Citizen parts for repair and restoration


At least once a week I get a mail, a comment or a message about sourcing a part for someones loved vintage Citizen watch. It may be a missing bezel insert or an original crystal. Someone is looking for a movement part for a Jet calibre or for Chrono Master hands. Maybe you are searching the original Citizen diver strap or a bracelet link to buy in order to restore your watch.  We are all looking for something… So: where can we find original parts for our vintage Citizen watches? Is there a special secret place for them?

citizen parts crystal bezel crown for repair and restoration

That is an easy question but not an easy one to answer. In fact original parts are, most of the time, almost impossible to source. Citizen company doesn’t provide them (because they don’t keep them) and because they made so many models I imagine having all available is not a real possibility. So the company is out of the question. Next choice would be looking for one online. But… do you know the part code? I guess you don’t. So first thing you have to do is finding a Citizen original parts catalogue, find the part inside and find the identification code and then search it online. Even so, finding one is close to impossible again. The chance would be for the seller to know the part code and listed with this in the title, and that is not really going to happen, is it?  😦 What else do we have? Watchmakers… there is not even a slim chance your watchmaker can have the original one unless you live in Japan and  your watchmakers father was a watchmaker too, that worked for and with Citizen and has a lot of leftover parts in his attic. Yeah, I know… slim chances you are ever going to find that part this way. Another choice is to ask me. Yeah, right. Unless you want a bezel, a crown and two crystals I am actually basically useless. (update: I gave them away too so I have no more parts)

How to do it then? Your best bet would be to find a “donor” watch. That means finding a junk watch that has the part you are looking for, buying that watch and get the part. Of course, keep looking online for your original NOS part, you might get lucky in a month or maybe a few years… or probably never.

The last choice is to go for aftermarket parts. First find a good watchmaker, than see what he can do to help you…

Conclusion? Keep looking (day and night)… you can never know when you will find the needle in the haystack. Good luck!

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Citizen Chronograph “Speedy” 67-9313


Finally, I found the time to write a few words about it, one the most desired vintage Citizen chronograph, the “Speedy”. It is called this way because of the resemblance with the well known Omega Speedmaster. (did you know that there is a Speedmaster limited eddition of 500 with white dial, the “Albino”?) I like it a lot, (not because of the Moon watch) and it is one of my favorites, along with the Recordmaster and the octagon Bullhead.

omega speedmaster citizen speedy

This one is also made of stainless steel and has all the DNA of a vintage Citizen chrono.

citizen vintage automatic chronograph speedy 67-9313

The main attraction of this model is the dial and the outside tachymeter scale bezel insert. (it comes with white or black dial) All these features combined make it gorgeous. The case is finished beautifully, polished and brushed for a very nice contrast. The crown (signed CTZ) and the pushers are polished, made of SS too. They are located on the side, in the traditional way, not like most of the Citizen automatic chronographs that are called “Bullheads”, on the top. The case back screws into place and has all the info about it, the model, the material, the serial that gives information about manufacturing date

The movement is the famous in-house calibre 8110A, that I wrote about quite a lot. It is an automatic, running at a high beat of 28,800. It is a fly back movement displaying both the date and the day of the week. It can also be manually wound.

Most of the times when I see this model it is on leather straps, but originally it also came on a bracelet. The one in the picture is not the original type but any straight end 18mm one will do just fine. In fact this watch looks good on almost any strap you throw on it.

UPDATE: Here is the pair, black dial, next to the white dial one. Which one do you like the best?

citizen speedy 67-9313 black white

You can read more about other vintage Citizen chronographs on the dedicated page, HERE.

Citizen Chronograph “Bullhead” Challenge Timer


Who does’t love a true vintage chronograph? And what is there not to love? Citizen made three chronograph movements, one manual – calibre 5702 with 21 jewels (read about it HERE) and two automatic ones based on the same design – calibre 8100A and 8110A, both with 23 jewels (read about them on the dedicated page HERE). All three are fly back chronos.

Let me introduce to you the well known, world famous Citizen Bullhead calibre 8110A! Citizen called this chronograph the Challenge Timer.

vintage citizen chronograph challenge timer automatic 8110A

*don’t forget to magnify the pictures on my blog for more details*

As clearly seen on the collage above (pictures from the sellers mostly from sweetroad) they come in different colors and variants.

