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.

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Citizen automatic chronograph 67-9631


Citizen had two automatic calibres.

One automatic chronograph is the 8110A and you can read about the “octagon bullhead” that had this movement here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-bullhead-chronograph-67-9356/

And the other one is the one I will write about now, the 8100A.

Both of them came with different case design, shapes and sizes with a lot of dials. This is why sometimes is difficult to identify if a certain watch is correct or “reconditioned” with aftermarket parts.

vintage citizen automatic chronograph 8100

This is a one sub-dial design chronograph featuring a lot of interesting details. It was made in November 1973.

The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel. The chronograph pushers are on the side, where the winding crown is. It is a cushion shape with a circular grain brushed front surface (I have seen a sunburst grain also, and polished – the polished is for sure not correct) and polished everywhere else. The caseback is screw in with a circular brushed flat surface. The crown is signed “CTZ”. The mineral crystal sits a little bit taller than the case, with chamfer edge. Nothing out of the ordinary, jut a simple, normal ’70’s design by Citizen, 38mm wide without the crown.

The dial is blue with orange and silver accents. It is nothing less but gorgeous! The blue changes from dark blue (almost black sometimes) to bright blue and then to a type of green really difficult to picture. Sometimes it seems unreal. You have to see one in real life in order to fully appreciate the beauty of this one. On 6 it is the sub-dial, counting the elapsed (30) minutes. This is the only sub-dial (normal for cal 8100A). The central, orange central sweeping hand counts the seconds. This sub-dial is silver with highlighted 5 minutes periods. The 5-10 minutes is blue. Not only the chronograph hands are orange but also the current time hands are painted (not entirely) orange and they have a luminous line. On 3 o’clock there are the day and the date windows, with a silver painted frame. The days and the dates are printed on black disks. The polished Citizen logo is applied and so are the hour markers. The hour markers have an orange central line ending with a luminous dot. On the outer side of the dial there is a white Tachymeter scale, for racing, you know!

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 11.28.56

The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewls,  calibre 8100A with hand winding capability. It was produced by Citizen starting from 1972, just as 8110A. 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.

The bracelet is an usual one piece link design, made by Citizen, with a brushed surface that suits the watch perfectly. It is made in stainless steel with a signed “Citizen” clasp. As usual, Citizen bracelets are very comfortable with a lot of adjustments so finding the perfect fit is easy. 

vintage citizen chronograph 8100a

Conclusion: Wonderful Citizen chronograph, vintage yet so modern, with a nice wrist presence and amazing dial!

Enjoy the video of this watch here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/25/video-citizen-automatic-chronograph-67-9631-cal-8100a/