This Week’s Featured Watch #71 – The Super Crystal Date

In the mid 1960s Citizen introduced a new and extensive line of watches, using their 52 automatic movement. This marked the launch of the successful Crystal Seven line, which is one of the better known names from Citizen’s back catalogue. These watches were the first (for Citizen) to use hardened mineral glass rather than acrylic crystals, and this is reflected in the model name.

Also part of the 52 range are the high end Chrono Master automatic models, featuring highly tuned versions including chronometer grade pieces (http://sweep-hand.org/the-chrono-masters/).

The 52 movement features day and date windows, and these carry the ‘Seven’ moniker as a result: http://sweep-hand.org/2011/06/23/this-weeks-featured-watch-8-the-crystal-seven-27-jewels/. But (as with the Chrono Masters) date only models were made, and their movements are designated ’54’. And because they didn’t qualify as ‘Sevens’ they were simply called Crystal Dates: http://sweep-hand.org/2012/05/10/this-weeks-featured-watch-32-the-crystal-date-17j/

In between the standard Crystal Date and the Chrono Master, Citizen also produced the ‘Super Crystal Date’, a relatively rare piece. With the 33 jewel 5410 movement, these were subject to enhanced accuracy regulation at the factory, as was done in the Super Jets, Super Deluxe and other ‘Super’ designated models. Also, like the Chrono Master, they have a second setting (‘hacking’) function.

A good Super Crystal Date is hard to find, so this one is a welcome addition to the collection:

The case, hands and dial markers are very reminiscent of the Chrono Masters. The unique italic font of the model name differentiates it however from all other models, whilst the jewel count is a simple, bold ’33’. And, as is typical of many ‘Super’ models there are three stars above the 6 o’clock marker. Sometimes these are printed, but here they are very nicely applied to the silver white dial:

The crown is signed with the ‘C’ emblem:

The 5410 movement is distinguished by ‘Super’ on the rotor, filled with red paint :

Now to one of the best features :) Although not always found on these, this model has a special case back design used on Super Automatics:

The emblem shows a stylised rocket or jet plane, within a pair of wings and with a gear and the three ‘super’ stars underneath. The older style model number is used – AUDS2803 – and the serial number gives a production date of December 1966.

It is running well, with very accurate timing from its 18,000 beat per hour movement. This model has been on my ‘want’ list for a long time, not least because of this:

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Leopard Chronometer – Trailer…..

My Leopard Chronometer came back from the USA recently – it has been carefully repaired and serviced by Brian Leiser (aka ’31Jewels’). When I first acquired it the watch had a couple of problems  – one in particular was a major issue – but Brian was able to use his skills to sort it out :)

The work Brian has done will be shown in detail at a later date, so for now here is a quick look. Brian sourced a new OEM crystal (they were either faceted or flat), and it is now running at no worse than +4 seconds per day, in all positions – not bad for a well used and previously not so well looked after watch from 1970!:

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Original ‘Speedy’ Bracelet – jury still out?

After my last post about the likely original bracelet for the 67-9313 ‘Speedy’ bracelet, Brian Leiser (’31 Jewels’) has pointed out to me that the original would probably have an embossed rather than an engraved clasp. He also observed that the end links would have a better curved fit to the case. So I guess that until a definitive contemporary image is found, the jury is still out!

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The original 67-9313 ‘Speedy’ Bracelet?

The 67-9313 chronograph from the 1970s, known as the ‘Speedy’ was originally sold on a steel bracelet. So far I have not been able to find a clear catalog image so it has been something of a mystery. This is the best I have found!:

Over the last couple of days a guy called Steve, from the USA , and I have been talking about this issue – both of us have white Speedies that came on bracelets thought to be original, so we have given it some thought :)

The first point to be made is that the case has been designed for straight ended links. Steve provided this photo, showing how the space between the lugs has been cut out for a straight fitting:

The bracelet on both our Speedies fit this gap snugly:

Interestingly bot our bracelets have a slight dent on the centre of the end link where it presses against the upper case – Steve’s:

Mine:

I’ve found a few more on the internet with this bracelet, and it appears to be the same style as the catalog image. It’s folded link, with no part number, but our conclusion is that this is most likely the original bracelet…..

With thanks to Steve for his input and photos :)

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Been thinking about favourite watches….

….and one I often come back to is a ‘UNI’ Auto Dater from 1965, which I’ve been wearing today. The UNI was the first Citizen to use a swinging weight automatic movement – the 1400. Introduced in 1963, it marked the phasing out and ultimate demise of the Jet movement.

Technical details aside, the lovely ‘linen’ dial puts this firmly in the ‘favourites’ category:

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Oops….

Sometimes what otherwise might be a nice dial restoration is spoilt by lack of attention to details like……spelling:

This watch was for sale recently – probably a Homer movement in this ‘Ctizne’ gold-plated hand-winder. Oops!

(credit to the seller for the photo)

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A ‘New’ Diver…..

I’ve been very busy with family commitments lately – good ones :) – so I have not posted too much. Things are settling down at home now, so it’s time for a new post. And it’s time for something a little bit exciting – nothing less than the discovery of a previously unseen diver!

One of the joys of collecting and, more importantly, researching vintage Citizens in the absence of reliable reference material, is that ‘new’ models can be unearthed. It’s important of course to somehow authenticate a ‘new’ model, since it could be a ‘franken’ or an outright fake….

Some time ago I spotted a diver style watch for sale in Japan – I wasn’t convinced at that time that it was correct, so I archived the pics and ‘sat on it’. And then, just recently. I saw another example, also with clearer images. My conclusion is that this is an authentic, original piece, so I am posting about it now :)

And it’s unusual! This is a hand winding diver, rated at 120 meters, with an external bezel. What is rather cool is that it is no ordinary hand winder, but a white/silver dialled 25 jewel ‘Super Deluxe’:

Notably this watch features no lume, not even a pip on the bezel, so its practicality as a diver is somewhat limited! It seems to me that the case is a one-piece type – doesn’t look to me to be a snap on type looking at the shape:

The ‘monocoque’ case suggests it was made to a diving specification. The case/model number – D1307051 – is a genuine number, and ‘D’ probably means ‘Diver’. In my case parts manual the data for this model is marked ‘x’, i.e. a one piece case that can’t be opened from the back.

Here is a pic of the first of these I spotted, well two actually:

The case backs both seem to show production in 1965:

So there we have it – the Super Deluxe 120m diver :)  Before I add it to the diver page I’d like to hear what people think, so please post your comments.

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