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 Glorious


Citizen… GLORIOUS ! 

2014 March 13 – this is exactly the date when I decided to really start searching and get myself a Citizen Glorious! It took me 3 years, 5 months and 26 days to have it in my hands. During this time, after seeing literally over one million pictures and spending at least 2 hours each day looking at Citizen watches, I can say that I have seen only 4 or 5 for sale but none was good enough to actually make me pull the trigger. Fast forward to 2016 August: I finally found it. It looked NOS and had the original strap, buckle and tag! My heart raced and my hands got all sweaty while reading the description and looking at the pictures. It was really expensive and I was sure it will get even more expensive as the auction will take it’s course. Soon after discovering it, I contacted my friend Eric and told him about the watch, that I found it. I needed an inside man. Well… Eric is THE Glorious friend I have inside. (side note: not enough beer in the world to thank him enough 🙂 ) Unfortunately the seller decided to end the auction early… What a sad day! So sad… I started asking questions and even though Japanese guys are not really talkative, I managed to find out, with the help of another friend, that the watch will be relisted. I was determined to make it mine. The time has come for me to put my money where my mouth was. I knew I was fighting in the big league, with the serious Japanese collectors, but I was prepared for this day. I trained a lot. 🙂  So… in a few days, the watch was back on-line. I made up my mind regarding my highest bid that I was willing to commit to, and I added a little more. Then I added just a little bit more. 🙂 As the auction was about to end the price got higher and higher and higher… Obviously… I won!

In a few long days, that felt like years, the watch was finally here! Needles to say that I checked the tracking at least twice a day. I opened the box and here it was in all it’s glory: THE GLORIOUS!

(If you want to read about another great find, my Holly Grail Citizen, you can do it here, The Citizen Chrono Master 500m diver. )

citizen-glorious

So… The Glorious, reference 4-770285 Y.  Stainless steel case with the perfect finishing. I have never seen another Citizen case polished like this. So precise, so… beautiful. Some say that Grand Seiko is the best when it comes to case polishing, but maybe, just maybe they didn’t see this. The buckle is signed with GC logo and marked stainless steel. No wonder that one buckle alone sold a few years ago with over 700 USD. The black strap was original too but I changed it with a Citizen brown one for the photo shooting because the black one was almost to fragile to handle all the fuss. It was placed for safe keeping along with the GC tag.  The winding crown is SS too, with the GC logo. It is made of two parts. The outer part winds it (first position) and sets the time (second position). The inner part (the one with the logo) is used for changing the day and the date. Keep the watch vertical and press it. The date will jump. Turn the watch twelve side down and press it and the day changes alternating English and Japanese.

The dial is simple, white. No luminous material, no useless writing. It doesn’t need to brag about it. So Japanese…  The applied polished Citizen and GC logo and printed in black  is just enough: Automatic 36000. It is after all a high beat one, 10 per second. And it is no ordinary Leopard. It is the Glorious. In fact it is powered by in-house calibre 7750, gold plated, that has a daily rate in 5 position better than COSC of today. It was guaranteed to be at -2 +3 S/ day! Mine after all these years (made in 1971 September) seems to run at +1S/ day.

Measures (as from Stephen’s blog article HERE ) for Citizen watches: 

Standard            Excellent               Glorious

  • Mean daily rate in the 5 positions

S. -3.0 +12.0      E. -1.0 +10.0        G. -2.0 +3.0

  • Mean variation of the daily rate

S. 3.2                    E. 2.2                    G. 1.8

  • Maximum variation of daily rate in the same position on two consecutive days

S. 9.0                    E. 6.0                    G. 4.0

  • Difference between horizontal and vertical positions

S. ± 12.0               E. ± 8.0               G. ± 6.0

  • Greatest difference between mean daily rate and any individual rate

S. 18.0                   E. 12.0                 G. 5.0

  • Variation of rate per 1 degree centigrade

S. ± 1.0                  E. ± 0.6               G. ± 0.3

  • Rate resumption

S. ± 9.0                  E. ± 5.0               G. ± 4.0

Also, in the same article written by Stephen, you can see the evolution of the best Citizen calibres, starting from the awesome hand winding Chronometer and going through the Chrono Master range with the Elite special and Superior Chronometer and then the Leopards  with the Highness.

