Hisonic…A Boxed Set

Having a good vintage watch is one thing (a good thing of course🙂 ), but having some of the ephemera that go with it makes it a little more special. Not least because by their nature ephemera are things that were used only in the relatively short term and were not designed to last a long time, so they can be hard to find…..here’s an example:

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Inside the Cover: SONY DSC

And the watch in its place:SONY DSC

The box is hinged so the watch can be displayed:SONY DSC

The original cloth: SONY DSC

And the instruction / guarantee booklet: SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

Finally the leather strap and buckle:SONY DSC

More detail on the watch itself is here: https://sweep-hand.org/2012/01/07/this-weeks-featured-watch-19-the-hisonic/

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Citizen’s Case Material Codes

I’ve just added – finally! – a new page listing all the case material codes that Citizen used up to the late 1970s. It’s as comprehensive as I can make it, but there may be more codes out there, which I can add of course if they can be verified. Some of the codes are obscure and very rare – I’ve not ever seen quite a number of them. It looks like some were used for only a short while when new materials were first used. For example ‘TI’ was used for cases and bezels made from titanium carbide, but this was replaced fairly quickly by ‘UHA’ – Ultra Hard Alloy. Maybe this was to avoid any confusion between ‘TI’ and Titanium, which was first used in 1970.

As always, comments and additional information are very welcome🙂

Here’s a quick link to the page: https://sweep-hand.org/citizen-case-material-codes-used-on-vintage-models-to-c-1980/

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My Most Accurate Timepiece…..

…….is this wall clock, made in the late 1960s I believe:

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The Rhythm company became affiliated to Citizen in the mid 1950s, and clocks and some watches continued to be made using that name. This 30 day pendulum clock requires very little adjustment, typically about 30 seconds when being wound so only 1 second or so per day, which isn’t bad for a 50 year old piece.  The day date feature is great, as is the power reserve indicator which scrolls from right to left until it is completely red to indicate that winding in required. It also strikes on the hour and half hour, but the bell is pleasantly soft so it can be running all the time without disturbing the whole house!

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The 67-9071 Chronograph Dials – Close Up & Personal

With many thanks to ‘Marty’, who sent me excellent macro shots, I’ve got some pics to share….and a question or two to ask🙂  First though, which watch are we looking at? It’s the 67-9071 model from the 1970s fly-back chronograph range, i.e. with the 8110A twin register movement. Sometimes referred to as a ‘monaco’ in style, the lower case is black coated alloy, with an angular steel  upper case. It’s not too common a watch, and to find one in good condition is difficult – mine is not so good, so Marty’s images of his two examples are very useful and welcome in exploring the finer detail. The 67-9071 came with two primary dial colours, green and gold. This is Marty’s green example:

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And this is the gold version (not Marty’s):

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There was also a gold version with white lettering – this is from a 1974 catalog so definition is not great – it’s hard to see colours on the sub-dials for example, but a great reference for the original strap:

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So let’s take a closer look. First the green dial – the textured finish on the main dial and sub-dials is nicely shown, with crisp printing:67-9071green3_zpszmsjmvsa

….and a clear dial code:67-9071green2_zpsmg6ijubr

When we look at the gold dialled example, we get to the questions:67-9071gold4_zps0a9if0zk

The printing is not quite as fine, and there is a slight gap in ‘chrono graph’ – that style can be found at least on one of the 8100 models though. Many of the finish and colours look very good, but there is less texture on the dial and sub-dials. 67-9071gold1_zpsh8llrzm6

Dial code looks good, but the font on the sub-dials is narrower than on the green one and gold reference example, and some of the numbers are positioned slightly further away from the sub-dial track: 67-9071gold2_zpskxjuewxy

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I have seen the exact same dial on another model, sold as ‘mint and original’:67-9071mintampstrap_zpsl6xa8st8

Well, it’s not mint, and either the applied Citizen logo or the printing looks to be slightly out of line, but is it original?  Marty and I have considered this issue, and at the moment we think it is more likely to be after market, but we’d like to hear from others, especially if you are an owner of one of these. What do you think……?