The round shaped (so 1970’s) cases for all bullheads are made of plated metal base aluminum alloy (except for the stainless steel octagon one, read about it HERE). They are called bullhead because of the two pushers that are positioned on the top of the case. Those pushers (stainless steel) are there to operate the chronograph function. The one at 11 o’clock starts and stops it and the one at 1 resets it and it can also be used while the time is running and resets it and starts it in one single action. This is known as the fly back function. Most of the chronographs are not constructed like this. You can’t press the reset unless the time is stopped first, but on fly-backs that is possible. So, this 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 obviously fly back function. It is 27 mm wide and about 6.8mm high. Because of the column wheel/vertical clutch design of the movement it is better to leave chronograph running for most of the time (this way you can also see the beautiful sweeping central second hand in movement), but also from time to time it should be stopped. On top of all of this, it displays the date and the day of the week as well. A particularity for this movement is that when you want to change the day you should pull the winding crown to second position (for changing the date) and push and release the reset (1 o’clock) button. Interesting design so the interaction lucky owner – beautiful watch, is enhanced. I can’t even imagine the price of a vintage Rolex Daytona if it would have had all these features.

The dials are made in a variety of colors so for sure you are going to find one that on your taste. Just pay attention to the fact that the market is flooded with fakes! The hands vary as well and are also faked a lot. It doesn’t have a current running seconds but leaving the chronograph moving you can have one, while the chronograph function, when needed, can be engaged with just a simple action – press the fly back 1 0’clock pusher and start counting from zero.

So… the case can be plated: golden, dark brown-green, black, or silver. The bracelet is plated too, I have seen it in stainless steel, rubber or leather.

Here it is a NOS dark olive green plated one, with original bracelet and awesome golden dial:citizen vintage chronograph bull head challange timerAnd the black coated, green dial, NOS too:

citizen bullhead chronograph vintageIt is a beautiful watch but, once more, pay attention to the “aftermarket” dials, hands, straps and wrong finishes of the case. And let’s not forget that a lot of them are made of parts and have a bad history. All things considered, it is a beautiful time piece to have but such a difficult task to find the proper one. Good luck hunting for the right one for you! Once you find it, you will love it! This is my favorite: HERE

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 (8110A and 8100A) , 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 had one more bracelet like this in great need of new leather parts) 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.

UPDATE 2018 March

Another interesting watch, this time the photos below belong to the seller, is the one in the next pic. It is very well preserved and we can see the price tag too and the original SS bracelet. On top of all these features, the most important aspect, in my opinion, is the dial it self. The main difference is not the color (there are other 8100A black dials) but the fact that is lacking the Tachymeter scale. The hour markers are longer than the first one in order to better use the remaining space.

And here it is another black dial version, but this time with a different design. Notice the difference? The Tachymeter scale is missing again but this time a minute counter is added. So, which is your favorite?

No matter what your choice is, there is no doubt in my mind that it is a beautiful watch with a wonderful movement. Great to have, look at and a joy to wear.

Read more about Citizen chronographs on the dedicated page 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 Walter Wolf Chronograph


Like most of the times a lot of patience pays off. After a long time searching I have managed to find not one, but two very rare vintage Citizen Walter Wolf chronographs in the very same week! The first one came from Italy, the titanium one, and a week later, the black one came from Germany. (Thank you Fred and Daniel!)

citizen walter wolf

Why is this model so special? Because in the 70’s Citizen produced a lot of interesting watches and their chronograph calibre 8110A was one of the best: fly back, column wheel, day-date, hi beat automatic. What an awesome movement! And where is a chronograph at home?! In a race! So… Citizen made this Walter Wolf watch, with a special case (the one in titanium was one of the early watches to use this material for cases and bracelets). The other one is black coated metal. It also had a bidirectional rotating bezel, a nice feature usually not used in chronographs. On the outer circle of the dial it is the mandatory race related Tachymeter so the outer rotating bezel is a nice addition. Read more about Walter Wolf Racing HERE.

Back to the watch! The black one is made in 1982 and the titanium in 1983. As I was saying the case is special to this model and by doing this, Citizen managed to obtain a 100m WR. That is impressive. The crowns and pushers are non screw in but the caseback is. The winding crown is hard to operate because it is very small. On the caseback we have the Walter Wolf logo (present on the dial too), the brand, the material, the model and the serial no. The country of manufacturing is obviously Japan. In fact I think this model was made for Japan (all the models I know about had English – Japanese day wheel). The bracelet is well integrated with the case and is the perfect design for this racing dedicated watch. The dial is beautiful, black (there is one more model with a golden dial), with a lot of interesting details (please magnify the pictures for better understanding). The luminous material is made with Promethium 147, a radioactive material. Read about it HERE.  It is marked P-JAPAN-P. The rotating bezel is another interesting feature. This in not the usual diving style one but a countdown type! Note the 60-0 markings. (not the usual diving 0-60)  On top of this there is a cardinal inscription (N E S W) for better navigation, of course!  🙂 The movement is the usual Citizen cal 8110A, a vertical clutch chronograph (beating at 28.800 bph) with column wheel and fly back function. It has a day-date indicator. The rotor is special with a different inscription than the common 8110A found in the other models.

vintage citizen walter wolf

Update 2016 October: (pictures credited to the online seller)

Here it is how the original package should look like. Also note that there is a quartz pair of the automatic chrono. Happy to have the  complete NOS package myself. 🙂

walter-wolf-racing-citizen

Update 2017 October:

Here it is another variant, the golden dial one, same titanium case and bracelet. Notice the honeycomb dial pattern. In the picture below you can also see the Walter Wolf F1 car.

