Citizen Jet Para Water Professional


I was and I still am intrigued by the fact that the lume on Citizen watches doesn’t seem to age like the one on Omega or Rolex or other collectable brands. In fact I lusted for an aged, yellow-brown lume for some time now, on a vintage Citizen and was not able to find a good one. They are either perfect green like new, or, on not well preserved pieces, dirty. It made no sense to me. How can I get a nice patina dial? Finally my dream came true with this awesome timepiece!

The Citizen Jet Para Water Professional

Inside the case back the model no reads: JTI30705I

citizen jet parawater professional

This watch was made in 1962 soon after the introduction of the first water resistant Japanese watch: the Parawater. It also has the Professional label, a rare clasp, a Jet movement and an awesome case back engraving. This was an age when watches had a practical use and not the jewelry that they (sometimes) are today.

The case is made entirely in SS, it is about 37mm and has a simple dial, three hands and no date. The lug hols make changing the original SS bracelet changes so easy! In fact this is a watch that looks good no matter what strap you throw at it: nato, mesh, leather, even rubber. The winding crown is also SS and it is unsigned. At first sight it is very similar with the Parawater I told you about, but this one is not made for water use, but for aviation?. An indication of the link to the aviation is the Jet airplane engraving on the back and the Professional label on the dial. Also a Jet logo is printed on the dial too (Jet movement). In fact the dial has 12, 3, 6 and 9 printed, and the markings: “Citizen Jet, Para Water, Professional”. The hour markers are trapezoidal,  raised and polished. They are filled with (now) the beautifully aged luminous material and so are the matching dauphine hands. All things considered it is a beautiful, simple, balanced face that I like a lot! I have seen very few examples of this model and some of them have an arrow shaped hour hand and a thicker minute one with a flat tip.

The movement is the usual Jet movement with a circular swinging rotor. It runs at 18,000bph as all of them do. This one is the first one made, launched a few months earlier, in October 1961. My watch in made (3-4 months later) in March 1962. It is an automatic (hand winding also possible) with non hacking sweeping central seconds hand. It is called Citizen calibre 3010, Jet movement, and was the first movement that Citizen produced in relatively high numbers. The interesting fact about the rotor is that in earlier types it is marked “Automatic” rather than the usual “Autodater”. The date was added a year later, and so did the name “Autodater”.

And to add to the story… the clasp is marked: “Easy-O-Matic, Citizen Band, Pat.Pend. Stainless Steel” making it even more interesting if that was even possible. 🙂

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Citizen Seven Star Para100mWater APSS2812-Y


The watch I introduce to you today is a variation of the Vintage Citizen compressor style diver 4-520343 Y, I wrote about HERE.

I called it a compressor style case because it is not a real compressor one but it only has the look of one. It has two crowns and an internal bidirectional rotating bezel that is operated by the crown at 2 o’clock.  Because I have already reviewed the sister model in the article about 4-520343Y HERE, I will only post the pictures and point out the differences.

citizen seven star parawater compressor diver

So, this is the blue dial one, as clearly seen in the picture, and the dial in marked Seven Star. The case, movement, hands, crowns and straps are shared between the two models. The dial on this one is marked parawater and has the Seven Star logo “7” applied. The caseback is also different with different engraving.

For this particular watch I think the Tropic strap is a good match and really nice to wear.

Read about more diving watches here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diving/

Citizen Dandy Seven Para100mWater Diver


Citizen Dandy Seven Para100mWater Diver – The True Diving Watch

Model 4-520688 Y

There are common watches, rare watches, ultra mega extra rare watches and… this. 🙂

Let me tell you this watch in not rare, it is something none of my Citizen collector friends knew it existed. If you saw another one, let me know. To add to this story, it comes in mint NOS condition, with price tag, model tag, papers, box (inner and outer one), stickers… complete package as the day it left the Citizen factory so long ago. By the way, it was made in 1969.

Here it is, the way I got it:

dandy seven diver citizen

Now let’s get to the watch itself!

Citizen named it Dandy Seven Diver and marketed it as a powerful waterproof watch designed for underwater use. The powerful Citizen “Parawater” (waterproofing) enables this watch to resist 10 atmospheric pressures at the depth of 100m underwater. It is equipped with a register ring that indicates the time lapse  and the remaining time after submerging, and a safety diving depth graduation witch indicates the safety limit of diving depth and acts to prevent submarine sickness. Thus, it can be said that this watch is ideal for those who make diving their profession and therefore it is called the true diving watch.

