Citizen Recordmaster Rally Custom Chronograph


The Citizen Recordmaster is a famous watch among vintage chronograph collectors and such a beautiful one too. The model was introduced in 1967 and was produced for only 5 years. It is a real column wheel flyback chronograph, with a hand winding movement. It counts up to one minute only but what a joy to wear and play with the pushers it is! The flyback action is awesome.

citizen recordmaster rally custom

The larger (42mm) version presented here is the more complex and sportier Rally Custom 63-0314. Even though there is another Rally Custom powered by a different non-chrongraph movement, this one has the same flyback manual 5702 calibre inside. It has a sportier look, a large black case with integrated lugs and one external tachymeter bezel as well as another inner rotating one. This inner one in addition to the scale on the dial is useful for some simple calculation such as speed and elapsed time. The dial itself is black, completing the all black look of the watch. The only tint of color is a yellow or orange circle on the dial and the orange second hand. On this model the date is located in a round window at 4 o’clock and there is one more crown at 10 o’clock for operating the inner bezel.

citizen recordmaster rallycustomThe movement is the Citizen calibre 5702 with 21 jewels. It beats at a slow rate, half the speed of the fastest Citizen Leopard movements, at 18,000bph. It is the first chronograph and the only hand winding chronograph movement that Citizen produced. There is also an automatic one with two variations: 8100A and 8110A. All of the Citizen chronograph movements are flyback and so is this one. The date is not quick set but changes by advancing the hour hand past midnight. The racing tropic strap is the best option and fits the watch perfectly.

Read about the other Recordmaster variant HERE.

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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 (marriage watches, or just plain fakes). 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? Don’t forget to pay a lot of attention when buying your Vintage Citizen Chronograph! A lot of them are beautiful but not original!

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/