Citizen Jet Para Water Professional


I was and I still am intrigued by the fact that the lume on Citizen watches doesn’t seem to age like the one on Omega or Rolex or other collectable brands. In fact I lusted for an aged, yellow-brown lume for some time now, on a vintage Citizen and was not able to find a good one. They are either perfect green like new, or, on not well preserved pieces, dirty. It made no sense to me. How can I get a nice patina dial? Finally my dream came true with this awesome timepiece!

The Citizen Jet Para Water Professional

Inside the case back the model no reads: JTI30705I

citizen jet parawater professional

This watch was made in 1962 soon after the introduction of the first water resistant Japanese watch: the Parawater. It also has the Professional label, a rare clasp, a Jet movement and an awesome case back engraving. This was an age when watches had a practical use and not the jewelry that they (sometimes) are today.

The case is made entirely in SS, it is about 37mm and has a simple dial, three hands and no date. The lug hols make changing the original SS bracelet changes so easy! In fact this is a watch that looks good no matter what strap you throw at it: nato, mesh, leather, even rubber. The winding crown is also SS and it is unsigned. At first sight it is very similar with the Parawater I told you about, but this one is not made for water use, but for aviation?. An indication of the link to the aviation is the Jet airplane engraving on the back and the Professional label on the dial. Also a Jet logo is printed on the dial too (Jet movement). In fact the dial has 12, 3, 6 and 9 printed, and the markings: “Citizen Jet, Para Water, Professional”. The hour markers are trapezoidal,  raised and polished. They are filled with (now) the beautifully aged luminous material and so are the matching dauphine hands. All things considered it is a beautiful, simple, balanced face that I like a lot! I have seen very few examples of this model and some of them have an arrow shaped hour hand and a thicker minute one with a flat tip.

The movement is the usual Jet movement with a circular swinging rotor. It runs at 18,000bph as all of them do. This one is the first one made, launched a few months earlier, in October 1961. My watch in made (3-4 months later) in March 1962. It is an automatic (hand winding also possible) with non hacking sweeping central seconds hand. It is called Citizen calibre 3010, Jet movement, and was the first movement that Citizen produced in relatively high numbers. The interesting fact about the rotor is that in earlier types it is marked “Automatic” rather than the usual “Autodater”. The date was added a year later, and so did the name “Autodater”.

And to add to the story… the clasp is marked: “Easy-O-Matic, Citizen Band, Pat.Pend. Stainless Steel” making it even more interesting if that was even possible. 🙂

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Citizen Chrono Master Auto Day Date 5240


“Citizen Chrono Master”, what a beautiful sound!

This is the Day-Date automatic version,  ACSS 2929 Y GN2.  It is made in a stainless steel case with a screw in caseback. On the caseback the eagle medallion gold inlay proudly proves the high grade of the watch. The case finish is superb, having clean lines, angles and polished surfaces.

citizen chrono master auto day date

The movement is the Citizen calibre automatic 5240 with 33 jewels, beating at 18,000 bph. It can be hand winded too. Chronomasters can also be a date only or even no date. There are some Chronomaster movements adjusted to a higher precision called Chronometer. This was possible by the adjuster positioned on the balance.  It is a quick set date, and it hack for better time setting. The day changes by advancing the hour hand past midnight.

Some of these watches came on leather straps, others on stainless steel mesh bracelets. I have yet to find a real one on bracelet. The one presented here was made in 1968 and back then had a price list of 28,000 YEN.

Read more about Citizen Chronomasters here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/chronomaster/

Citizen Crystal 7 – 33 jewels


Among the interesting vintage Citizen, this one has it’s special place.

It is the para water Crystal 7 with 33 jewels and a uni body case.

citizen crystal 7 33The watch is the perfect size for a dress one, not too small, not too large just as it should be even by today standards, at 37mm diameter. The case is elegant, entirely polished, made in one piece of stainless steel. That means that the case back can not be removed and the movement comes out only by removing the mineral flat crystal. This is a nice feature that makes the case a little more water resistant by eliminating the risk of water entering the watch through the back. Because the case back is the same piece with the entire case it is possible to place the beautiful engraving in such amanner that it is always crown side up. This is a nice bonus to the overall look of the watch. The engraving shows the water resistance by “para water” marking and the uni case body is marked by a small “x” inside a small circle. The model is ACSS 51401-Y and was made in April 1966.