Conclusion: A special watch, loaded with  features, a joy to wear and use, a pleasure for the eyes and a huge happiness for the heart and soul of the blessed owner.

Read more about Citizen chronographs HERE.

Citizen 8100 Chronograph 67-9151 Restoration


One of my favorite Citizen chronographs is the 67-9151 model. I wrote before about a custom project based on this model HERE.

This time I will write about the all original one.

The watch was found in a bad shape, really scratched and dirty.  But even underneath that scratched crystal there could be easily observed the beautiful original green dial. For this model there are available only three dial variations, as seen in the catalog picture below.  The caseback was never removed in the past 30 years. The movement stopped a long time ago and the pushers were not moving.

citizen-67-9151

The restoration process started by removing the caseback and the dedicated bracelet. The design of the stainless steel bracelet fits the  octagonal watch case perfectly being made for this model only. After removing the bracelet and the clasp, it was time for the movement to come out.

The calibre 8110A was serviced and now it is running strongly, as it should. It is a flyback mechanism and features a day – date complication too. It is an automatic movement,  with 23 jewls and 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. 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. 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.  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.

citizen 67-9151 chrono

The dial is the main attraction of the watch, and that says something about it. The overall sharp, angular shape of the watch is mirrored in the mesmerising details. The green color is not plain at all but lighter and shinier in the centre and darker at the 3 and 9 sides. The chronograph sub-dials are hexagonal with 3 variations: yellow-white, yellow-orange and all yellow.  The seconds hand for the all yellow version is yellow too while for the other two is orange.

vintage citizen chronograph 8110

At the end of the restoration we have a newly brushed/polished strap and case, fully functional movement, and a new mineral crystal. What a beautiful watch!

Read more about Citizen chronographs on this page:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronograph-vcw/

Citizen Chronograph CUSTOM PROJECT – calibre 8110A


CUSTOM PROJECT WATCH

This is the most common vintage automatic Citizen chronograph movement in one of the rarest case design, with one of my favorite Citizen bracelet. The reference number on the caseback is Citizen 67-9151. Due to the lack of information regarding vintage Citizen watches, sometimes we get some watches that are actually Custom Project watches. Sometimes the strap doesn’t belong to the watch or the case is not from the same model with the dial. This doesn’t mean the end result is not a beautiful watch but is not true to the original model. Such a watch is this one, a watch made by a watch collector, a vintage Citizen lover who tried to create the best Citizen he could. All the parts are original Citizen.  Regarding the shape, you can instantly see that this is not like all the other chronographs. This one has a beautiful octagonal shape that gives it personality, masculinity and a lot of style.

Citizen automatic chronograph 8110A The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel and the case back screws into place, model Citizen 67-9151. The round bezel is polished and the glass crystal is flat. The shape of the watch is octagonal. The winding crown is signed “CTZ”. The case alone has 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 two contrasting subdials positioned at 12 and 6. A lot of “restorations” are with aftermarket dials, so pay attention on this aspect when thinking of buying a Citizen chronograph. The subdial at 6 counts the elapsed minutes (30), the one at 12 – the hours(12) and for the seconds we have the red central sweeping hand. The day is in two languages (German and English) and Sundays are painted red. On the outside of the dial we have the classic tachymeter scale.

Vintage Citizen Flyback Chronograph 67-9151 calibre 8110A The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewls, 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 is one of my top favorite design from Citizen is stainless steel, wider where it connects with the case and narrowing towards the signed “Citizen” stainless steel clasp. The links are made of solid pieces, not folded.

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 chronograph?

Here is a link where you can see a video of this watch:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/04/22/vintage-citizen-chronograph-calibre-8110a-67-9151/

 

VIDEO – Citizen Recordmaster Chronograph 63-0110


The only hand winding vintage Citizen movement is the calibre 5702. This movement is found in the Recordmaster, the watch presented in the video. Wonderful piece, with fly back mechanism.

Read the full article about this particular watch here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/02/23/citizen-recordmaster-chronograph-63-0110/

Read more about vintage Citizen (manual and automatic) chronographs here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronograph-vcw/

Enjoy! 🙂