This Week’s Featured Watch #69 – Chrono Master Chronometer Auto Day Date

The original automatic Chrono Masters were Citizen’s high end models in the 52 family of movements, which included the relatively well known Crystal Seven range. Several levels of accuracy were incorporated into the Chrono Master line-up – the standard model, the Chronometer, the Special and the Superior Chronometer Special. They also produced hand winding models, and one electro-mechanical (‘X8′) version – for comprehensive information on all the range see this page:

http://sweep-hand.org/the-chrono-masters/

My example is the Chronometer Auto Day Date, with the 33 jewel 5240 movement, and was made in May 1969:

The movement hacks, and the crown is in the hacking position in the above image. Not all of the Chrono Masters came on steel bracelets, but this one did and has 20mm lugs. I’m not convinced that the bracelet is original – catalog pics show a mesh design – and the end links are not a snug fit, so I replaced it with black leather, which was also the original retail option for Chrono Masters:

The eagle motif used exclusively on the dial of the Chrono Masters is repeated in the form of a gold medallion on the back – the wear on this one helped keep the price to an affordable (for me) level!:

The case number is 4-520840 – these can also be found with earlier style number of ACSS2929. The case is in good condition, with no dings, just some light scratches. The crown is signed with the older style ‘C’ mark, which I think was used on all the Chrono Masters:

On the standard and Chronometer models, unlike the Specials and Superior Chronometers, there is no fine adjuster on the balance:

The movement number is stamped near the balance wheel:

This movement run at 18,000 beat per hour, so in good condition this is an accurate vintage piece – they are less likely to suffer from excessive wear that may be found in high beat pieces, and need less frequent servicing too. They are, therefore, worth considering if a high end vintage watch is what you are after.

The Chrono Master name has been retained by Citizen and a modern high end quartz model gives accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per year. That is more likely to be the daily variation of one of the vintage models :)

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Interesting Film on the History of Japanese Clocks and Watches

Here’s a link to a short documentary film about Japanese clock and watch making. Before Japan adopted global standard time, variable hours were used according to the season and length of day and night. The ‘Myriad’ variable hours clock from the mid-1800s featured in the video is a marvel! The film was supported by Seiko so you won’t see much of Citizen, but it’s well worth a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDyjCWTrpCo

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Little Things……

I noticed a neat little coincidence on the movement of my 33 jewel Chrono Master auto-dater. It’s a Chronometer model so the movement has its own unique serial number:

And if you add up the individual numbers in the serial number, what do you get? 33 of course :)

I should get out more!

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This Week’s Featured Watch #68 – the 67-9313 Chronograph, aka the ‘Speedy’

Citizen’s range of mechanical ‘Challenge Timer’ chronographs, using the 8110A movement, included a number of models that were very ‘1970s’ in their design. One model, however, was of a more ‘classic’ design – the 67-9313. With two dial variations, black and ‘white’ it has become known as Citizen’s ‘speedy’, based on its resemblance (particularly the bezel insert and case designs) to the famous Omega Speedmaster. which had been launched in 1957. A key difference of course is that the 8110A has two sub-registers, for hours and minutes, whilst the Omega has three since it has a continuous second sub-dial. The Omega was also hand wind only until around 1988 when automatic versions were introduced, also with day and date complications.

The Citizen 8110A movement is also notable for its high-beat rate (28,800 beats per hour), its ‘fly-back’ capability and compact design. Unlike the Omega, the Citizen ‘speedy’ had only a short production run in the mid-1970s, and is now one of the most desirable vintage Citizens.

This week’s watch is my ‘white’ dialled version – in fact the dial is a silvery white finish rather than plain white, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll call it white :) :

White dials are hard to refurbish if they have faded or discoloured badly, so finding a good dial is a major plus when looking at these.  This one came on a steel bracelet, which I have replaced with a black leather strap – I prefer leather – and I wasn’t entirely convinced the bracelet was original, mainly because of the only approximate fit of the curved ends, but it is of the correct style:

This one is from October 1976, and is correctly marked for this model (note to self – need to clean those notches on the case back!):

The crown is quite small on this model, and is partly recessed into the case – it is signed ‘CTZ':

As cases collect scratches and dings over the years, it’s inevitable that they are sometimes polished. This can remove at least some of the original finish and sharpness, which has a mix of brushed and polished areas:

The bezel on this model gives some protection to the insert, certainly compared to some of the other models in the range. And replacement inserts are not available these days. I don’t think this one has seen a great deal of wrist time:

Brian’s page on the restoration of the 8110A speedy is a great read if you’re interested in this model: http://sweep-hand.org/brians-8110a-restoration-the-speedy-67-9313/

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Citizen 52-0110 Diver – Extreme Test!

Mikko kindly sent me the link to a great story about a 52-0110 diver found on a beach in Australia. Made in 1997, the watch was found in 1983. I think it’ll need a new bezel insert….

http://promaster.citizen.com.hk/en/behind_story.html

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Diver Page Update

Another update today – first I’ve added a pic of an orange dialled 52-0110 kindly sent to me by Martin (Martback).

Second I found a pic of a rather battered 62-6198 box, which shows that it was known as a ‘Challenge Diver‘. It may be other models from the 1970s were also known as this, echoing the ‘Challenge Timer’ name give to Citizen’s range of chronographs during the same period.

Thirdly, although this is not an update to the page, I have been searching and searching for another blue dialled example of the 52-0110, but with no luck so far. If you spot anything please let me know!

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‘New’ 100m Diver

It’s rare to come across a watch that I’ve not seen before – but it has happened this week. It’s a complete surprise to me since it is from an already relatively rare range that was produced for only a short time around 1969, with the rather eccentric name of ‘Dandy Seven’. These were part of the ’52’ family using only (as far as I know) the 27 jewel 5204 movement. I have an example of one of these, which were aimed at the younger market and used colour on the dial and with ‘modern’ (at the time) case designs. So a diver version is somewhat remarkable. Although I’ve now included it on the Diver Page, I thought it warrants a post of its own (with acknowledgement for the images to the owner):

My first reaction when I saw this was to wonder whether it was an authentic model, but looking closely at the instruction manual, you can see mention of the external bezel ‘Register Ring and Safety Diving Depth) and the dial is reproduced in the booklet:

As you can see it has tags as well and appears to be in mint condition on its original bracelet, possibly a previously unsold (‘NOS’) piece.

The dial layout, with split day and date windows is the same as my example, which suggests to me it has the 5204 movement inside. The bi-rotational bezel and insert appear to be unique to this model – note the large lume pip is not in a silver triangle – as does the dial design with additional timing measures:

No model number, just case number 4-520688, with a production date of May 1969:

This is what makes Citizen collecting so interesting for me – you never really know what might appear next! This is a very, very rare thing, and I won’t be surprised if I never see another. The asking price on Yahoo Japan reflected that. Needless to say I wasn’t in a position to buy it!

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