Everybody knows Citizen was the first worldwide to use Titanium for their watches. They also used Aluminum alloy, Solid gold (white and yellow), Stainless steel, “harder than steel” black coating and they didn’t stop there. With a little bit of luck we can still find watches made of natural materials. In the process of finding new ways, in providing more diversity, Citizen made watch cases made of natural wood and a few types of stone.
These watches were intended for the younger customers that cared a lot about fashion and the way the watches looked like and were also interested in having a watch with a story. As you can see they were branded under Adorex line, or Afro Craft, Cosmo Star, V2… Usually a leather strap was used but I have found a few with a bracelet option. Other materials might have been used for straps but I am not sure. Still to find out.
The movements are diverse, simple or displaying the day / date and some are high beat. The cases are rounded and the crystal sometimes is faceted (see the wood variant below). Colorful, young, eye catching and interesting at the same time.
Thank you Branislav for the beautiful red agate stone picture! Beautiful watch!
I have in my collection a NOS wood case one, original strap, buckle and tags. The build quality is very good and I love the warm feeling of the material. I never had a stone watch but for sure I will find one. Somehow a wood / stone Citizen is a must have for at least once in order to fully appreciate the craftsmanship involved in these.
The picture above is my watch, so I opened it to take a look at the movement. Beautiful, clean and interesting.
Citizen was always innovative and was never afraid of trying new technologies. So, in 1970 they started experimenting black coating their watches. They also coated their watches in a similar dark color, something more like a dark olive green. The reason for coating their watches was the same reason manufacturers are doing it today: it looks really good. They also tried to find ways to protect the case and bracelet material underneath. Most of these coated watches were made of a very light alloy, that is not really scratch resistant so the coating comes as a great addition.
In order for the public to buy them, with great confidence, Citizen promoted this “harder than steel” surface with some samples, where you can get a treated case and a scraping instrument attached to it. You were kindly advice to try it yourself. Scratch it!
The label reds: “New BLAKIE. Try testing hardness by scraping with a coin.”
So, beautiful and resistant.
As a side note (after seeing a lot of used Citizen coated watches I can tell you that only the NOS and mint ones have really passed the test of time and most of the used ones are losing their coating on the lugs or sharp edges).
Here are a few of my NOS coated watches, black and dark green, side by side, and in the smaller picture is a part of Mikko’s collection. Thank you Mikko! Awesome collection, like always your contribution is greatly appreciated!
Thank you Citizen for giving us the chance to experience this material too. I love it!