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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Citizen Glorious


Citizen… GLORIOUS ! 

2014 March 13 – this is exactly the date when I decided to really start searching and get myself a Citizen Glorious! It took me 3 years, 5 months and 26 days to have it in my hands. During this time, after seeing literally over one million pictures and spending at least 2 hours each day looking at Citizen watches, I can say that I have seen only 4 or 5 for sale but none was good enough to actually make me pull the trigger. Fast forward to 2016 August: I finally found it. It looked NOS and had the original strap, buckle and tag! My heart raced and my hands got all sweaty while reading the description and looking at the pictures. It was really expensive and I was sure it will get even more expensive as the auction will take it’s course. Soon after discovering it, I contacted my friend Eric and told him about the watch, that I found it. I needed an inside man. Well… Eric is THE Glorious friend I have inside. (side note: not enough beer in the world to thank him enough 🙂 ) Unfortunately the seller decided to end the auction early… What a sad day! So sad… I started asking questions and even though Japanese guys are not really talkative, I managed to find out, with the help of another friend, that the watch will be relisted. I was determined to make it mine. The time has come for me to put my money where my mouth was. I knew I was fighting in the big league, with the serious Japanese collectors, but I was prepared for this day. I trained a lot. 🙂  So… in a few days, the watch was back on-line. I made up my mind regarding my highest bid that I was willing to commit to, and I added a little more. Then I added just a little bit more. 🙂 As the auction was about to end the price got higher and higher and higher… Obviously… I won!

In a few long days, that felt like years, the watch was finally here! Needles to say that I checked the tracking at least twice a day. I opened the box and here it was in all it’s glory: THE GLORIOUS!

(If you want to read about another great find, my Holly Grail Citizen, you can do it here, The Citizen Chrono Master 500m diver. )

citizen-glorious

So… The Glorious, reference 4-770285 Y.  Stainless steel case with the perfect finishing. I have never seen another Citizen case polished like this. So precise, so… beautiful. Some say that Grand Seiko is the best when it comes to case polishing, but maybe, just maybe they didn’t see this. The buckle is signed with GC logo and marked stainless steel. No wonder that one buckle alone sold a few years ago with over 700 USD. The black strap was original too but I changed it with a Citizen brown one for the photo shooting because the black one was almost to fragile to handle all the fuss. It was placed for safe keeping along with the GC tag.  The winding crown is SS too, with the GC logo. It is made of two parts. The outer part winds it (first position) and sets the time (second position). The inner part (the one with the logo) is used for changing the day and the date. Keep the watch vertical and press it. The date will jump. Turn the watch twelve side down and press it and the day changes alternating English and Japanese.

The dial is simple, white. No luminous material, no useless writing. It doesn’t need to brag about it. So Japanese…  The applied polished Citizen and GC logo and printed in black  is just enough: Automatic 36000. It is after all a high beat one, 10 per second. And it is no ordinary Leopard. It is the Glorious. In fact it is powered by in-house calibre 7750, gold plated, that has a daily rate in 5 position better than COSC of today. It was guaranteed to be at -2 +3 S/ day! Mine after all these years (made in 1971 September) seems to run at +1S/ day.

Measures (as from Stephen’s blog article HERE ) for Citizen watches: 

Standard            Excellent               Glorious

  • Mean daily rate in the 5 positions

S. -3.0 +12.0      E. -1.0 +10.0        G. -2.0 +3.0

  • Mean variation of the daily rate

S. 3.2                    E. 2.2                    G. 1.8

  • Maximum variation of daily rate in the same position on two consecutive days

S. 9.0                    E. 6.0                    G. 4.0

  • Difference between horizontal and vertical positions

S. ± 12.0               E. ± 8.0               G. ± 6.0

  • Greatest difference between mean daily rate and any individual rate

S. 18.0                   E. 12.0                 G. 5.0

  • Variation of rate per 1 degree centigrade

S. ± 1.0                  E. ± 0.6               G. ± 0.3

  • Rate resumption

S. ± 9.0                  E. ± 5.0               G. ± 4.0

Also, in the same article written by Stephen, you can see the evolution of the best Citizen calibres, starting from the awesome hand winding Chronometer and going through the Chrono Master range with the Elite special and Superior Chronometer and then the Leopards  with the Highness.