What can I say, it is a true diving watch and such a beautiful one! I love the colors, the shape, the size. The bezel is bidirectional friction type (as most of the Citizen divers are – except from the 500m Chrono Master). The bezel insert has a metallic blue color that contrasts with the orange inner bezel. Blue and orange are complementary colors so this watch really catches your eyes especially in bright natural light. On the bezel Citizen placed a luminous dot rather then the usual triangle. The crystal is acrylic, beautifully bending the light. The crown is signed “C”. Both the case and the bracelet are made in stainless steel and are carefully finished in brushed surfaces and polished ones. The clasp has the usual diving extension Citizen used for a lot of their models.

citizen diver dandy seven

As for the features:

  1. It adopts Citizen’s “Parawater” (powerful water proofing) device and is capable of resisting 10 atmospheric pressures.
  2. It adopts a time register ring.
  3. It has safety diving depth graduation.
  4. An automatic winding watch equipped with a manual winding mechanism.
  5. It has clear viewing day and date indicators.
  6. Equipped with Citizen’s unique quick date setting device.
  7. Adopts Citizen’s unique Parashock (shockproofing) device and unbreakable spring.

Regarding the movement, I tried to open it but was afraid to scratch it so I left it this way because as for most of NOS pieces I have found out that this is a difficult and risky operation. I tend to believe that the movement inside is the Citizen calibre 5204?

Citizen also provided information about how to use the time register ring, time, day and date setting, and reading the safety diving depth graduation. Also some instructions on the maintenance of the waterproofing quality were given.

All things considered this is an awesome powerful watch that I hope you like reading about. Awesome Citizen! My first 100% complete vintage Citizen package and such a beautiful, rare one it is!

UPDATE: I managed to find another one so here they are side by side:

citizen dandy seven vintage diver

The movement inside is indeed the Citizen calibre 5204.

dandy seven vintage citizen diver parawater.jpg

Read more about vintage Citizen divers here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diving/

Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J 150m Professional


That is a long title! In fact it is even longer, it is:

“Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J Para150mWater Professional SADS52801-Y”

This must stand for something and for sure it means business! 🙂 Citizen Super Auto Dater

This one is one of the very best Citizen has ever made. And super mega rare. In fact it is probably the most rare Citizen diver ever. I was lucky enough to find a mint, NOS example.  It has all the characteristics that a top quality iconic vintage diver should have. Even today after 50 years it stands out proud in the tough world of diving watches.

It has a unibody case (the case back doesn’t come of and the movement can be taken out only by removing the crystal)  made in SS, 40mm diameter, all polished except for the upper part of the beautifully shaped lugs. The fact that the case is monocoque is obvious when reading the engraving on the back where a small “X” inside a circle can be found. This is the sign that Citizen used for a unibody cases. The crystal is tightened in place by a steel pressure ring and there are two rubber seals that protect it from water intrusion. One ring in under the crystal and one on the side of the crystal. The crown too has it’s own rubber O ring making the watch water resistant up to 150m. Citizen used the term Para Water. (I love these words) So the watch is Para150mWater, making it the first of the iconic line of 150m divers Citizen made with the same overall look and function. No Citizen lover should miss having at least one 150m vintage diver, no matter the model.  Back to the crown (unsigned and polished), one interesting feature is the fact that the threads are not on the tube connected to the case but on the crown itself. So the crown indeed screws INTO the case and not ON the case like most of the screw-in crowns do.

The thick crystal,  flat on the surface and concave on the dial side gives beautiful reflections and makes the polished hour markers really pop. In fact the entire face of the watch is pure gorgeous! The elegant writing, the polished hands and hour markers, the green luminous material (still glowing powerfully today), the date window… awesome! How beautiful is it to read: “Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J 150m Professional” and then, the 3 stars, the sign that Citizen used for superior watches at the time. “Professional” – nice! 🙂

The bezel is bidirectional friction type with a simple insert with a luminous dot inside a triangle.

The strap in this case is a Tropic curved ends one, 19mm wide at the lugs part that I think compliments the overall appearance of the watch a lot. It is a diver, Citizen used Tropic straps and this combination is gorgeous.

