Facebook is a great place to meat great people with really great watches. 🙂 This is why we have created the Vintage Citizen Watches official group page. Check it out and add yourself and your friends! Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagecitizenwatches/354822734656228/?comment_id=354922047979630¬if_t=like Thank you for looking!
Citizen History from 1918
The Mayor of Tokyo, Mr Shimpei Goto, named the watch “CITIZEN” with the hope that the watch, a luxury item of those times, would become widely available to ordinary citizens and be sold throughout the world. He got this right.
The official table (from official Citizen website):
|1918||3||Shokosha Watch Research Institute established, the forerunner of Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.|
|1924||12||First pocket watch completed.|
|1930||5||Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. established. Yosaburo Nakajima appointed president.|
|1931||6||First wrist watch completed.|
|1936||5||Tanashi Factory constructed.|
|1941||7||Production of machine tools begins.|
|1945||10||Shinji Nakajima appointed president.|
|1946||3||Eiichi Yamada appointed president.|
|1949||6||Citizen Trading Co., Ltd. established.|
|1952||3||First Japanese-made watch with a calendar introduced.|
|1953||3||Rhythm Watch Co., Ltd. becomes an affiliate.|
|1955||12||Export of wrist watches begun.|
|1960||3||Import-export agreement concluded with the U.S. Bulova Watch Co.
Technical assistance agreement with India.
|1964||8||Technology research laboratory established.|
|12||Citizen Business Machines established.|
|1965||3||Production of business machines begun. (Adding machines, camera shutters)|
|10||Office opened in former West Germany, start of full-fledged exports to Europe.|
|1966||3||First Japanese-made electronic watch “X-8” introduced.|
|1970||3||CNC automated lathe “Cincom” developed.|
|1971||6||Precision Machinery Division established.|
|1976||3||Production of quartz oscillators begun.|
|1978||2||Head Office moved to Shinjuku Mitsui Bldg. in Tokyo.|
|1980||6||Industry’s first microcomputer controlled line impact printer introduced.|
|1981||6||Rokuya Yamazaki appointed president.|
|10||Systems and Peripherals Division established.|
|1982||9||Special Sales Division established, full-fledged sales of watch components started.|
|1983||3||Chip LED lamp CL Series developed.|
|5||IC sensor electronic thermometer introduced.|
|1987||6||Michio Nakajima appointed president.|
|1990||1||Citizen of the Year annual award established.|
|1992||2||Acquired German machine tool company, Boley GmbH.|
|1993||5||World’s first multizone “Radio-Controlled Watch” introduced.|
|1996||4||Solar-powered Eco-Drive received the Eco Mark the first for a watch.|
|1997||6||Hiroshi Haruta appointed president.|
|2001||3||Head Office moved to Nishi-Tokyo.|
|2002||3||Sales of white LED as a backlight for color LCDs started.|
|6||Makoto Umehara appointed president.|
|2003||6||World’s first full metal case radio-controlled watch with built-in antenna introduced.|
|2004||1||Implemented Citizen Code of Conduct.|
|10||Merged with Citizen Trading Co., Ltd.|
|2005||4||Citizen Systems Japan Co., Ltd. established.|
|10||Five consolidated companies (Citizen Electronics, Miyota, Cimeo Precision, Sayama Precision Industries, Kawaguchiko Precision) become wholly owned subsidiaries. Names of Citizen Group companies changed.|
|2007||4||Company name changed to Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd.|
|2008||4||Mitsuyuki Kanamori appointed president.|
|7||Citizen Miyota Co., Ltd. and Citizen Finetech Co., Ltd. merge.
Citizen Finetech Miyota Co.,Ltd. established.
|10||Miyano Machinery Inc. becomes a consolidated subsidiary.|
|2011||4||Citizen Machinery Co.,Ltd. and Miyano machinery Inc. merge.
Citizen Machinery Miyano Co., Ltd. estabilished.
|2012||4||Toshio Tokura appointed president.|
And a few additions from here: http://forums.watchuseek.com/member.php?u=15164
The forerunner to what we now know as The Citizen Watch Co. Ltd., began life in 1918 under the name Shokosha Watch Research Institute. Buoyed on by an ambitious Mayor who demanded that the Shokosha-Watch Institute should have a bearing on all citizens, in so far as “people appreciated and benefited from the institute’s results”. Prophetic words indeed – from this statement, the seeds were sown that would help produce the world’s largest watch manufacturer.
