VIDEO – Citizen Shine


Citizen launched the “Shine” model in 1960. An official press release states that in 1967 a number of 215 watches were donated to 29 different countries to help the blinds, as an effort to support the United Nation program of promoting friendship and world peace. In 1975, 45 years after the first ever Citizen was produced, the company donated 5,000 of these watches to all 10th to 12th graders visually impaired students in Japan.

 

Read more about this model here: https://vintagecitizenwatches.com/2015/01/31/citizen-shine-braille-watch-4-300017ta/

Enjoy!

Vintage aviator Citizen 51-1811


A true “tool” watch for pilots, this is the automatic Citizen 51-1811. 

The inner rotating bezel (slide rule) is very useful for all types of calculations. The interesting thing about this watch is that it was used for its original purpose, as an aviator watch.

Citizen aviator 51-1811

The case is really large at about 42 mm without the crowns. It is made entirely in stainless steel. The front surface of the case is brushed with a circular grain, and the rest is polished. There is an interesting blue light reflecting all the time from the brushed finish, giving it a satinated feel. The winding crown is located at 3 and the one at 2 is for adjusting the inner bezel. The crowns are not signed. The ring bezel holding the large, flat (35mm) mineral crystal is polished too. As pictured, the case integrates the lugs and the twin crowns, protecting them.

The dial is the main attraction of the watch. It is grey, with a sunburst effect. On the outside there is a golden ring with black digits. The golden ring is circled by a thin red zone delimitating the dial from the golden rotating bezel. The entire face of the watch is shiny and powerful. On the grey zone there is the applied Citizen logo, the white painted lettering “automatic 21 jewels”, the day and the date (sharing a single golden frame) and the applied luminous hour markers.  The hands are painted, partially, in black with a luminous line. The sweeping second hand is not painted.

The slide rule is the name of this type of internal bezel. How does it work?  In a few words it is used for multiplication, division, distance and volume conversions, time calculations and percentages.

Pilot aviator Citizen

The movement is the well known 8200A Citizen calibre. It is an automatic movement (it can be also hand winded) beating at 21600 bph with a quickset day and date. It has a unidirectional winding rotor and 21 jewels. Nothing fancy, just an usual Citizen “workhorse”. It has a power reserve of about 44 hours.

The bracelet is a stainless steel one, with a polished center and brushed sides. It compliments the overall shinny design of the watch nicely. It has folded “H” shaped links and a signed “Citizen” clasp. As usual, very comfortable.

RAF aviation watch RAF Citizen

The PAF engraving (and the up pointing arrow) suggest it was in use by the air force and it seams that this was the Pakistan Air Force. So that makes it a tool watch, used for what it was meant to be used.  Just a nice, interesting touch.

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/

Citizen “Day-Date” Seven Star Deluxe 4-520068 T


This is a nice watch story about collecting vintage watches. 

Everybody knows what a NOS watch means, and this one is indeed new old stock, stickers and tags intact, but… the story is not so straight forward.

vintage NOS citizen  4-520068 T

This looks as the day it left production, a NOS Citizen watch, no scratches, clean sharp lines, perfect bracelet, no dirt, perfect acrylic crystal, perfect dial, perfect hands, stickers and tags. And we are talking about an old watch, made in 1969. Let’s see the watch!

The case is made of stainless steel, round, with straight lugs. Al the lines are straight, clear and bold. The watch is polished entirely. The crown is signed, as usually, “CTZ”. There is a perfectly integrated stainless steel bezel that holds in place the acrylic crystal. As you would guess, the crystal raises a little bit on the edges, but the surface is perfectly flat as parallel to one another as possible. The diameter is 39mm and it is “parawater”. (I love this Citizen trademark feature)

The dial is simple, grey, with a sun burst pattern with a date at 3 and the day at 12. Both the day and the date frames are applied and so are the Citizen logo (under the day frame), the baton hour markers (double for 12 o’clock) and the “7” badge at 6 (between the writing – “Crystal Seven” and “33 jewels”).

vintage NOS citizen  4-520068 T

The movement, and now the plot thickens, inside this gorgeous NOS Citizen is… the Citizen NOS calibre 5270, with… 21 jewels! What?! Why is it written on the dial 33 jewels and the watch model suggest it is a 21 jewels movement inside? How come inside is not a 5240 (for example) or another 33 jewels movement? I have an idea, but that will be in the conclusion. As for the calibre 5270, it is an automatic, with a nice black rotor, 21 jewels, that can be winded by hand also, with a day and date function.

