This Week’s Featured Watch #81 – the Varia-Matic (A1309)

This week’s featured watch is not one of mine – it belongs to Thierry who contacted me about it recently and kindly sent photos. It’s a rare export ‘Valiant’ version of a Jet Auto-dater, called the ‘Valia-Matic’ on the dial. I have seen a Valiant hand winder before, but not this automatic model.

Here’s a view of the dial side with date window:

As you can see the stainless steel case holds a 21 jewels movement, with date window, and is marked ‘waterproof’ rather than ‘parawater’, indicative of a watch made for export rather than the Japanese domestic market. There is also no ‘Jet’ name printed on the dial and the positioning of the logo, model name and jewel count is different from what would be typically seen on Japanese market Jets.

One appealing aspect of some of these export models is the use of special designs on the back, and this Valia-Matic is no exception:

A closer look of the back reveals what appears to be a Roman legionnaire motif:

The surrounding engraving includes ‘anti-magnetic’, ‘shockproof’, ‘waterproof’ and ‘unbreakable spring’ all of which cater for English speaking markets whilst the serial number – 5110857 – gives a production date of November 1965. The full model name is given as the Valiant Automatic.

As well as the production date the use of a screw down back and the date complication indicate that this is not one of the earliest Jet models, a range that Citizen introduced in 1961. Here’s a nice shot of the movement (so much better looking than a swinging weight design imho):

The ‘A’ in the model number – A1309 – tells us exactly what the movement is. Citizen used this for just two movements, one of which is the hand wound ‘Ace’ which can be discounted here of course. The other is what we are looking for, the 1120/1121, which was first produced in January 1962.

As with all Jets, this movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour. Here’s a link to my blog page which summarises all the Jet movements, to which I now need to add the Valiant Automatic:

The Valiant joins other export model names that were used with more than one movement. The Valiant hand winder for example uses the ‘Homer’ date movement, i.e. the 18xx series. The ‘Newmaster’ is the more common example of these, which was also used with a Jet movement – the Jet variants will always be the more desirable as well as the oldest. Other examples using the Jet automatics are the ‘555’ and the ‘777’ – if you know of any more please let us know.

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Citizen Technical Information – New Links

With thanks to Mark (see comments), please note that the link I posted to the 1971 Technical Information Files is out of date and the files are no longer available. I’ve had a look around and here is the most useful guide, which covers ‘Movements for Gents’ – I was able to download it from this link:

Now I’m getting back to grips with the blog software, I realised I could upload my copies of these files! So they are now all available via a page:

You should be able to download from the page, which is found in the header of the blog.

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It’s been a while….

Well, it is now 2023 and I thought it’s finally time to do a new blog post! I must first apologise for the lack of activity over the past 18+ months and my failure to respond to people’s comments and enquiries. Although I have tried to reply to questions via the ‘Got A Question?’ form on the right side panel, I have not logged comments on the blog itself. Again apologies for that.

After the end of the Covid ‘lockdown’ and my daily posts, I kind of ran out of steam for a while – and then other priorities intervened, particularly relating to elderly parents. Things have now moved on though and my enthusiasm for Citizen’s vintage watches has revived somewhat. So, I hope from now on you will see more posts, and I’ll try to keep the blog ‘alive’.

Given that this blog (like me!) won’t go on forever, I’ve been thinking what might be a useful way forward. Since information about vintage Citizens has always been fairly hard to come by, my intention has always been to provide a source of reference material for fellow Citizen enthusiasts, collectors and even watchmakers. For example, I’ve always had enquiries from people looking for part numbers, servicing information etc., perhaps because they are working on/restoring their old watch. So I will create new pages where I can upload reference information that can’t (easily) be found elsewhere, which will be more accessible than simple posts, which soon get harder to find.

If you need good technical information including disassembly, assembly and servicing, case design and general and specific guidance on movements, please go to these downloadable original English language publications on TheWatchSite (the Seiko & Citizen Forum):

I’ll add this link to the Reference Data found in the right hand panel on the Home Page. Although the information precedes the 81 and 82 movements, and doesn’t cover the earlier Jet movements, it does cover the Citizen’s main movement families from the 1960s and early 1970s.

I do still have a few models that I’ve not yet covered on my ‘Featured Watches’ page, so I will continue with that.

Although comments are very welcome in response to my posts, if you have a question about a vintage watch (maybe one you’ve not got an answer to before!) please use the ‘Got A Question‘ form – thank you.

Finally, I only have reference material on Citizen’s vintage mechanical, electro-mechanical (e.g. the Cosmotrons) and very early quartz watches, i.e. up to 1980. I’m afraid I can’t help much with more recent quartz models and Eco-Drives.

Need pictures to finish… here is my Jet 777 Autodater, one of the rarer models from the early 1960s:

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Internet Repaired, but……

My broadband has been sorted (needed a new cable from the roadside cabinet to the house) but I have missed replies to a few enquiries, especially via the ‘ask a question’ box in the side bar. I do apologise for this. I managed to mark all my emails as ‘read’ so I’m not sure which replies are outstanding.

If you have not heard back from me, please get back in touch and I will try to help with any queries you have.


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Internet Problems!

Apologies for not replying to recent comments, it’s partly due to internet connection problems which have been a PITA especially over the last week or so. An engineer is coming tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll be back in business after that.

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Lost Emails!!

I’ve recently had an email exchange with a blog visitor about a case back marked 62-7275 and 4-540310 – unfortunately all the emails have gone missing, despite searching every folder! No idea how this has happened, but please get back to me 🙂

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Questions and Comments

Thank you for asking about your watches, or ones you are interested in – I have a few yet to answer, and should be able to get to them over the next day or two 🙂

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.


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Season’s Greetings

Thank you for visiting and following my blog. Best wishes for 2021 and I hope you are able to enjoy Christmas despite the impact of the pandemic.

Posted in Vintage Watches | 6 Comments

Citizen’s Record Master Chronographs

I’ve covered Citizen’s range of automatic chronographs in some detail, but made less reference to their hand wound models based on the 5700 calibre. I’m now very pleased to bring your attention to a new reference page, put together by an avid 5700 collector, which provides excellent detail about all the hand wound chronographs Citizen produced in the late 1960s / very early 1970s. It is very well put together, with great textual and pictorial information, and can be found here:

The Ultimate Citizen Recordmaster Collectors Guide

I’ve also added a link to my Blogroll

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Citizen Parawater – The Oceanic Tests Update

English language sub-titles are now included in this excellent YouTube video:

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