In 1924, the first pocket watch to bear the Citizen moniker was produced.
One of these first products produced by the company was purchased by Emperor Showa, Prince Regent at the time (Emperor Taisho era).
In 1930, Yosaburo Nakajima laid the foundations of the Citizen watch empire.
In 1931, a 10½ ligne caliber is in production, followed in 1935 by an 8 ¾.
1936 saw the company expand beyond the boundaries of Japan, exporting watches to many parts of Southeast Asia.
In 1940 a 5 1/4 ligne caliber was introduced. During World War Two, Citizen moved their production facilities to a small town 200km from their former location in Tokyo. The company manufactured many components, amongst which were chronometers and igniters for military use.
1949 saw the creation of The Citizen Trading Company. This entity controlled the distribution and marketing of Citizen watches throughout the world.
In the early part of 1950’s, Citizen completed Cal. 960(M), its first 6 beat caliber with 17 jewels, and Cal. C, Japan’s first men’s wrist watch fitted with date display known as “Citizen Calendar”. In 1953, Citizen acquired a clock manufacturer, The Rhythm Clock Co. (currently named “The Rhythm Watch Co., Ltd”), as an affiliated company.
1956 was a momentous year for the brand. The company produced the first shock-proof Japanese watch, known as the Parashock.
In 1958, the company produced its first automatic-winding wrist watch “Auto” fitted with Cal.3KA, and Japan’s first manual winding alarm caliber with 19 jewels, Cal.980(A). Also the introduction of “Citizen Deluxe” fitted with Cal.920, Citizen’s first caliber with central seconds, proves a hit with the watch buying public, with sales of over 100 million pieces.
In 1959, the company produced the first Japanese water-resistant wrist watch, the “Citizen Parawater”, Cal. 920(2B).
At the start of the 1960’s, the Parawater completed two trans-Pacific tests, as well as one in the Sea of Japan – all passed with flying colors.
1960, Citizen signed an export/import agreement with USA’s Bulova Watch Company.
1962 saw the company introduce an officially certified chronometer and the world’s thinnest men’s wrist watch with center seconds, the “Diamond Flake”, Cal.0700.
The year 1963 heralded the introduction of the Quartz-transistor clock.
In 1964, pursuing a diversification strategy, Citizen founded the Citizen Office Machine Co., Ltd. (today’s Japan CBM Corporation).
In 1965, Citizen started producing office equipment and precision manufacture components.
In 1966, Citizen introduces Japan’s first electronically regulated balance wrist watch known as “X-8” or “Cosmotron”.
1967 saw the company put the world’s first quartz transistor clock into the market.
The 70’s were another prolific decade for Citizen, and also the beginning of the company’s move towards the quartz technology that dominates its current output. However, Citizen did not completely move away from mechanical movements during this decade.
1970 saw the introduction of the world’s first Titanium cased watch “X-8 Chronometer”, followed by a tuning fork caliber a year later.
In 1972, Citizen evolved the 60’s “Sports Master”. They developed an brand new automatic chronograph, named the “Easter Rabbit” – commonly referred to by English speaking collectors as the “Bullhead” (or the “Panda” in Japan). The “Easter Rabbit” showcased calibre 8110, which included a zero-position reset mechanism fitted with a shock absorber.
In 1973, the company launches its first quartz wrist watch, fitted with Cal. 8810.
During 1974, Citizen signals its intent to seriously pursue quartz technology by introducing a quartz movement, Caliber 8600EX, fitted with Japan’s first stepping motor mechanism*.
By 1975, the launch of the now legendary Crystron Mega Quartz left the watch world with little, if any, doubt about where Citizen were heading as an brand. Fitted with caliber 8650, generating a frequency of 4,194,304Hz, it is still to this day one of the world’s most accurate (and priced at approx. Y15,000,000 one of the most expensive) wrist watches ever offered for public sale.
In 1975, The Citizen Watch Co. of America Inc. is established.
In 1974, solar powered technology is first introduced, not to mention the first Japanese LCD technology watch.
1978 saw the company introduce a 0.98mm thick quartz caliber, “Quartz 790”.
