The fabulous story of Seppo and his B52806 150m Citizen

I had a dream – a dream about watches, adventures and open waters. I had a dream about freedom, and friendship, about trust, duty and honor.

It was the late ‘60s – a time of change. We had the moon landing, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. We had the Beatles and Bob Dylan. We experienced Woodstock, raced cars with naturally aspirated roaring engines, smelled the burning rubber and the exhaust gas. We watched Paul Newman films, surfed under the So Cal sun or enjoyed a glass of vino rosso somewhere on a hill in Tuscany.

Freedom, adrenaline, sex, innovation.

I had a dream about the time when a watch was so much more than jewelry, when its purpose was to indicate time and it was used in the way it was always meant to be: racing, diving, flying or timing important events, even in space or on the Moon.

Yes, I’m talking about tool watches!

In the picture above is me, diving, and Seppo wearing a shirt with the logo he designed. In the background we can see the watch. 

It was the late ‘60s and the world was experiencing major changes. Somewhere in Mariehamn (read about this place HERE), Seppo Prepula was also about to have a change in his life. He found himself in sudden need of a new watch.

As he was walking home from work on a cold day, he noticed heavy rain clouds forming overhead. He picked up the pace but it was already too late. The notorious Finnish weather caught up with him, setting in motion the events of our story.

He got home soaking wet, down to his Omega watch. He was not happy.

Two years ago he’d started taking diving classes at the local fire department in Hanko. He’d been bitten by the diving bug and decided that the obvious, natural thing to do was buy a diving watch. His old watch was now ruined, which only motivated him to follow this path and make no compromises in his choice.

He’d heard about a Japanese company called Citizen, that offered high quality diving watches. So he entered a store in downtown Mariehamn, had a brief talk with the seller – who proceeded to throw the disaffected Omega in the trash – and decided on a new Citizen diving watch, the 150m B52806.

That very watch is on my wrist as I write this article.

Here is the watch, the way I received it, caseback and movement too, before cleaning.

Before sending me the watch, Seppo described it “practically new”, and he was so right! The beauty behind this statement is amazing. Even though time took its toll on the crystal, even though the lume is yellow and some of it is gone, even though the case is showing so many deep memories and the crown no longer screws back in… Seppo is seeing it through the same lens he did the first time he laid eyes on it. What Seppo sees when he looks at the watch is his reliable diving buddy.

Yes, Seppo, I can confirm… the watch is indeed “practically new”. Thank you so much for allowing me to wear it with pride, to keep it and enjoy it as you did.

Now back to Seppo and his story. A few weeks ago, his son, Conny, wrote a comment on my site telling me that his father has an old diving watch and inquiring about its value.

Well… the rest is history and here I am wearing it today as I tell its story. Between the years 1960 and 1990 Seppo did a lot of diving. Today he is 76 years old and his son Conny is 46 (younger than the watch). In fact, it seems highly probable for this watch to have been at his father’s wrist when Conny was born. Seppo wore it almost all the time, rain or no rain, and, of course, when he was diving. That was, after all, its main purpose. And he dove all around the north European seas. All his life revolved around this passion. He used to wear his special knife, looking – as Conny recalls – just like a Jedi master.

Some personal pictures of Seppo, diving and wearing the watch, the club logo and the watch on the strap he used for diving. This is how I received it. 

He started diving in 1967 in Hanko, near Mariehamn before he moved to Uusikaupunki where, with the support of his diving buddies, he founded a diving club. That happened in 1978, the year I was born. He also designed the club’s logo, which is still in use today. Visit the website HERE.

He remembers one of his first dives in 1968 at the Plussa wreck, where he uncovered a sextant and a helm. These artefacts are now proudly displayed at the Mariehamn Maritime Museum. Read more about it HERE.

In Bomarsund, he dug up cannons and a lot of brass/copper ammo core as well as plenty of old cannon powder, stored in tubes (“I enjoyed these in the late ‘80s and almost lost my eyebrows a couple of times because of that, says Conny”) Read about it HERE. Ten kilometers north of Bomarsund, in the early Swedish times, dives were organized to mine for silver and rock crystals in the remnants of the old mine.

The watch reportedly reached a maximum depth of 70 meters (WOW!) in front of Eckerö Post & Tullhus of Åland. Eckerö’s post operated in the time of autonomy as Russia’s westernmost border station for Sweden over a hundred years, which is what made it such an interesting place for diving. The wreckage remains hidden somewhere in the deep waters and will one day for sure be discovered. Read more about Aland HERE.

At Herrö, many dives were made to the wreck of Skiftet. They were sludge cleaning the wreck and lifting up items from it. In one of those dives, Seppo’s regulator got stuck somewhere in the engine room and he had to take his tube and gears off at a depth of 25 meters. “Small close call issue”. Read more about it HERE.

A lot of grenades and ammunition were saved in the seas in front of Hanko – read about it HERE. Read more about the old Mannerheim coffee house HERE.

In the late ‘70s, Seppo was part of a group of divers searching for bombs off the Hango coast. Seppo dived, located grenades and marked them for explosion. They were old Soviet grenades left there after Soviet occupation in WW2. Seppo and his family also lived in the region for a couple of years.

In the early ‘80s at Uusikaupunki, a 300 kg anchor was raised up in front of Lyökki. It now belongs to the Uusikaupunki Museum. “I remember that trip when I was a young boy, my father was with a 6-member diving team that made this job at a depth of 40m”, Conny recalls.

The watch made its last dive in the early ‘90s, when Seppo was tube-diving in the factory of Uusikaupunki.

Diving locations and expeditions, the anchor he saved (wearing the watch) and other items, the medusas rising, the blue seas…

Well guys, if this is not a real tool diving watch, show me a better one! I almost ran out of words working on this article. There is a huge amount of pressure on me as I try to do justice to this special timepiece and its fascinating story.

Seppo recalls that the movement of the watch was only serviced once, in 1975 when the bezel insert was changed because the old one was so deteriorated it was difficult to read. This could have been a safety hazard when diving so a new one was installed. Back then, the watches were not looked upon as collectable jewelry and were not pampered. It was a diving instrument that needed to be up to the task so the original bezel was thrown away and a similar one (Citizen made, of course, but from the next 150m variant) was installed, having the exact same specifications. After this, the watch was never opened nor cleaned until the day I received it. Hundreds of dives in the cold, deep, salty sea waters, and never ever failing once.

Cleaning the watch.

Seppo always trusted his watch to perform and the watch never disappointed him. It was always there for Seppo, keeping him safe.

A few questions for Seppo and his answers:

– what watch are you wearing now? – A “normal” Citizen.

– why did you sell it? And why did you sell it to me? – I am not using it for the purpose it was meant to be used. I don’t dive anymore. I consider that you appreciate the history of the watch and the watch itself, so it felt absolutely right for you to have it.

– how did it feel to let the watch go? – The watch did not have huge emotional ties, but it has been many times involved, most of all it has been a tool for me, which has worked just like a train, always flawless, just like it should.

– do you miss diving? – yes a little bit, I miss this adventure and finding new things, it is difficult to find that view and feel in land, you can try, but you probably need illegal drugs for that. 🙂

– if starting life again, would you do it the same way? Diving, watches… any regrets? – I would not change a day, everything or object leads to something and every item is correct in time, it does not change anything by switching. I could live my life 100% same way.

-any advice for someone who is looking for his first watch, that is just starting his life? – I myself know that a mechanical watch is the best and safest solution for underwater use. Water and electricity do not belong together!

– what is the best memory you have (when wearing the watch)? – Underwater “adventures”, the watch told me that this does not have to be left up yet. Also friends, we were a close community and we always take care of each other’s safety in diving on our trips. Great memories are those summer dives when the medusas rise abundantly in the upper layers. The sight is beautiful and it is worth experiencing at least once.

-what other watches did you have at the same time with this Citizen? – Omega and Leijona, only needed one dive watch and it was this one.

-how did you get this strap for the watch? Did you wear the watch with this strap when diving, or other similar ones? – It is a compass strap (Suunto, from 80 “s). Originally bought a stretch of metal bracelet, it quickly began to resound, obviously salt water did their job to it.

– what would he like for me to do with the watch? Wear it? Take it diving again? Keep it in the safe with my collection? – Please keep maintaining the watch and its history, I greatly appreciate it is in the hands that know something about it and know that it’s real tool not just a cosmetic jewel. Enjoy it!

Thank you Seppo! I can’t thank you enough! I am humbled to and grateful at the same time for the honor to write about you and about your watch, well… my watch, OUR watch! Somehow I feel I am a part of your adventures and hopefully the readers will appreciate it as much as I do. Thank you!

Seppo’s watch and a NOS one I had in my collection that was lent to me by his present owner for this  photo shoot.

All things considered… This was no dream; this was the reality even though this is the dream watch we all hope to find one day. If you have a similar story to tell about your beloved Citizen watch, please let me know, or if you know someone willing to share his story, please write me, I would love to write about it. I hope you like it!

Thank you Seppo and thank you Conny!

Special thanks to my friend Andrei Cherascu, a famous SF author, for helping me with the article. By the way, check out his award-winning novel Mindguard and his other novels HERE.

Bogdan –


Power, spirit watch

So why do I Really wear this? What is it that compels me to cast my eyes across the many models I could choose from, only to succumb to the subconscious needs to wear what I believe to be the holy grail of watches? MY Holy Grail! I questioned whether it was the subconscious strength It offers me, or the empowerment it affords me the instant it hits my wrist.

That sense of power it transfers to me, offering such irresistible desire that you just have to take a sneak look at the timepiece when you think nobody’s watching? The hidden comfort it affords, the metamorphosis of cold steel to skin temperature the instant it’s put on. There’s so much I could say about it, so many reasons to give to justify wearing what I openly concede to be MY holy grail of watches.

The finest of nuances are what does it, the 60 clicking sounds of the bezel so finely crafted, the hypnotic power of the second hand as it moves effortlessly in it’s attempt to put me into metronomic trance. Yes, that’s it; it’s my Spirit Guide, my guardian, and my keeper of time. Time we all know rests so precious upon one’s hand.

It is… The 1969 Citizen “Chrono Master 500m Diver”, of which there is nothing to compare!

citizen 500m chrono master diver vintage

It is a piece of such importance to me I can safely say it’s the one! The Grail, one that none other will ever beat! Truthfully, the realist in me accepts that one can never give a closed title to any watch, there will always be another to come and steal your heart, your soul, your very being.

Why did I not choose the predictable, the Rolex Submariner, or some other grandiose watch? Because nothing else could give me the story a watch should give. (Read about the Citizen 500m Diver HERE ) I’ll tell you why? I simply couldn’t. Even with all it entails, the Rolex to me can never capture the sense of spirit that is held in the above. You see buying a watch isn’t always about money. Anyone with money can buy a ‘Rolex’, but can they buy the passion of the story behind it? In my case it can’t.

Yes, it’s true you have to posses some level of wealth to obtain the Citizen 500, but that isn’t always enough. You have to possess fortune, luck, a blessing, call it what you will. I call it fate. This was destined to become mine, my keeper of time.

Having that knowledge I’m in possession of my guardian angel I no longer fret or worry about when, if, how am I ever going to get my hands on such a treasure. I already have, and that’s the strength behind my loyalty to this particular model. Waiting patiently sometimes not so, I knew my time would come, and come it did. My waiting paid off, and many a lesson learnt in the process of my waiting.

I was taught the concept of perseverance, the will to fight, to never give up on any given cause. The watch is more than just a watch; it’s my journey. A journey that saw several watches passes through my grasp. But my perseverance paid off; for despite those few for sale over the time; with only two of these being 100% original, (needless to say I bought them both…) That is why I award my Citizen 500 the title I bestowed upon it.

There will never be another watch, or brand that will replicate the feelings I endured during my quest to own the Citizen 500, the thrill of the chase, the disappointments, the ultimate euphoria I felt when I eventually took possession of my cherished goal. It is what encompasses the very self of me, my spirit, my determination, my very soul. My spirit went into the chase for my Mecca of watches, the reason I now call it ‘my Spirit watch’. It holds the very essence of me which when I look at it on a daily basis I’m constantly reminded of.

This watch will be carried with me through the rest of my journeys. It will experience the thrills I’ll no doubt encounter when looking for another prey in the ever-growing desire to build the best Citizen Vintage Collection possible. It will never have a price tag on it, never be for sale, it is mine. It is my Spirit Watch.


(special thanks to my friend Kevin, who polished my words and gave the article the final, actual form)

Citizen Jet Autodater 120m – the first diver

It is always nice to know which watch was the first, the thinnest, the most this or that… It is extra nice to have one of each. With Citizen that is not so easy because there are so many models! One of the most collectable lines is the one of the diving watches, so which is the first real diver that Citizen made?

The first Japanese water resistant watch was the famous Parawater, launched in 1959. You can read about it HERE. But, that was not a real diver. In fact the first diving timepiece was this one, the one in this article, the Jet Autodater para 120m water. At about the same time another model was made, the Autodater 200m , the skin diver. Read about it HERE.

Here it is, the Citizen Parawater 120m Jet Autodater (ADRS51301-DA)

citizen jet auto dater 120m

Unfortunately the manufacture date can not be easily determined because there is no serial number but it is estimated to be somewhere around 1962 . Find out how to date a Citizen HERE.

The case is made entirely in polished stainless steel, with a screw in case back and a bidirectional friction type bezel. The crown is non screw in. The water resistance is obtained by using a rubber O ring and it is enough for 120m. Not bad I would say. 🙂 The acrylic crystal is domed and gives it a vintage feel. The dial is black, with luminous large trapezoidal hour markers and steel hands. The hour and minute hand have a black tip with a luminous central line where the black part is. The black painted bezel has a luminous dot at 12. On the black dial we see the date, located in a traditional way, at 3 o’clock.

The movement is a 19 J jet caliber, no hand winding. The date changes by advancing the hands pass midnight and back to 21, and again midnight… It is not a quick set date. The seconds don’t hack. So… not a phenomenal movement but one of my favorites. (the Jet – with a ring rotor and you can read about Jets HERE) This one is one of the earliest types, with no hand winding. Just a tool watch with a simple, robust movement.

citizen jet auto dater 120m

The strap that completes this awesome watch is a Tropic rubber one. Perfect match! Now, all I have to do is strap this piece of history on my wrist and take it diving! Well.. desk diving. 🙂


Citizen Crystal Seven para100mwater diver

Exactly one year ago I wrote about a fabulous watch, the Dandy Seven diver (read about it HEREand here we are today talking about it’s brother, the Crystal Seven diver. They were made in the same period, they share the same line (Seven), the same movement, and the same style, but each stands proud as powerful individual watch.

crystal seven vintage citizen diver

It is a decent sized watch, with a modern look and a strong vintage feel; maybe it is the shape of the case, maybe the colors, maybe the entire watch. By the way, it is made entirely of stainless steel. The SS bracelet I doubt it is the original one but it suits the watch very well, with those blue highlights, that match the minute chapter ring color perfectly. The front part of the case is brushed while all the rest is polished.

It is a diver watch (para 100m water) and as any diver watch that respects itself it has a bezel. This one is an aluminum bidirectional friction type with a luminous dot on 12. The dial is beautiful, grey, with a sunburst effect. The hours are marked with luminous material. The hands had luminous parts too but on mine they must have fallen out and to this day it was not yet relumed. The second hand has a luminous ball too. The minute chapter ring is blue with white 5 minutes dots.

The movement inside is the Citizen automatic 5204 calibre, with 27 jewels. It can also be winded by hand. The winding crown is made of stainless steel and signed CTZ. It is not a screw-in type. Due to this movement, the watch displays both the day of the week as well as the date. The day changes by advancing the hands past midnight while the date changes normally in the second position of the crown. The movement doesn’t hack.

One thing that differentiates it from it’s brother (the Dandy Seven) is the mineral crystal (hence the Crystal Seven name). On the other hand, Dandy Seven it fitted with an acrylic one.

All things considered it is a beautiful, rare diver, vintage and somehow modern at the same time.

Read more about other vintage Citizen divers HERE.


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:


Vintage Citizen Diver – Seven Star 4-526970Y

This is not the usual diver, but it has the lovely look of one. In fact this is one of the first “divers” made by Citizen, the precursor of the famous Citizen real diving watches.

It is the Parawater model but it has no specific depth rating. The production date of this particular watch is February 1970.

citizen seven star diver

The case is made in stainless steel, thin, with a bidirectional friction type stainless steel rotating bezel. It measures 38mm wide. It has a domed acrylic crystal that gives a lovely look to the black, matte dial. The crown is marked “C” as most of the early Citizen watches did and it is not screw type.

The dial is simple, black, with luminous squares as hour markers. At three a clock it has the day-date window. Sundays , as usual, are written in red. The hands are common to Seven Star range at the era. The second hand has a luminous dot at the tip.

Citizen vintage diver seven star

The movement is the the calibre 5204 with 21 jewels. It runs at 28,000 bph and it doesn’t hack. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown and the day changes by advancing the hands pass midnight.

The bracelet is made in stainless steel, but I doubt the fact that is original to the watch. It fits the watch really nice.  The clasp, is as usual, signed “Citizen”.

Conclusion – Beautiful piece of history, a precursor of the real Citizen diving watches, the “missing” link between THE Parawater watch and the real diving watches made by Citizen.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here:



Blue & Orange 1971 Citizen 100m diver 67-5776

This was one of the last years (1971) that Citizen used the term “parawater”. Unfortunately it came to an end and this particular model was one of the last parawater divers. It marked the end on an era.

citizen diver 67-5776It was made in four dial color variations: black, blue, silver and orange and my favorites are the blue and the orange. It was a colorful time and full of life. This is also the case for Citizen watches.

The case is the well known Citizen cushion shape having a diameter of 44 mm without the crown. It is made in stainless steel and so is the caseback and the bidirectional frictional type bezel. The bezel insert is aluminum? painted black with white numbers and markers. At 12 there is a luminous dot inside an upside down triangle. The entire case is polished, except for the frontal surface that has a circular brushed finish. The acrylic crystal is raised and flat. I love the way the light  bounces back from underneath an acrylic crystal! The water resistance is 100m, maybe because the signed CTZ crown is a non screw in type.

blue dial citizen diver 67-5776

The dial is made from two distinct pieces, glued together; an outer ring is sitting higher than the dial itself and has hourly numerals from 13 to 24. A silver ring delimitates the tho surfaces and has minute markers. The lower part has raised polished hour markers with luminous material. The spade shape hands have luminous centers as well. By contrast, the second hand is simple, entirely polished. At 3 o’clock the watch has the day and date display inside a polished frame that connects the two parts of the dial. The usual Citizen logo is at 12 and at 6 it reads: “para 100m water, automatic, 21 jewels”

citizen 7270 automatic 21 jewels

The movement is the 7270 calibre – simple, reliable, automatic with 21 jewels and beating at 21,600bph. As usual with Citizen, the automatic movement can be hand winded. It has jewel bearings for barrel and a power reserve of 41 hours. It features a quick set date and the day changes from advancing from 20 to 0:30. The sweeping second hand doesn’t hack.

The bracelet is a common Citizen design called bead of rice that fits the case shape really nice. I have seen other designs and some watches have nato replacements or rubber. Certain leather straps look good on it too. It is easy to find a bracelet or a strap because it has 20mm between the lugs and a 

vintage citizen 100m 67-5776

Conclusion: Beautiful watch, warm, colorful and full of life.  One of the last “parawater” divers made. A real joy to wear and look at.

Read about other Citizen divers here:

Read about “Parawater” here:


Citizen automatic diver 51-2273

Another vintage diver is the model 51-2273.

This one is  more recent than the previously featured watches here.

citizen diver 51-2273One of the main feature about this one, compared with the others, is the unidirectional rotating bezel. Also, the “Mercedes” hands are gone and are replaced with a different style.

The case is made in stainless steel,  with a brushed (circular) front surface and polished sides. The case back screws in and it is polished too. This case features crown guards for protecting the crown, a nice diving detail that enhances the “tool watch” appearance. Another diving feature in the screw in crown and the unidirectional bezel. This time the bezel has 60 solid clicks and rotates only counter clock wise. On 12 it has a triangle with a luminous dot. Every 10 minutes are marked with numbers and every minute by lines. The overall size is perfect, at 40 mm diameters without the crown and 20 mm between lugs.  The mineral crystal is flat.

The dial is mate black without any reflections. The hour markers are dots or lines, depending on the position. They are filed with luminous material. The hands are also luminous and they have a distinct shape, more geometrical, that I think enhance the overall look of the watch. On 12 there is the applied Citizen logo and “automatic”; on 6 there is the writing: “21 jewels – water resistant – 150 M ” On 3 there is the day-date window, in a single frame. The day is bilingual with red “Sunday” while rest are black.

citizen diver 51-2273The movement is the well known automatic Citizen calibre 8200A (Miyota). It has 21 jewels and offers a hand winding capability. First position of the crown wind the watch, the second will change the day and the date (in different directions) and the third will set the time. It beats at 21,600 bph and has a power reserve of 43 hours. The rotor will wind the watch in one direction only. Nothing fancy about this, just a reliable, simple movement that is doing it’s job as it should.

The strap on this watch is a rubber one with a stainless steel clasp. Rubber fits it very well and next to the nato straps it is the best option for this model.  The width at the lugs is 20mm so plenty of strap options are available at this size.

citizen diver 51-2273 Miyota 8200AConclusion: A nice diver  that has all the features of a real diver: unidirectional 60 clicks bezel, easy to read, mate dial with clear hour markers and hands, a sweeping central second hand, screw in crown protected by crown guards, a reliable simple automatic movement and a long rubber strap. A real tool watch!


Vintage Citizen compressor style diver 4-520343 Y

Vintage Citizen divers  – this time a compressor style. And what is better than one diver? Two divers, or even three! 

A compressor case means  that the bezel is not outside the case, but actually inside the case, under the crystal. It is not operated directly but with the turn of one of the two crowns. As Gray showed in the comment of this post these are not actually compressor cases, but actually compressor style inspired.

“These are beautful watches and I enjoyed reading about them but I must correct your assumption that they are compressor watches. Its a common misconception that if a watch has two crowns and an internal bezel, it must be a supercompressor but infact Compressor and Super Compressor watches are defines by the company which made the cases and held a patent for their design. These cases were made by the specialist manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. of Switzerland. No Japanese manufacturer used EPSA Compressor cases. Information about Compressor cases is not hard to find. The link below shows the three types of Compressor case, including the Super Compressor from which your Citizen watches are inspired. True Super Compressors are typically identified by a crossed hatched design on the crowns, a diver helmet logo on the case back or inside the case back, but always, they have the brevet (patent) number on or inside the case back.” – Is the comment from Gary. Thank you for the clarification!

Citizen Diver compressor 4-520343 Y

This particular model is one of the early Citizen divers, with compressor style case.  I have seen it in black dial, red, blue and silver dial. The red dial is one of the most beautiful dials ever. Actually is more a burgundy red. The blue is awesome in different lightning conditions, the black is subtle and classy and the silver is  really special.

The case is larger than the usual divers of that era, but similar with other vintage Citizen. It is about 44mm, with a brushed frontal surface, with a radial pattern. The sides are polished. The lugs are well integrated in the overall design, with the same finish as the case. The two crowns are protected because the 9 o clock side (flat) and the 3 o clock side (angled) are not symmetrical, so the crowns are not sticking out a too much. They are signed “C”.  The outer bezel that keeps the domed acrylic crystal in place is polished. The crown at 2 operates the inner bidirectional bezel, and sometimes is very easy to move it by accident so i prefer the models with an outer bezel. The crown at 4 winds the watch and sets the time and sometimes is hard to operate.

The dial is  the best part of this watch. The red one is gorgeous, the blue is beautiful, the black is classic but the silver is not really at home for this model (IMHO) but it is rare and special.. In fact all the colors have a matching rotating bezel except for the silver one that has a black bezel. The black dial is flat, matte. The red and the blue one have thin black longitudinal stripes so the color gets a little  darker. All of them have the cross hair lines. At 12 they have the polished applied Citizen logo and on 6 it is written “water 100M proof” “automatic” “21 jewels”. It is very interesting the fact that the dial is marked waterproof (sometimes parawater) and the caseback parawater. This is due to the fact that it was manufactured in an era when Citizen transitioned from parawater to water resistant. Also some of them were designated for export so a different marking was needed than the ones for domestic market. Read about this here: The ones that have “waterproof” on the dial are for export. At 3 we have the day and date window, in a divided frame. The Sundays are in red lettering, the rest are black. The hour markers are trapezoidal, applied with a polished frame, jus as the date frame. The hands are the usual “Mercedes” type and the second hand has the luminous tot at the very end of it. One rare model has straight hour hand, matching the minute one. For a long time I thought it might not be original but thanks to Pawel I now saw the model in real life and it is for sure 100% original. I also saw one picture from a German catalogue on Stephen‘s blog who says: “There was also a version of this model, maybe only an export version, that had a straight hour hand, rather than the ‘Mercedes’ type. At the moment this image, from a German brochure (with credit to ‘Axel’ on the old SCWF site) is the only one I have seen.” Thanks Pawel for the pictures of the straight matching hands one! Great watch!  After 40 years, the luminous material still glows beautifully at night. The rotating bezel is rather shiny, with a luminous dot inside a triangle at 12, and painted numbers every 10 minutes. The rest of the minutes are dots and every 5 minutes we have a rectangle. Great quality for this bezels. You have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them!

citizen 4-530343Y compressor

Here it is another straight hour hand piece, a black dialed one. Thank you Christian for the pictures!

compressor diver vintage citizen

And a pic that I like:

citizen compressor diver vintage

The movement is the automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels, (and a black rotor that I like a lot). It is a common movement used in a variety of models, not only divers. This means that replacing parts are easy to source.  It is reliable and offers hand winding possibility. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown (first position for winding, third for time setting) but the day changes only by passing midnight with the hands. The operating crown for the movement is the one at 4.

The strap I’ve seen is most of the times a replacement one. Sometimes I have seen them on Citizen or replacement stainless steel bracelet, sometimes on rubber, nato or even leather. They can take any type you want to throw on them. I keep them on matching nato straps, red for red, black for black. This way they are really comfortable and I thing a Nato suits them well. The width at the lugs is 20mm.

automatic Citizen 5270Conclusion: Just as most Citizen divers – wonderful, easy to wear, a pleasure to look at, modern and vintage at the same time… timeless beauty!

Read abut my favorite Citizen diver here:


Citizen Parawater – Citizen Parashock

The term “Parawater” was the one used by Citizen to describe that the watch was water resistant.

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). 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 the term “Parawater” was changed to the universally recognized “Water resistant” somewhere around 1970-1973.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here:

parawater citizen

The term “Parashock” came to life in 1956 when the company produced the first shock-proof Japanese watch, known as the “Parashock”. So first was the “Parashock” and three years later the “Parawater”.

Even though you have a parashock and a parawater watch, please don’t treat it as a modern Casio G-shock. 🙂