Citizen compressor diver – Seven Star 4-520017Y


Let me introduce to you a beautiful, NOS, vintage compressor style diver that has just the right amount of pure class.

A compressor case is defined by the fact that the rotating bezel is inside the case, under the crystal and it is turned by one of the crowns, rather than directly by hand. Gary, a reader, provided a piece of information about Compressor cases that I would love to share with you:

“These are beautful watches and I enjoyed reading about them but I must correct your assumption that they are compressor watches. Its a common misconception that if a watch has two crowns and an internal bezel, it must be a supercompressor but infact Compressor and Super Compressor watches are defines by the company which made the cases and held a patent for their design. These cases were made by the specialist manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. of Switzerland. No Japanese manufacturer used EPSA Compressor cases. Information about Compressor cases is not hard to find. The link below shows the three types of Compressor case, including the Super Compressor from which your Citizen watches are inspired. True Super Compressors are typically identified by a crossed hatched design on the crowns, a diver helmet logo on the case back or inside the case back, but always, they have the brevet (patent) number on or inside the case back. http://wornandwound.com/2014/03/24/guide-super-compressors/”

NOS means New Old Stock – a watch that was not worn and it is in excelent condition after all this time (45 years old).

citizen compressor diver seven star parawater

Just like the other compressor diver I have presented here : https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/18/vintage-citizen-compressor-diver-4-520343-y/, this one is also made in 1969. By contrast, this one has a more classy, elegant appearance.

The case is large, made in polished stainless steel, with a brushed frontal surface. Looking at it from the side, the case seams slender, thick in the middle, and arching down all the way to the end of the integrated lugs. The mineral crystal is slightly domed in order to be better integrated in the overall design. The crystal is secured by a thin, polished, elegant bezel. The sides and the frontal surface are well delimitated by a carefully made polished chamfer. The twin crowns are not signed. One of then, the upper one, turns the bidirectional internal bezel and the other one is connected to the movement. The case-back displays the usual information – material, date of manufacture, model, movement, and parawater. Read about parawater here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

The dial is dark-deep black,  very simple but not simplistic at all. Under magnification one can see that a lot of attention was placed into details. The writing is white, also on the black date and the black day wheels. The date is on 3 o clock inside a polished frame and the day is at 9 inside an oval, carefully made window. The only tint of color is the lettering for Sunday.  The inner rotating bezel is also black with white writing. The hour markers are applied with luminous material in the center. The hands are also polished, faceted with luminous material as well.

 Citizen diver Seven Star 4-520017Y

The movement is the usual automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels. The calibre number is engraved, as usual, under the balance wheel.  It is winded by a black rotor that compliments the dial on the other side in a fortunate manner.  It is a common movement used in a variety of models, not only divers making it rather easy to repair with available parts. It is reliable and offers hand winding possibility. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown (first position for winding, third for time setting) but the day changes only by passing midnight with the hands. The corespondent crown for the movement is the one at 4 o ‘clock.

The bracelet is nothing less than a piece of art. I think this is my favorite Citizen design. It is made in solid steel, three thin polished connectors and  brushed large links. It doesn’t get better than this! It has a pleasant tactile feel and a nice weight. One more thing that can not be described into words is the sound of the links touching each other… pure music. The clasp is the usual type, signed Citizen.

Citizen compressor diver - Seven Star 4-520017Y

Al things considered, this is the best diver for a gentleman, ready to be worn at the beach or with a suit during a corporate meeting. Decent water resistance (nor really made for submerging, but good enough for daily jobs) and understated elegance placed together for one of the best Vintage Citizen All-rounder.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

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Vintage Citizen compressor style diver 4-520343 Y


Vintage Citizen divers  – this time a compressor style. And what is better than one diver? Two divers, or even three! 

A compressor case means  that the bezel is not outside the case, but actually inside the case, under the crystal. It is not operated directly but with the turn of one of the two crowns. As Gray showed in the comment of this post these are not actually compressor cases, but actually compressor style inspired.

“These are beautful watches and I enjoyed reading about them but I must correct your assumption that they are compressor watches. Its a common misconception that if a watch has two crowns and an internal bezel, it must be a supercompressor but infact Compressor and Super Compressor watches are defines by the company which made the cases and held a patent for their design. These cases were made by the specialist manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. of Switzerland. No Japanese manufacturer used EPSA Compressor cases. Information about Compressor cases is not hard to find. The link below shows the three types of Compressor case, including the Super Compressor from which your Citizen watches are inspired. True Super Compressors are typically identified by a crossed hatched design on the crowns, a diver helmet logo on the case back or inside the case back, but always, they have the brevet (patent) number on or inside the case back. http://wornandwound.com/2014/03/24/guide-super-compressors/” – Is the comment from Gary. Thank you for the clarification!