Citizen Auto Dater 39J 150m

Inside the watch the magic continues! The 1150 citizen calibre with 39 jewels is, if not one of the best, for sure one of the most beautiful movements Citizen has. The Super Jet movement was introduced in 1963, my watch is made in 1967, June. It beats at the usual 18,000 bph and it is automatic with hand winding feature also. It has a date that can be adjusted by passing the hour hand over midnight. It is not a hacking seconds. The beautiful part is the circular geared rotor. This is what Citizen called Jet movements. Some say that Citizen replaced this type by the centrally mounted oscillating weight because it was more economical to produce and service even though not as qualitative. I would have expected to see a six screws  rotor when opening the watch but I was equally pleased to find a rotor type that had four and is engraved “Citizen”only, without the usual “super jet”. The entire movement is gold plated.

Here it is how the papers should look like:

citizen-super-auto-dater-39j

As a conclusion all I can say is that finding one of these is not an easy task but when completed the joy is huge and for sure this is a watch that once in your collection you will never ever sell.

Read more about Citizen diving watches HERE.

Read about another ultra rare diver HERE – the 500m Chrono Master Chronometer

Citizen diver 150m 52-0110 dial variants


The largest group of Citizen divers is the 150m one. It has a classic design and a gorgeous look. They had a production time span of about 15 years, powered by a handfull of movements. The last model was the one in this article, the 52-0110. Even if this is one model it had a few variants. I saw only black dialed versions and a rare orange dial one. Stephen on his page suggests it might have had a blue dial too. http://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-divers-1962-to-1980/ I have yet to see one to confirm that.

No matter the color, we can see two design variants, one prior to 1978 and one after 1978. I will call them “type 1″(8210 820719-S) and “type 2” (8210 824391 KA). The dial code is printed on the dial at the bottom of 6 o’clock. I am lucky enough to have both of them. Let’s see the picture that can be magnified them for better understanding.

citizen 150m 52-0110

My type 1 was made in ’77 and type 2 in ’78. The case is the same, the crown, crystal, bezel and movement are the same. Both powered by the well known Citizen cal. 8210, 21.600bph, quick set date, non hacking seconds.

The main difference is the dial, and the way the hour markers, the logo and the date frame are made.

  1. Type 1 has the letters of the Citizen logo separated while type 2 has all the letters connected in an applied logo.
  2. The date window on type 1 is connected with the lume frame. By contrast type 2 has two distinctive parts, date frame, and lume frame.
  3. These is due to the way Citizen chose to manufacture the dials. Starting from ’78, on type 2, they decided to apply these elements, and so they did. They made the dial, painted it, printed the white lettering and the minute markers and later applied the logo, the date frame as well as the hour markers.
  4. In type 1 (prior to ’78) we have a unibody dial, made in one piece containing the logo, date frame and hour markers. After painting and printing it Citizen polished the surface revealing this look.
  5. Under magnification the main difference is easy to spot: Type 1 has polished elements with only one metallic surface appearance while type 2 had these elements polished  on the sides too. This is because they were never painted. On type 1 we can see the black paint on the sides of the logo, date frame and hour markers.

With Citizen most of the times the look of a watch is dictated by the manufacturing process and so is the case with these dials too.

Read more about this model here:  https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-automatic-diver-150m-52-0110/

Citizen Leopard 28800 4-720032TA


It is always nice to visit new places and when one of these places is Hong Kong there is no way that you should leave empty handed (pun intended). So, on a watch hunt I went. I talked to my friends from the city about the best places to find vintage watches around there and started roaming the streets. Little did I know that fate was going to prove that my hotel was perfectly positioned so, in the end, one thing leading to another, I found my dream watch only because I bought the one in this article (that is a another story to be told after I get THE watch in my possession). Back to the story, here is what I found:

citizen leopard 28800The interesting feature of this watch is the little word that describes, well… a big cat: the Leopard. The Leopard range is special due to the high beat movements. Some of them are 28,800 and some are 36,000 bph. This particular range of watches was introduced in about 1969 and only lasted for a few years, enough time for Citizen to make about 15-20 variations of Leopard movements based on 72xx and 77xx calibers. (as a side note: way too many variations and not enough DNA unfortunately) Also a great number of cases and designs were made so I am sure you can find a Leopard perfect for your taste. 🙂

