Citizen parawater parashock “Green Eagle” 63-1094


This time it is getting more simple, but is it really?! Well… let’s find out!

At a first glance there is not much to it, just a simple three hands manual wind watch, with a date… and a green eagle logo. 😉 This is the Citizen ParaWater, ParaShock, 63-1094.

vintage citizen parashock parawater green eagle

The watch is made entirely of stainless steel and has an acrylic crystal. The date magnifier is on the underside surface of the crystal. The winding crown in made of SS too and it is signed “CTZ”. So… the usual stuff. But then we take a look at the dial and we see the beautiful sunburst effect. And the striking feature is that the center of this effect is not in the center of the dial but at the 6 o’clock edge. It looks as a rising sun effect actually. Lovely detail! Then we see the raised applied multifaceted hour markers that reflect the light around, working perfectly with the dial. They are also marked with a luminous dot. The hands have also luminous material for better reading the time in the dark. Red and green. The dates are printed in red and the Eagle logo is green. Again, another visual detail that adds to the overall appeal of the watch. We will get to the green Eagle in a bit.

The movement is nothing fancy, just a reliable hand wind one, with a date. It is the Citizen calibre 1802, with 21 Jewels. It doesn’t hack and it is not quick set date. In fact the date changes by going back and forward passed midnight with the hour hand.

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And back to the dial! The Eagle logo is interesting, but why is it there? I have seen it also on a Citizen Homer, but printed in blue. Well, we cant be sure yet. My friend Alexander thinks (and I tend to agree with him) that it is the Thunderbird. Thunderbird is the image that also is used by the Blue Angels (Citizen chronograph is currently a sponsored watch) of the US Air force. Since Seiko and Citizen were readily available to US service men in the PX stores back then (1970’s) maybe this is why ? Maybe the line Citizen was offering to target US air force personnel? Perhaps this was the way Citizen tried to market some of their models back in the 70;’s to a specific group in the US military in far east Asia, since military personal always bought non issued watches (mostly japanese) as they were stationed in either Japan, Korea, Philippines and Vietnam. Pilots and airmen were always stationed in rear combat bases so the watches marketed to them would be a little more formal/fancy as oppose to ground troops or navy personnel. And we all know how tradition is in the US military. This is how the new sponsored Citizen chronograph could have the endorsement of the current Blue Angels… tradition. 🙂

Sometimes details make all the difference, so let’s open out eyes, because the beauty is there to be seen. 🙂

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Vintage Citizen Chronographs


You may call them “Bull head” or “Speedy” or “Walter Wolf” or “Challenge Timer”. It doesn’t really matter, as long as we all call them “Beautiful”.

Here it is 2016 and I want to start the year sharing this picture of four of my watches. What we have here is a small collection of chronographs, all with Citizen 8110a fly back movement beating inside. vintage automatic citizen bullhead speedy 8110s

Because I already wrote a few articles about watches powered by this awesome movement, you can read more about this calibre HERE.

The watches above are: 

  1. Black coated alloy Blackie Challenge Timer, rare green dial – read more HERE & HERE 
  2. White dial SS Speedy with outer Tachymeter bezel – still working on the article
  3. The black dial SS octagon Bull Head – read about it HERE
  4. Titanium Walter Wolf, Promethium dial, count down rotating bezel – read more HERE

I wish you all the best for this year and may you find your perfect Vintage Citizen Chronograph for you to call “Your own”. 😉

Citizen Crystate Deluxe 22 jewels


About a week ago Vladimir sent me his watch in order for me to review it and find more information on this rare bird. I can say that I was intrigued with a few aspects of this watch so I decided to dig into this and find some answer. Well guys, here it is the July 1968 Parawater Citizen Crystate Deluxe 22 Jewels!

citizen crystate deluxe

The entire watch is made of stainless steel and so is the bracelet. The 37mm case is entirely polished with simple and elegant surfaces. By contrast the bracelet finishing alternates between brushed and polished parts. Even though there is no brushed surface on the case, there is something similar, on the dial! Well, about the dial, that is a piece of art, simple, silver, with longitudinal brushed texture from 12 to 6, with applied hour markers. By the way, there is no date feature so the dial is well balanced. Regarding the polished hour markers, they also have a longitudinal black line except for the 12 o’clock one that has two. There is no luminous material to be found. The hands match the overall design and are simple, with a centrally mounted sweeping hand that hacks when the time is set (we will talk a little about the movement later). On the dial we can find the Citizen logo and a the star logo applied. The “Crystate Deluxe” and “22 jewels” are printed in black. The dial code and “Japan”, as well as the minute chapter ring, are also printed in black. I found a black dial version of the watch online and it seams it came in only two dial variants, silver and black. I like the silver one better.

The crystal is made of mineral glass and this fact on top of the upgraded metal bracelet gave the base model (the Citizen Homer) a new life into the form of the Crystate. It also has SS case, better regulated movement and screw in case back. The Deluxe and the star logo suggest a better finished movement. (thank you Kenneth for your help!) This one has 22 jewels because there is one additional one in addition of the regular 21, on the underneath part of the barrel.

The movement is rather common one (except for the additional jewel and better finishing) and hand winds. It also hacks for a better time setting. It runs at 18,000 bph.

Thank you Vladimir for lending me your watch, I took good care of it and I hope you enjoyed the review!

Read more about other simple Citizen watches HERE

Vintage (clear caseback) Citizen Shock Proof


This time the watch presented is not a diver, neither a fly back chronograph. Not a hi beat movement and not a Chrono Master but what a beautiful timepiece it is!

What makes it special is the fact that it has a transparent casback for an easier way to look at the  movement. It was made around 1960?

citizen shock proof parashockThe case is gold plated and has a two acrylic crystals, one on the dial side and one on the movement side. This way, it makes this watch the oldest I have seen with a display back. You can see an interesting Leopard pocket watch with a display back HERE. Removing both crystals we can have a better look at the beautiful dial and movement. The dial, as well as the movement, is placed inside a black disk, with hour markers on the dial side. This gives it a great contrast to the white simple center. The hands are also golden and the small seconds are eccentric, at 6 o’clock. The “C” logo and the hour markers are applied. The same logo can be found on the winding crown.

To compliment the watch, a genuine vintage green leather strap with a gold plated Citizen buckle was used (not sure if the right one for this piece but a really good match).

The movement is a Citizen calibre H that I don’t have much info on so far. Hopefully in the future I will be able to add more facts about this watch, meanwhile let’s enjoy the pictures and the way the movement works through the clear case back.

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 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/