Vintage Citizen Watches case finishing


We talk a lot about watches because we love them. We love to strap them on our wrists, to wind them, to play with the chronograph, to turn the bezels. We enjoy to hear them ticking and to look at them. Most of the times we appreciate the details of the dial, the fonts, the lume, the movement… But let’s take a closer look at the cases, at the way these cases are crafted and finished.

Citizen watches are made in-house so the cases are also produced by them. It is not an easy task to make so many models. This means that a lot of  tools and work hours are needed. After all it is a business and profit margins should be there and case designing, producing and finishing are resource and time consuming. Let’s not take this work for granted. Today I will present to you three different watches. I chose one chronograph, one diver and one dress watch. The best of the best (in my opinion) when it comes to (not only) case finishing.

1 – Citizen automatic chronograph 67-9357, the octagonal “bull-head”

This piece has a stainless steel case, shaped like an octagon, and has 21 different surfaces, not counting the bezel. It is a combination of brushed and mirror polished ones. The top part (where the crown and the pushers are) is brushed laterally while the front part has a longitudinal finish. All the rest is polished. So manny angles and the way that the top part flows, from the powerful top part to the organic lower one! Lovely! This is for sure my favorite chronograph case!

2 – Citizen Super Autodater 39J 150m Parawater SADS52801-Y

The diver! The professional one, the first 150m with this design language. Well… this is the only uni body case 150m. This means that the movement comes out only if you remove the bezel and the crystal. Then you can remove the movement. The case-back is part of the case and it does not come off because it is safer this way when diving with it. After all it is the Professional one. All the case is polished, except the top part of the lugs. Now look at those lugs! Art! Just look at the beveled edges and the precision of the polishing. Perfect sharp edges everywhere. What a shape!

3 – Citizen Glorious

I can talk all day about it. After all, it is THE Glorious!  Just look at the pictures and realize that they just don’t do justice to the watch. In reality it is much better. And together with all the other details, the crown, the case back GC gold inlay, the GC stainless steel signed buckle… mesmerizing! So clean, so powerful, so confident without being over the top. All the precise lines and angles, the edges, the compact elegant shape… Yeah, I know that I am stating the obvious so I will better end it here and let you magnify the picture for better understanding the beauty of VCW.

As a conclusion, I will let you have it your own after you click on the picture and magnify it. Also click on the links above to read more about these models, you wont be sorry, but I have to warn you… it is contagious and soon you will find yourself craving for more Vintage Citizen Watches. 🙂 Enjoy!

Citizen Chronograph “Speedy” 67-9313


Finally, I found the time to write a few words about it, one the most desired vintage Citizen chronograph, the “Speedy”. It is called this way because of the resemblance with the well known Omega Speedmaster. (did you know that there is a Speedmaster limited eddition of 500 with white dial, the “Albino”?) I like it a lot, (not because of the Moon watch) and it is one of my favorites, along with the Recordmaster and the octagon Bullhead.

omega speedmaster citizen speedy

This one is also made of stainless steel and has all the DNA of a vintage Citizen chrono.

citizen vintage automatic chronograph speedy 67-9313

The main attraction of this model is the dial and the outside tachymeter scale bezel insert. (it comes with white or black dial) All these features combined make it gorgeous. The case is finished beautifully, polished and brushed for a very nice contrast. The crown (signed CTZ) and the pushers are polished, made of SS too. They are located on the side, in the traditional way, not like most of the Citizen automatic chronographs that are called “Bullheads”, on the top. The case back screws into place and has all the info about it, the model, the material, the serial that gives information about manufacturing date

The movement is the famous in-house calibre 8110A, that I wrote about quite a lot. It is an automatic, running at a high beat of 28,800. It is a fly back movement displaying both the date and the day of the week. It can also be manually wound.

Most of the times when I see this model it is on leather straps, but originally it also came on a bracelet. The one in the picture is not the original type but any straight end 18mm one will do just fine. In fact this watch looks good on almost any strap you throw on it.

UPDATE: Here is the pair, black dial, next to the white dial one. Which one do you like the best?

citizen speedy 67-9313 black white

You can read more about other vintage Citizen chronographs on the dedicated page, HERE.

Vintage Citizen Chronographs


You may call them “Bull head” or “Speedy” or “Walter Wolf” or “Challenge Timer”. It doesn’t really matter, as long as we all call them “Beautiful”.

Here it is 2016 and I want to start the year sharing this picture of four of my watches. What we have here is a small collection of chronographs, all with Citizen 8110a fly back movement beating inside. vintage automatic citizen bullhead speedy 8110s

Because I already wrote a few articles about watches powered by this awesome movement, you can read more about this calibre HERE.