This particular watch has a stainless steel polished cushion shaped case, a simple, smooth, polished bezel and a stainless steel case back. It was made in April 1974 (funny thing I have noticed – a lot of the Citizen watches I have/had were made in April). The quartz revolutions was about to change the watch world. Just think about the fact that Citizen today is the largest watch company based mostly on quartz, the very same quartz that almost killed what we love so much, the vintage mechanical Citizen watches. 😦 The dial is silver, simple, with a beautiful sunburst effect. The applied hour markers have a black line while the 12 o’clock one has two black lines. These black details work very well with the black hour and minute hands. The sweeping second hand is polished. The Citizen logo is also applied while the rest of the text is printed in black: “automatic, 28800, Leopard, 26 jewels”. One can easily understand from reading the dial that the movement inside is automatic with 26 jewels. On top of that it can also be winded by hand. The date is quick set while the day changes by advancing the hands past midnight. It is a hacking movement (the second hands stops when setting the time). The picture below is a part of the scans made by me of Citizen vintage catalogues.

Citizen leopard calibre 7200 36000

As a conclusion: beautiful watch and an interesting reminder of how fate works! 

Read more about Citizen Leopard 36000 here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/11/22/citizen-leopard-36000/

Vintage 1968 Citizen College Alarm


Citizen has a beautiful range of vintage alarm watches, some of them with date, some of them more simple, like this one, without a date.

vintage citizen alarm

Here is the no date version of the Citizen alarm, the Citizen College Alarm. It is marked Parawater and this fact, along with the serial no, is dating it to March 1968. The design is simple and clean, the case is made in stainless steel, with a domed acrylic crystal. Read about how to date a vintage Citizen here.

citizen alarm vintage

One of the best feature of the watch is the pie-pan dial look. On closer examination the dial turns out to be flat but the two types of finishing and tone gives it this lovely appearance. The central part has a silver sunburst effect while the outer ring has a circular one. On this circular part we can see the polished applied  hour markers that have a black painted line or two (for 12, 3 6 and 9). It is marked in black writing: “Citizen College Alarm” at 12 and “parawater 17” at 6. The 4  polished hands are for showing the time and the shorter one, with a triangular tip is for the alarm. The hour hand (as well as the minute one) has a a central longitudinal black line, to match the hour markers.

The case is made in stainless steel, with 38 mm diameter, the lugs are elegant and the two unsigned crowns are easy to operate and still very well suited to compliment the elegant design. The bracelet and the clasp is made in stainless steel too.

citizen college alarm vintage

The movement is the Citizen calibre hand winding 9812 (no date), 17 Jewels, 18000 bph. The crowns are one for the time and the one for the alarm. The crown at 2 o’clock in first position is winding the alarm and the alarm is deactivated. If you pull it in the second position you can set the alarm (counterclockwise) and the alarm is activated. Pressing it while the alarm is ringing will stop it. The crown at 4 will wind the watch and pulling it out will set the time. The alarm will ring for 13-16 seconds. The movement has a power reserve of about 40-45 hours and it runs great if winding it once a day. It is Parashock.

Read more about another beautiful Citizen alarm, the Citizen Alarm Date here.

Citizen Parawater – THE Parawater


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.

Citizen Parawater Deluxe

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:

Citizen Parawater

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:

Citizen Parawater Deluxe

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.

parawater citizen deluxe

Here are the three dial variants, Two white ones (one with a star, the other without) and the black one.

parawater citizen

Update 2016 APR

Here it is a commercial advertising sign from the period:

the first parawater citizen

Read more about vintage Citizen divers HERE

Citizen Soccer Custom (Yacht Custom & Rally Custom)


In their quest of diversifying their watch lines Citizen introduced in about 1970 a range of custom made watches. These were meant to target the sport area, specifically Rally, Soccer and Yachting. They were based on the Seven Star models and were modified so that they would fit into these three types.

The Soccercustom is designed to be a useful tool in timing the 45 minutes soccer game. Just as the other models of the range, in order to do this the watch has an inner rotating bezel.

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 16.11.43

The case of the watch is made in stainless steel, polished with brushed sides. It is cushion shaped and is 4o mm wide.  The mineral crystal is large, with a flat surface. There are two crowns, a lager one at 3 o’clock for winding the watch and adjusting the time and a smaller one (integrated in the case) at 4 that rotates the inner bezel. Both of them are signed “CTZ”.