Citizen Diver compressor 4-520343 Y

This particular model is one of the early Citizen divers, with compressor style case.  I have seen it in black dial, red, blue and silver dial. The red dial is one of the most beautiful dials ever. Actually is more a burgundy red. The blue is awesome in different lightning conditions, the black is subtle and classy and the silver is  really special.

The case is larger than the usual divers of that era, but similar with other vintage Citizen. It is about 44mm, with a brushed frontal surface, with a radial pattern. The sides are polished. The lugs are well integrated in the overall design, with the same finish as the case. The two crowns are protected because the 9 o clock side (flat) and the 3 o clock side (angled) are not symmetrical, so the crowns are not sticking out a too much. They are signed “C”.  The outer bezel that keeps the domed acrylic crystal in place is polished. The crown at 2 operates the inner bidirectional bezel, and sometimes is very easy to move it by accident so i prefer the models with an outer bezel. The crown at 4 winds the watch and sets the time and sometimes is hard to operate.

The dial is  the best part of this watch. The red one is gorgeous, the blue is beautiful, the black is classic but the silver is not really at home for this model (IMHO) but it is rare and special.. In fact all the colors have a matching rotating bezel except for the silver one that has a black bezel. The black dial is flat, matte. The red and the blue one have thin black longitudinal stripes so the color gets a little  darker. All of them have the cross hair lines. At 12 they have the polished applied Citizen logo and on 6 it is written “water 100M proof” “automatic” “21 jewels”. It is very interesting the fact that the dial is marked waterproof (sometimes parawater) and the caseback parawater. This is due to the fact that it was manufactured in an era when Citizen transitioned from parawater to water resistant. Also some of them were designated for export so a different marking was needed than the ones for domestic market. Read about this here:  https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/ The ones that have “waterproof” on the dial are for export. At 3 we have the day and date window, in a divided frame. The Sundays are in red lettering, the rest are black. The hour markers are trapezoidal, applied with a polished frame, jus as the date frame. The hands are the usual “Mercedes” type and the second hand has the luminous tot at the very end of it. One rare model has straight hour hand, matching the minute one. For a long time I thought it might not be original but thanks to Pawel I now saw the model in real life and it is for sure 100% original. I also saw one picture from a German catalogue on Stephen‘s blog who says: “There was also a version of this model, maybe only an export version, that had a straight hour hand, rather than the ‘Mercedes’ type. At the moment this image, from a German brochure (with credit to ‘Axel’ on the old SCWF site) is the only one I have seen.” Thanks Pawel for the pictures of the straight matching hands one! Great watch!  After 40 years, the luminous material still glows beautifully at night. The rotating bezel is rather shiny, with a luminous dot inside a triangle at 12, and painted numbers every 10 minutes. The rest of the minutes are dots and every 5 minutes we have a rectangle. Great quality for this bezels. You have to see them in real life to fully appreciate them!

citizen 4-530343Y compressor

Here it is another straight hour hand piece, a black dialed one. Thank you Christian for the pictures!

compressor diver vintage citizen

And a pic that I like:

citizen compressor diver vintage

The movement is the automatic Citizen calibre 5270, with 21 jewels, (and a black rotor that I like a lot). It is a common movement used in a variety of models, not only divers. This means that replacing parts are easy to source.  It is reliable and offers hand winding possibility. The date changes in the second position of the winding crown (first position for winding, third for time setting) but the day changes only by passing midnight with the hands. The operating crown for the movement is the one at 4.

The strap I’ve seen is most of the times a replacement one. Sometimes I have seen them on Citizen or replacement stainless steel bracelet, sometimes on rubber, nato or even leather. They can take any type you want to throw on them. I keep them on matching nato straps, red for red, black for black. This way they are really comfortable and I thing a Nato suits them well. The width at the lugs is 20mm.

automatic Citizen 5270Conclusion: Just as most Citizen divers – wonderful, easy to wear, a pleasure to look at, modern and vintage at the same time… timeless beauty!

Read abut my favorite Citizen diver here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-automatic-diver-150m-52-0110/

Citizen Parawater – Citizen Parashock


The term “Parawater” was the one used by Citizen to describe that the watch was water resistant.

In 1959 the company produced the first Japanese water-resistant wrist watch. This was the “Citizen Parawater”. It was powered by the Citizen Cal. 920(2B). Soon after, the Parawater completed two trans-Pacific tests and one in the Sea of Japan. The result, needless to say, was positive.  As time passed Citizen was growing as a company and exported more and more watches, so the term “Parawater” was changed to the universally recognized “Water resistant” somewhere around 1970-1973.

Read more about Citizen diving watches here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/diver-vcw/

parawater citizen

The term “Parashock” came to life in 1956 when the company produced the first shock-proof Japanese watch, known as the “Parashock”. So first was the “Parashock” and three years later the “Parawater”.

Even though you have a parashock and a parawater watch, please don’t treat it as a modern Casio G-shock. 🙂

Citizen automatic diver 150m – 52-0110


Vintage divers – every time I hear this combination of words my heart races a little. 

I dream about that period in time when a watch was what it was supposed to be, a true tool watch, a real diving instrument, not a desk diver fashionable statement as it is most of the times today. Was it a good thing or a bad one, who am I to judge? But for sure I love a vintage diving tool watch such as this one I am talking today. Lucky me I have a NOS one, birth year and month 52-0110, and this is awesome. I love it!

citizen diver

The 150m Citizen is, in my opinion,  one of the best looking vintage diver ever! It has everything a real diver should have: decent water resistance (150m), screw in crown and easy to use, screw in caseback, a diver bezel, clear indexes, easy to read hands contrasting with the matte dial, a sweeping central second hand, thick glass, diver extension clasp and the most important: a reliable movement.  Wearing this watch makes me dream about the Ocean depths and underwater adventure. It looks good on original bracelet, on nato, on mesh bracelet, on rubber and even on a rugged leather strap. Beautiful watch!

The case is made of stainless steel, 40mm diameter, 13mm thick, brushed face and polished sides. It has thick lugs and it is rugged and powerful without being overwhelming. The perfect shape and size for a diver. The screw-in crown is easy to operate, and it is unsigned. The bezel is frictional type, bidirectional, easy to use but not so easy to mess with when underwater. Pay attention because most aftermarket bezels don’t have dots at every minutes. The lugs are 20mm apart accommodating most modern straps you throw at it. The mineral crystal looks like it is domed but in fact it is flat. The underside is actually concave bending the light in a mysterious way that makes me day dreaming. It sits at about the same height (or slightly higher) with the black bezel.

The dial is gorgeous. Plain, matte, deep black. There is no reflection. The reflection comes from the crystal and from the indexes and the hands. Not too much writing on the dial except the applied Citizen logo, automatic, 21 jewels, water resistant, 150m. At 3 we have the date window. Something about the date window – there are some variations here – with or without luminescent index at the side, in the same frame with the date, or in a separate frame. The luminescent material is glowing even more than 40 years later and has a superb green-yellow light to it.vintage citizen diver

The movement is the work horse 8210A, 21 jewels, automatic with hand winding capability. Not much to say about this, it is just a clean, easy to use and service, reliable movement. Nothing fancy, just a up to the job honest movement. It beats at 21.600 bph and has a quickset date. The first time this movement was used in this watch seems to be 1977. You can see the date of manufacture in the serial on the caseback. The first number is the year, the next two digits are for the month.

The bracelet is stainless steel, with “H” shaped links. Very comfortable. The clasp is also stainless steel, signed Citizen. It has a diver extension. The bracelet should be brushed. My NOS one came on the original Tropic strap with Citizen signed SS buckle. So… Tropic is original and bracelet is original too.

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 15.08.37

Update 2017 September: An orange dial one and a NOS 52-0110 with box  and booklet with pictures from the online seller:

Not sure if both boxes are correct? They might be because there are quite a variations of 52-0110 models so I expect it for the boxes to be a little different too. Who knows?

And here it is the booklet of the watch: Thank you Mikko and congrats on yours! Mikko’s booklet was in English and Spanish.

Conclusion: Beautiful, real diving watch, a time capsule that as soon as it is strapped on the wrist ticks away telling a story about sand, sun, and underwater adventures. A watch made for real men, a work horse that enjoys being wet. Give it at least a short shower every once in a while! 😉

Read about the complete 150m diving collection HERE