Each movement is marked with a serial number, and so is the case back. Unfortunately, Citizen doesn’t have an archive to match the two serials. Well.. the case back… beautiful again. What can I say, I love the way it looks, with the gold medallion, like the Chrono Masters. This time we don’t have an eagle inlay but a GC one.

citizen-glorious-vintage

What else? I could talk a lot about it, the simple, elegant look, so understated beauty and power at the same time, so clean and perfect in every way… How can someone not love it? Is this the best vintage Citizen? It could be.

The Glorious also came in a few other options. Here are a few pictures from the catalogue with some variants, a date only and a solid gold? (or is it Gold Filed? – EGF 100µ?) one. You cab see the price at the time 55 It also came in a slightly different case design and one with dark blue dial. Click the pictures to magnify them for better details.

citizen-vintage-glorious-leopard-copy

To make a long story short, because I could go on and on and on… this is…

The glorious…  GLORIOUS!

Crystal and bezel insert Citizen 150m diver


One rather simple task is to change the bezel insert. I will update the article with info about how to do it. The crystal changing can be an easy one or not really, depending on the model.

In this case we removed the old scratched crystal and replaced it with a better one and this really made the owner say that the dial is gorgeous. Finally he can appreciate the beauty of his watch.

The bezel insert was changed with an aftermarket one that is very close to original specifications. Lume is a good match too.

Both the original crystal and bezel insert were returned the same day to the owner.

A simple cleaning was carried out, of course, and we identified a few problems: the frontal part of the lugs were polished and they are supposed to be brushed and the movement needs cleaning and new seals. This will be carried out in the future.

I hope you like the result! 😉 The picture shows the reflections on the crystal.

vintage citizen 150m diver crystal and bezel insert

Now, strap it on a nato and enjoy it! 😉

PS – click on the picture to magnify it.

Citizen Super Jet Auto Dater X case


Super Jet! Wow again! And a “X” case?! Super! 

Some say the best period of Citizen was around 1969, some say it was earlier and others believe it was after 1970. Well.. 1969 was at least an interesting year because Citizen had a lot of cool features intersecting around this time frame. The watch I will present to you today was made in June 1968. So… let’s see it!

citizen super jet auto dater 1

This particular time piece is loaded with a lot of cool features. It is the Citizen Super Jet Auto Dater, model SADS51202-Y. It has a polished/brushed stainless steel case, marked with a circled X. That means the case is unibody and it has no removable case back. In fact the movement comes out only if the crystal is removed. I also love the fact that it is marked “Parawater” (not the common “water resistant” or “water proof”). This was a therm that only Citizen used in order to show that the watch is in fact water resistant, and this one was up to 150m. Not having a removable case back eliminated a week link into this water resistance issue. You can read about the first Japanese water resistant watc, the famous Parawater, HERE. The mineral crystal is domed, with a concave inner surface. The dial is matte black, with a somehow satinated appearance. It is marker with 3 stars, an indication to the awesome movement inside. The luminos hour markers (the hour and minute hands have luminous parts too), have a polished trapezoidal shape making time reading very easy to do. The date is positioned at 3 o clock, where the unsigned winding crown is located too. By the way, the crown is manually winding the automatic movement, sets the date while the date changes only by moving the hour hand back and forward midnight.  I was so wrong! How come I missed the fact that the date changes by pulling the crown?! Just pull the crown in the second position and the date jumps! Pull again, it jumps again! 🙂

