In 1965 Citizen launched a major line of watches called the ‘Crystal Seven’. The name is derived from the type of glass used, the first time Citizen used ‘crystal’ glass – I’m not sure if this was sapphire or equated for example to Seiko’s ‘Hardlex’ mineral glass. The ‘Seven’ continued Citizen’s use of this title first seen a year earlier, in 1964, in both auto-dater and hand-winding models.
Using automatic movements (the 52xx series) with oscillating weights rather than the circular geared rotors as seen in earlier ‘Jets’, the new range was extensive in terms of both jeweling and models. It was Citizen’s main automatic line of watches at that time, and although production was not long-lived – there are no Crystal Sevens in the 1971 catalog – it was clearly successful, and is the most commonly seen vintage Citizen automatic watch in the on-line auctions. No doubt as a result of this, an example of the Crystal Sevens proved to be my first vintage Citizen purchase, and since I was impressed with its quality it became a key influence in my collecting focus.
The model I acquired sits more or less in the middle of the line, having 27 jewels – the jeweling ranges from 21 to a whopping 43, Citizen’s highest jeweling of any of its watches. Original prices reflected the jewel count, starting at JPY9,800 (21j) to JPY19,500 (43j). Mine would have cost about JPY13,500 when it was made in 1968:
On it’s very comfortable ‘beads of rice’ bracelet, the watch features a blueish silver dial and has a good quality set of hands with black centres and a well finished chapter ring:
The back is marked with the Crystal Seven logo, and shows a production date of April 1968:
The movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour, and typically the rotor is signed and includes the jewel count:
Given the extensive model line-up, this won’t be the only Crystal Seven to feature here – which will also reflect the importance and popularity of this watch in its day – whilst a good example of this line is a great buy either for regular use or as a collection piece.