Power, spirit watch


So why do I Really wear this? What is it that compels me to cast my eyes across the many models I could choose from, only to succumb to the subconscious needs to wear what I believe to be the holy grail of watches? MY Holy Grail! I questioned whether it was the subconscious strength It offers me, or the empowerment it affords me the instant it hits my wrist.

That sense of power it transfers to me, offering such irresistible desire that you just have to take a sneak look at the timepiece when you think nobody’s watching? The hidden comfort it affords, the metamorphosis of cold steel to skin temperature the instant it’s put on. There’s so much I could say about it, so many reasons to give to justify wearing what I openly concede to be MY holy grail of watches.

The finest of nuances are what does it, the 60 clicking sounds of the bezel so finely crafted, the hypnotic power of the second hand as it moves effortlessly in it’s attempt to put me into metronomic trance. Yes, that’s it; it’s my Spirit Guide, my guardian, and my keeper of time. Time we all know rests so precious upon one’s hand.

It is… The 1969 Citizen “Chrono Master 500m Diver”, of which there is nothing to compare!

citizen 500m chrono master diver vintage

It is a piece of such importance to me I can safely say it’s the one! The Grail, one that none other will ever beat! Truthfully, the realist in me accepts that one can never give a closed title to any watch, there will always be another to come and steal your heart, your soul, your very being.

Why did I not choose the predictable, the Rolex Submariner, or some other grandiose watch? Because nothing else could give me the story a watch should give. (Read about the Citizen 500m Diver HERE ) I’ll tell you why? I simply couldn’t. Even with all it entails, the Rolex to me can never capture the sense of spirit that is held in the above. You see buying a watch isn’t always about money. Anyone with money can buy a ‘Rolex’, but can they buy the passion of the story behind it? In my case it can’t.

Yes, it’s true you have to posses some level of wealth to obtain the Citizen 500, but that isn’t always enough. You have to possess fortune, luck, a blessing, call it what you will. I call it fate. This was destined to become mine, my keeper of time.

Having that knowledge I’m in possession of my guardian angel I no longer fret or worry about when, if, how am I ever going to get my hands on such a treasure. I already have, and that’s the strength behind my loyalty to this particular model. Waiting patiently sometimes not so, I knew my time would come, and come it did. My waiting paid off, and many a lesson learnt in the process of my waiting.

I was taught the concept of perseverance, the will to fight, to never give up on any given cause. The watch is more than just a watch; it’s my journey. A journey that saw several watches passes through my grasp. But my perseverance paid off; for despite those few for sale over the time; with only two of these being 100% original, (needless to say I bought them both…) That is why I award my Citizen 500 the title I bestowed upon it.

There will never be another watch, or brand that will replicate the feelings I endured during my quest to own the Citizen 500, the thrill of the chase, the disappointments, the ultimate euphoria I felt when I eventually took possession of my cherished goal. It is what encompasses the very self of me, my spirit, my determination, my very soul. My spirit went into the chase for my Mecca of watches, the reason I now call it ‘my Spirit watch’. It holds the very essence of me which when I look at it on a daily basis I’m constantly reminded of.

This watch will be carried with me through the rest of my journeys. It will experience the thrills I’ll no doubt encounter when looking for another prey in the ever-growing desire to build the best Citizen Vintage Collection possible. It will never have a price tag on it, never be for sale, it is mine. It is my Spirit Watch.

Bogdan

(special thanks to my friend Kevin, who polished my words and gave the article the final, actual form)

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Diamond Flake, Diamond Flake Date, Flake Date


Diamond Flake… yes… the famous Citizen Diamond Flake (DF) had two younger brothers, the Diamond Flake Date (DFD) and the Flake Date (FD). The older, well known brother held the record of the worlds thinnest three hands watch, with a a movement as thin as 2.75 mm. Now, that is slim indeed! Citizen named this calibre 0700 and had 25 jewels and was gold plated.

citizen diamond flake dateAll three of them are made of stainless steel and are powered by the same base manual wind movement. The crystal is acrylic and the dial is simple and elegant for all of them. Obviously the DFD and FD have a date complication that adds some thickness to the overall appearance of the watch. This can be easily seen in the picture below.

citizen diamond flake, date flake

The shape of the lugs and the lugs width are also different. The crowns are similar and are not signed. On top of the added date, the youngest of the three are also marked Parawater for 40m.

diamond flake, diamond flake date, date flake

The case backs give clear indication to their age: 1963, 1964, 1966. The middle one had a beautiful diver engraving (the Parawater logo, not an indication that you should take it diving). The movements look almost identical but the third one is no longer gold plated and it only has 22 jewels.  The first one is Citizen calibre 0700, the second calibre 2700 while the last one is the calibre 2710 and it is no longer marked Diamond Flake. They all run at 18,000 bph.

citizen diamond flake thin watch diamond flake date flake

All three are beautiful watches, simple and elegant and a nice addition to any Citizen collection. Even though the DF is the famous one, the youngest two (DFD and FD) are more rare and more difficult to find in a good condition.