The watches above are: 

  1. Black coated alloy Blackie Challenge Timer, rare green dial – read more HERE & HERE 
  2. White dial SS Speedy with outer Tachymeter bezel – still working on the article
  3. The black dial SS octagon Bull Head – read about it HERE
  4. Titanium Walter Wolf, Promethium dial, count down rotating bezel – read more HERE

I wish you all the best for this year and may you find your perfect Vintage Citizen Chronograph for you to call “Your own”. 😉

Citizen “Bull Head” Chronograph 4-901096-K


One of the Citizen mysteries, for me, gravitated around this very model. It is not only a very elusive watch but a beautiful one too! I have seen a few pictures that made the dial look bright green and in others looked a little bit towards golden brown. So I had to have them both to see myself how they look in real life!

citizen bullhead chronograph vintage

Finally I found two, both in excellent condition. So, here came out the magnifying glass, the photo camera and I kept on looking at one and then to the other in all lighting condition and from all the angles. In the end the conclusion is:

  • same case: 6N-4W-S, case back, pushers and crown
  • same model no: 4-901096-K
  • same movement: Citizen cal 8110A
  • same date and day wheel (English – Japanese)
  • same dial code: JAPAN 8110 – 901166 KA
  • same dial color – green, BUT… different shades of green

In fact most of the times they look almost the same, but from time to time, they look like in the picture above. So… why this difference? I do not know for sure. Based on the serial no, both these watches were made in the same day or very close together because they are only about 60 watches apart. My opinion this far is that the paint used had a slightly different proportion of ingredients. The simplest explanation is most of the times the correct one. If any of you guys have another point of view regarding this, please let me know! Maybe sun exposure, patina or…?? One day we might find out.

Meanwhile… read more about vintage Citizen bull head chronographs HERE.

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, 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 have one more bracelet like this in great need of new leather parts, so if anyone interested in that, let me know.) 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.

Beautiful watch, wonderful movement. Great to have, look at and a joy to wear.

Read more about Citizen chronographs on the dedicated page HERE.

Citizen chronograph calibre 8110A


Here are a few pictures of the gorgeous in-house movement Citizen cal 8110A that my friend Sergio was kind enough to let me use on the site so all of us could enjoy! Thank you Sergio!

The movement here is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewels, calibre 8110A with 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. (how many modern chronograph do that, and what is their cost?) Lets don’t forget it has 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 (1 o’clock) button. It is 27 mm wide and 6.9mm high. 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.

citizen 8110a chronograph

Citizen 8110A

Features
automatic chronograph, 60s, 30min, 12h, pillar wheel
flyback feature: reset and immediate restart
day: set by reset-pusher in crown position for date setting, 2 languages
date: quickset

Data
12”’, Dm= 27.0mm
H= 6.9mm
23 jewels
f = 28800 A/h
power reserve 40h

Stem Citizen 065-178

Remarks
1970-
ball-bearing rotor
usually as bull head (crown/puschers at 12h, day/date at 6h)

Example, year: signature; shock device
1977: Citizen Japan, 23 J.; Parashock

Data about this movement from here.

Read more about one of my favorite Citizen, one powered by this awesome movement here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-bullhead-chronograph-67-9356/

Citizen Walter Wolf Chronograph


Like most of the times a lot of patience pays off. After a long time searching I have managed to find not one, but two very rare vintage Citizen Walter Wolf chronographs in the very same week! The first one came from Italy, the titanium one, and a week later, the black one came from Germany. (Thank you Fred and Daniel!)

citizen walter wolf

Why is this model so special? Because in the 70’s Citizen produced a lot of interesting watches and their chronograph calibre 8110A was one of the best: fly back, column wheel, day-date, hi beat automatic. What an awesome movement! And where is a chronograph at home?! In a race! So… Citizen made this Walter Wolf watch, with a special case (the one in titanium was one of the early watches to use this material for cases and bracelets). The other one is black coated metal. It also had a bidirectional rotating bezel, a nice feature usually not used in chronographs. On the outer circle of the dial it is the mandatory race related Tachymeter so the outer rotating bezel is a nice addition. Read more about Walter Wolf Racing HERE.

