Black Roman Numeral Automatic Citizen cal 6501


Because I will sell it in a few days, I thought I should write a few words about this watch before letting it go. It is not the highly desirable diver or chronograph, but a fair, beautiful piece. What I like the most about it are the roman numeral used for hour markers on the dial. I don’t see many Citizen to use them.

citizen automatic black coated

It has a round black coated case with a stainless steel polished bezel. The crown is sign CTZ and is used for manually winding the movement (21 Jewels, calibre 6501) and setting the date and time. The day changes by advancing the hour hand passed midnight. All the fonts are black with the exception of Sundays that are written in red. The fact that the price tag is still attached on the replacement strap (the old one was destroyed beyond repair by time) and the case back sticker are a welcomed bonus for any collector.

So, bottom line…we have here a beautiful dial, a nice shape and black color case, NOS condition vintage automatic Citizen.

Read more about other simple Citizen watches HERE. (some of them are very rare and collectable)

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Citizen Parawater – THE Parawater


After presenting the first watch manufactured by Citizen, the beautiful pocket one (read about it HERE), it is time for another milestone in watchmaking. This time, the first Japanese waterproof watch, THE Parawater! This makes it the grand, grand father of all the Citizen divers we all love so much!  Please note that this was not intended for diving, but it was up to the task for swimming!

In 1959 the company produced the first Japanese water-resistant wrist watch. This was the “Citizen Parawater”. It was powered by the Citizen Cal. 920(2B). It was produced with  19, 21 and 23 jewels. Soon after, the Parawater completed two trans-Pacific tests and one in the Sea of Japan. The result, needless to say, was positive. As time passed Citizen was growing as a company and exported more and more watches, so (unfortunately IMHO) the term “Para Water” was changed to the universally recognized (an boring)  “Water resistant” somewhere around 1970-1973.

Back to this particular one! The line chosen to be modified so that it will become water protected was a success already, the Deluxe. Citizen changed the design of the case, added rubber seals and greatly modified the tube and crown assembly. By doing that and after a lot of research they were able to stand by their product in public demonstrations.

Citizen Parawater Deluxe

After intensive search I managed to find this particular watch, in an non working state, the bracelet and the clasp was destroyed beyond restoration and the crystal was badly scratched, but what an awesome find! I had to take the plunge! (pun intended 🙂 ) This is how I got the pictures from the seller in Greece:

Citizen Parawater

Now, after a long time deciding how invasive the restoration should be I went with a bracelet swap with a similar design from the same time frame by Citizen, a light crystal polish and I got the movement running again.  This is the end result:

Citizen Parawater Deluxe

Interesting facts: The black dial has lume dots and the hands are also with luminous material, making it very rare (the only one I saw) and very beautiful. Another detail is the fact that the entire dial in printed and there is no applied logo.

The caseback has the inscription: “All stainless steel”, “Antimagnetic”, “Parawater”, “STAR”, “Citizen Deluxe” and the serial no. By the way the watch is made in 1959, making it one of the very first pieces.

Beautiful lug holes for easy bracelet replacement.

Don’t forget to magnify the last picture for more details!

Conclusion: I am so happy to introduce to you this wonderful piece of history and I hope you like it as much as I do! The watch found a new home with Daniel in Germany and for sure it is a great home! Enjoy it Daniel!

Later edit (2015): 

I here present to you my keeper Para Water, that I found this year in Hong Kong (thanks Anthony! 🙂 ) Excellent condition, fully working 100% original, made in 1961.

parawater citizen deluxe

Here are the three dial variants, Two white ones (one with a star, the other without) and the black one.

parawater citizen

Update 2016 APR

Here it is a commercial advertising sign from the period:

the first parawater citizen

Read more about vintage Citizen divers HERE

Vintage Citizen Diver – Seven Star 4-526970Y


This is not the usual diver, but it has the lovely look of one. In fact this is one of the first “divers” made by Citizen, the precursor of the famous Citizen real diving watches.

It is the Parawater model but it has no specific depth rating. The production date of this particular watch is February 1970.

citizen seven star diver

The case is made in stainless steel, thin, with a bidirectional friction type stainless steel rotating bezel. It measures 38mm wide. It has a domed acrylic crystal that gives a lovely look to the black, matte dial. The crown is marked “C” as most of the early Citizen watches did and it is not screw type.