By 1978, the company moves to the Shinjuku Mitsui building in Tokyo, followed in November of that year with the release of the Citizen Quartz Digi-Ana, fitted with caliber 8900 – it featured a combination of digital LCD and analogous time indication.
By 1980, Japan had become the world’s largest producer of watches and watch movements. November of this year brought the release of ladies wrist watches fitted with the world’s smallest volume movement, “The Exceed Gold”.
Towards the end of 1981, Citizen released their 1300m Professional Diver’s watch. At the time, it was the world’s most water resistant watch available for public use.
By 1982 the diversification that started in the 1960’s, saw Citizen produce the world’s largest Neon-Light advertisement installed in Hong Kong.
1985 saw the release of the world’s first watch fitted with a depth gauge, the “Sport Depth Meter”.
By 1986, Citizen becomes the world’s largest single manufacturer of watch movements.
In 1987, the company introduced the “Voice Master” or “Voice Memo” (in Japan)”, VX-2, the first wristwatch with voice recognition.
The 1990’s were almost as significant and prolific in terms of world’s firsts than the 70’s were for the company. In the early 1990’s Citizen launched the Analog-Aqualand, the first quartz watch with an analog depth gauge.
In 1992 Citizen became the official timekeeper of the America’s Cup yacht race.
In 1993, Citizen introduces radio-controlled watches to the market place.
1995 saw two significant additions to the world of Horology: “The Citizen” was released in May, backed with a ten year factory warranty and +/- 5 second a year accuracy; and November saw the introduction of Eco-Drive power generating technology, which quickly became Citizen’s number one seller.
1996 was another busy year. Citizen’s Eco- Drive technology was awarded the first “Eco-Mark”, an officially certified Japanese award for environmental protection. In July Citizen released the world’s thinnest solar cell equipped movement, only 3.14mm thick.
In 1997, Citizen launches the “Exceed Eco-Drive” to the Japanese market, featuring accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per year, followed closely by “Eco-Drive Signature Technology”, which corrects time differences when traveling between time zones.
1998 saw the introduction of the “Promaster Eco-Drive Aqualand” or “Promaster Aqualand Eco-Drive Analog Depthmeter” (in Japan) , the world’s first solar powered diver’s watch with an electronic depth gauge. In October, Citizen unveil the world’s smallest quartz movement, fitted to the Exceed Lady’s Eco-Drive.
By the end of the millennium, Citizen introduced “Promaster Eco-Drive Super Tough”, which can survive/withstand/resist the shock of an impact hammer 5 times more than non para-shock watches.
Thus far, during the decade of 2000, Citizen has:
– Relocated its headquarters to Nishi-Tokyo City;
– Founded the Lead-Free Committee;
– Founded the Eco-friendly product subcommittee and green purchasing subcommittee;
– Developed the world’ slimmest radio-controlled watch;
– Introduced automatic time keeping for marathon/ekiden races through the use of IC chips;
– Introduced the Campanola range of High End Quartz watches.
– Merged [with] Citizen Shoji;
– Acquired Miyota Co. Limited as a going concern, which included several small component manufacturing subsidiaries; and
– On January 10th 2008 Citizen acquired USA’s Bulova Watch Company, including all its affiliated brands (Bulova, Caravelle, Wittnauer and Accutron) for US$247 million, making the combined company the world’s largest watchmaker.
*EDIT – Switzerland’s Girard-Perregaux hold the record for the worlds first stepper motor equipped quartz wristwatch.
Citizen Watch Co.
Citizen Watch Co. of America Inc.
History of CSR – Citizen Watch Co. Ltd
Citizen Watch Co. Ltd – Wikipedia
Watches for the World – Uhren Juwelen Schmuck – Author; Gisbert L. Brunner
I would like to thank to all involved in putting together this information and I hope that the amount of known data that will be available will grow constantly.
Read more about the first Citizen here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/09/27/citizen-shokosha-pocket-watch/
Vintage Citizen Worldtimer (GMT) 68-0516
This is the “GMT” version of Citizen vintage watches.
In fact it is not a real GMT but rather a world timer, and this is actually it’s name .
The Citizen Worldtimer.
