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/

Citizen Leopard 36000 pocket watch 67-2192


The first pocket watch presented here, a rare (never seen another one and my searches lead me nowhere) Citizen Leopard.

This is not only extremely rare but very interesting too.

Citizen Leopard pocket watch 67-2192First of all it is a pocket watch. Citizen had a lot of pocket watches but why is this so special? Well, because it is a Leopard – the hi-beat range – 36000 bph. Also, very interesting, it is an automatic! Why is it an automatic, I don’t know, it doesn’t make a lot of sense because as a pocket watch it doesn’t get enough movement to wind up. Nevertheless, a beautiful movement that is a joy to look at.  The case seems to be mirror polished stainless steel but I see no references to the material . It is not large but rather small, the same as a wrist watch. There is also a nice chain that compliments it really nice. Both sides have a thick mineral crystal that sit high above the case. Beautiful design! As for the crown, is signed, as usual, “CTZ”.

The beautiful hi-beat parashock Citizen calibre 7230, running at 36000 bph can be admired because the watch has a see through back crystal. In fact the watch face has the same crystal shape and size as the back, so the same importance was given to displaying the movement as it was given to the dial part. This says something about this movement. It has 28 jewels, it has a sweeping central second hand that hacks, it can be winded by hand also and has a quickset date feature.

citizen leopard 7230C_0048 copy

Here is a scan of the movement from a vintage Citizen book to better understand the beautiful movement.

Citizen leopard calibre 7200 36000

One of the nicest feature of the back (apart the movement and the crystal) is actually the metallic blue ring that has printed: Automatic Citizen 67-2192 OR-D-1 (or is it OR-D-i ?) 4-721811 . Not too much information unfortunately. If someone knows more about this magnificent piece, please let me know!

The dial is simple silver, with delicate vertical brushed lines. The hour markers are applied with black  painted center. They share the same design as the hands. Only the sweeping hand is bright orange to accentuate the hi-beat movement. It has a wonderful sweeping motion, almost gliding above the dial. The Citizen logo is applied too.  The day and date are located at 3 o’clock, inside a window, both having it’s own frame.

citizen leopard 36000Conclusion: A rare elusive watch, beautiful to operate, listen to and look at. It has a wonderful design with an orange accent on the face (the second hand) and a bright metallic blue on the back (the ring).

Check out the video here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/28/video-citizen-leopard-pocket-watch-67-2192/

Here is the elegant wrist watch version with the same movement:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/11/22/citizen-leopard-36000/

Enjoy!

UPDATE:

I found its pair, the Citizen Seven Star Deluxe pocket watch, so you can see them side by side HERE.