citizen super jet auto dater 2

Let’s open it up! Let’s not forget the X marked case, with integrated case back!  The first thing one have to do is to remove the bezel (this is also keeping the crystal into place). Use the right knife blade to pop it open. Then remove the crystal. I do that using a suction cup. On the lateral part of the crystal there is a black rubber seal and underneath the crystal there is a transparent one in order to facilitate water resistance. So, the crystal is out, and so are the seals. Now turn the watch dial side down and slowly turn the crown. The movement will fall, so pay attention. Now that we have the movement out, turn it so we can see it. The beautiful Jet movement, gold plated, 39 Jewels, three stats, in all its glory! Love it! Read more about Jet movements HEREReassembly is somehow similar. A special attention should be payed when pacing the crown back. Press it into place only when in the right position into the movement, otherwise the stem can break. When pressure fitting the bezel back into place, be careful not to break the crystal. Nor the stem or the crystal are available for sale anywhere. So… take your time or take it to a watchmaker. 😉

citizen super jet auto dater 3

Anything else? Well.. not only that is in almost perfect condition but I can introduce to you how the original box should have been. Most of the times the box alone can double the value of the watch if it can be sourced. So… this is how a Super Jet auto dater box should look like. (I hope I can get it soon to complete the package, and the original strap too – not sure what is the right model here-)

If you want to see the 150m diver version of this watch, one of my all time favorite pieces, click HERE

I hope you enjoyed the article and found the info about the X case watches useful. Now, lets get them opened! 🙂 These movements need to be seen! Click on the images to magnify them if you need more details.

Citizen Jet Autodater 120m – the first diver


It is always nice to know which watch was the first, the thinnest, the most this or that… It is extra nice to have one of each. With Citizen that is not so easy because there are so many models! One of the most collectable lines is the one of the diving watches, so which is the first real diver that Citizen made?

The first Japanese water resistant watch was the famous Parawater, launched in 1959. You can read about it HERE. But, that was not a real diver. In fact the first diving timepiece was this one, the one in this article, the Jet Autodater para 120m water. At about the same time another model was made, the Autodater 200m , the skin diver. Read about it HERE.

Here it is, the Citizen Parawater 120m Jet Autodater (ADRS51301-DA)

citizen jet auto dater 120m

Unfortunately the manufacture date can not be easily determined because there is no serial number but it is estimated to be somewhere around 1962 . Find out how to date a Citizen HERE.

The case is made entirely in polished stainless steel, with a screw in case back and a bidirectional friction type bezel. The crown is non screw in. The water resistance is obtained by using a rubber O ring and it is enough for 120m. Not bad I would say. 🙂 The acrylic crystal is domed and gives it a vintage feel. The dial is black, with luminous large trapezoidal hour markers and steel hands. The hour and minute hand have a black tip with a luminous central line where the black part is. The black painted bezel has a luminous dot at 12. On the black dial we see the date, located in a traditional way, at 3 o’clock.

The movement is a 19 J jet caliber, no hand winding. The date changes by advancing the hands pass midnight and back to 21, and again midnight… It is not a quick set date. The seconds don’t hack. So… not a phenomenal movement but one of my favorites. (the Jet – with a ring rotor and you can read about Jets HERE) This one is one of the earliest types, with no hand winding. Just a tool watch with a simple, robust movement.

citizen jet auto dater 120m

The strap that completes this awesome watch is a Tropic rubber one. Perfect match! Now, all I have to do is strap this piece of history on my wrist and take it diving! Well.. desk diving. 🙂

Citizen Crystal Seven para100mwater diver


Exactly one year ago I wrote about a fabulous watch, the Dandy Seven diver (read about it HEREand here we are today talking about it’s brother, the Crystal Seven diver. They were made in the same period, they share the same line (Seven), the same movement, and the same style, but each stands proud as powerful individual watch.

crystal seven vintage citizen diver

It is a decent sized watch, with a modern look and a strong vintage feel; maybe it is the shape of the case, maybe the colors, maybe the entire watch. By the way, it is made entirely of stainless steel. The SS bracelet I doubt it is the original one but it suits the watch very well, with those blue highlights, that match the minute chapter ring color perfectly. The front part of the case is brushed while all the rest is polished.

