A Special Leopard Highness

Jeremy, a visitor here, recently asked for my observations about a watch he was looking to buy. I was happy to help, especially when it turned out that the watch in question is a rare thing. It’s a Leopard Highness, and that name already indicates a high end watch of some rarity. However, this is one of the rarest versions of that line – and having now acquired it, Jeremy has kindly agreed that I can share it here, with all credit to him of course for all but the last photo in this post. Let’s have a look at it 🙂 :

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Quite something, I think you’ll agree. The wide, highly polished case frames a very nice cream dial, and fairly unusually for a Leopard Highness, it is signed ‘Super Beat 10’ rather than the more typical ‘36000’.  But what really grabbed my attention was the case back:

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The first thing I saw was this special back, a snap on type rather than a screw down one I would normally expect to see. But then I also saw the case material code – Ti – and the ‘scratchproof’ description. Note as well that the underside of the upper case is not polished, rather it’s a matt grey colour. So what we have here is a rare model indeed – a Leopard Highness in a Titanium Carbide case. I have seen very few of these, and as far as I know this is the only case shape used for this model, and I suspect it had a very short production run, probably only a year or two in late 1970 and 1971. Fortunately I had saved images from one other I’d seen of this particular model with this dial and back, so I could verify it’s authenticity for Jeremy.

It seems that the ‘Ti’ code was used only briefly, and was replaced by ‘UHA’ – Ultra Hard Alloy, possibly because it is a more descriptive term for the material.

The case construction is interesting – this is how Jeremy described it to me: The case is made up of 2 parts. An inner steel component where the hard alloy part sits over and are attached together by some kind of clear epoxy resin. The hard alloy part is polished on top and at the sides, I didn’t weigh it but it feels light unlike tungsten which I was expecting the hard alloy to be

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The crystal fits flush to the top of the upper case, and the crown is signed as you’d expect:

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Here’s the 28 jewel high beat 7230 movement, looking pretty good too:

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Another look at the beautiful dial:

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I have seen other dial designs with a more 1970s vibe, but I personally prefer the elegance of Jeremy’s example. Here’s an ad and a catalogue image from 1971 of these – note the price – these were a lot of money then, and the catalogue scan on the right shows the ‘UHA’ material code (apologies for the fold in the paper and subsequent distortion on the left!). From one or two examples I’ve seen for sale, these also had a screw down back rather than the sculpted type on Jeremy’s. This pic also shows the original bracelet for these:

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I must thank Jeremy again for allowing me to feature his watch. It’s the first one I’ve seen in detail, so a very worthy piece to show you here.

 

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So different….yet much the same

On the face of it these two watches are very different – first is this Bulova from 1966. It’s a small watch, with a simple round case and easy to read dial with bold lumed markers:

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Second, from 1973, is this high end Citizen – a smart dress watch with an angular steel case:

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But of course what makes a watch is the movement, and here these two are practically the same. The Bulova, although an American company had some of its movements and cases made in Switzerland – this is a Swiss made 214H in an American made case:

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The Hisonic has almost the same movement, but branded Citizen since it was made under licence in Japan and designated as the 3701A – you can see differences in the design following a few years  of development:

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Citizen had a close relationship with Bulova, and supplied parts for the Accutrons. I believe it was the only company to make the movements ‘under licence’ and this is stamped on the movement:

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The Accutron is my only non-Citizen watch (although Citizen now owns Bulova so I suppose it kind of is a Citizen 🙂 )  Since these pics were taken I’ve had it serviced and a new crystal fitted, so it looks pristine.  You’ll have noticed that there is no visible crown, since these are set via a small folding handle set into the case back, which also hacks the watch when it is lifted:

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What’s great about both of these is the smooth action of the second hand – driven by a tuning fork and running at 360 beats per second they do look – and sound – cool 🙂 Amazing technology, first produced in 1960, they run very accurately – Bulova guaranteed them to be within +/- 60 seconds per month.  I recommend these ‘hummers’ to any collector.

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Source for Vintage Citizen Divers’ Inserts

I’ve just seen a thread on the Seiko and Citizen watch Forum about a source for reproduction inserts for a couple of Citizen’s 150m 1970s divers. If you’ve not seen it already, here’s a link: 150mInserts

I’ve not seen one in my hand, but I believe the guy who is doing them is reputable and is well known for Seiko stuff.

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A Tale of Citizen’s Big Cats – Part 2

With thanks of course to Brian, I’ve just added Part 2 to the page on Citizen’s big cat models. This includes information on the ‘Black Cheetah’, an intriguing 19 jewel hand-winding model…

Here’s a link – if you’ve read Part 1, just scroll down the page to find the latest update: https://sweep-hand.org/a-tale-of-citizens-big-cat-family/https://sweep-hand.org/a-tale-of-citizens-big-cat-family/

 

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More of Brian’s Speedy Restorations

I’ve just added two more Speedy restorations to Brian’s 67-9313 page. And corrected a spelling error in a previous update – sorry Mr. Merson! Here’s a quick link to the page: Brian’s 8110A Restoration – the 67-9313 ‘Speedy’

And I’ll soon be adding the second instalment of Brian’s ‘Tale of Citizen’s Big Cat Family’, so please watch this space 🙂

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Chrono Master Problem……resolved

The only problem with my Chrono Master Chronometer…..

…..is the case back medallion:

I did manage to find a replacement recently:

And today I got to work – after taking advice from Brian (aka 31 Jewels) I placed the case back in hot water for a short while. I used tap water as a gentle start to what I thought would be a tough process, but in fact it popped off easily. Helped I would think by the moisture getting behind the medallion and weakening the bond:

The new one has gone in with epoxy so should be a permanent addition! :

Pleased to have an undamaged example now 🙂

 

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Citizen 8100A & 8110A Chronographs Instruction & Parts Booklet

I’ve added scans of Citizen’s booklet covering their 8100 and 8110 chronograph movements to the Automatic Chronograph page. It’s in .pdf format so you should be able to download it if you wish. The cover gives two great reference watch images, especially for the band used on the black cased 8100’s:

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As a ‘new product digest’, and given the detail it provides including parts diagrams and lists, I presume this was given to dealers in 1972 when these movements were first produced. The link to the booklet will stay on the chronograph page, but here’s the link as well: CitizenChronographBooklet

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