Each movement is marked with a serial number, and so is the case back. Unfortunately, Citizen doesn’t have an archive to match the two serials. Well.. the case back… beautiful again. What can I say, I love the way it looks, with the gold medallion, like the Chrono Masters. This time we don’t have an eagle inlay but a GC one.

citizen-glorious-vintage

What else? I could talk a lot about it, the simple, elegant look, so understated beauty and power at the same time, so clean and perfect in every way… How can someone not love it? Is this the best vintage Citizen? It could be.

The Glorious also came in a few other options. Here are a few pictures from the catalogue with some variants, a date only and a solid gold? (or is it Gold Filed? – EGF 100µ?) one. You cab see the price at the time 55 It also came in a slightly different case design and one with dark blue dial. Click the pictures to magnify them for better details.

citizen-vintage-glorious-leopard-copy

To make a long story short, because I could go on and on and on… this is…

The glorious…  GLORIOUS!

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 Highness Chronometer Officially Certified 36000


COSC is Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which is the institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of wristwatches in Switzerland.

Japan had something similar and so did Citizen with this model. It is a gorgeous piece powered by a very accurate movement. This particular watch, model 4-720300 Y ,  was made in February 1970 and it is marked Parawater.citizen chronometer officially certified 36000So, let’s start with the movement! It is the Citizen calibre 7230 based on 72xx calibre that is found in most of the Leopard range. Read about Citizen Leopard watches HERE. It is an automatic with 28 jewels, day and date, hacking seconds and it is running at 36000bph. It is operated by the “C” signed crown that sets the time, day and date, and winds the movement. It is engraved with it’s own serial, like most of the special movements Citizen produced. All this makes it a special piece and very accurate; after all it is Citizen Chronometer Officially Certified, the first generation of what later became Citizen Highness. In fact this one is called Leopard Highness. Such a special movement needs a special, stainless steel, all polished cushion shaped case. The caseback has it’s own special logo, a gold inlay medallion. The same logo is applied on the dial too. Talking about the dial, well, it is awesome! It’s simple, clean, with a vertical grain brushed surface. It has applied hour markers, logos and day-date frame. All the rest is printed in black. The skeleton hands are also black and so is the simple sweeping second hand. The entire face is protected by a mineral faceted (9 surfaces) crystal that plays with the light making it look really special; well after all it really is!

citizen highness manual

UPDATE:

Here is it one with a black dial I found on-line (pictures from the seller)

vintage citizen chronometer officially certified black

And here we have a beautiful story about a similar watch written by Adam: enjoy it! LINK HERE

Citizen Chronometer


One of the most beautiful vintage Citizen watches ever made is this one, the Citizen Chronomaster. They were made in stainless steel and gold filled cases (also solid gold). Mine is gold filled, as obviously seen in the pictures. citizen chronometer Some say it was born as an answer to Seiko’s Grand Seiko line. Others say it was made to demonstrate a point, that Citizen is capable of great things, so they constructed this awesome time piece, the best one! And it stands its grounds up to this day as both vintage and modern, classy and elegant, powerful watch no matter the reason it was made for in the first place. This model was launched in November 1962 and was produced for about 4-5 years. Being a Chronometer means it has a very high accuracy level, ranging from -1 to +10 s / day. The very large balance wheel and the fine adjustments along with the carefully designed and constructed movement proved it to be the best movement Citizen had at the time. The finishing is great too and even today I find it very pleasing to look at.  It is a hand winding movement (soon after this most of the watches were automatics) and runs at 18.000 bph while having a nice power reserve of about 53 hours. On Citizen page can be found a certificate (the picture below) that proves the quality of the watch, also I fond this solid gold marvel that sold for… over 16,000 USD! vintage citizen chronometerThe case on mine is gold filled (100 microns) and is rather large (and wears even larger) at 36mm diameter. This is mainly due to the large silver dial, small bezel and thick lugs. The crown is signed “C”. The dial is pure beauty, silver with a sunburst effect, with applied gold hour markers and black crisp markings. The three hands are also gold (plated?) The case back snaps on it’s place and is marked both on the outside and inside. The Eagle solid gold medallion is applied and makes the watch even more special. What else is to say? An awesome watch, a joy to wear and a bless to have!

