Citizen Chrono Master Superior Chronometer Special


That is a rather long name for a watch that doesn’t even have a date, isn’t it? Well… give me a few minutes and for sure the proud owner of this special Vintage Citizen Watch will make you fall in love with it. So, without further ado I will let my friend Henry from Australia tell you more about his watch:

“There is something quite rewarding in winding a watch by hand and watching it spring to life..

At a time when the world was rapidly turning it’s attention to automatics it is easy to overlook the heights that had already been achieved by their hand winding cousins.. The Chrono Master range of citizens recognises this magnificently and shows that not only does it boast some of the most accurate automatic movements of the time but also some of the best hand winding movements ever made as well.

Here we have one of the finest of these the Citizen Chrono Master Superior Chronometer Special HOOS2081.  Later productions were known as 4-020201.

The case like all Citizen Chronometers  is made in stainless steel,  Polished. The lugs are excellent tapering both inwards but are also curved allowing the watch to blend beautifully into both strap and the wrist. The case back has a gold inlay medallion with an engraved eagle.  The crown is well proportioned. The mineral crystal sits up proud above the bezel and the way the light passes through it creates a sight to behold from almost every angle..

The dial is silver sunburst it has a polished Citizen logo at the top and gold eagle logo at the bottom.  The dial text Superior Chronometer and Special tells us that this is no ordinary Chrono Master in fact you could say it’s a bit special..  The hour markers and hands are finished with a fine black line, It really improves  the legibility of the watch as well as creating a nice contrast with the dial.. There is no date window which creates a sense simplicity and symmetry that one can’t help but feel only adds to it’s beauty..

The movement is the second iteration of the hand winding Chrono Masters the cal 0930 with 22 jewels and running at 18000 bph.. The movement is hacking which means when you pull the crown the sweep hand stops running while you set the time.. There is a fine adjuster on the balance and being a superior chronometer one would expect it capable of accuracy to rival (if not better) the cosc spesifications of the day… Each movement has a serial number and jewel count engraved upon it..

The strap sitting at 18mm between the lugs was a leather one and most likely there was a signed citizen buckle to complete the package..

It’s a watch that stands out on the wrist but slides easily under a cuff. It is uncomplicated yet highly sophisticated. It  is yet another fine example of the quality that was,and still is the Citizen Chrono Master.”

Henry

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Citizen Chrono Master Superior Chronometer Special Auto Day Date 35 Jewels 4-521421Y


This is a long title for a watch, isn’t it? 🙂

Citizen Chrono Master Superior Chronometer Special Auto Day Date 35 Jewels 4-521421Y

I am not sure how to write this article yet: should I say a lot of words about this marvelous piece or let the pictures and the title say it all? Here it is the way it looks, as always the face of the watch, the case back and the movement. The watch is on original Citizen Chrono Master strap.

citizen chronomaster superior chronometer special

I always loved automatic Citizen Chrono Master and decided to find the best of the best out of the dress line. I also wrote about the non date one, date or day-date. Some of them are Chronometer some are not. Read about them on the dedicated page HERE.  At the finish line I realized that it is impossible to declare a clear winner.  I had to chose between this one I am writing about now and the blue dial Elite Special that you can see HERE. Both winners. Obviously, you can’t ever go wrong with any Chrono Master. 🙂

Back to the watch: It is the usual fully polished stainless steel multi faceted case and gold inlayed screw in case back. One thing about this one that makes it a little more interesting is the fact that the lugs distance is 18mm so it is supposed to be on strap only, not like most of them that are 20mm. I find the 18mm more suitable for the shape and design of the watch when it comes with a strap. More elegant. It is ok on 20mm but 18mm seems to be just perfect. You can read about the original strap HERE.  The crystal is different a little bit too,  in the way it connects with the case, so not all Chrono Master crystals are interchangeable. It is a mineral one, slightly domed, that comes attached inside a steel ring making these parts a single piece.

The dial is gorgeous, silver, with a sun burst pattern. It has an oval day window at 12 that shows the days only in Japanese (Sundays in red and the rest in black) and a date window at 3. The hour markers are applied and match the hands perfectly. (polished with a central black line – on 12 there are two lines-) No luminous material was used. It was not needed. The legibility is excellent. The inscription on the dial is printed in black and it may look crowded but it is so small and delicate you can hardly notice it unless you want to. And why wouldn’t you stare at it? The silver Citizen logo is applied under the day window and the gold plated eagle logo at 6. One gold eagle on the dial, one gold eagle on the case back. (pay attention that only Special edition are having the gold dial eagle, the rest are silver)  A special Chrono Master indeed! Yes, the case back… it doesn’t get better than this! That gold inlay is a piece of art by itself!

