Citizen’s Para Water Logo

Citizen was the first company in Japan to launch a watch with a water resistant case, in 1959. In those days such cases were marked ‘Water Proof’, whilst Citizen generally used ‘Para Water’ instead, in line with their ‘Para Shock’  in place of ‘Shock Proof’.  Although Citizen in the main simply printed Para Water on their dials, they did design a logo to go with the term, and was used in literature – ads and technical manuals for example –  and on tags.  I’ve not seen too many tags, but managed to er…tag..this one recently:

The logo is a nice depiction of a scuba diver, and this is occasionally seen printed on some export model dials. Here it is in print, from a mid-1960s technical manual:

The tag measures about 24mm across, seems to be made of a light alloy or maybe aluminium. It’s nice to get hold of these little extras now and again :)

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Radioactive Lume

I am grateful to Mikko, from Finland, who has done some research on the types of lume used by Citizen on their dials. Mikko was interested in vintage divers and chronographs, and managed to get this information from Citizen:

” Watch dials manufactured prior to 1999 may contain promethium. Near the bottom of the dial, if it does, it will state ‘P-Japan-P’. There are only trace amounts of promethium; however, with any radioactive material, it is recommended to avoid prolonged contact. If the dials do not have the marking, there will not be promethium in them. Not all dials pre-1999 would have the radioactive material.”

Promethium is a ‘low energy beta emitter with a half-life of 2.6 years’, so it would seem that there is little or no risk from our vintage watch dials these days.

Mikko was concerned as to whether radioactive lume was used on Citizen’s vintage divers – this was his main query, given he has got quite a number in his collection. It appears that it was not used on all but the 8200 models, i.e. the 51-2273, where the dial is marked          ‘P-JAPAN-P’. It also seems that Citizen never used the more active radium or tritium lume, only promethium.

I’ve added a note about this to the chronograph page – thanks Mikko :)

(Note: I first wrote that radioactive lume was not used on any of Citizen’s vintage divers, but I then noticed that it was used on the 51-2273 model with the 8200 movement. Please let me know if you see ‘P-JAPAN-P’ on any others)

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This Week’s Featured Watch #65 – the Adorex 8050

Citizen produced three ‘Adorex’ models in the mid 1970s. It was their first automatic to feature a uni-directional winding rotor, and was launched using the 8000 movement. This had a unique feature, namely a fine tuning mechanism linked to the crown, so it could be adjusted without removing the case back – see here for more info:

A little later on, Citizen used the first edition of the 8200 movement in the Adorex, with an associated change from high-beat (28,800 beats per hour) to a more standard 21,600 bph. See here for info on that model:

In between these two, Citizen also used the 8050, so this example completes the Adorex line-up:

The 8050 movement is high-beat, running at 28,800bph, and retains a fine adjuster on the balance, but the link to the crown found in the 8000 is dropped. A conventional type of adjuster is used:

Although I have generally been pleased with purchases from Japan, it turned out that this example from September 1974  had been in the wars, so it now features a badly dented back – fortunately it screws on securely:

It looks to me that this watch has been in some kind of accident – besides the damaged back, the bezel has been seriously scraped and  the crystal has been replaced. The dial and hands have survived unscathed though (having compared them to other examples of this model they appear to be original). The dial is a pale blue/green with nice black centred hands and hour markers:

The watch is running ok, so although it has taken quite a bash, it is a survivor :)


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This Week’s Featured Watch #64 – Cosmotron X8 4-480040

I’ve been looking out for the date version of the 0840 Cosmotron since I hadn’t previously found an example – designated the 4840, models with this movement were launched in 1970 and run at 21,600 beats per hour. Since my funds were limited,  I took a punt on a ‘junk’ model on Yahoo Japan, especially because it has the date window at the more unusual 6 o’clock position. Described as not working, even after a battery change, it also had a damaged crystal. After checking that a new crystal was still available, and knowing that I could get it looked at at a later date by Paul at ‘Electric Watches’ I nabbed it, the only bidder, at just ¥1,800 – about £10 ($15). So not a huge loss if it were to prove beyond rescue. On arrival I could see that the dial and hands were in good condition – the hands are an unusual ‘see through’ frame design:

The cracked glass and wear to the case show it has been well used – the case also shows evidence of an original brushed finish.  But the dial and hands are nice:

I have found before that it is always worth trying a new battery even when a seller has already tried one. Here’s a shot of the 12 jewel movement, which thankfully appeared to be in clean condition, with new battery installed:

And to my delight it fired up! :)  Not only did it start to run, but it also keeps good time, and the date change works just fine. So this was turning into a bargain – and a new acrylic crystal made specifically for this model was soon ordered, again at little cost. The damage to the old crystal is even more obvious with the movement removed:

There’s no guarantee that crystals are still available, but Sternkreuz still stock one for this model:


This is a compression fit crystal, and fits directly into the case without a bezel. I’ve not fitted one like this before, so the ‘crack’ as the press located it in place was a bit unnerving! But all was well:

I cleaned and very lightly polished the case to revive it a little, and after re-installing the movement, here’s the result:

The case back is good condition, and shows a production date of April 1970:

So, the gamble in buying a ‘junk’ watch has paid off – always a nice feeling :)

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This Week’s Featured Watch #63 – the 67-9631 Chronograph

Citizen’s mechanical chronographs from the 1970s are relatively well known, especially the ‘bullheads’ with the two sub-register 8110A movement. Known at the time as ‘Challenge Timers’ Citizen’s range of models also included single sub-register models – in fact these were the first to appear for sale, in October 1972. The 8110’s were launched a few months later, in February 1973.

These single register models use the 8100A movement, and examples of these are generally speaking harder to find than the 8110 versions. They feature a minutes sub-dial, with a full size second hand, but no hours sub-register. The 67-9631 is one such model:

The wide ‘cushion’ style case with no bezel is unusual, and the dial is perhaps at its best out of the case:

The movement has the same specifications as the 8110 – it is high beat, running at 28,800 beats per hour and with the fly-back function:

The serial number gives a production date of April 1974:

The 8100s had only a short production run – I don’t think I’ve seen one later than 1974 – which of course helps to account for their scarcity these days.

Finally, this one is now on an original bracelet:

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Some Original Tools

I’m no watch maker, but it is good to be able to do some basic work, especially replacing crystals. So I recently got hold of this box:

A well used box :)  Inside are some very nicely made crystal and bezel fitting tools for ‘OR’ cases, i.e. ‘parawater’ :

Each tool comprises three pieces:

Instructions are included:

Fortunately for me, there are pictures as well as Japanese text:

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‘Speedy’ Restoration Thread Update

I’ve just updated the Speedy restoration page, adding another 67-9313 example just serviced and sorted by Brian. It’s a very nice white dial model in lovely condition. You can see it as #4 in the articles ‘Epilogue’ here:

Thank you to Brian for his pic and notes, and to the owner for giving permission to include his watch in the article.

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