The dial is silver, with a sun burst effect and a lot of applied markers. The hour markers are applied, the day and date frames are applied, the Citizen logo, the 7 logo and 33 marking are also applied. The “Crystal” writing is in black and so are the minute markers. The hour markers have a longitudinal black line just as the hour and minute hands. The overall look of the face is beautiful, silver with black, elegant accents. The only color used is the “SUN” in Sunday on the day wheel.

citizen-crystal-7-33 copy

The movement is the automatic (hand winding is also possible) 33 jewels Citizen cal 5204 ? , beating at 18,000 bph. It is a quick set date while the day changes by advancing the hourhand past midnight. It proved to be very good at time keeping; some people even say it is very close to Chronometer grade and Citizen Chronomaster line.

The strap is a replacement black leather Citizen strap with a simple stainless steel tang buckle. I think it fits the watch and adds to the overall elegant look.

Beautiful, elegant, classy day-date vintage Citizen.

Citizen Leopard 36000 – model 67-2050


When you say the word Leopard next to Citizen you know this is a special one. 

Why is is special? Read on and see. 🙂

citizen leopard

The first thing you notice when holding the watch is the beautiful mesh stainless steel bracelet that fits the case as a high end modern watch would. The case is stainless steel too and has an interesting oval shape, with integrated lugs. The bezel is polished and so is the entire case except for the frontal surface that has a radial brushed finish. The crown is simple, signed CTZ. Another detail is discovered when seeing the watch from the side: a beautiful arched shape, following the wrist of the lucky wearer.

The dial, seen through the oval mineral crystal, is grey-blue, sometimes more one or the other depending on the light, and very elegant. The hour indexes are applied and so is the day date window frame. The hour and minute hands are dark grey and the seconds hand is white. Why is it white? Because the second hand is special. It is special because on the dial except for the applied logo Citizen and Automatic at 12, at 6 it is written 36000, Leopard, 28 jewels. And this says something about the movement. 🙂

citizen leopard copy

The calibre inside is the Citizen hi-beat parashock 7230, running at 36000 bph.  It has 28 jewels and a beautiful white sweeping central second hand that hacks, it can be winded by hand also and has a quickset date feature. The day is set by advancing the hour hand pass midnight.

A beautiful elegant watch and I consider myself to be very fortunate to have found this time capsule in a NOS state, even though it is made on April 1974.

later edit: I found the watch in the next picture on yahoo japan so the pictures are not mine but belong to the seller. This is the first solid Gold superbeat 10 Leopard I see. There are also a few models in stainless steel and some gold plated Leopards too, but this is the first I see in solid gold. Needless to say it is in perfect condition. The selling price is JPY 350,000.

gold citizen leopard

Here is a scan made by me of the Citizen calibre 72xx from a vintage Citizen catalogue. I hope it helps understanding a little better the inside of these beautiful watches.

Citizen leopard calibre 7200 36000

Read more about a vintage Citizen Leopard POCKET WATCH here: 

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/02/10/citizen-leopard-36000-pocket-watch-67-2192/

And read about The 28800 Citizen Leopard here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2015/01/17/citizen-leopard-28800-4-720032ta/

Vintage Citizen Newmaster – Jet Autodater


What can I say about this one? Well… I love this movement!

Citizen Newmaster autodater

The case is the usual classic style, made in stainless steel, with a screw in caseback. It is 35mm in diameter and it is entirely polished except for the sides that are brushed. The winding crown is made in stainless steel (just as the entire case is) and it is signed CTZ. The polished bezel holds in place a domed acrylic crystal.

The dial is silver, simple, with a sunburst effect. It has black writing: “Citizen 21 jewels”, “Newmaster automatic waterproof”. The applied hour markers are polished and have multiple surfaces that reflect the light no matter the angle from where you look at them. The hour date (black numbers on a white disk) has a applied frame too. The hands are polished too (without luminous material) and have a classic shape.

Citizen newmaster autodater

The movement is the main feature of this watch due to the ring rotor that I like a lot. It is a 21 jewels movement, beating at 18,000 bph. It has a power reserve at about 45hours. The date changes only by advancing the hands. The movement, as stated , is an automatic but can be manually winded too.  I came to the conclusion that the rotating ring has 4 or 6 screws but the 4 screws one seems to be a more rare type. The thing I like the most it the beautiful sound that the rotor is making when rotating, smooth, loud, mechanic.

The strap in this case is a aftermarket shinny lizard skin one. I think it goes very well with the watch.

As a conclusion, I think anyone would love to experiment at least once the sight and the sound on a ring rotor vintage Citizen movement. I really am!

More details about Jet movement here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2015/03/26/citizen-jet-autodater-21-jewels/

Citizen Chrono Master Autodate 33Jewels


Chrono Master – this says it all.