The dial is black, with an outer silver ring that has the minutes scale. The rotating bezel in marked from 0 to 45 minutes. On 3 o clock there is the day-date window.  It is marked Para100mwater 21 jewels asa well as the Citizen (producer), Seven star (line) Soccercustom (model).

The movement is the automatic (also hand winds) Citizen calibre 5270, 21 jewels, non hacking. The Rally Custom and the Yacht Custom are powered by 25 jewel movements, 5290. The automatic movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour. The date can be changed by the operating crown but the day changes only by passing the midnight with the hour hand.

The bracelet is simple, folded links, made is stainless steel too, with the usual signed Citizen clasp.

Conclusion: A nice professional watch, along with the Rallycustom and the Yachtcusom, a rare piece that has its place in any  vintage Citizen collection.

Vintage Citizen Divers 150m: 68-5372 , 62-6198, 52-0110


It is my pleasure to introduce to you my three vintage Citizen 150m divers: 68-5372 , 62-6198, 52-0110.

Even though they might look similar at the very first sight, they are different models.

vintage citizen divers 150m 4-740131Y , 4-600851Y , 4-820789Y

They are all in excellent condition, the first two are actually NOS, the third one is not, but really well kept. The first one is made in 1971, the second in 1974 and the third in 1978. Read about how to date a Citizen watch here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/02/23/dating-a-vintage-citizen-watch/

Lets start with the similarities: 

All three are divers, rated to a respectable depth of 150m water pressure. They share the same case (4-740131Y , 4-600851Y , 4-820789Y ), with the same screw-in large crown. The bezel is bidirectional friction type. The sides of the cases are polished and the frontal surfaces are brushed in a similar manner. They are 40mm wide with 20mm steel bracelets at the lugs. Thew share the same mineral crystal, concave on the inside, with a flat surface, that magnifies the beautiful black dials. The movements are automatics with 21 jewels. All three display the date at 3 o’clock and have a central sweeping hand with a luminous dot. The hour indexes are applied rectangles, large, and filled with luminous material. The hands are similar in shape (Mercedes type hour hand and spade minute hand).  The three bracelets feature a diver extension link beneath the clasp. So, they are very much alike, but, let’t take a closer look!

vintage citizen divers 150m 68-5372 , 62-6198, 52-0110

The main difference is a small detail that I like a lot: The first one (made in 1971: 68-5372) is marked “parawater”. read more about parawater here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/. All the other differences emerge, the way I see things, from this small detail (the date of manufacturing). The era of “parawater” was different. The first watch is the only one with a solid bracelet links, the others have folded links. The date window is better placed on the dial due to a different movement size on the ’71 watch. The hour hand and the minute hand are longer. The dot at the end of the second hand in similar to the first two models and I like this a lot. The bezels have different thickness, due to different crystal height.  The thinest being the first one, getting thicker and thicker, translating to an overall watch height difference. The way the crystal fits to the case is very complicated at early models, with steel rings, rubber seals, and a lot of parts. The third one has the crystal fit by pressure ring plastic gasket. The way I see things Citizen tried to simplify production and make it mode profitable, but I like it complicated. Looking at the bezel inserts, the last one has markers on every minute. The middle one features an applied Citizen logo on the dial made from individual letters. The 1978 watch has a black digit date wheel. By contrast the other two have red digits. As a final touch, the printing on the dial is unique to every one of the three.

Citizen vintage diver 150m

The casebacks are similar but with different markings. Removing the caseback we have the chance to see the movements. Three distinct movement, automatics, with 21 jewels. The most striking feature is the fact that the first watch movement is filling nicely the case, being a suited size (this is the reason for the date position on the dial). The later two have smaller movements. At least the middle one has a steel ring around it to fill the useless space. The latest one has a cheaper plastic ring. All three movements have quick date setting, and offer hand winding ability.

year        model        case no         movement

1971       68-5372        4-740131Y        7470

1974       62-6198        4-600851Y      6000 (marked 6001)

1978       52-0110        4-820789Y      8210A

 As a conclusion, I want to say that even though I admire the first one and really appreciate the second one, the third (the only one that is not NOS) is the one I love the most. Nevertheless, I will not disclose the reason why. 🙂 Having one vintage Citizen diver 150m is a joy, having three is a bless.

UPDATE – the second hand I have seen to be either lollipop style with the ball at the end of it or not. For any of these models. I have yet to find catalogue pictures to be 100% sure about it.

read more about vintage Citizen divers here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/