The dial is simple, black, with luminous squares as hour markers. At three a clock it has the day-date window. Sundays , as usual, are written in red. The hands are common to Seven Star range at the era. The second hand has a luminous dot at the tip.

Citizen vintage diver seven star

The movement is the the calibre 5204 with 21 jewels. It runs at 28,000 bph and it doesn’t hack. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown and the day changes by advancing the hands pass midnight.

The bracelet is made in stainless steel, but I doubt the fact that is original to the watch. It fits the watch really nice.  The clasp, is as usual, signed “Citizen”.

Conclusion – Beautiful piece of history, a precursor of the real Citizen diving watches, the “missing” link between THE Parawater watch and the real diving watches made by Citizen.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here:  https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

 

Vintage Citizen Divers 150m: 68-5372 , 62-6198, 52-0110


It is my pleasure to introduce to you my three vintage Citizen 150m divers: 68-5372 , 62-6198, 52-0110.

Even though they might look similar at the very first sight, they are different models.

vintage citizen divers 150m 4-740131Y , 4-600851Y , 4-820789Y

They are all in excellent condition, the first two are actually NOS, the third one is not, but really well kept. The first one is made in 1971, the second in 1974 and the third in 1978. Read about how to date a Citizen watch here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/02/23/dating-a-vintage-citizen-watch/

Lets start with the similarities: 

All three are divers, rated to a respectable depth of 150m water pressure. They share the same case (4-740131Y , 4-600851Y , 4-820789Y ), with the same screw-in large crown. The bezel is bidirectional friction type. The sides of the cases are polished and the frontal surfaces are brushed in a similar manner. They are 40mm wide with 20mm steel bracelets at the lugs. Thew share the same mineral crystal, concave on the inside, with a flat surface, that magnifies the beautiful black dials. The movements are automatics with 21 jewels. All three display the date at 3 o’clock and have a central sweeping hand with a luminous dot. The hour indexes are applied rectangles, large, and filled with luminous material. The hands are similar in shape (Mercedes type hour hand and spade minute hand).  The three bracelets feature a diver extension link beneath the clasp. So, they are very much alike, but, let’t take a closer look!

vintage citizen divers 150m 68-5372 , 62-6198, 52-0110

The main difference is a small detail that I like a lot: The first one (made in 1971: 68-5372) is marked “parawater”. read more about parawater here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/. All the other differences emerge, the way I see things, from this small detail (the date of manufacturing). The era of “parawater” was different. The first watch is the only one with a solid bracelet links, the others have folded links. The date window is better placed on the dial due to a different movement size on the ’71 watch. The hour hand and the minute hand are longer. The dot at the end of the second hand in similar to the first two models and I like this a lot. The bezels have different thickness, due to different crystal height.  The thinest being the first one, getting thicker and thicker, translating to an overall watch height difference. The way the crystal fits to the case is very complicated at early models, with steel rings, rubber seals, and a lot of parts. The third one has the crystal fit by pressure ring plastic gasket. The way I see things Citizen tried to simplify production and make it mode profitable, but I like it complicated. Looking at the bezel inserts, the last one has markers on every minute. The middle one features an applied Citizen logo on the dial made from individual letters. The 1978 watch has a black digit date wheel. By contrast the other two have red digits. As a final touch, the printing on the dial is unique to every one of the three.

Citizen vintage diver 150m

The casebacks are similar but with different markings. Removing the caseback we have the chance to see the movements. Three distinct movement, automatics, with 21 jewels. The most striking feature is the fact that the first watch movement is filling nicely the case, being a suited size (this is the reason for the date position on the dial). The later two have smaller movements. At least the middle one has a steel ring around it to fill the useless space. The latest one has a cheaper plastic ring. All three movements have quick date setting, and offer hand winding ability.

year        model        case no         movement

1971       68-5372        4-740131Y        7470

1974       62-6198        4-600851Y      6000 (marked 6001)

1978       52-0110        4-820789Y      8210A

 As a conclusion, I want to say that even though I admire the first one and really appreciate the second one, the third (the only one that is not NOS) is the one I love the most. Nevertheless, I will not disclose the reason why. 🙂 Having one vintage Citizen diver 150m is a joy, having three is a bless.

