Choosing the perfect watch for Baselworld 2018


In just a few days I will be at Citizen’s 100th Anniversary Party at Baselworld. Proud to be invited at this special, once in a lifetime, event. So… which watch should I wear?   I have to take so many aspects into consideration when making this decision: first of all, it should be an important watch in Citizen’s history, a rare one, a cool conversation piece, one of my best… Also, I have to think about the way I dress, about the over 12 hours drive to Basel, the weather maybe? Hm…. Tough choice! 

In order to decide I created a POLL on Vintage Citizen Watches Facebook group and here it is what my friends think I should wear:

Third place: The Citizen Glorious

The 1971 Glorious is one of the rarest and most appreciated Vintage Citizen Watches. It is not called “Glorious” for nothing. At the time of its launch it had one of the most precise and accurate movements in the world, and many say it was a lot better than the direct competitor: the best of Grand Seiko line. Awesome 36,000 bph movement, no doubt about it, perfect SS case finishing, NOS, a pride to have in such condition. Does it get any better? I would love to have it with me at Baselworld!

Second place: The Citizen Diamond Flake

The 1962 DF is so much more than a beautiful watch. It was, at the time of its first appearance, the thinnest three hands watch movement in the entire world, at only 2,75mm! This is the ultimate dress watch: thin, elegant, no date, no lume, manual wind movement, silver dial and…. let’s not forget that my example is made of solid white gold!  Talk about class! What better choice for a formal Citizen party?

First place: The Citizen Chrono Master 500m

This in my Holly Grail, one of my pride and joy watches, the 1969 beast diver! The best of the best! Would I strap this on my wrist, hell yeah! Is it a good watch to wear with a suit? Maybe it is not, but look at it, read about it and wear it! I wrote a lot about this awesome watch and no more words are needed, this is the “to go to” watch at any Citizen get together. But is it the best option for this occasion? My Facebook friends think so and this is still to be decided in the next day.

And a special mention, on of my favorites:  THE Shokosha Citizen 

Somehow this simple pocket watch went under the radar but think about it, after all it is the 100th Citizen anniversary and the watch that started it all, the first, the one to be celebrated here is in fact this one, the one and only, THE CITIZEN. So why not more votes for this one? I would vote for it and in fact I will right now and give it a chance!

The battle is on and one of these will go the 2018 Baselworld  for the 100th year anniversary party. So… which one should it be?

Will keep you updated. 😉

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Citizen Seven Star Deluxe (& Leopard) Pocket Watches


When I found the Leopard I never thought I will see another soon. Well.. I saw another one in a bad shape and then here it came its pair, the Seven Star Deluxe. You can read about the Leopard pocket watch HERE.

citizen seven star deluze seven pocket watch

The Seven Star Deluxe shares the same case with the Leopard, made in polished Stainless Steel, with a signed crown, chain and thick mineral crystals. It has one on the back too, so it is easy to admire the automatic movement. Maybe this is the precise reason they were made in the first place, to display these awesome movements.

citizen deluxe seven star leopard pocket watch

Indeed both are beautiful and they look great side by side. The heart of the Leopard beats faster while the Seven Star is slower, as it is supposed to be. 🙂 Two brothers.

The dial is gorgeous for both variants, metallic and carefully finished. The Seven Star is more discrete, grey,  non colored, metallic and underrated stylish beauty.

citizen seven star leopard pocket watches

As you can see both are display the day and the date and have a centrally mounted sweeping second hand, red for the Leopard and steel for the other one. The hands on the Seven Star are beautiful. Made in stainless steel they look very much alike the ones on Super Ace (read about it HERE). They are beveled and are both brushed and polished on the edges; pure beauty.

I will let the pictures do most of the talking here, so… enjoy!

You can find a video of the Leopard HERE.

VIDEO – Citizen Alarm 4H pocket watch


Beautiful, loud sound. This was possible because of the double case back. The outer one has holes so that the entire case acts like a resonance box.

Enjoy the video! Click HD for better quality.

Read more about another beautiful Citizen wrist watch alarm HERE.

Citizen center second


Sometimes less is more and this is true when talking about this watch, the first Citizen equipped with a central sweeping hand and not the usual (at that time) eccentric seconds. Starting with this model all the following watches were like this, without small seconds. So, it was an important milestone in watchmaking.

citizen center secondThe “Center Second” came in many versions, and even a solid gold one, and a total of 6-7 generations for about 10 years. The first one was produced in 1948. All of them were running at 18,000 bph and came  equipped with 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and even 19 jewels. The Center Seconds are non-hacking and don’t have a date complication. During this time they became water protected and starting from 1956 they had the Citizen Parashock system installed.

The first watch presented here is ParaShock and Water Protected and is made in about 1961. The case back is SS and screws in even though most of them had snap on case backs.  I love the simplicity of the pale white dial with gold accents! The Citizen “C” logo at 12, the hour markers and the hands are all golden while all the rest of the marking are printed in black.

Here are a few pictures from catalogues showing different calibres:

citizen center second

And here it is in a pocket watch form, with original chain attached: citizen pocket watch center secondBottom line, it is an important watch in the Citizen history and a great elegant timepiece itself. Every collector should have one.