In between the dial and the caseback we have the movement. The in house (like all Citizen) calibre 5250, 35 Jewels, running at 18,000 bph. What about it? Well… Chrono Master Superior Chronometer. Hacking seconds, automatic, hand winding also possible. Quick set date.

At the time it was the most expensive one at 39000 yen while the 33J day date chronometer was only 29000. Even my Holly grail watch, the 500m diver was cheaper, at only 35000. Find one today at this price! LOL!

So… I guess there is a lot to say about this watch, but I will stop here for now. Feel free to leave your comments below!

Citizen Chrono Master Elite Special


Christmas is here and the year has come so fast to yet another end. Time passes so quickly and our watches are nothing more than witnesses of this process, even though sometimes they remain in perfect state for many, many years, unfortunately unlike us. It was an insane watch year for me as far as Citizen collecting is concerned. Today I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2016! May you enjoy your collections in good health my friends!

Because it is a special time of the year, what better watch to introduce to you if not a special one? Here it is the Citizen Chrono Master Elite Special! citizen elite special

As you can see, it is not the “usual” Chrono Master (read more about Chrono Master watches HERE). The blue, beautiful dial, sets it apart. It is not at all a conservative look and it is striking bright blue in direct light and almost black in the shade. On the center it has a different vertical shade and depending on the angle on what you are looking at it, it can appear darker or lighter than the rest. The hour markers are applied and there is no luminous material. The hands are simple, polished and specific to this model only. On three o’clock there is the day and date frame. This is also a characteristic of this model, with a shared window for both.

The movement inside is Citizen calibre automatic 5240 with 33 jewels, beating at 18,000 bph (I wrote about it before on my site). It is the one that you can find in a day-date Chrono Master. Really nice finish, hacking, quick set date and really precise.

citizen elite special chrono master

The case is shared throughout the range,  made of stainless steel and the finishing is exceptional. It is all polished with mirror like surfaces with perfect angles. The case back has the famous eagle gold inlay and, I know I use a lot this words a lot when talking about Chrono Masters, but it is awesome.

The bracelet is a rare find, 20mm wide steel mesh bracelet. Some Chrono Masters have a lug distance of 18mm but not this model.  Those with 18mm come with leather straps only.

Well… this is about it, I will leave the rest of the story telling to the pictures. Enjoy them! I certainly do. 🙂

Have a wonderful Special 2016!

Bogdan

Citizen Chrono Master 4-520840-Y and ACSS2929-Y


I am going to keep this simple. This is a picture with two similar watches. In fact it is the same model, Citizen Chrono Master Chronometer Auto Day Date 33 Jewels. It is a long name, but what a watch! The different aspect about these pieces is that one of them is marked 4-520840-Y and the other one is the ACSS2929-Y. Why? Because one is a few months older and the Citizen used ACSSxxxx and the newer version was renamed 4-xxxxxx. (thanks Stephen for the clarification) 

citizen chrono master chronometer auto day date

The case is exactly the same, entirely polished stainless steel, screw retained case back with the awesome gold eagle inlay medallion. The mineral crystal is slightly domed with a concave inner surface. The crown is signed “C”. The movement is the Citizen calibre automatic 5240 with 33 jewels, beating at 18,000 bph and can be hand winded too. In this case the watch is Chronometer grade but the case number is correct for day date version, Chronometer or not. The lug distance is 20mm and they came either with a mesh bracelet or with a leather strap.

One more difference on these two watches presented here is the dial code, even though they are exactly the same. The hands are the same and so is everything else.

Read more about the regular Chrono Master Auto Day Date (not Chronometer) HERE.

Citizen Chrono Master strap & buckle


As any collector of vintage watches knows, finding a certain watch is difficult but often it is more difficult to find an original strap with an original buckle. This is so true for Citizen Chrono Master. Unfortunately the leather gets dry in time and cracks easily. The glue as well dries and the strap might disintegrate if used. But it is such a joy to find a good one!

Here it is, the original Chrono Master strap and buckle!

citizen chronomaster strap

The Chrono Master came with a lug width of 18mm for straps and 20 mm for (straps?) bracelets. I have yet to find a 20mm strap for one. This strap is made of leather, tapering from 18mm to 14mm. The top part as well as the underneath is black and is branded.  The alloy (aluminum?) buckle has a black leather inlay.