UPDATE – the second hand I have seen to be either lollipop style with the ball at the end of it or not. For any of these models. I have yet to find catalogue pictures to be 100% sure about it.

read more about vintage Citizen divers here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

 

Citizen ladies diver 150m model 54-0919


Every man needs a real diver watch, and every woman (either a girlfriend or a wife of a true watch enthusiast) is going to get one eventually. 🙂 

This is the vintage Citizen ladies diver. This is the ultimate one, the real one.

vintage ladies Citizen diverThis model has all the specifications that define a diver. My better half says it is even better than the men model of the same time frame, witch is the 52-0110 presented in the picture. I tend to agree with her (well, I have no choice but to agree with her 🙂 ). Read about my watch here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-automatic-diver-150m-52-0110/ Mine was made in 1978 and hers in 1980.

The case is small,  made in polished stainless steel but with a brushed face that doesn’t reflect light the same way as a polished surface would. This is mandatory for a diver so the time can be easily read without light interference. Compared to the men model, this one has some other elements that gives it a nice diving touch: crown guards, lug holes (for easily changing the strap) and unidirectional rotating bezel (60 clicks). By contrast, the big brother has only a friction type bidirectional bezel, no crown guards and no lug holes.  The water resistance is similar (150m) and both of them have a large screw-in crown, an easy grip bezel with a beautiful aluminum insert and a thick flat mineral crystal. The underside of the crystal is concave, magnifying the hands and the dial.

The dial and the hands are very similar. Both the ladies watch and the men watch have a black dial with applied luminous hour markers. The hands are similar (Mercedes hours hand, spade minutes hand and a seconds hand with a luminous dot close to the tip). The small brother has a day and date window. Both of them are marked in the same way: Citizen, automatic, 21 jewels, water resistant, 150m. My girlfriend’s watch has a raised ring part of the dial with seconds markers. That gives a great depth feeling to the entire watch face.

Citizen ladies diver 150m model 54-0919The movement is small too, suited for the small case. It is an automatic, 21 jewels movement. Citizen named it calibre 6601, and can be found in a variety of ladies watches. Not much to say about it except the fact that it displays both the day and the date, can be hand wound and a particularity is the fact the date changes by pulling repeatedly the crown.

The strap is the original (pretty impressive for a 30 years old watch), mint condition rubber, with a stainless steel buckle. It is very comfortable, very easy to find the perfect adjustment hole. The width at the lugs end is 14 mm, but it integrates really well with the flowing case design. I think it would look good on nato (still looking for one so small) and i have already ordered a mesh stainless steel bracelet for it.

Citizen ladies diver 150m model 54-0919 citizen 150m

As a conclusion, all I can say that my diving watch found it’s better half and so did I. 🙂

Read more about vintage Citizen divers here:

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

Citizen Seven Star Deluxe “Monthly” model ACSS-52704-Y


This is a nice full calendar Citizen, powered by a simple movement. Even though it looks like the month display is a complex feature, it is only a simple and clever internal bezel.  Due to this particularity (month display) it was named “Monthly” but another similar model is called “Moon – Dater”.  The reason for a this (one model with two names) is the fact that the “Moon -Dater” might have been designated for export.

citizen seven star deluxe monthly

The case is, as most of the times, made is stainless steel, with mirror polished flat sides and deep sunburst frontal surface. It has a cushion style shape with integrated lugs. The bezel holding the flat mineral crystal is polished and so is the stainless steel caseback. My watch is the black face one, while the credit for the pictures of the white one goes to an internet seller. Both of them are in perfect condition and the different surfaces can be easily admired mostly because of it’s generous proportions, being rather large. It has two crowns, one at 3 o’clock connected to the mechanism and one at 2 o’clock for easily setting the month. It is marked “Para water” (it is made in 1969, prior to the unfortunate term change in 1973 to international “water resistant”)

The dial is dark deep black, without reflections. The white one is as in the pictures. I didn’t have the chance to hold it and take a closer look. The hour markers are applied and polished. The “7” logo and the “Citizen” logo are applied in a similar manner. In the same way the hands and the day-date window frame are also polished. There is a second part of the dial, a raised internal minute disk that features the month window. All the disks (day, date , month) are white with black lettering (sundays are red). For the white dialed one the day is positioned at 9. There is also a version with a pink month disk (the Moon Dater?) I like the crosshair detail and the white lettering resembling white chalk writing on a blackboard on the black one.

citizen monthly seven star acss52704-y

The movement is the automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels beating at 18,000 beat per hour, with quickset date.  Some models have a 23 jewels movement. It is a reliable movement used in a variety of models displaying day and date. It offers hand winding possibility too. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown (first position for winding, third for time setting) but the day changes only by passing midnight with the hands. The operating crown for the movement is the one at 3. Even though it seams that the month display is operated by the movement, it does not. In fact it is an internal bezel that should be adjusted by the crown at 2 o’clock.