Back to the watch! The black one is made in 1982 and the titanium in 1983. As I was saying the case is special to this model and by doing this, Citizen managed to obtain a 100m WR. That is impressive. The crowns and pushers are non screw in but the caseback is. The winding crown is hard to operate because it is very small. On the caseback we have the Walter Wolf logo (present on the dial too), the brand, the material, the model and the serial no. The country of manufacturing is obviously Japan. In fact I think this model was made for Japan (all the models I know about had English – Japanese day wheel). The bracelet is well integrated with the case and is the perfect design for this racing dedicated watch. The dial is beautiful, black (there is one more model with a golden dial), with a lot of interesting details (please magnify the pictures for better understanding). The luminous material is made with Promethium 147, a radioactive material. Read about it HERE.  It is marked P-JAPAN-P. The rotating bezel is another interesting feature. This in not the usual diving style one but a countdown type! Note the 60-0 markings. (not the usual diving 0-60)  On top of this there is a cardinal inscription (N E S W) for better navigation, of course!  🙂 The movement is the usual Citizen cal 8110A, a vertical clutch chronograph (beating at 28.800 bph) with column wheel and fly back function. It has a day-date indicator. The rotor is special with a different inscription than the common 8110A found in the other models.

vintage citizen walter wolf

Update 2016 October: (pictures credited to the online seller)

Here it is how the original package should look like. Also note that there is a quartz pair of the automatic chrono.

walter-wolf-racing-citizen

Conclusion: A special watch, loaded with  features, a joy to wear and use, a pleasure for the eyes and a huge happiness for the heart and soul of the blessed owner.

Read more about Citizen chronographs HERE.

1974 Citizen Chronograph Print


One lucky find was this page from Auto Motor Sport magazine from 1974.

It says “Citizen Chronograph Automatic” and “A lot of precision for the money (at this price)”. So, we have a racing automatic chronograph that is not too expensive and still very precise. The race on! These are the designs that were used at the time. My favorites are not here (The Walter Wolf and the Octagon bullhead).

On the other side of the page we have a red Ferrari Testa Rossa. 😉

Enjoy the print!

Citizen chronograph automatic

The watches wit only one sub-dial are powered by Citizen calibre 8100A  and the others (with 2 sub-dials) by Citizen calibre 8110A

The next models are represented, with their prices in DM at the time (year 1974).

  1. 67-9011 (DM 355)
  2. 67-9631 (DM 298)
  3. 67-9577 (DM 278)
  4. 67-9038 (DM 325)
  5. 67-9071 (DM 348)

Read more about Vintage Citizen Chronographs here:

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

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 Chronograph CUSTOM PROJECT – calibre 8110A


CUSTOM PROJECT WATCH

This is the most common vintage automatic Citizen chronograph movement in one of the rarest case design, with one of my favorite Citizen bracelet. The reference number on the caseback is Citizen 67-9151. Due to the lack of information regarding vintage Citizen watches, sometimes we get some watches that are actually Custom Project watches. Sometimes the strap doesn’t belong to the watch or the case is not from the same model with the dial. This doesn’t mean the end result is not a beautiful watch but is not true to the original model. Such a watch is this one, a watch made by a watch collector, a vintage Citizen lover who tried to create the best Citizen he could. All the parts are original Citizen.  Regarding the shape, you can instantly see that this is not like all the other chronographs. This one has a beautiful octagonal shape that gives it personality, masculinity and a lot of style.

Citizen automatic chronograph 8110A The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel and the case back screws into place, model Citizen 67-9151. The round bezel is polished and the glass crystal is flat. The shape of the watch is octagonal. The winding crown is signed “CTZ”. The case alone has different surfaces, not counting the bezel, crown and buttons so the visual effect of brushed and polished surfaces, with a lot of angles, gives a powerful feeling.

The dial is classic, with two contrasting subdials positioned at 12 and 6. A lot of “restorations” are with aftermarket dials, so pay attention on this aspect when thinking of buying a Citizen chronograph. The subdial at 6 counts the elapsed minutes (30), the one at 12 – the hours(12) and for the seconds we have the red central sweeping hand. The day is in two languages (German and English) and Sundays are painted red. On the outside of the dial we have the classic tachymeter scale.

Vintage Citizen Flyback Chronograph 67-9151 calibre 8110A The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewls, calibre 8110A with 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. (how many modern chronograph do that, and what is their cost?) Lets don’t forget it has 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 (1 o’clock) button. It is 27 mm wide and 6.9mm high. 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 one of my top favorite design from Citizen is stainless steel, wider where it connects with the case and narrowing towards the signed “Citizen” stainless steel clasp. The links are made of solid pieces, not folded.

Conclusion: Beautiful to wear, beautiful to look at, interesting special design, wonderful automatic fly back chronograph movement that needs to be used… what else to ask for a chronograph?

Here is a link where you can see a video of this watch:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/04/22/vintage-citizen-chronograph-calibre-8110a-67-9151/