Chrono Master was, and still is,  the most recognizable high grade line of Citizen,  a real competitor for Grand Seiko and Swiss made watches.

Vintage Citizen Chronomaster

I love the look of this watch, elegant, yet casual, perfect for a suit as well for any daily attire.

The case is made in stainless steel, having what I consider to be a perfect design. The lugs are beautifully designed and every detail shows the great care placed into drawing each line, each angle, each corner. The entire case is polished. The case back has a gold inlay medallion with an engraved eagle.  The winding crown is the right size and shape for the watch, signed “C”. The mineral crystal is flat, sitting higher than the bezel. It’s angled edge makes the dial pop and bends the light is mysterious ways.

The dial is silver, with an sunburst effect. Very clean and organized. The hour markers, the date frame, the Citizen logo and the eagle logo are polished and applied with a lot of care. The details are impressive. There is not much writing on the dial: “Chrono Master”, “Autodate” an “33 Jewels” – this all the information needed to see how this is not an ordinary Citizen. The hands are polished too matching the hour markers, having a longitudinal middle black line.

Citizen Chrono Master autodate 33 jewels

Citizen 33 jewels cal 5440

The movement is the Citizen calibre automatic 5440 with 33 jewels, beating at 18,000 bph. It can be also with a day (5450) or only date. The number of 33 jewels is high enough but not the highest. Some of these movements are also Chronometers, adjusted to a higher precision. This was possible by the adjuster positioned on the balance. The automatic movement can be winded by hand also. It is a quick set date, and it hack for better time setting. It is a beautifully made movement complimenting the overall design in a fortunate way. The movement print presented here is a part of Stephen’s scans of a Citizen catalogue. His work can be read here.

The strap, in this case, is an aftermarket black snake with a sharp stainless steel custom made buckle. I think this suits the watch very well. I wish I could find an original Citizen buckle of the era but I don’t have high hopes on that.

Conclusion: Beautiful design, wonderful quality, great watch! Every Citizen collection needs a Chrono Master!

Update 2017 September: Here it is a rare blue dial version. Notice the applied logo on 6 and the hands shape. (pictures from the on line seller)
And the bracelet version:

Read more about Citizen watches here:

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

Citizen Chronograph CUSTOM PROJECT – calibre 8110A


CUSTOM PROJECT WATCH

This is the most common vintage automatic Citizen chronograph movement in one of the rarest case design, with one of my favorite Citizen bracelet. The reference number on the caseback is Citizen 67-9151. Due to the lack of information regarding vintage Citizen watches, sometimes we get some watches that are actually Custom Project watches. Sometimes the strap doesn’t belong to the watch or the case is not from the same model with the dial. This doesn’t mean the end result is not a beautiful watch but is not true to the original model. Such a watch is this one, a watch made by a watch collector, a vintage Citizen lover who tried to create the best Citizen he could. All the parts are original Citizen.  Regarding the shape, you can instantly see that this is not like all the other chronographs. This one has a beautiful octagonal shape that gives it personality, masculinity and a lot of style.

Citizen automatic chronograph 8110A The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel and the case back screws into place, model Citizen 67-9151. The round bezel is polished and the glass crystal is flat. The shape of the watch is octagonal. The winding crown is signed “CTZ”. The case alone has 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 two contrasting subdials positioned at 12 and 6. A lot of “restorations” are with aftermarket dials, so pay attention on this aspect when thinking of buying a Citizen chronograph. The subdial at 6 counts the elapsed minutes (30), the one at 12 – the hours(12) and for the seconds we have the red central sweeping hand. The day is in two languages (German and English) and Sundays are painted red. On the outside of the dial we have the classic tachymeter scale.

Vintage Citizen Flyback Chronograph 67-9151 calibre 8110A The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewls, 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.

The bracelet is one of my top favorite design from Citizen is stainless steel, wider where it connects with the case and narrowing towards the signed “Citizen” stainless steel clasp. The links are made of solid pieces, not folded.

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 chronograph?

Here is a link where you can see a video of this watch:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/04/22/vintage-citizen-chronograph-calibre-8110a-67-9151/

 

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.