Read about more simple Citizen watches HERE.

Citizen Shokosha pocket watch


Well, after a long time of intensive searching I have managed to get this magnificent piece of Citizen history in particular and watches in general. 

shokosha citizenAround 1920,s Japan had a lot of Swiss and American made watches but one jeweler from Tokyo had the ambition to built cheaper, high quality Japanese pocket watches. He founded in 1918 the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. His name is Kamekichi Yamazaki. In 1924 the first Citizen was sold, using the Citizen calibre 16. The name Citizen was given to the watch by Tokyo Mayor Shinpei Goto, in conformity to his dream, a watch of high quality that every citizen could afford. The Emperor of Japan was (probably) the first to own this watch. He got this watch as a present and he was very impressed by it. He loved the style and the quality he experienced with this Japan made pocket timepiece. This is how one of the greatest watch stories was born!

shokoshaWell, back to the watch itself. The first impression when I got it was that it is a small one. At only 40-41 mm diameter it is smaller than most of the modern wristwatches. It is also very slim for a pocket watch. The more I look at it the more I like it. Perfect size, perfect proportions, lovely arabic numerals, the easy to operate 12 o clock winding crown… all perfect. The case is silver (I doubt the fact that is stainless steel but I see no place of corrosion or rust. In fact it is in close to mint condition after 90 years! The caseback snaps perfectly into place and the hinge, that connects it to the watch, works flawlessly. The crystal seems to be made out of glass and it is slightly domed contrasting with the flat caseback.

citizen shokoshaThe movement is the famous Citizen calibre 16, clean, decorated and accurate. It has 15 jewels and it is signed Citizen Shokosha. The low serial no. dates this particular one as being made in the first years (1925-1926). The balance spring is blue, just like the classic shaped hands. The dial has an interesting particularity: looking at it from an angle it looks as the base color is black and the silver paint is applied leaving the numerals, the brand and the markings look engraved.

Update 2016 October:

Adding a movement pic with of two more watches, one with 10J one with 15J. As you can see, the decoration is also different. By the way, the case is not hinged, so that is another interesting feature.

citizen-pocket-watch

citizen-shokosha-pocket-watch

All things considered this is a beautiful extremely well preserved piece of Citizen history. It makes me think: If this watch wouldn’t have been so great, Citizen would’t have lead the quarts revolution in the 80’s. Lets imagine the watch world without Citizen… This watch made the global watch world what it is today! 

Read more about Citizen history here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-history-from-1924/

The Mystery of The First Ever Citizen Wristwatch


WWII was a time when some sort of a military use was mandatory for most of the items produced at the time. Watches were no exception and Citizen was also involved in making military watches. One of them might be the one presented here. Seiko (and Seikosha) was the most prolific manufactures for military watches but this particular watch might be proof of the possible link between these two Japanese watch giants. WWII citizen wristwatch pocket watchThe case is a in fact a transitional one, having a pocket watch body style inside an outer wrist watch case. It is chromed but both the casebacks are stainless steel. The case is small at 30mm diameter. Both of the parts have acrylic crystals. The outer case has lug holes. I think this could be an indicator that the watch had usual strap and not some type of nato as often seen on military watches (those have fixed lug bars). (read the comment below made by Keigo on nato straps) On the wristwatch part, the caseback reads: “Patent. no. 274740, Dust-Proof, Stainless steel, Back, 1428” Later edit thanks to Stephen: “Citizen’s research institute was called Shokosha.” The dial is simple with subsidiary seconds dial, at 6 o’clock. The arabic hour numerals are applied and so are the minutes markers on the outside. The overall design of the dial is carefully planned, with concentric parts and overlapping disks. The hands are blue, and they seem to be heated blue rather than painted. Citizen patent no 274740 dust-proof  1428 The movement is another mystery, to me at least. It looks like a Seiko calibre but is signed Citizen. So, is it Citizen or Seiko?  In the end both of them got their inspiration from Swiss made movements. Later edit, thanks to Stephen: “The movement is the first version of the Citizen F-type. This was their first wristwatch, launched in 1931. It was based on a Swiss design and was used in several re-designed forms right through to the 1950s”. The strap is clearly a replacement. I don’t know how the original might have looked like, but I doubt the fact that it was a nato style. Yet again, it might have been. seiko citizen antique military watch   Here is one more piece of information I came across in my searches! Due to my friend Dobashi, now I have this awesome picture inside the firs Citizen factory where the worker coat has the same unusual logo seen in a circle on the movement. It is “CZ”, the Citizen logo. I have never seen this logo before and neither any of my Citizen collectors friends. Maybe this makes it one of the earlier watches EVER made by Citizen!? Year of production – 1931? (then, it’s not a military one) Citizen manufacture first watch All things considered, I look at this watch and I can only imagine Japan before and during WWII and this watch doing it’s job, strapped on the wrist of it’s proud owner. Go to to the video of the movement here:  https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/04/14/the-first-citizen-wristwatch/ Read more about Citizen history here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-history-from-1924/