Update Nov 2015:

I have managed to find pictures online with the entire package (not for one watch yet, but this collage is made from different puzzle pieces). So, here it is how the full package (box and papers) should have looked like:

citizen chronometer box papers

Next I will post a picture of the stainless steel one. 🙂

Update Dec 2015: And… here it is:

citizen chronometer stainless steel

And here it is with box and certificate:

citizen chronometer box and papers

Here it is the gold and SS version side by side, not a common sight, is it? 🙂

Awesome piece! So proud to have them!

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!

Adam’s great story of Citizen Chronometer


Adam is a great guy from Australia with a great watch story to share. Without further ado I will let him tell you all about it! 🙂

“So…about the watch. I didn’t wear it to my wedding as the wedding was in Sydney 4 hours drive from here (Port Macquarie) followed by a honeymoon in Melbourne. I did not want to lose it.

We had an amazing wedding staying in Sydney, then in Melbourne.

I never had the chance to get the watch serviced before the wedding as I was very busy.
When I was 10 years old I stayed with my Aunty and Uncle for a week. They live on acreage in a small village one hundred and sixty kilometres west of Sydney called Old Bowenfels. My uncle Karl was an elderly man who worked as an electrician for his entire working life.

As Australia was isolated when he was younger he had to be innovative or creative to enjoy modern technology. He built a television set using a radar screen, a valve radio, and a device that could record voices or sounds onto vinyl. He recorded my great, great grand parents singing Silent Night in English and in Danish.

He was an amazing man who still maintained the property into his mid eighties cutting wood and loading coal into the “Donkey” (a very, very old hot water system). He was very resourceful and refused to replace things that still work, if it failed he would repair it.

When I found the watch it was sitting on a shelf covered in dust and dirt. The watch had been sitting there so long that the leather band had dried out and gone solid. The watch must have had a pretty hard life as what you saw in the photos. I asked him if I could have it and being a generous man he said yes without a second thought. I took the watch home with me and always held it in high regard. He passed away two years ago after a long battle with asbestosis and dementia. Knowing he was unwell for a long time it was hard for me as I have never really grieved his passing or even cried.

I think of my uncle often because he was like a grandfather to me. I spent a great deal of time on their property and was very close to my uncle. He taught me to weld, basic electronics and like I said also served as a grandfather figure.
That is why I hold this watch in high regard because when I hold it, it reminds me of my childhood and of my time spend with my uncle.

I also feel guilty about the watch at the same time as my Uncle became estranged from his eldest son for a very long time, his grandchildren did not want to see him or my aunt as they felt that they were boring. At the funeral I sat near the front of the church. It was very awkward as my third cousins, his grand children were devastated at losing Karl. I think it was because they were sad for the time lost that they could have spent with him.

So now the watch sits in a watch case with many other watches that I like. I never wear it because I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of wearing it but also I like keeping the watch as it represents the time that I have spent with my Aunty and Uncle. It is something that is very special to me.”

citizen chronometer officialy certified

Thank you Adam! I am sure the readers of Vintage Citizen Watches loved the story just as much as I did! Many times the watches are a lot more than time telling devices and they have great value due to our emmotional connections and the stories they tell about our past, about our loved ones, about our memories.  

A few words about the watch: Citizen had a line of hi beat (36,000 bph) called Leopard. Adams watch was the top of the Leopard. They had their own logo and medallion as seen on the screw in caseback.  The case is gold plated, with a stainless steel caseback and a gold inlay medallion. All were 36,000 bph and most were made with 28 jewels, but there were also 31 and 32 jewels models. Adam’s watch has 31 jewels. These use the 7250 movement (7230 in the 28 jewel ones).

Read more about another beautiful Citizen Leopard here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/11/22/citizen-leopard-36000/

And another special Citizen Chronometer Officially Certified HERE.