Read about the Chrono Master box HERE!

Citizen ChronoMaster box


Sometimes it is a lot harder to find an original strap or an original box than finding the watch itself. One of the most elusive boxes for a Citizen collector is the one that came with the Chrono Master line.

I am happy to introduce to you, this exact one, the Citizen Chrono Master box:

citizen chronomaster box

The outer box is made of cardboard and the inner one of plastic. Both of them are marked with the famous eagle logo and the Citizen ChronoMaster writing. The eagle on the plastic one is applied. The inside lining is, as pictured, red.

Not much to say about this, but a great and difficult find for any collector. Me… happy to be one of the lucky ones. 🙂

Read about the Chrono Master strap & buckle HERE.

Citizen movement table from 1931 to 1978


My friend, Stephen , did an extraordinary work putting together all the info that summarises the development of Citizen movements since the very first day of the company’s existence. This is an ongoing project that I am sure it would be a great source of useful information for all of us. All the data is introduced in chronological order.

Here it is: LINK HERE 

citizen leopard

Thank you for all the effort placed into this tremendous research!

Citizen Chrono Master Auto Day Date 5240


“Citizen Chrono Master”, what a beautiful sound!

This is the Day-Date automatic version,  ACSS 2929 Y GN2.  It is made in a stainless steel case with a screw in caseback. On the caseback the eagle medallion gold inlay proudly proves the high grade of the watch. The case finish is superb, having clean lines, angles and polished surfaces.

citizen chrono master auto day date

The movement is the Citizen calibre automatic 5240 with 33 jewels, beating at 18,000 bph. It can be hand winded too. Chronomasters can also be a date only or even no date. There are some Chronomaster movements adjusted to a higher precision called Chronometer. This was possible by the adjuster positioned on the balance.  It is a quick set date, and it hack for better time setting. The day changes by advancing the hour hand past midnight.

Some of these watches came on leather straps, others on stainless steel mesh bracelets. I have yet to find a real one on bracelet. The one presented here was made in 1968 and back then had a price list of 28,000 YEN.

Read more about Citizen Chronomasters here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronomaster/

Citizen Chrono Master Autodate 33Jewels


Chrono Master – this says it all.

Chrono Master was, and still is,  the most recognizable high grade line of Citizen,  a real competitor for Grand Seiko and Swiss made watches.

Vintage Citizen Chronomaster

I love the look of this watch, elegant, yet casual, perfect for a suit as well for any daily attire.

The case is made in stainless steel, having what I consider to be a perfect design. The lugs are beautifully designed and every detail shows the great care placed into drawing each line, each angle, each corner. The entire case is polished. The case back has a gold inlay medallion with an engraved eagle.  The winding crown is the right size and shape for the watch, signed “C”. The mineral crystal is flat, sitting higher than the bezel. It’s angled edge makes the dial pop and bends the light is mysterious ways.

The dial is silver, with an sunburst effect. Very clean and organized. The hour markers, the date frame, the Citizen logo and the eagle logo are polished and applied with a lot of care. The details are impressive. There is not much writing on the dial: “Chrono Master”, “Autodate” an “33 Jewels” – this all the information needed to see how this is not an ordinary Citizen. The hands are polished too matching the hour markers, having a longitudinal middle black line.

Citizen Chrono Master autodate 33 jewels

Citizen 33 jewels cal 5440

The movement is the Citizen calibre automatic 5440 with 33 jewels, beating at 18,000 bph. It can be also with a day (5450) or only date. The number of 33 jewels is high enough but not the highest. Some of these movements are also Chronometers, adjusted to a higher precision. This was possible by the adjuster positioned on the balance. The automatic movement can be winded by hand also. It is a quick set date, and it hack for better time setting. It is a beautifully made movement complimenting the overall design in a fortunate way. The movement print presented here is a part of Stephen’s scans of a Citizen catalogue. His work can be read here.

The strap, in this case, is an aftermarket black snake with a sharp stainless steel custom made buckle. I think this suits the watch very well. I wish I could find an original Citizen buckle of the era but I don’t have high hopes on that.

Conclusion: Beautiful design, wonderful quality, great watch! Every Citizen collection needs a Chrono Master!

Update 2017 September: Here it is a rare blue dial version. Notice the applied logo on 6 and the hands shape. (pictures from the on line seller)
And the bracelet version:

Read more about Citizen watches here:

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