Undersea Treasure – Citizen 150m 52-0110


The emotional connection with our watches is in fact the main force that drives us into collecting them. A 1969 great Moon landing story made the Omega Speedmaster the icon that it is today. Same goes with “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona, Heuer Monaco and many others. Patek takes the emotional connection to an art form level. Well, now we have a great Citizen story too!

Starting from this post and then with the contribution made on the Vintage Citizen Watches group page on Facebook  by Renato I am here to introduce to you this great story of the Citizen Undersea Treasure. Our hero is the vintage Citizen 150m diving watch model 52-0110. I also contacted the newspaper and Stephanie was happy to provide me all the information they had so far regarding this. Unfortunately they were more into the interesting situation and not into watches so a lot of details I had to figure out myself.

You can learn more details about this model (Citizen 150m 52-0110) in HERE.

Neil Blakers of Cromer found this awesome watch while “strolling along the beach on Saturday afternoon”  on Long Reef Beach in Australia.  “I realized it was a watch but the face and body were covered in barnacles. It looked as though it had once been growing on a rock or at the bottom of the ocean and been thrown up by a heavy surf” he said. He treated the found object with lemon and grapefruit juice only to clearly notice that the watch was still ticking. In the pictures below the seconds hand is in a different position so the watch is for sure still alive. That was great news indeed!  Neil understood the importance of his find and took the watch to Citizen Watches Australia at Brookvale who forwarded it to the Tokyo Head Office where they determined at the Product Quality Section of their Tanashi Factory that the watch was made in 1977. Based on my knowledge about vintage Citizen divers it is safe to declare that the exact model number is 52-0110, type 1 dial variant. Read here about this dial.  The watch was found in 1983 but it is unclear for how long it stayed submerged into the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean. Some researchers think that based on the way it looks we can assume it was “diving” for maybe 2-3 years.

citizen 150m automatic diver

In the picture we can see that the watch is still attached to the red nato strap so I will wear mine (same model, same year) like that for the next days. 🙂

citizen-lost-in-the-ocean-australia-52-0110-diver-red-nato

The nato strap and the fact it got lost there make me believe that a surfer lost it while riding a huge wave. It is a nice imagine to picture even though there is no clear evidence this is the true. In the end the mystery is the salt and pepper that makes a good story.  The water resistance of this model is 150m, it has a thick mineral crystal that is well fitted into the case and a screw in large crown. The caseback also screws in so in my mind there is no doubt that these are real tool watches. My 52-0110 diver was pressure tested by my watchmaker and to my excitement passed with flying colors. The movement inside is the automatic Citizen calibre 8210A with 21 jewels.

Read more about Vintage Citizen Divers HERE. 

Citizen “bullhead” Chronograph 67-9356


This is one of the best vintage chronographs that i can think of! 

Of course you could say that a vintage “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona is way better, but let’s take a look at this beautiful timepiece.

 

This is THE vintage automatic Citizen chronograph, Challenge Timer, also known as bullhead, Easter rabbit or Mikey Mouse – due to its particular shape. It was first introduced in 1978. (on the caseback the first digit of the serial shows the year and the next two digits are for the month) The reference number is Citizen 67-9356. Regarding the shape, you can instantly see that this is not like all the other bullheads. This one has a beautiful octagonal shape that gives it personality, masculinity and a lot of  refined power.

The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel and the case back screws into place. The round bezel is polished and the glass crystal is flat. The shape of the watch is octagonal with the lower part dropping towards the bracelet and the upper part, flat, hosting the crown and two push buttons that operate the chronograph function. The winding crown is a little bit longer than the usual so that it can be operated due to the special case design. It is signed “CTZ”.  Back to the shape of the case: – all the frontal part is brushed, from top to bottom. The top flat surface is also brushed but from side to side. The sides of the watch are mirror polisher reflecting the light in unexpected, beautiful ways. The caseback is also polished. The case alone has on the visible side alone, 21 different surfaces, not counting the bezel, crown and buttons so the visual effect of brushed and polished surfaces, with a lot of angles, gives a powerful feeling.

The dial is classic, with three contrasting subdials positioned at 3, 6 and 9. There are only two types of dial colors for this model – black with white subdials and white with black subdials.  (The metal base round case model has a lot of variation in dial color but for this model we have only black and white.) A lot of “restorations” are with aftermarket dials, so pay attention on this aspect when thinking of buying a Citizen chronograph. The indexes of the dial should be raised but the luminescent dot (green) should be on a lower part of the applied index. The Citizen logo is also applied. The hands are painted to better contrast with the dial. The subdial at 3 counts the elapsed minutes (30), the one at 9 – the hours(12) and for the seconds we have the central hand. The subdial at 6 is for the day and date. The day is in two languages, and sundays are painted red. For the white dial version the day and date wheels are black and for the black dial the wheels are white. This gives them a better integration in the general design. On the outside of the dial we have the classic tachymeter.

dsc_0003 copy

The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewels,  calibre 8110A with hand winding capability. It was produced by Citizen starting from 1972. It is a vertical clutch chronograph (beating at 28.800 bph) with column wheel and fly back function. (how many modern chronograph do that, and what is their cost?) Lets don’t forget it has a day and date indicator. The fly back function means that you can reset the chronograph while in motion and it will start again without needing to go the entire process of pressing stop-reset-start. So, one push can do all of this. Of course  that if you want to stop it you can go the classic stop-reset way. A particularity for this movement is that when you want to change the day you should pull the crown to second position (for changing the date) and push and release the reset (1 o’clock) button. It is 27 mm wide and 6.9mm high. The column wheel/vertical clutch design of the movement advices to leave the chronograph running for most of the time (this way you can also see the beautiful sweeping central second hand in movement), but from time to time it should be stopped. This is a chronograph that needs to be used. It is not made for design purpose but for timing.

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The bracelet (i saw different models but the one on the black dial in pictures is 100% sure it is original to the watch, and my favorite design for this model) is stainless steel, wider where it connects with the case and narrowing towards the signed “Citizen” stainless steel clasp. Each link is made of only one piece. Pay attention that most of aftermarket bracelet are with full links, the original is made of folded steel.

Conclusion: Beautiful to wear, beautiful to look at, interesting special design, wonderful automatic fly back chronograph movement that needs to be used… what else to ask for a vintage chronograph?

Here are some beautiful pictures of this movement: 

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2015/03/26/citizen-chronograph-calibre-8110a/