Power, spirit watch


So why do I Really wear this? What is it that compels me to cast my eyes across the many models I could choose from, only to succumb to the subconscious needs to wear what I believe to be the holy grail of watches? MY Holy Grail! I questioned whether it was the subconscious strength It offers me, or the empowerment it affords me the instant it hits my wrist.

That sense of power it transfers to me, offering such irresistible desire that you just have to take a sneak look at the timepiece when you think nobody’s watching? The hidden comfort it affords, the metamorphosis of cold steel to skin temperature the instant it’s put on. There’s so much I could say about it, so many reasons to give to justify wearing what I openly concede to be MY holy grail of watches.

The finest of nuances are what does it, the 60 clicking sounds of the bezel so finely crafted, the hypnotic power of the second hand as it moves effortlessly in it’s attempt to put me into metronomic trance. Yes, that’s it; it’s my Spirit Guide, my guardian, and my keeper of time. Time we all know rests so precious upon one’s hand.

It is… The 1969 Citizen “Chrono Master 500m Diver”, of which there is nothing to compare!

citizen 500m chrono master diver vintage

It is a piece of such importance to me I can safely say it’s the one! The Grail, one that none other will ever beat! Truthfully, the realist in me accepts that one can never give a closed title to any watch, there will always be another to come and steal your heart, your soul, your very being.

Why did I not choose the predictable, the Rolex Submariner, or some other grandiose watch? Because nothing else could give me the story a watch should give. (Read about the Citizen 500m Diver HERE ) I’ll tell you why? I simply couldn’t. Even with all it entails, the Rolex to me can never capture the sense of spirit that is held in the above. You see buying a watch isn’t always about money. Anyone with money can buy a ‘Rolex’, but can they buy the passion of the story behind it? In my case it can’t.

Yes, it’s true you have to posses some level of wealth to obtain the Citizen 500, but that isn’t always enough. You have to possess fortune, luck, a blessing, call it what you will. I call it fate. This was destined to become mine, my keeper of time.

Having that knowledge I’m in possession of my guardian angel I no longer fret or worry about when, if, how am I ever going to get my hands on such a treasure. I already have, and that’s the strength behind my loyalty to this particular model. Waiting patiently sometimes not so, I knew my time would come, and come it did. My waiting paid off, and many a lesson learnt in the process of my waiting.

I was taught the concept of perseverance, the will to fight, to never give up on any given cause. The watch is more than just a watch; it’s my journey. A journey that saw several watches passes through my grasp. But my perseverance paid off; for despite those few for sale over the time; with only two of these being 100% original, (needless to say I bought them both…) That is why I award my Citizen 500 the title I bestowed upon it.

There will never be another watch, or brand that will replicate the feelings I endured during my quest to own the Citizen 500, the thrill of the chase, the disappointments, the ultimate euphoria I felt when I eventually took possession of my cherished goal. It is what encompasses the very self of me, my spirit, my determination, my very soul. My spirit went into the chase for my Mecca of watches, the reason I now call it ‘my Spirit watch’. It holds the very essence of me which when I look at it on a daily basis I’m constantly reminded of.

This watch will be carried with me through the rest of my journeys. It will experience the thrills I’ll no doubt encounter when looking for another prey in the ever-growing desire to build the best Citizen Vintage Collection possible. It will never have a price tag on it, never be for sale, it is mine. It is my Spirit Watch.

Bogdan

(special thanks to my friend Kevin, who polished my words and gave the article the final, actual form)

Citizen Glorious


Citizen… GLORIOUS ! 