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Don’t have the shirt anymore….

….but I still have the watch🙂

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This is the 67-9038 from Citizen’s 1970s range of fly-back chronographs. Hard to find in good condition, got to be careful with this one:

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Twin Crown Diver from 1970

In the wider world, Citizen is maybe not so well known for its vintage mechanical watches, and particularly for their divers made from the mid 1960s and through the 1970s. Although there’s a page on this blog which describes the various divers (https://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-divers-1962-to-1980/) there is sometimes a little detail or two to add. And with many thanks to Bill,  a visitor to my blog, I am able to add a little bit of information on Citizen’s twin crown range.

Rated at 100 meters, although not a ‘compressor’ diver  Citizen’s design has a similar look  – two crowns, one to wind and set the watch, and the other to move the inner rotating ring. As far as I know they were produced around 1968 to 1970, using the 5270 automatic movement, a variant of the 52 series of calibres first produced in 1965. This was a very successful family of movements, used in two of Citizen’s better known ranges, the Crystal Seven and Seven Star, as well as high end Chrono Masters and some less well known models – see here for a ‘family tree’: https://sweephand.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/52familytree-v2secure.pdf

Typical of its day, the movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour. The 5270 variant has 21 jewels with date / day complications, quick setting for the date only, and no ‘hacking’. Japanese domestic market models carry the ‘Seven Star’ and ‘parawater’ monikers whilst export models lose the model name and are marked ‘waterproof’.  There were several dial colours – black, blue, silver and red. And this brings us to Bill’s example – a nice example of the black version:

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The ‘Mercedes’ hour hand is typical of these, although occasionally they can be found with a straight hand. I’ve noticed that the inner rotating rings, turned by the upper crown, seem to wear very well, even on examples where+ the dial itself is poor. Note the dial code below the six o’clock marker – the presence of a correct dial code is a good sign of originality. Also note the radial brushing on the upper face of the case and well defined angles and curves, which show that the case has not been polished.

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The two crowns are identical, and are signed, with ‘CTZ’ on this example, or with ‘C’ on others. The case measures about 42mm across, and is comfortable on the wrist. The acrylic crystal sits high on the face of the watch:

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The screw down case back is typical of Citizen pieces from this era:

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Note that the back is stamped ‘parawater’ rather than proof – this is not that unusual and is not of concern when considering correctness. The case number – 4-520343 – is clearly marked, and the serial number (00321363) gives a production date of March 1970 – from the first three digits. And this brings us to the new piece of information: most of these models have the case number, but no model number, but on this one a model number is stamped on the back – 61-5111.  This is something I can add to the diver reference page.

Many thanks again to Bill for sharing his watch – all photos are his and should not be reproduced elsewhere without permission.

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Busy, busy, busy….

I realised today that it’s over month now since my last post! Although I’ve been trying to keep on top of my replies to comments, I haven’t done the same with posting. I shall try to up the posting rate, since I’ve still got a few watches to feature from my collection, as well as the Movement Table to update and I want to publish a guide to Citizen’s case material codes. Unfortunately grand parenthood and other family commitments demand time🙂  And those pesky Olympic Games came along and distracted me too.

So, a quick post now about how a nice but not particularly rare piece can be enhanced – namely finding something original to go with it. For example an original box, and / or papers is a very good way to improve the collectability of a watch. Having the original bracelet is of course always good news, but a much rarer addition is to find an original (usually leather) strap. These deteriorate relatively quickly so are usually disposed of and replaced over the years. So finding one in good condition is a real bonus – and although I always would want to wear watches rather than store them away in drawer, not wearing a good leather strap might be advised to keep it in top condition. Here’s an example on my Homer Railroad watch:

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Here’s a link for more info on the Railroad watch: https://sweep-hand.org/2012/03/26/this-weeks-featured-watch-28-the-homer-railroad-watch/

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