The bracelet is a beautiful brushed with two polished longitudinal lines. It has folded links and closes with a beautiful satined (as most of the vintage Citizen should have) clasp. The clasp has a raised polished Citizen logo with sharp lines and edges.

vintage NOS citizen  4-520068 TConclusion: Just a beautiful, clean, honest design watch, but not so honest when it says on the dial that the movement inside should be 33 jewels, but in fact it is a 21 jewels calibre. So, my point of view regarding this is that the dial and the day wheel was changed at a later date. I wonder if the hands and date wheel belong to the watch or to the dial?  After all they are basically on the same base movement (5270 and maybe 5240). I might suspect that this is the way it was made 45 years ago.  So this is just a recent “marriage” watch, made from NOS original pieces. Unfortunately, watch collecting is not always easy. 🙂

Thank you Stephen for your, much more detailed answer, and your blog: http://www.sweep-hand.org: “You can see from this that the case number is for a Seven Star model, not a Crystal Seven. The model is a Seven Star Deluxe in fact with day and date window at 3 o’clock (I have a pic of that in a book, but I’ve not scanned it yet), which uses a 21 jewel 5270 movement. The dial design with a separate day window at 12 o’clock was used in the earlier Crystal Seven models up to 1968 as far as I’ve seen, so a production date of 1969 seems too late for that layout to me. So it looks to me that the NOS case and 5270 movement has been used with a NOS Crystal Seven dial and day/date wheels (I guess they would fit since it’s the same base movement) and although presented as an original NOS piece I doubt that this is correct.”

Vintage Citizen alarm date 67-7050


Let me show you my first vintage Citizen Alarm Watch. 

This is the stainless steel model, the Citizen reference 67-7050, and it is really loud!

Screen Shot 2013-12-25 at 23.04.21One of severals designs that is used by Citizen to fill the gap for alarm watches. This one is my favorite (I will write about some other models), with a blue sunburst dial, the cushion shaped case and this particular vintage bracelet. I love the sound of it, i love the feeling when I wear it and it vibrates. I often set the alarm just for the pure pleasure of hearing it.

The case is, as usual, made of stainless steel, with a polished frontal part and brushed sides, in a sunburst pattern. It is a relatively large watch with a nice wrist presence. The bezel is spectacular, with a combination of polished raised areas and sandblasted lowered square areas. It accommodates two crowns, one for setting the alarm and one for setting the time and date. The crystal is acrylic,domed, with a magnifier for the date.

The dial is the most beautiful part of this watch, bright blue, with a sunburst pattern, white (handwritten characters) writing. There is an outer black ring that has the hour markers, with luminous material (still working today).  The date window (red digits) is a t 3 o’clock, inside a painted white frame. The hands are simple, with a luminous part at the extremities, and the alarm is shaped as an arrow with a triangle inside a circle tip. The dial is bouncing the light in so many different ways that you have to see it in person to fully appreciate the entire beauty and finish.

citizen alarm vintageThe movement used is a handwound movement, based on the famous USSR calibre AS 1475.  There are the calibres 3100 and 3102 (date), 21 Jewels, 18000 bph. This one is the Citizen calibre 3102. The crowns are for the time and the other for the alarm. The crown at 2 o’clock in first position is winding  the alarm and the alarm is deactivated. If you pull it in the second position you can set the alarm (counterclockwise) and the alarm is activated. Pressing it while the alarm is ringing will stop it. The crown at 4 will wind the watch and pulling it out will set the time. The alarm will ring for 13-16 seconds.

The bracelet is shared with other vintage Citizen models but has an interesting design with curved large perforated links.  Nothing much to say about it, but for sure it is well integrated in the general watch design. The clasp is stainless steel, signed (as usual).  

citizen alarm calibre 3102

The box is small, made of plastic and looks like this. It is very rare for a watch to be found with it’s box after all these years.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 16.41.17

Conclusion: Beautiful design, beautiful dial, loud sound.  A true vintage timepiece with an alarm complication.

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