The Mystery of The First Ever Citizen Wristwatch


WWII was a time when some sort of a military use was mandatory for most of the items produced at the time. Watches were no exception and Citizen was also involved in making military watches. One of them might be the one presented here. Seiko (and Seikosha) was the most prolific manufactures for military watches but this particular watch might be proof of the possible link between these two Japanese watch giants. WWII citizen wristwatch pocket watchThe case is a in fact a transitional one, having a pocket watch body style inside an outer wrist watch case. It is chromed but both the casebacks are stainless steel. The case is small at 30mm diameter. Both of the parts have acrylic crystals. The outer case has lug holes. I think this could be an indicator that the watch had usual strap and not some type of nato as often seen on military watches (those have fixed lug bars). (read the comment below made by Keigo on nato straps) On the wristwatch part, the caseback reads: “Patent. no. 274740, Dust-Proof, Stainless steel, Back, 1428” Later edit thanks to Stephen: “Citizen’s research institute was called Shokosha.” The dial is simple with subsidiary seconds dial, at 6 o’clock. The arabic hour numerals are applied and so are the minutes markers on the outside. The overall design of the dial is carefully planned, with concentric parts and overlapping disks. The hands are blue, and they seem to be heated blue rather than painted. Citizen patent no 274740 dust-proof  1428 The movement is another mystery, to me at least. It looks like a Seiko calibre but is signed Citizen. So, is it Citizen or Seiko?  In the end both of them got their inspiration from Swiss made movements. Later edit, thanks to Stephen: “The movement is the first version of the Citizen F-type. This was their first wristwatch, launched in 1931. It was based on a Swiss design and was used in several re-designed forms right through to the 1950s”. The strap is clearly a replacement. I don’t know how the original might have looked like, but I doubt the fact that it was a nato style. Yet again, it might have been. seiko citizen antique military watch   Here is one more piece of information I came across in my searches! Due to my friend Dobashi, now I have this awesome picture inside the firs Citizen factory where the worker coat has the same unusual logo seen in a circle on the movement. It is “CZ”, the Citizen logo. I have never seen this logo before and neither any of my Citizen collectors friends. Maybe this makes it one of the earlier watches EVER made by Citizen!? Year of production – 1931? (then, it’s not a military one) Citizen manufacture first watch All things considered, I look at this watch and I can only imagine Japan before and during WWII and this watch doing it’s job, strapped on the wrist of it’s proud owner. Go to to the video of the movement here:  https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/04/14/the-first-citizen-wristwatch/ Read more about Citizen history here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-history-from-1924/

Citizen ladies diver 150m model 54-0919


Every man needs a real diver watch, and every woman (either a girlfriend or a wife of a true watch enthusiast) is going to get one eventually. 🙂 

This is the vintage Citizen ladies diver. This is the ultimate one, the real one.

vintage ladies Citizen diverThis model has all the specifications that define a diver. My better half says it is even better than the men model of the same time frame, witch is the 52-0110 presented in the picture. I tend to agree with her (well, I have no choice but to agree with her 🙂 ). Read about my watch here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-automatic-diver-150m-52-0110/ Mine was made in 1978 and hers in 1980.

The case is small,  made in polished stainless steel but with a brushed face that doesn’t reflect light the same way as a polished surface would. This is mandatory for a diver so the time can be easily read without light interference. Compared to the men model, this one has some other elements that gives it a nice diving touch: crown guards, lug holes (for easily changing the strap) and unidirectional rotating bezel (60 clicks). By contrast, the big brother has only a friction type bidirectional bezel, no crown guards and no lug holes.  The water resistance is similar (150m) and both of them have a large screw-in crown, an easy grip bezel with a beautiful aluminum insert and a thick flat mineral crystal. The underside of the crystal is concave, magnifying the hands and the dial.

The dial and the hands are very similar. Both the ladies watch and the men watch have a black dial with applied luminous hour markers. The hands are similar (Mercedes hours hand, spade minutes hand and a seconds hand with a luminous dot close to the tip). The small brother has a day and date window. Both of them are marked in the same way: Citizen, automatic, 21 jewels, water resistant, 150m. My girlfriend’s watch has a raised ring part of the dial with seconds markers. That gives a great depth feeling to the entire watch face.

Citizen ladies diver 150m model 54-0919The movement is small too, suited for the small case. It is an automatic, 21 jewels movement. Citizen named it calibre 6601, and can be found in a variety of ladies watches. Not much to say about it except the fact that it displays both the day and the date, can be hand wound and a particularity is the fact the date changes by pulling repeatedly the crown.

The strap is the original (pretty impressive for a 30 years old watch), mint condition rubber, with a stainless steel buckle. It is very comfortable, very easy to find the perfect adjustment hole. The width at the lugs end is 14 mm, but it integrates really well with the flowing case design. I think it would look good on nato (still looking for one so small) and i have already ordered a mesh stainless steel bracelet for it.

Citizen ladies diver 150m model 54-0919 citizen 150m

As a conclusion, all I can say that my diving watch found it’s better half and so did I. 🙂

Read more about vintage Citizen divers here:

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