Citizen automatic chronograph 67-9631


Citizen had two automatic calibres.

One automatic chronograph is the 8110A and you can read about the “octagon bullhead” that had this movement here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/24/citizen-bullhead-chronograph-67-9356/

And the other one is the one I will write about now, the 8100A.

Both of them came with different case design, shapes and sizes with a lot of dials. This is why sometimes is difficult to identify if a certain watch is correct or “reconditioned” with aftermarket parts.

vintage citizen automatic chronograph 8100

This is a one sub-dial design chronograph featuring a lot of interesting details. It was made in November 1973.

The case is made of brushed and polished stainless steel. The chronograph pushers are on the side, where the winding crown is. It is a cushion shape with a circular grain brushed front surface (I have seen a sunburst grain also, and polished – the polished is for sure not correct) and polished everywhere else. The caseback is screw in with a circular brushed flat surface. The crown is signed “CTZ”. The mineral crystal sits a little bit taller than the case, with chamfer edge. Nothing out of the ordinary, jut a simple, normal ’70’s design by Citizen, 38mm wide without the crown.

The dial is blue with orange and silver accents. It is nothing less but gorgeous! The blue changes from dark blue (almost black sometimes) to bright blue and then to a type of green really difficult to picture. Sometimes it seems unreal. You have to see one in real life in order to fully appreciate the beauty of this one. On 6 it is the sub-dial, counting the elapsed (30) minutes. This is the only sub-dial (normal for cal 8100A). The central, orange central sweeping hand counts the seconds. This sub-dial is silver with highlighted 5 minutes periods. The 5-10 minutes is blue. Not only the chronograph hands are orange but also the current time hands are painted (not entirely) orange and they have a luminous line. On 3 o’clock there are the day and the date windows, with a silver painted frame. The days and the dates are printed on black disks. The polished Citizen logo is applied and so are the hour markers. The hour markers have an orange central line ending with a luminous dot. On the outer side of the dial there is a white Tachymeter scale, for racing, you know!

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 11.28.56

The movement is the Citizen automatic, 23 jewls,  calibre 8100A with hand winding capability. It was produced by Citizen starting from 1972, just as 8110A. It is a vertical clutch chronograph (beating at 28.800 bph) with column wheel and fly back function. It also features 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 (5 o’clock) button. It is 27 mm wide and 5,8mm high, (1mm less than 8110A). 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 an usual one piece link design, made by Citizen, with a brushed surface that suits the watch perfectly. It is made in stainless steel with a signed “Citizen” clasp. As usual, Citizen bracelets are very comfortable with a lot of adjustments so finding the perfect fit is easy. 

vintage citizen chronograph 8100a

Conclusion: Wonderful Citizen chronograph, vintage yet so modern, with a nice wrist presence and amazing dial!

Enjoy the video of this watch here:

https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2014/01/25/video-citizen-automatic-chronograph-67-9631-cal-8100a/

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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. 🙂

Vintage Citizen Worldtimer (GMT) 68-0516


This is the “GMT” version of Citizen vintage watches.

In fact it is not a real GMT but rather a world timer, and this is actually it’s name .

The Citizen Worldtimer.

Following the beautiful Citizen chronograph and the Citizen diver we have now a different vintage Citizen. Maybe the worldtimer will not outshine the first two, but it is at least at the same level. The feeling you get when you strap it on your wrist is like no other. The light is passing through the acrylic crystal and bouncing back from the silver dial, the inner rotating bezel with all those cities…The case is made of stainless steel, 42 mm diameter (rather large even for today’s standards), with a cushion shape. The frontal side is brushed , in a circular motion and the sides and the part where the bracelet connects to the case are polished. There is also a polished bezel that holds the domed acrylic crystal. I love the way the light passes through acrylic crystals. There is nothing like this, so worm, so inviting! The shape of the case protects the twin crowns (signed “CTZ”), one for winding the watch and one for rotating the inner city bezel. The SS caseback is screwed in, marked “parawater”. Parawater is a term used by Citizen to describe what later will become “water resistant”. For more informations about “parawater” follow the link: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2013/12/26/citizen-parawater-citizen-parashock/

The dial is silver with applied Citizen logo and hour markers. They have green luminescent material applied. There is luminescent material on the hands too, except for the seconds hand that is polished and the “GMT” hand that is short and painted red.  The 24 hours ring might be all black or half blue, half black (just as the 2014 released Rolex GMT – ceramic bezel – 40 years later). I have seen it also with a black dial. The KYOTO is the same as Citizen but it was made for France. There was a time when Citizen was not allowed to use Citizen name so it used to sell there by the Kyoto name (very rare watches now).  

The movement is automatic with hand winding capability, hacking seconds calibre 7450, with 21 Jewels. Just as all the other Citizen movement this one is nothing fancy, just a simple working, reliable one. As time passes, you learn to  really appreciate the simplicity of Citizen movement, the sound of it, the movement of the hands…  The date is quickset and it beats at 21.600 bph. The year this one was introduced was 1971. The nice thing about this movement is that added to the three classic hands, there is a forth one (the red small one) that is circling the dial once every 24 hours. In order to operate the Worldtimer function you need to use the 24 hours hand and the inner bezel. You have to rotate the inner bezel until the timezone where you are in is opposite to the 24 hours hand. Then you have to look for the city you want to know the time in and read the time on the inner 24 hours ring, next to that city.

The bracelet is nothing but beautiful. There are other types of bracelet for this model, but this is my favorite. It has an intricate design, with polished dots and brushed links, resembling an armor, and not any armor but a Japanese samurai one. The clasp is also stainless steel signed “Citizen”. It can also be found on leather and I have seen it on rubber or nato. Still looking good. 😉

Update 2016 Apr: Mikko was kind enough to provide me a few pictures with his awesome black and white dial watches side by side. He also noted one particularity. In my watch we have “Central Europe” as in his it is ” London Madrid Rome” in the same space.

vintage citizen automatic worldtimer gmt dual time

Conclusion: A real traveller watch, so entertaining to operate, so simple and so clever, nice wrist presence and gorgeous!

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