2014 March 13 – this is exactly the date when I decided to really start searching and get myself a Citizen Glorious! It took me 3 years, 5 months and 26 days to have it in my hands. During this time, after seeing literally over one million pictures and spending at least 2 hours each day looking at Citizen watches, I can say that I have seen only 4 or 5 for sale but none was good enough to actually make me pull the trigger. Fast forward to 2016 August: I finally found it. It looked NOS and had the original strap, buckle and tag! My heart raced and my hands got all sweaty while reading the description and looking at the pictures. It was really expensive and I was sure it will get even more expensive as the auction will take it’s course. Soon after discovering it, I contacted my friend Eric and told him about the watch, that I found it. I needed an inside man. Well… Eric is THE Glorious friend I have inside. (side note: not enough beer in the world to thank him enough 🙂 ) Unfortunately the seller decided to end the auction early… What a sad day! So sad… I started asking questions and even though Japanese guys are not really talkative, I managed to find out, with the help of another friend, that the watch will be relisted. I was determined to make it mine. The time has come for me to put my money where my mouth was. I knew I was fighting in the big league, with the serious Japanese collectors, but I was prepared for this day. I trained a lot. 🙂  So… in a few days, the watch was back on-line. I made up my mind regarding my highest bid that I was willing to commit to, and I added a little more. Then I added just a little bit more. 🙂 As the auction was about to end the price got higher and higher and higher… Obviously… I won!

In a few long days, that felt like years, the watch was finally here! Needles to say that I checked the tracking at least twice a day. I opened the box and here it was in all it’s glory: THE GLORIOUS!

(If you want to read about another great find, my Holly Grail Citizen, you can do it here, The Citizen Chrono Master 500m diver. )

citizen-glorious

So… The Glorious, reference 4-770285 Y.  Stainless steel case with the perfect finishing. I have never seen another Citizen case polished like this. So precise, so… beautiful. Some say that Grand Seiko is the best when it comes to case polishing, but maybe, just maybe they didn’t see this. The buckle is signed with GC logo and marked stainless steel. No wonder that one buckle alone sold a few years ago with over 700 USD. The black strap was original too but I changed it with a Citizen brown one for the photo shooting because the black one was almost to fragile to handle all the fuss. It was placed for safe keeping along with the GC tag.  The winding crown is SS too, with the GC logo. It is made of two parts. The outer part winds it (first position) and sets the time (second position). The inner part (the one with the logo) is used for changing the day and the date. Keep the watch vertical and press it. The date will jump. Turn the watch twelve side down and press it and the day changes alternating English and Japanese.

The dial is simple, white. No luminous material, no useless writing. It doesn’t need to brag about it. So Japanese…  The applied polished Citizen and GC logo and printed in black  is just enough: Automatic 36000. It is after all a high beat one, 10 per second. And it is no ordinary Leopard. It is the Glorious. In fact it is powered by in-house calibre 7750, gold plated, that has a daily rate in 5 position better than COSC of today. It was guaranteed to be at -2 +3 S/ day! Mine after all these years (made in 1971 September) seems to run at +1S/ day.

Measures (as from Stephen’s blog article HERE ) for Citizen watches: 

Standard            Excellent               Glorious

  • Mean daily rate in the 5 positions

S. -3.0 +12.0      E. -1.0 +10.0        G. -2.0 +3.0

  • Mean variation of the daily rate

S. 3.2                    E. 2.2                    G. 1.8

  • Maximum variation of daily rate in the same position on two consecutive days

S. 9.0                    E. 6.0                    G. 4.0

  • Difference between horizontal and vertical positions

S. ± 12.0               E. ± 8.0               G. ± 6.0

  • Greatest difference between mean daily rate and any individual rate

S. 18.0                   E. 12.0                 G. 5.0

  • Variation of rate per 1 degree centigrade

S. ± 1.0                  E. ± 0.6               G. ± 0.3

  • Rate resumption

S. ± 9.0                  E. ± 5.0               G. ± 4.0

Also, in the same article written by Stephen, you can see the evolution of the best Citizen calibres, starting from the awesome hand winding Chronometer and going through the Chrono Master range with the Elite special and Superior Chronometer and then the Leopards  with the Highness.

Each movement is marked with a serial number, and so is the case back. Unfortunately, Citizen doesn’t have an archive to match the two serials. Well.. the case back… beautiful again. What can I say, I love the way it looks, with the gold medallion, like the Chrono Masters. This time we don’t have an eagle inlay but a GC one.

citizen-glorious-vintage

What else? I could talk a lot about it, the simple, elegant look, so understated beauty and power at the same time, so clean and perfect in every way… How can someone not love it? Is this the best vintage Citizen? It could be.

The Glorious also came in a few other options. Here are a few pictures from the catalogue with some variants, a date only and a solid gold? (or is it Gold Filed? – EGF 100µ?) one. You cab see the price at the time 55 It also came in a slightly different case design and one with dark blue dial. Click the pictures to magnify them for better details.

citizen-vintage-glorious-leopard-copy

To make a long story short, because I could go on and on and on… this is…

The glorious…  GLORIOUS!

Citizen Crystal Seven para100mwater diver


Exactly one year ago I wrote about a fabulous watch, the Dandy Seven diver (read about it HEREand here we are today talking about it’s brother, the Crystal Seven diver. They were made in the same period, they share the same line (Seven), the same movement, and the same style, but each stands proud as powerful individual watch.

crystal seven vintage citizen diver

It is a decent sized watch, with a modern look and a strong vintage feel; maybe it is the shape of the case, maybe the colors, maybe the entire watch. By the way, it is made entirely of stainless steel. The SS bracelet I doubt it is the original one but it suits the watch very well, with those blue highlights, that match the minute chapter ring color perfectly. The front part of the case is brushed while all the rest is polished.

It is a diver watch (para 100m water) and as any diver watch that respects itself it has a bezel. This one is an aluminum bidirectional friction type with a luminous dot on 12. The dial is beautiful, grey, with a sunburst effect. The hours are marked with luminous material. The hands had luminous parts too but on mine they must have fallen out and to this day it was not yet relumed. The second hand has a luminous ball too. The minute chapter ring is blue with white 5 minutes dots.

The movement inside is the Citizen automatic 5204 calibre, with 27 jewels. It can also be winded by hand. The winding crown is made of stainless steel and signed CTZ. It is not a screw-in type. Due to this movement, the watch displays both the day of the week as well as the date. The day changes by advancing the hands past midnight while the date changes normally in the second position of the crown. The movement doesn’t hack.

One thing that differentiates it from it’s brother (the Dandy Seven) is the mineral crystal (hence the Crystal Seven name). On the other hand, Dandy Seven it fitted with an acrylic one.

All things considered it is a beautiful, rare diver, vintage and somehow modern at the same time.

Read more about other vintage Citizen divers HERE.

Citizen – Watch Oil Kit


My friend Hako was kind enough to provide me these photos of an interesting collectors item, the vintage official Citizen watch oil kit, used for servicing the movements. Thank you Hako!  Apart for the oils themselves, the kit has brushes and a booklet with instructions for using the items found inside the box. I will write the information written on it below.

vintage citizen oil kit service

HANDLING INSTRUCTION FOR CITIZEN WATCH OIL

Citizen has designated the following 6 types of oil as oil to be used for Citizen watches. These oils particularly excel in quality and performance. Be sure to use the Citizen exclusive watch oil on Citizen watches for preserving the superior performance of the watch during a prolonged period.

1. Synt-A-Lube oil

Since it is a compound oil of superior performance, there is no worry of the characteristics becoming inferior due to deterioration, aging, etc., regardless for it being used for a prolonged time. 

Usage portion: Dial side train wheels, jeweled pallet fork, escapement. 

Remarks: Use the oil by transferring a small amount to the saucer of the stand type oiler. Be sure to clean the saucer and replace the oil at least once a week even though the saucer is not dirtied. 

2. Synt-V-Lube oil

Similar to the Synt-A-Lube Oil, it is a compound oil of superior performance. The viscosity is higher than the Synt-A-Lube oil.

Usage portion: Bridge side, day and date mechanism and second hand stopping device. 

Remarks: Same as in Synt-A-Lube oil. 

3. Citizen watch oil CH-1

The Citizen watch oil CH-1 is a mixture of special grease and special solid lubricant and there is no worry of the characteristics becoming inferior due to deterioration, aging, etc., although it may be used for a long period of time and a stabilized mainspring torque is maintained constantly. 

Usage portions: Hand winding mainspring

Use the exclusive brush with blue color mark on application of oil. 

4. Citizen watch oil CA-1

The Citizen watch oil CA-1 guarantees a stabilized slip torque which is particularly important for automatic winding an has been developed so a stabilized mainspring torque is maintained and used also on parts of the train wheels. The mixing rate of the solid lubricant differ from that of the Citizen watch oil CG-1. 

Usage portions: Part of train wheels. 

Automatic winding mainspring.

Used on Cal. Nos.:

150*, 220*, 140*, 24**, 060*, 03**, 11**, 41**, 52**, 54**and 64**.

Use the exclusive brush with green color mark on application of oil. 

5. Citizen watch oil CA-2

The Citizen watch oil CA-2 has been developed particularly for use on Citizen automatic wrist watches which have their mainspring torque increased. Its composition differs entirely from that of CA-1 and is a compound oil excelling in stability with no oil flows and is suited for heavy loads. 

Usage portions: Automatic winding mainspring.

Used on Cal. Nos.: 

72**, 74**, 76**, 77**, 66**, 65**, 60**.

Use the exclusive brush with yellow color mark on application of oil.

6. Citizen silicon oil and lubricator

The Citizen Parawater watch utilizes the elasticity of the O-Ring and packing and maintains a high watterresistant capability. The silicon oil acts to further promote the superior waterresistant proprieties of the O-Ring and packing so it should be always used in disassembly and assembly.

Usage portions: O-Ring

Packing

How to apply the Silicon Oil

(1) O-Ring and packing

a. A suitable amount of silicon oil should be soaked in the soft sponges which is fixed to the top and bottom of the silicon oil lubricator beforehand. When oiled once, it can be used for a certain period. 

b. When applying silicon oil to the O-Ring and packing, hold the o-Ring or packing with the lubricator and turn the cover of the lubricator by a 1/4 turn. This will allow applying a suitable amount of silicon oil. 

Remarks: Be careful so dust will not mix into the silicon oil lubricator. After usage, be sure to keep the silicon oil container cover securely tightened. 

(2) O-Ring for crown

Oil to the crown O-Ring is applied directly with an exclusive brush or by applying a suitable amount of oil to the pipe of the watchcase.

For further instruction on oiling portions of watches, please consult to the “CITIZEN TECHNICAL INFORMATION” 

citizen watch oil kit service

I am sure you will love the info and the pictures, just like I do. It is always nice to discover new things about our passion: watches, Vintage Citizen Watches.

Read more interesting facts about Citizen HERE.

Vintage Citizen Watches Lume Patina


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Lume is a short term for the luminous phosphorescent glowing solution applied on watch dials. There are some people who “relume” watches, or replace faded lume. Formerly, lume consisted mostly of radium; however, radium is radioactive and has been mostly replaced on new watches by less bright, but less toxic compounds.

Common pigments used in lume include the phosphorescent pigments zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate. Use of zinc sulfide for safety related products dates back to the 1930s. However, the development of strontium oxide aluminate, with a luminance approximately 10 times greater than zinc sulfide, has relegated most zinc sulfide based products to the novelty category. Strontium oxide aluminate based pigments are now used in exit signs, pathway marking, and other safety related signage.

Strontium aluminate based afterglow pigments are marketed under brandnames like Super-LumiNova, watchlume, NoctiLumina, and Glow in the Dark (Phosphorescent) Technologies.”

vintage citizen diver lume

Vintage collectors grew up to appreciate a beautiful aged lume on their watches and a rich yellow patina, orange or brown is always desired if original and natural. Even some modern watches (Jeager leCoultre and Omega, to name a few) are made with “fake” patina, yellow luminous material. Some of the dials are called “tropical” because they also changed color in time due to exposure to sunlight in tropical areas (usually). Some say that the Sun is not the main factor to this process but the passing of time and the original formula of the pigments. Either way, I love a beautiful patina too, just like most of us. Most of the dials that age are made with radioactive material, like tritium or radium.

citizen-150m-diver-vintage

Citizen never used radioactive material on their vintage watches (1932-1978) but used some Promethium-147 after this date on some models but only for a few years. I am still looking for a watch made prior to 1978 that has it. It should be marked on the dial code P-JAPAN-P. They used this in small amount so the patina is only slightly influenced by this. I found this in a Citizen diver instruction manual: “Luminous Paint: Being a diver’s watch, luminous paint is used for this diver’s watch (200m) to facilitate time readability in a dark place. This luminous paint contains a trace quantity of radioactive substance pursuant to ISO safety standard. There is no problem for normal use; however, in the event that the watch glass has been damaged or broken, immediately carry it to the store where you purchased or to an authorized Citizen Dealer.” So, there are only traces of this material. No need to worry for radiation.

citizen 500m chrono master diver vintage

Most of the lume of vintage Citizen is still glowing brightly in the dark even today and keep, more or less, the same color as they had when they were made. Only a few of them get the desirable patina but making them so rare only makes the reward of finding one even greater. So, good luck finding the perfect Citizen patina! 🙂

UPDATE: Well… it seems that I had one 1978 diver with P-JAPAN-P 🙂 Read about it HERE.  Another watch I love, but it is made after 1978, is the Walter Wolf titanium fly back chronograph that you can read about HERE.

Citizen center second


Sometimes less is more and this is true when talking about this watch, the first Citizen equipped with a central sweeping hand and not the usual (at that time) eccentric seconds. Starting with this model all the following watches were like this, without small seconds. So, it was an important milestone in watchmaking.

citizen center secondThe “Center Second” came in many versions, and even a solid gold one, and a total of 6-7 generations for about 10 years. The first one was produced in 1948. All of them were running at 18,000 bph and came  equipped with 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and even 19 jewels. The Center Seconds are non-hacking and don’t have a date complication. During this time they became water protected and starting from 1956 they had the Citizen Parashock system installed.

The first watch presented here is ParaShock and Water Protected and is made in about 1961. The case back is SS and screws in even though most of them had snap on case backs.  I love the simplicity of the pale white dial with gold accents! The Citizen “C” logo at 12, the hour markers and the hands are all golden while all the rest of the marking are printed in black.

Here are a few pictures from catalogues showing different calibres:

citizen center second

And here it is in a pocket watch form, with original chain attached: citizen pocket watch center secondBottom line, it is an important watch in the Citizen history and a great elegant timepiece itself. Every collector should have one.

Read about more simple Citizen watches HERE.

Adam’s great story of Citizen Chronometer


Adam is a great guy from Australia with a great watch story to share. Without further ado I will let him tell you all about it! 🙂

“So…about the watch. I didn’t wear it to my wedding as the wedding was in Sydney 4 hours drive from here (Port Macquarie) followed by a honeymoon in Melbourne. I did not want to lose it.

We had an amazing wedding staying in Sydney, then in Melbourne.

I never had the chance to get the watch serviced before the wedding as I was very busy.
When I was 10 years old I stayed with my Aunty and Uncle for a week. They live on acreage in a small village one hundred and sixty kilometres west of Sydney called Old Bowenfels. My uncle Karl was an elderly man who worked as an electrician for his entire working life.

As Australia was isolated when he was younger he had to be innovative or creative to enjoy modern technology. He built a television set using a radar screen, a valve radio, and a device that could record voices or sounds onto vinyl. He recorded my great, great grand parents singing Silent Night in English and in Danish.

He was an amazing man who still maintained the property into his mid eighties cutting wood and loading coal into the “Donkey” (a very, very old hot water system). He was very resourceful and refused to replace things that still work, if it failed he would repair it.

When I found the watch it was sitting on a shelf covered in dust and dirt. The watch had been sitting there so long that the leather band had dried out and gone solid. The watch must have had a pretty hard life as what you saw in the photos. I asked him if I could have it and being a generous man he said yes without a second thought. I took the watch home with me and always held it in high regard. He passed away two years ago after a long battle with asbestosis and dementia. Knowing he was unwell for a long time it was hard for me as I have never really grieved his passing or even cried.

I think of my uncle often because he was like a grandfather to me. I spent a great deal of time on their property and was very close to my uncle. He taught me to weld, basic electronics and like I said also served as a grandfather figure.
That is why I hold this watch in high regard because when I hold it, it reminds me of my childhood and of my time spend with my uncle.

I also feel guilty about the watch at the same time as my Uncle became estranged from his eldest son for a very long time, his grandchildren did not want to see him or my aunt as they felt that they were boring. At the funeral I sat near the front of the church. It was very awkward as my third cousins, his grand children were devastated at losing Karl. I think it was because they were sad for the time lost that they could have spent with him.

So now the watch sits in a watch case with many other watches that I like. I never wear it because I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of wearing it but also I like keeping the watch as it represents the time that I have spent with my Aunty and Uncle. It is something that is very special to me.”

citizen chronometer officialy certified

Thank you Adam! I am sure the readers of Vintage Citizen Watches loved the story just as much as I did! Many times the watches are a lot more than time telling devices and they have great value due to our emmotional connections and the stories they tell about our past, about our loved ones, about our memories.  

A few words about the watch: Citizen had a line of hi beat (36,000 bph) called Leopard. Adams watch was the top of the Leopard. They had their own logo and medallion as seen on the screw in caseback.  The case is gold plated, with a stainless steel caseback and a gold inlay medallion. All were 36,000 bph and most were made with 28 jewels, but there were also 31 and 32 jewels models. Adam’s watch has 31 jewels. These use the 7250 movement (7230 in the 28 jewel ones).

Read more about another beautiful Citizen Leopard here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/11/22/citizen-leopard-36000/

And another special Citizen Chronometer Officially Certified HERE.

Vintage Citizen Diamond Flake – World’s thinnest watch


What is so special about this one? 

Is it made with diamonds? No. Than what?

Citizen Diamond Flake

The case is made in fact of stainless steel and is really elegant. This is how a suit wrist watch should be like. Simple, 3 hands, white dial, manual wind. Back to the case, we can see that it is really, really thin. In fact it is called Diamond Flake because at the time it was the thinest watch with 3 hands (about 7 mm thickness and 38mm diameter, with a really nice wrist presence and appears larger). In August 1962 it was the world’s thinnest 3 hands watch developed. The acrylic crystal is slightly domed making it thicker. The winding crown is small but easy to operate, not signed. On the case back it is marked with the model, serial no. (dating this watch February ’63, that means it is one of the early production).

The dial is very simple, silver, with a sunburst effect. The hour markers are applied and both the hour markers and the hands are polished without luminous material. It is marked: ” Citizen Diamond Flake” and “Parashock 25 jewels”. At 12 o clock there is the Diamond Flake logo.

Citizen Diamond Flakecitizen diamond flaThe movement is a piece of art named Citizen Calibre 0700. I love the way that it is gold plated.  At the time the race for slimmer watches was on and having a thin movement was a must. Well, this one was the champion. It is only 2.7mm, 0.2mm thinner than the competitor Seiko Gold Feather. The calibre 0700 has 25 Jewels (calibre 0701 had 31 jewels). Later on a date was added to the 25 jewels movement and this how Citizen calibre 2700 was born.

The strap is a vintage Citizen brown leather one, with a stainless steel buckle. I think it compliments the watch nicely and adds something to the overall appeal of the watch.

Pocket watch diamond flake

The watch can also be found (not easy, but it can de found – I did it) in a pocket watch form. Here it is, with original chain. Same beautiful movement in a large case, with an acrylic crystal.

Conclusion – some might say that this is the ultimate elegant watch, some might say it the perfect suit one, but no one argues the fact that it has it’s well defined place in history as a champion of it’s own time.

The world’s thinnest 3 hands watch developed

Competition for thin movement at that time :

1958 -Citizen Deluxe               – 3.65
1960 – Seiko Liner                    – 3.35
1961 – Citizen Hi-Line              – 3.25
1960 – Seiko GoldFeather       – 2.95
1962 – Citizen DiamondFlake – 2.75

Update: I also found (pictures from the seller) a black dialed one (still not sure if original or repainted dial) in a gold plated case. The dial on this one is marked Parawater.

citizen diamond flake parawater

Update 2017: We can’t really argue on the fact that this model is one of the best dress watches, isn’t it? Having it made of solid White Gold I guess it makes it even better. Is it perfect this way? I don’t know but it is a real beauty. Well… here it is so let me introduce to you, the pure awesome, the best of the best, my keeper,  THE WG DIAMOND FLAKE! At the time the price was 40,000 JPY, and that was expensive!

Read about the three brothers: Citizen Diamond Flake, Citizen Diamond Flake Date and Citizen Date Flake, HERE.

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/

 

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/