A watch for a friend

Not so long ago I realized that there are quite a few occasions when friends asked for my help in finding them a watch to wear and enjoy. It is not an easy task at all because a watch, as we all WIS know, is not just a time telling device. A watch creates a special bond with its owner, and tells more than just the exact time. It can say a lot about the man/woman wearing it, about the relationship that the owner has with Time itself. It should match the lifestyle, the goals, the dreams and the way of thinking of the one that has it strapped on the wrist. So, it is not an easy task at all. In order to find the ideal match, when suggestion one, we should know a thing or two about the one buying it. And knowing someone is hard, really hard because a lot of times we don’t know ourself that much.

Today I will talk about a Citizen Alarm Date and how I chose this one.

You can read about it’s technical features HERE, now we will talk about the process of suggesting and choosing a watch.

Top 10 questions to be asked:

  1. Are you a “vintage” guy or a “modern” one?
  2. When and on what occasions do you plan on wearing it?
  3. Do you plan on swimming with it?
  4. Does size matter?How much?
  5. Date or no-date? Is this feature important to you?
  6. Bracelet or strap?
  7. White dial, black dial or colored one?
  8. Manual or automatic?
  9. Any complications?
  10. And the most important: what is your budget? 🙂

Out of this questions others will emerge and we can narrow the possibilities down to just a few and most of the time we will feel what the right piece is.

I chose this Vintage Citizen Alarm date 4H for my friend and I will show him the watch today. I am still unsure if he will like it or not and I am taking a chance here writing and posting this article before he will actually see the watch later today. He will not read the article prior to having the watch in his hands and he is not yet a member on Vintage Citizen Watches group on Facebook.  He is a dentist and a bloody good one in fact. A young dental surgeon and he is just starting his watch journey. Little does he know that this “disease” has no cure and once you start it is going to grow into a lifetime addiction. In fact this is how I will know I made the right decision if in a few years he will be the one showing me watches. Time will tell. So… back to my friend and (probably) his watch. 🙂 He is more of a vintage guy and I guess a manual wind with alarm will make him interact with the watch more. This way he will connect more and see how it feels. The size is suitable (36mm) for a variety of activities and outfits and he can wear it on bracelet or on Tropic in the dental clinic, on leather with a suit or even on a Nato with summer beach attire. Just don’t swim with it. Washing your hands and getting caught in the rain will be no problem because the watch is in fact Parawater. (how many times did I tell you how I love this term?) The bracelet is the original one the watch was made with in January 73. The curved end original Tropic, a brown leather strap and a colored Nato will provide just enough diversity to play whenever he desires a change of look and feel. The crystal is acrylic so I will tell him, in half a year or so, about Polywatch and later on about polishing the stainless steel case if he asks. Of course I will tell him what scratches mean on a watch and how they build character but we will see what the future has planed for him and his WIS adventure.

So, bottom line, the watch is ready for him, not fully winded because I have to show him how to do that, on the original bracelet, ready to be adjusted and strapped on.

I hope you will like it and will serve you well my friend, wake you up in the morning and give you a lot of pleasure wearing it, hearing it, interacting and looking at it.

UPDATE: – he saw the watch, loves it, and then read the article. What can I say, a perfect match. 🙂

If anybody else has a cool story about how someone chose a watch for him / her, or vice-versa,  I would love to hear it as a comment on this article.

Have a great day my friends and don’t be shy, share the watch love with the new ones. 🙂


Citizen Alarm 4H (4 hands) 17 Jewels Parashock

If we talk about beautiful dials, this watch should not be overlooked. And on top of all that beauty, it is the loudest alarm I’ve heard. 🙂

Here it is: the 1963 Citizen Alarm 4H (four hands) 17 jewels Parashock!

Citizen alarm 4H parashock 17 jewels

As usual, the watch is made in a polished stainless steel case, but as a novelty, it has not one but two case backs. The reason for this is that the inner one that snaps into a precise place, has a pin that is the passive part of the alarm. The hammer part of the movement hits the pin that is attached to this case back and produces the loud, powerful sound. Above this there is an outer one that has 6 round holes to allow the sound to exit more easily. This piece sits on the back of the watch without touching the inner case back so that that one can vibrate without the pressure of the wrist. Imagine a bell; if you touch it when it is ringing it wont vibrate and will stop. Holding it by the handle, all is going to be just fine. It it the same with this watch.

The movement is the Citizen calibre hand winding 9812 (no date), 17 Jewels working at the usual rate of 18000 bph. The crowns are one for setting time and winding the main spring and the one for operating 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 about 8-9 seconds. The movement has a power reserve of about 40 hours and it runs great if winding once a day. It is marked Parashock.

Finally, lets talk about the way it looks! The 4 hands are polished and so are the hour markers. The dial is made out of two parts, a silver central one with a sunburst effect and an outer disk that sits higher that the central part. This outer disk has a central circular polished groove. On top of this groove are the hour markers, shaped as tiny bridges.

UPDATE 2018 March: Here it is a NOS,  box, tags and booklet gold plated version: 

Bottom line, it is a  beautiful, loud, understated Citizen marvel, a joy to look at and a pleasure to listen to, ticking and ringing.

See the video and listen to this watch HERE! Enjoy!