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.
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:
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:
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.
Here are the three dial variants, Two white ones (one with a star, the other without) and the black one.
Update 2016 APR
Here it is a commercial advertising sign from the period:
Read more about vintage Citizen divers HERE