The bracelet for the black one (nor sure if it is the proper one for the model)  is tapering and closing with a signed clasp. The interesting part of the signature is the fact that is longitudinally placed along the clasp. Not too much to say about it, only a brushed bracelet that in my opinion suits the watch very well.The white one is on a mesh bracelet (not sure if original for the model).

All things considered, this is a simple, interesting watch, with a clever way of displaying the month. So, here we have a full calendar vintage Citizen.

Read about the older version, more complex, full calendar Citizen watch HERE

Citizen compressor diver – Seven Star 4-520017Y


Let me introduce to you a beautiful, NOS, vintage compressor style diver that has just the right amount of pure class.

A compressor case is defined by the fact that the rotating bezel is inside the case, under the crystal and it is turned by one of the crowns, rather than directly by hand. Gary, a reader, provided a piece of information about Compressor cases that I would love to share with you:

“These are beautful watches and I enjoyed reading about them but I must correct your assumption that they are compressor watches. Its a common misconception that if a watch has two crowns and an internal bezel, it must be a supercompressor but infact Compressor and Super Compressor watches are defines by the company which made the cases and held a patent for their design. These cases were made by the specialist manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. of Switzerland. No Japanese manufacturer used EPSA Compressor cases. Information about Compressor cases is not hard to find. The link below shows the three types of Compressor case, including the Super Compressor from which your Citizen watches are inspired. True Super Compressors are typically identified by a crossed hatched design on the crowns, a diver helmet logo on the case back or inside the case back, but always, they have the brevet (patent) number on or inside the case back. http://wornandwound.com/2014/03/24/guide-super-compressors/”

NOS means New Old Stock – a watch that was not worn and it is in excelent condition after all this time (45 years old).

citizen compressor diver seven star parawater

Just like the other compressor diver I have presented here : https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/18/vintage-citizen-compressor-diver-4-520343-y/, this one is also made in 1969. By contrast, this one has a more classy, elegant appearance.

The case is large, made in polished stainless steel, with a brushed frontal surface. Looking at it from the side, the case seams slender, thick in the middle, and arching down all the way to the end of the integrated lugs. The mineral crystal is slightly domed in order to be better integrated in the overall design. The crystal is secured by a thin, polished, elegant bezel. The sides and the frontal surface are well delimitated by a carefully made polished chamfer. The twin crowns are not signed. One of then, the upper one, turns the bidirectional internal bezel and the other one is connected to the movement. The case-back displays the usual information – material, date of manufacture, model, movement, and parawater. Read about parawater here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

The dial is dark-deep black,  very simple but not simplistic at all. Under magnification one can see that a lot of attention was placed into details. The writing is white, also on the black date and the black day wheels. The date is on 3 o clock inside a polished frame and the day is at 9 inside an oval, carefully made window. The only tint of color is the lettering for Sunday.  The inner rotating bezel is also black with white writing. The hour markers are applied with luminous material in the center. The hands are also polished, faceted with luminous material as well.

 Citizen diver Seven Star 4-520017Y

The movement is the usual automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels. The calibre number is engraved, as usual, under the balance wheel.  It is winded by a black rotor that compliments the dial on the other side in a fortunate manner.  It is a common movement used in a variety of models, not only divers making it rather easy to repair with available parts. It is reliable and offers hand winding possibility. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown (first position for winding, third for time setting) but the day changes only by passing midnight with the hands. The corespondent crown for the movement is the one at 4 o ‘clock.

The bracelet is nothing less than a piece of art. I think this is my favorite Citizen design. It is made in solid steel, three thin polished connectors and  brushed large links. It doesn’t get better than this! It has a pleasant tactile feel and a nice weight. One more thing that can not be described into words is the sound of the links touching each other… pure music. The clasp is the usual type, signed Citizen.

Citizen compressor diver - Seven Star 4-520017Y

Al things considered, this is the best diver for a gentleman, ready to be worn at the beach or with a suit during a corporate meeting. Decent water resistance (nor really made for submerging, but good enough for daily jobs) and understated elegance placed together for one of the best Vintage Citizen All-rounder.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/