dial and in 17 or 19 jeweled versions. This watch, presented here, has the logo on the inner bezel at 12. It works at 18,000bph. The date changes by advancing the hour hand past midnight. The seconds hand do not hack.

Still I have to find out why is it called “UNI”?

UPDATE 2019 JUNE (5 years later)

I sold my UNI, the one in the picture above, a while ago and since then I was looking for another one, and as you already know me, I am always trying to get the best condition, NOS and mint if possible. Well… with UNI this was not an easy search. It took me a few good years, but I finally nailed it yesterday with Eric’s help! (Happy birthday my friend!) Here it is, my new UNI: (the picture credit goes to the seller, I am still waiting for my beautiful watch to get in my hands, really soon I hope) As you can see it is NOS, on a bracelet and comes with the original box! I am really happy about it!

How I wish Citizen will go vintage style again! Who knows, maybe one day…

Meanwhile, read more about a different diver compressor style vintage Citizen here.

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.

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/

Undersea Treasure – Citizen 150m 52-0110


The emotional connection with our watches is in fact the main force that drives us into collecting them. A 1969 great Moon landing story made the Omega Speedmaster the icon that it is today. Same goes with “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona, Heuer Monaco and many others. Patek takes the emotional connection to an art form level. Well, now we have a great Citizen story too!

Starting from this post and then with the contribution made on the Vintage Citizen Watches group page on Facebook  by Renato I am here to introduce to you this great story of the Citizen Undersea Treasure. Our hero is the vintage Citizen 150m diving watch model 52-0110. I also contacted the newspaper and Stephanie was happy to provide me all the information they had so far regarding this. Unfortunately they were more into the interesting situation and not into watches so a lot of details I had to figure out myself.

You can learn more details about this model (Citizen 150m 52-0110) in HERE.

Neil Blakers of Cromer found this awesome watch while “strolling along the beach on Saturday afternoon”  on Long Reef Beach in Australia.  “I realized it was a watch but the face and body were covered in barnacles. It looked as though it had once been growing on a rock or at the bottom of the ocean and been thrown up by a heavy surf” he said. He treated the found object with lemon and grapefruit juice only to clearly notice that the watch was still ticking. In the pictures below the seconds hand is in a different position so the watch is for sure still alive. That was great news indeed!  Neil understood the importance of his find and took the watch to Citizen Watches Australia at Brookvale who forwarded it to the Tokyo Head Office where they determined at the Product Quality Section of their Tanashi Factory that the watch was made in 1977. Based on my knowledge about vintage Citizen divers it is safe to declare that the exact model number is 52-0110, type 1 dial variant. Read here about this dial.  The watch was found in 1983 but it is unclear for how long it stayed submerged into the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean. Some researchers think that based on the way it looks we can assume it was “diving” for maybe 2-3 years.

citizen 150m automatic diver

In the picture we can see that the watch is still attached to the red nato strap so I will wear mine (same model, same year) like that for the next days. 🙂

citizen-lost-in-the-ocean-australia-52-0110-diver-red-nato

The nato strap and the fact it got lost there make me believe that a surfer lost it while riding a huge wave. It is a nice imagine to picture even though there is no clear evidence this is the true. In the end the mystery is the salt and pepper that makes a good story.  The water resistance of this model is 150m, it has a thick mineral crystal that is well fitted into the case and a screw in large crown. The caseback also screws in so in my mind there is no doubt that these are real tool watches. My 52-0110 diver was pressure tested by my watchmaker and to my excitement passed with flying colors. The movement inside is the automatic Citizen calibre 8210A with 21 jewels.

Read more about Vintage Citizen Divers HERE. 

Citizen Divers and Tropic Straps


Anyone interested in vintage divers recognize what a Tropic strap is. The others should know that this is a certain type of rubber band, made  in Switzerland during the 1960s and 1970s.  They were later manufactured in China and Hong Kong too, using the original molds and same materials. The originals are signed “TROPIC” and marked “SWISS MADE” and are typically fitted with an “INOX” or “ACIER” signed buckle. Citizen used the multiple perforated model with a single sliding strap keeper as seen in the pictures below. They are marked “Tropic” and the lug width (let’s say “20mm”) is indicated. “MOD DEP” that stands for “Modèle Déposé” or registered design. The reference no. is also visible on one end. They are made from a very pliable rubber for a comfortable fit and durability. The band is 5mm thick where it meets the watch and on the clasp end and 2.6mm thick at the tail end.

Here it is how a Citizen stainless steel buckle should look like on one of these Tropic straps. My opinion (from the data I have so far) is that most of them came with the “Acier” or “Inox” signed piece.

citizen tropic strap

Not only Citizen were fitted on Tropic straps but Rolex, Tudor, Blancpain, Omega, Longines and many others too. They were all aware  of the Tropic quality. Soft, relatively thin, very pliable, durable and a gorgeous feel and look on the wrist. vintage citizen diving tropic strapYou have a ’60-’70 vintage Citizen Diver? Get a Tropic strap for it! It will be the perfect match!

Read more about vintage Citizen diving watches HERE.