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. 🙂

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Citizen “Leopard” 150m diver day-date 4-722710 Y


In fact it is not really a “Leopard” but it is equipped with the same movement that can be found mostly in the Leopard range. Also, the case style is the well known one used by Citizen in their 150m divers. What can I say, the perfect combination of style and functionality. This is the (October 1972) Citizen 150m day-date diver model 4-722710 Y.

citizen 150m day date leopard 7200 4-722710 y

The case, as stated before, is similar (not exactly the same though) with other 150m divers. Read about similar divers HERE. It has the same 40mm diameter, brushed top surface, polished sides, large unsigned screw in crown, screw in case back. The lug width is 20mm. There is also a bidirectional friction type bezel. Again, the bezel has a few variation among 150m divers. It is important to pay attention to this because a lot of these pieces come with aftermarket bezel inserts or wrong ones. I wrote an article about one particular fake & real inserts HERE. The crystal has a flat surface and it is concave on the inside. Of course, the water resistance is 150m.

The interesting feature of the watch is the automatic movement, Citizen cal 7210, 24 jewels. It works at 28,800 bph, 8 ticks per second, 4 Hz. It can be hand winded too as most of the Citizen movements do. Because the watch has this calibre, it displays the date as well as the day of the week. The dial is black, with raised hour markers, logo and day-date frame. The printing is white. On the bottom it is also printed the dial code 726257 Y and Japan. The hands are similar all across the range, with slight variations in size and shape. In this case the sweeping second hand is straight without the luminous dot as others have. I have seen a variation of this exact model with a black day and date wheel and that one has a second hand tip with a luminous ball.

The strap is a curved end Tropic rubber one that fits the watch nicely and gives it a lot of personality. Lovely watch to have and wear.

Read more about Citizen divers HERE.

Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J 150m Professional


That is a long title! In fact it is even longer, it is:

“Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J Para150mWater Professional SADS52801-Y”

This must stand for something and for sure it means business! 🙂 Citizen Super Auto Dater

This one is one of the very best Citizen has ever made. I was lucky enough to find a mint, NOS example.  It has all the characteristics that a top quality iconic vintage diver should have. Even today after almost 50 years it stands out proud in the tough world of diving watches.

It has a unibody case (the case back doesn’t come of and the movement can be taken out only by removing the crystal)  made in SS, 40mm diameter, all polished except for the upper part of the beautifully shaped lugs. The fact that the case is monocoque is obvious when reading the engraving on the back where a small “X” inside a circle can be found. This is the sign that Citizen used for a unibody cases. The crystal is tightened in place by a steel pressure ring and there are two rubber seals that protect it from water intrusion. One ring in under the crystal and one on the side of the crystal. The crown too has it’s own rubber O ring making the watch water resistant up to 150m. Citizen used the term Para Water. (I love these words) So the watch is Para150mWater, making it the first of the iconic line of 150m divers Citizen made with the same overall look and function. No Citizen lover should miss having at least one 150m vintage diver, no matter the model.  Back to the crown (unsigned and polished), one interesting feature is the fact that the threads are not on the tube connected to the case but on the crown itself. So the crown indeed screws INTO the case and not ON the case like most of the screw-in crowns do.

The thick crystal,  flat on the surface and concave on the dial side gives beautiful reflections and makes the polished hour markers really pop. In fact the entire face of the watch is pure gorgeous! The elegant writing, the polished hands and hour markers, the green luminous material (still glowing powerfully today), the date window… awesome! How beautiful is it to read: “Citizen Super Auto Dater 39J 150m Professional” and then, the 3 stars, the sign that Citizen used for superior watches at the time. “Professional” – nice! 🙂

The bezel is bidirectional friction type with a simple insert with a luminous dot inside a triangle.

The strap in this case is a Tropic curved ends one, 19mm wide at the lugs part that I think compliments the overall appearance of the watch a lot. It is a diver, Citizen used Tropic straps and this combination is gorgeous.

Citizen Auto Dater 39J 150m

Inside the watch the magic continues! The 1150 citizen calibre with 39 jewels is, if not one of the best, for sure one of the most beautiful movements Citizen has. The Super Jet movement was introduced in 1963, my watch is made in 1967, June. It beats at the usual 18,000 bph and it is automatic with hand winding feature also. It has a date that can be adjusted by passing the hour hand over midnight. It is not a hacking seconds. The beautiful part is the circular geared rotor. This is what Citizen called Jet movements. Some say that Citizen replaced this type by the centrally mounted oscillating weight because it was more economical to produce and service even though not as qualitative. I would have expected to see a six screws  rotor when opening the watch but I was equally pleased to find a rotor type that had four and is engraved “Citizen”only, without the usual “super jet”. The entire movement is gold plated.

Here it is how the papers should look like:

citizen-super-auto-dater-39j

As a conclusion all I can say is that finding one of these is not an easy task but when completed the joy is huge and for sure this is a watch that once in your collection you will never ever sell.

Read more about Citizen diving watches HERE.

Read about another ultra rare diver HERE – the 500m Chrono Master Chronometer

Citizen Divers and Tropic Straps


Anyone interested in vintage divers recognize what a Tropic strap is. The others should know that this is a certain type of rubber band, made  in Switzerland during the 1960s and 1970s.  They were later manufactured in China and Hong Kong too, using the original molds and same materials. The originals are signed “TROPIC” and marked “SWISS MADE” and are typically fitted with an “INOX” or “ACIER” signed buckle. Citizen used the multiple perforated model with a single sliding strap keeper as seen in the pictures below. They are marked “Tropic” and the lug width (let’s say “20mm”) is indicated. “MOD DEP” that stands for “Modèle DĂ©posĂ©” or registered design. The reference no. is also visible on one end. They are made from a very pliable rubber for a comfortable fit and durability. The band is 5mm thick where it meets the watch and on the clasp end and 2.6mm thick at the tail end.

Here it is how a Citizen stainless steel buckle should look like on one of these Tropic straps. My opinion (from the data I have so far) is that most of them came with the “Acier” or “Inox” signed piece.

citizen tropic strap

Not only Citizen were fitted on Tropic straps but Rolex, Tudor, Blancpain, Omega, Longines and many others too. They were all aware  of the Tropic quality. Soft, relatively thin, very pliable, durable and a gorgeous feel and look on the wrist. vintage citizen diving tropic strapYou have a ’60-’70 vintage Citizen Diver? Get a Tropic strap for it! It will be the perfect match!

Read more about vintage Citizen diving watches HERE.