If you want to read more about the oldest one, the DF, click HERE.

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 My 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. 🙂

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 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 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 Dandy Seven Para100mWater Diver


Citizen Dandy Seven Para100mWater Diver – The True Diving Watch

Model 4-520688 Y

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

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

Here it is, the way I got it:

dandy seven diver citizen

Now let’s get to the watch itself!

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

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

citizen diver dandy seven

As for the features:

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

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

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

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

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

citizen dandy seven vintage diver

The movement inside is indeed the Citizen calibre 5204.

dandy seven vintage citizen diver parawater.jpg

Read more about vintage Citizen divers here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diving/

Citizen 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 Leopard 36000 – model 67-2050


When you say the word Leopard next to Citizen you know this is a special one. 

Why is is special? Read on and see. 🙂

citizen leopard

The first thing you notice when holding the watch is the beautiful mesh stainless steel bracelet that fits the case as a high end modern watch would. The case is stainless steel too and has an interesting oval shape, with integrated lugs. The bezel is polished and so is the entire case except for the frontal surface that has a radial brushed finish. The crown is simple, signed CTZ. Another detail is discovered when seeing the watch from the side: a beautiful arched shape, following the wrist of the lucky wearer.

The dial, seen through the oval mineral crystal, is grey-blue, sometimes more one or the other depending on the light, and very elegant. The hour indexes are applied and so is the day date window frame. The hour and minute hands are dark grey and the seconds hand is white. Why is it white? Because the second hand is special. It is special because on the dial except for the applied logo Citizen and Automatic at 12, at 6 it is written 36000, Leopard, 28 jewels. And this says something about the movement. 🙂

citizen leopard copy

The calibre inside is the Citizen hi-beat parashock 7230, running at 36000 bph.  It has 28 jewels and a beautiful white sweeping central second hand that hacks, it can be winded by hand also and has a quickset date feature. The day is set by advancing the hour hand pass midnight.

A beautiful elegant watch and I consider myself to be very fortunate to have found this time capsule in a NOS state, even though it is made on April 1974.

later edit: I found the watch in the next picture on yahoo japan so the pictures are not mine but belong to the seller. This is the first solid Gold superbeat 10 Leopard I see. There are also a few models in stainless steel and some gold plated Leopards too, but this is the first I see in solid gold. Needless to say it is in perfect condition. The selling price is JPY 350,000.

gold citizen leopard

Here is a scan made by me of the Citizen calibre 72xx from a vintage Citizen catalogue. I hope it helps understanding a little better the inside of these beautiful watches.

Citizen leopard calibre 7200 36000

Read more about a vintage Citizen Leopard POCKET WATCH here: 

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/02/10/citizen-leopard-36000-pocket-watch-67-2192/

And read about The 28800 Citizen Leopard here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2015/01/17/citizen-leopard-28800-4-720032ta/

Vintage 1968 Citizen College Alarm


Citizen has a beautiful range of vintage alarm watches, some of them with date, some of them more simple, like this one, without a date.

vintage citizen alarm

Here is the no date version of the Citizen alarm, the Citizen College Alarm. It is marked Parawater and this fact, along with the serial no, is dating it to March 1968. The design is simple and clean, the case is made in stainless steel, with a domed acrylic crystal. Read about how to date a vintage Citizen here.

citizen alarm vintage

One of the best feature of the watch is the pie-pan dial look. On closer examination the dial turns out to be flat but the two types of finishing and tone gives it this lovely appearance. The central part has a silver sunburst effect while the outer ring has a circular one. On this circular part we can see the polished applied  hour markers that have a black painted line or two (for 12, 3 6 and 9). It is marked in black writing: “Citizen College Alarm” at 12 and “parawater 17” at 6. The 4  polished hands are for showing the time and the shorter one, with a triangular tip is for the alarm. The hour hand (as well as the minute one) has a a central longitudinal black line, to match the hour markers.

The case is made in stainless steel, with 38 mm diameter, the lugs are elegant and the two unsigned crowns are easy to operate and still very well suited to compliment the elegant design. The bracelet and the clasp is made in stainless steel too.

citizen college alarm vintage

The movement is the Citizen calibre hand winding 9812 (no date), 17 Jewels, 18000 bph. The crowns are one for the time and the one for the alarm. The crown at 2 o’clock in first position is winding the alarm and the alarm is deactivated. If you pull it in the second position you can set the alarm (counterclockwise) and the alarm is activated. Pressing it while the alarm is ringing will stop it. The crown at 4 will wind the watch and pulling it out will set the time. The alarm will ring for 13-16 seconds. The movement has a power reserve of about 40-45 hours and it runs great if winding it once a day. It is Parashock.

Read more about another beautiful Citizen alarm, the Citizen Alarm Date here.