Following the beautiful Citizen chronograph and the Citizen diver we have now a different vintage Citizen. Maybe the worldtimer will not outshine the first two, but it is at least at the same level. The feeling you get when you strap it on your wrist is like no other. The light is passing through the acrylic crystal and bouncing back from the silver dial, the inner rotating bezel with all those cities…The case is made of stainless steel, 42 mm diameter (rather large even for today’s standards), with a cushion shape. The frontal side is brushed , in a circular motion and the sides and the part where the bracelet connects to the case are polished. There is also a polished bezel that holds the domed acrylic crystal. I love the way the light passes through acrylic crystals. There is nothing like this, so worm, so inviting! The shape of the case protects the twin crowns (signed “CTZ”), one for winding the watch and one for rotating the inner city bezel. The SS caseback is screwed in, marked “parawater”. Parawater is a term used by Citizen to describe what later will become “water resistant”. For more informations about “parawater” follow the link: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/
The dial is silver with applied Citizen logo and hour markers. They have green luminescent material applied. There is luminescent material on the hands too, except for the seconds hand that is polished and the “GMT” hand that is short and painted red. The 24 hours ring might be all black or half blue, half black (just as the 2014 released Rolex GMT – ceramic bezel – 40 years later). I have seen it also with a black dial. The KYOTO is the same as Citizen but it was made for France. There was a time when Citizen was not allowed to use Citizen name so it used to sell there by the Kyoto name (very rare watches now).
The movement is automatic with hand winding capability, hacking seconds calibre 7450, with 21 Jewels. Just as all the other Citizen movement this one is nothing fancy, just a simple working, reliable one. As time passes, you learn to really appreciate the simplicity of Citizen movement, the sound of it, the movement of the hands… The date is quickset and it beats at 21.600 bph. The year this one was introduced was 1971. The nice thing about this movement is that added to the three classic hands, there is a forth one (the red small one) that is circling the dial once every 24 hours. In order to operate the Worldtimer function you need to use the 24 hours hand and the inner bezel. You have to rotate the inner bezel until the timezone where you are in is opposite to the 24 hours hand. Then you have to look for the city you want to know the time in and read the time on the inner 24 hours ring, next to that city.
The bracelet is nothing but beautiful. There are other types of bracelet for this model, but this is my favorite. It has an intricate design, with polished dots and brushed links, resembling an armor, and not any armor but a Japanese samurai one. The clasp is also stainless steel signed “Citizen”. It can also be found on leather and I have seen it on rubber or nato. Still looking good. 😉
Update 2016 Apr: Mikko was kind enough to provide me a few pictures with his awesome black and white dial watches side by side. He also noted one particularity. In my watch we have “Central Europe” as in his it is ” London Madrid Rome” in the same space.
Conclusion: A real traveller watch, so entertaining to operate, so simple and so clever, nice wrist presence and gorgeous!
Citizen automatic diver 150m – 52-0110
Vintage divers – every time I hear this combination of words my heart races a little.
I dream about that period in time when a watch was what it was supposed to be, a true tool watch, a real diving instrument, not a desk diver fashionable statement as it is most of the times today. Was it a good thing or a bad one, who am I to judge? But for sure I love a vintage diving tool watch such as this one I am talking today. Lucky me I have a NOS one, birth year and month 52-0110, and this is awesome. I love it!
The 150m Citizen is, in my opinion, one of the best looking vintage diver ever! It has everything a real diver should have: decent water resistance (150m), screw in crown and easy to use, screw in caseback, a diver bezel, clear indexes, easy to read hands contrasting with the matte dial, a sweeping central second hand, thick glass, diver extension clasp and the most important: a reliable movement. Wearing this watch makes me dream about the Ocean depths and underwater adventure. It looks good on original bracelet, on nato, on mesh bracelet, on rubber and even on a rugged leather strap. Beautiful watch!
The case is made of stainless steel, 40mm diameter, 13mm thick, brushed face and polished sides. It has thick lugs and it is rugged and powerful without being overwhelming. The perfect shape and size for a diver. The screw-in crown is easy to operate, and it is unsigned. The bezel is frictional type, bidirectional, easy to use but not so easy to mess with when underwater. Pay attention because most aftermarket bezels don’t have dots at every minutes. The lugs are 20mm apart accommodating most modern straps you throw at it. The mineral crystal looks like it is domed but in fact it is flat. The underside is actually concave bending the light in a mysterious way that makes me day dreaming. It sits at about the same height (or slightly higher) with the black bezel.