It is a diver watch (para 100m water) and as any diver watch that respects itself it has a bezel. This one is an aluminum bidirectional friction type with a luminous dot on 12. The dial is beautiful, grey, with a sunburst effect. The hours are marked with luminous material. The hands had luminous parts too but on mine they must have fallen out and to this day it was not yet relumed. The second hand has a luminous ball too. The minute chapter ring is blue with white 5 minutes dots.

The movement inside is the Citizen automatic 5204 calibre, with 27 jewels. It can also be winded by hand. The winding crown is made of stainless steel and signed CTZ. It is not a screw-in type. Due to this movement, the watch displays both the day of the week as well as the date. The day changes by advancing the hands past midnight while the date changes normally in the second position of the crown. The movement doesn’t hack.

One thing that differentiates it from it’s brother (the Dandy Seven) is the mineral crystal (hence the Crystal Seven name). On the other hand, Dandy Seven it fitted with an acrylic one.

All things considered it is a beautiful, rare diver, vintage and somehow modern at the same time.

Read more about other vintage Citizen divers HERE.

Citizen ring watch, pendant watch, bracelet watch


Yes, Citizen made these beauties too. Why should’t our better halves enjoy and share out passion for watches? Citizen saw this opportunity and took it. They might not be a game changing in term of movements or complications but they are so nice to wear when dressing up. After all it is all about fashion, isn’t it? 🙂citizen ring watch pendant watch bracelet watchThey are all jewelries but valuable watches too, used for time telling. All three of them are whi
te gold plated (WGP) and powered by hand wounded Citizen calibres. They have no second hand and do not display the date. Anyway, I will let the rest of the story telling to the pictures.citizen ring watch pendant watch bracelet watch vintage goldI am happy that I found all three of them; it took me a while to have this entire set in NOS condition. Who knows, maybe I missed a piece or two, because with Citizen you never know for sure what else is there to discover. So I will keep my eyes open for new, exciting surprises.

Citizen Crystate Deluxe 22 jewels


About a week ago Vladimir sent me his watch in order for me to review it and find more information on this rare bird. I can say that I was intrigued with a few aspects of this watch so I decided to dig into this and find some answer. Well guys, here it is the July 1968 Parawater Citizen Crystate Deluxe 22 Jewels!

citizen crystate deluxe

The entire watch is made of stainless steel and so is the bracelet. The 37mm case is entirely polished with simple and elegant surfaces. By contrast the bracelet finishing alternates between brushed and polished parts. Even though there is no brushed surface on the case, there is something similar, on the dial! Well, about the dial, that is a piece of art, simple, silver, with longitudinal brushed texture from 12 to 6, with applied hour markers. By the way, there is no date feature so the dial is well balanced. Regarding the polished hour markers, they also have a longitudinal black line except for the 12 o’clock one that has two. There is no luminous material to be found. The hands match the overall design and are simple, with a centrally mounted sweeping hand that hacks when the time is set (we will talk a little about the movement later). On the dial we can find the Citizen logo and a the star logo applied. The “Crystate Deluxe” and “22 jewels” are printed in black. The dial code and “Japan”, as well as the minute chapter ring, are also printed in black. I found a black dial version of the watch online and it seams it came in only two dial variants, silver and black. I like the silver one better.

The crystal is made of mineral glass and this fact on top of the upgraded metal bracelet gave the base model (the Citizen Homer) a new life into the form of the Crystate. It also has SS case, better regulated movement and screw in case back. The Deluxe and the star logo suggest a better finished movement. (thank you Kenneth for your help!) This one has 22 jewels because there is one additional one in addition of the regular 21, on the underneath part of the barrel.

The movement is rather common one (except for the additional jewel and better finishing) and hand winds. It also hacks for a better time setting. It runs at 18,000 bph.

Thank you Vladimir for lending me your watch, I took good care of it and I hope you enjoyed the review!

Read more about other simple Citizen watches 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. 🙂