With credit to the sellers on Yahoo Japan for their pictures here are a few of the more unusual watches, which appear to be authentic (to me anyway!) that I’ve seen on the Japanese auctions. First is a Cosmotron, sold recently, and marked ‘Royal Elite’ – this is the only example with this dial that I’ve seen:
Another one-off (so far) is this ‘Elite Special’ Chronomaster:
The case back is typical Chronomaster:
Next is a ‘777’ Autodater – I’ve seen two of these, and this one is in very nice condition – the ‘HMC’ logo on dial suggests this may be a Korean made model:
The case back is very nice too:
Finally a strap :) This is an original Chronomaster strap, and features a leather insert in the buckle:
I try to keep an eye on auctions on Yahoo Japan – it’s clear that there are some serious collectors in Japan! A couple of recent examples, which caused my jaw to drop somewhat, are, first, a watch strap buckle:
(credit to YJ seller for pic)
This buckle sold for ¥80,000, which is just over $770….Why this price? Well the buckle is for the ‘Glorious Citizen’, the top of the range model from the early 1970s. The watch itself is very rare, but the buckle is probably even rarer. It’s a lot of money for a steel buckle!
And yesterday another auction ended – three or four Seiko and Citizen watches, all described as ‘junk’. Yet the final price was ¥480,000 – that’s over $4,600! In the lot was a diver, but no ordinary one – it was a Chronomaster model from the early 1970s. Certified as a chronometer and rated to 500 meters, this is a very special piece, and highly valued as a result even when in ‘junk’ condition. It looked to be in decent condition, but probably not running:
(credit for pic to YJ seller)
My latest Yahoo Japan purchase was at ¥3000, about $29, so I’m not quite in the serious league yet!!
Citizen launched their first automatic watch in 1958 – it was something of a stop-gap model prior to the appearance in late 1961 of the Jet range. The ‘Auto’ was made with either 20 or 21 jewels, and the movement was designated the ‘3KA’. Running at 18,000 beats per hour, the movement used a centrally pivoted rotor, swinging in both directions and driving pawls to wind the main spring. My example is a 20 jewel version:
The font used is unique to the Auto, whilst the back is quite deep to house the winding mechanism:
The movement is hidden under a full bridge which holds the auto winder:
One of the pawls can be seen through the left ‘window’in the above image.
This is a rare watch, one of only a very few I have seen. It has been the subject of a full service and restoration by Brian aka ’31 Jewels’. And as I pieced together research material on this model, I uncovered an interesting back story to the movement. This, and the restoration, is fully documented on the Citizen Auto page: http://sweep-hand.org/the-citizen-auto-1958/
All but one of Citizen’s ‘bullhead’ models, with the 8110A movement, were mounted in ‘base metal’ cases, albeit with stainless steel backs. Some were gold plated or black coated. The only one to use a stainless steel case was the 67-9356 model – and not only was stainless steel notable, the octagonal case shape also gave it a unique look. With either white or black dials, they also feature a larger crown than other 8110A models:
See the Chronograph Page for further information: http://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-chronographs/
I’ve just done a final update to Brian’s restoration page – this is to include one more watch, this time a white Speedy which Brian brought back from the very edge of oblivion! It’s in the page as exhibit 3 in the ‘Epilogue':
I’ve just published the new page, on Citizen’s first automatic watch, launched in 1958. I hope you can find time to read it through – it has been an interesting journey for me :)
Very pleased to say that the watch returned safely today, only four days to ship from Brian back to me :)
In the end I didn’t dare to write the article before the watch was safely back – I didn’t want to tempt fate! So, I hope that in a few days the article should be ready and uploaded….