The dial is gorgeous. Plain, matte, deep black. There is no reflection. The reflection comes from the crystal and from the indexes and the hands. Not too much writing on the dial except the applied Citizen logo, automatic, 21 jewels, water resistant, 150m. At 3 we have the date window. Something about the date window – there are some variations here – with or without luminescent index at the side, in the same frame with the date, or in a separate frame. The luminescent material is glowing even more than 40 years later and has a superb green-yellow light to it.
The movement is the work horse 8210A, 21 jewels, automatic with hand winding capability. Not much to say about this, it is just a clean, easy to use and service, reliable movement. Nothing fancy, just a up to the job honest movement. It beats at 21.600 bph and has a quickset date. The first time this movement was used in this watch seems to be 1977. You can see the date of manufacture in the serial on the caseback. The first number is the year, the next two digits are for the month.
The bracelet is stainless steel, with “H” shaped links. Very comfortable. The clasp is also stainless steel, signed Citizen. It has a diver extension. The bracelet should be brushed. My NOS one came on the original Tropic strap with Citizen signed SS buckle. So… Tropic is original and bracelet is original too.
Update 2017 September: An orange dial one and a NOS 52-0110 with box and booklet with pictures from the online seller:
Not sure if both boxes are correct? They might be because there are quite a variations of 52-0110 models so I expect it for the boxes to be a little different too. Who knows?
And here it is the booklet of the watch: Thank you Mikko and congrats on yours! Mikko’s booklet was in English and Spanish.
Conclusion: Beautiful, real diving watch, a time capsule that as soon as it is strapped on the wrist ticks away telling a story about sand, sun, and underwater adventures. A watch made for real men, a work horse that enjoys being wet. Give it at least a short shower every once in a while! 😉
Read about the complete 150m diving collection HERE.
Citizen “bullhead” Chronograph 67-9356
This is one of the best vintage chronographs that i can think of!
Of course you could say that a vintage “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona is way better, but let’s take a look at this beautiful timepiece.
This is THE vintage automatic Citizen chronograph, Challenge Timer, also known as bullhead, Easter rabbit or Mikey Mouse – due to its particular shape. It was first introduced in 1978. (on the caseback the first digit of the serial shows the year and the next two digits are for the month) The reference number is Citizen 67-9356. Regarding the shape, you can instantly see that this is not like all the other bullheads. This one has a beautiful octagonal shape that gives it personality, masculinity and a lot of refined power.
The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel and the case back screws into place. The round bezel is polished and the glass crystal is flat. The shape of the watch is octagonal with the lower part dropping towards the bracelet and the upper part, flat, hosting the crown and two push buttons that operate the chronograph function. The winding crown is a little bit longer than the usual so that it can be operated due to the special case design. It is signed “CTZ”. Back to the shape of the case: – all the frontal part is brushed, from top to bottom. The top flat surface is also brushed but from side to side. The sides of the watch are mirror polisher reflecting the light in unexpected, beautiful ways. The caseback is also polished. The case alone has on the visible side alone, 21 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 three contrasting subdials positioned at 3, 6 and 9. There are only two types of dial colors for this model – black with white subdials and white with black subdials. (The metal base round case model has a lot of variation in dial color but for this model we have only black and white.) A lot of “restorations” are with aftermarket dials, so pay attention on this aspect when thinking of buying a Citizen chronograph. The indexes of the dial should be raised but the luminescent dot (green) should be on a lower part of the applied index. The Citizen logo is also applied. The hands are painted to better contrast with the dial. The subdial at 3 counts the elapsed minutes (30), the one at 9 – the hours(12) and for the seconds we have the central hand. The subdial at 6 is for the day and date. The day is in two languages, and sundays are painted red. For the white dial version the day and date wheels are black and for the black dial the wheels are white. This gives them a better integration in the general design. On the outside of the dial we have the classic tachymeter.
The movement 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.
The bracelet (i saw different models but the one on the black dial in pictures is 100% sure it is original to the watch, and my favorite design for this model) is stainless steel, wider where it connects with the case and narrowing towards the signed “Citizen” stainless steel clasp. Each link is made of only one piece. Pay attention that most of aftermarket bracelet are with full links, the original is made of folded steel.
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 vintage chronograph?
Here are some beautiful pictures of this movement: