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/

 

Citizen Seven Star Deluxe “Monthly” model ACSS-52704-Y


This is a nice full calendar Citizen, powered by a simple movement. Even though it looks like the month display is a complex feature, it is only a simple and clever internal bezel.  Due to this particularity (month display) it was named “Monthly” but another similar model is called “Moon – Dater”.  The reason for a this (one model with two names) is the fact that the “Moon -Dater” might have been designated for export.

citizen seven star deluxe monthly

The case is, as most of the times, made is stainless steel, with mirror polished flat sides and deep sunburst frontal surface. It has a cushion style shape with integrated lugs. The bezel holding the flat mineral crystal is polished and so is the stainless steel caseback. My watch is the black face one, while the credit for the pictures of the white one goes to an internet seller. Both of them are in perfect condition and the different surfaces can be easily admired mostly because of it’s generous proportions, being rather large. It has two crowns, one at 3 o’clock connected to the mechanism and one at 2 o’clock for easily setting the month. It is marked “Para water” (it is made in 1969, prior to the unfortunate term change in 1973 to international “water resistant”)

The dial is dark deep black, without reflections. The white one is as in the pictures. I didn’t have the chance to hold it and take a closer look. The hour markers are applied and polished. The “7” logo and the “Citizen” logo are applied in a similar manner. In the same way the hands and the day-date window frame are also polished. There is a second part of the dial, a raised internal minute disk that features the month window. All the disks (day, date , month) are white with black lettering (sundays are red). For the white dialed one the day is positioned at 9. There is also a version with a pink month disk (the Moon Dater?) I like the crosshair detail and the white lettering resembling white chalk writing on a blackboard on the black one.

citizen monthly seven star acss52704-y

The movement is the automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels beating at 18,000 beat per hour, with quickset date.  Some models have a 23 jewels movement. It is a reliable movement used in a variety of models displaying day and date. It offers hand winding possibility too. 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 3. Even though it seams that the month display is operated by the movement, it does not. In fact it is an internal bezel that should be adjusted by the crown at 2 o’clock.

The bracelet for the black one (nor sure if it is the proper one for the model)  is tapering and closing with a signed clasp. The interesting part of the signature is the fact that is longitudinally placed along the clasp. Not too much to say about it, only a brushed bracelet that in my opinion suits the watch very well.The white one is on a mesh bracelet (not sure if original for the model).

All things considered, this is a simple, interesting watch, with a clever way of displaying the month. So, here we have a full calendar vintage Citizen.

Read about the older version, more complex, full calendar Citizen watch HERE

VIDEO – Citizen Recordmaster Chronograph 63-0110


The only hand winding vintage Citizen movement is the calibre 5702. This movement is found in the Recordmaster, the watch presented in the video. Wonderful piece, with fly back mechanism.

Read the full article about this particular watch here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/02/23/citizen-recordmaster-chronograph-63-0110/

Read more about vintage Citizen (manual and automatic) chronographs here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronograph-vcw/

Enjoy! 🙂

Citizen compressor diver – Seven Star 4-520017Y


Let me introduce to you a beautiful, NOS, vintage compressor style diver that has just the right amount of pure class.

A compressor case is defined by the fact that the rotating bezel is inside the case, under the crystal and it is turned by one of the crowns, rather than directly by hand. Gary, a reader, provided a piece of information about Compressor cases that I would love to share with you:

“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. http://wornandwound.com/2014/03/24/guide-super-compressors/”

NOS means New Old Stock – a watch that was not worn and it is in excelent condition after all this time (45 years old).

citizen compressor diver seven star parawater

Just like the other compressor diver I have presented here : https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/18/vintage-citizen-compressor-diver-4-520343-y/, this one is also made in 1969. By contrast, this one has a more classy, elegant appearance.

The case is large, made in polished stainless steel, with a brushed frontal surface. Looking at it from the side, the case seams slender, thick in the middle, and arching down all the way to the end of the integrated lugs. The mineral crystal is slightly domed in order to be better integrated in the overall design. The crystal is secured by a thin, polished, elegant bezel. The sides and the frontal surface are well delimitated by a carefully made polished chamfer. The twin crowns are not signed. One of then, the upper one, turns the bidirectional internal bezel and the other one is connected to the movement. The case-back displays the usual information – material, date of manufacture, model, movement, and parawater. Read about parawater here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

The dial is dark-deep black,  very simple but not simplistic at all. Under magnification one can see that a lot of attention was placed into details. The writing is white, also on the black date and the black day wheels. The date is on 3 o clock inside a polished frame and the day is at 9 inside an oval, carefully made window. The only tint of color is the lettering for Sunday.  The inner rotating bezel is also black with white writing. The hour markers are applied with luminous material in the center. The hands are also polished, faceted with luminous material as well.

 Citizen diver Seven Star 4-520017Y

The movement is the usual automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels. The calibre number is engraved, as usual, under the balance wheel.  It is winded by a black rotor that compliments the dial on the other side in a fortunate manner.  It is a common movement used in a variety of models, not only divers making it rather easy to repair with available parts. 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 corespondent crown for the movement is the one at 4 o ‘clock.

The bracelet is nothing less than a piece of art. I think this is my favorite Citizen design. It is made in solid steel, three thin polished connectors and  brushed large links. It doesn’t get better than this! It has a pleasant tactile feel and a nice weight. One more thing that can not be described into words is the sound of the links touching each other… pure music. The clasp is the usual type, signed Citizen.

Citizen compressor diver - Seven Star 4-520017Y

Al things considered, this is the best diver for a gentleman, ready to be worn at the beach or with a suit during a corporate meeting. Decent water resistance (nor really made for submerging, but good enough for daily jobs) and understated elegance placed together for one of the best Vintage Citizen All-rounder.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

Citizen Recordmaster Sportsmaster Chronograph


Looking back at 1970 I see a world that started focusing it’s attention on automatic chronographs while at almost the same time, the quartz revolution is about to play it’s role, somehow stopping, or at least slowing down, the mechanical movement development.  This Citizen model was introduced in 1967 and was produced for only 5 years.

The Recordmaster is a beautiful piece, a real column wheel flyback chronograph, with a hand winding movement. It counts only up to one minute elapsed time but in such a memorable way!

citizen recordmaster 63-0110

The case is classic, made in stainless steel, 36 mm wide. It has an elegant case, entirely polished. The winding crown is signed “CTZ” and the pushers are polished too. There is a nicely chamfer edge that add further beauty to the overall design, very elegant and yet a real sport chronograph. The caseback is polished with the usual markings (parawater as it was made prior to ’73). The acrylic crystal sits above the case and has a flat surface. I love the way it bend the light at the edges!

The dial is absolutely stunning! Plain black, with simple applied polished hour markers. The hands are polished too. There is an inner tachymeter for calculating speed. The writing is simple, white. Beautiful contrast white on black.  It looks like chalk writing on a blackboard. The date wheel is white with black numerals. There is also luminous material that, 40 years later, is in wonderful condition. There is one more dial color version that is white with black writing. (I added pics of the white dial model, found on internet – rakuten)

citizen recordmasterThe movement is Citizen calibre 5702 with 21 jewels. It beats at a slow rate, half the speed of the fastest Citizen Leopard movements, at 18,000bph.  It is the first chronograph and the only hand winding chronograph movement that Citizen produced. There is also an automatic one with a two variations: 8100A and 8110A. All of the Citizen chronograph movements are flyback and so is this one. The date is not quick set but changing by advancing the hour hand.

The bracelet is original to this model (most of the Recordmaster I have seen are on replacement straps). Not much to say about it. It has a combination of polished and brushed surfaces, a signed sandblasted clasp and perfectly fitted end links. It is tapering starting from the case towards the stainless steel clasp.citizen recordmaster chronograph 63-0110Update: A few more versions I found (some of them are my pictures, some are from online sellers and fellow Citizen collectors) are these:

1 – Black dial, red chronograph hand.

recordmaster citizen watch

2 – Black dial with the tachymeter scale starting from 1000, black hands and a white, square luminous tip, chronograph hand. Reference 4-570091T Citizen Recordmaster recordmaster citizen black hands

3 – The first version made is the following one (see the details on the caseback):first black citizen recordmaster

4- A special case design, with the original bracelet, white dial Citizen Recordmaster:white dial citizen recordmaster vintage

5 – A rare Kyoto Recordmaster (the only one I saw and also had) version, made for French market:

citizen kyoto recordmaster

Here is the awesome Recordmaster collection of my friend John from Australia:

Update Nov 2017 – Citizen Museum in Tokyo has one on display that has the “Sportsmaster” dial print rather than the Recordmaster.

Conclusion: Beautiful, timeless design. A rare piece that has its specific place in any Vintage Citizen Watch collection. This is the perfect combination of simplicity combining in perfect harmony elegance and sportiveness that (as far as I know so far) came in 4 dial variants plus the additional different RallyCustom one – read about it HERE.

For the VIDEO of this watch visit:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/03/12/video-citizen-recordmaster-chronograph-63-0110-2/

Read more about automatic Vintage Citizen Chronographs here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronograph-vcw/

Dating a vintage Citizen watch


One of the advantages of collecting Vintage Citizen Watches is the fact that most of them can be easily dated. This is important for any collector. It is always nice to find a watch that was made the very same year you were born. And guess what, for Citizen you can go even further! You can date it by month also!

How do we do it?

Well… it is a combination of different clues:

1. First of all, we turn the watch over and look at the caseback. Most of the time over there we have a lot of information regarding the case model, the watch model, the material and, very important in dating one, the serial number. This serial number is usually 8 digits. Those 8 digits show the year and the month.

The first digit is an indication of the year. The next two are for the month.

In the example below the first digit is 6 so it can be only a year ending in 6 such as 1956, 1966, 1976 or 1986.

dating a citizen watch 2. The “water resistant” marking illustrates the fact that the watch was made after ’72-’73 because prior to this the term used was “parawater”. So we can narrow it down to 1976 or 1986.  Read about “Parawater” here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

3. After we identified the serial and the possible year we go deeper. We look at the model and at the movement. Certain models and movements indicate a specific time frame so it is easy to identify the exact year. We know this model was not made so late as 1986 so it is made in 1976. 

4. The next two digits are 07 so the month is the seventh one – July.

5. By putting all the information together a Vintage Citizen Watch can be, this way, dated. The watch here is made in 1976, July.

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

Vintage Citizen Alarm Date (4H) – ALDS51301a-y


Beautiful watch, elegant design, and excellent, close to mint, condition. The sound of this watch is loud and powerful. The bracelet is comfortable and… let’s take it one step at a time.

For now… enjoy the video:

For more information about this watch go to:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/04/vintage-citizen-alarm-date-alds51301a-y/

Seven Star Citizen 100m diver 67-5776, APSS-52904 Y


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. What can I say, I just love this Seven Star – Vintage Citizen Diver!

citizen diver 67-5776It was made in four dial color variations: black, blue, silver and orange, my favorite is the orange. This era was so colorful and full of life and it is also true when speaking of Citizen watches.

Update 2018 April:

Kim, aka WVE from The Seiko and Citizen watch forum, was king enough to let me use his pic so you can enjoy them. Thanks Kim, lovely collection you have there! 😉 Blue, Silver, Orange and Black dial!

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. But… 100m is plenty for normal use.

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 two 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 (see the cool one on my NOS APSS-52904 Y below) but a lot watches found today have nato replacements or rubber straps. 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 look that makes it easy to wear on anything.  

vintage citizen 100m 67-5776

Update 2018 April:

It seems that the models above are export models since the domestic ones, for Japan market, are marked “Seven Star APSS-52904 Y” and have a slightly different dial. I managed to find a NOS one and here it is, also side by side with the orange export version. The case back is also different, and so is the winding crown. Take a look. UPDATE to the info above from my fellow collector Stephen: It seems the APSS52904Y would be found in the slightly earlier 61-5773 which uses the 52 movement. That model also uses a different, smaller crown.

And side by side:

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: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

Read about “Parawater” here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/