In the late 1960s Citizen turned their hands (I know, bad pun!) to making a small number of sports watches, as part of the Seven Star line. As well as a couple of diver models, they made three ‘custom’ models designed for rallying, soccer and sailing. None of these models are commonly seen these days, but the latter two are particularly rare, and examples in good condition are especially hard to find.
This week’s model is the sailing variant – the Yacht Custom. My example is well past its prime, but is runnning well and is one of only a very few I’ve seen. As with the other models in this line the case is rated to 100meters, and features a 60 second countdown counter on an inner rotating ring (similar therefore to the ring on the 67-9119 chronograph model). The case is a decent size, measuring 41mm across, excluding crown, and 43mm lug to lug.
The glass is significantly scratched, the black dial is worn and the lume on the hour markers has largely gone and the orange paint at the 55 to 60 second segment of the countdown timer has almost completely faded:
The crown at three o’clock winds and sets the watch – the date quick sets at the first step, whilst the day is set by winding back and forth at 12 o’clock. Day language is English only. The lower crown rotates the inner ring.
The case and back are in decent shape, with serial number showing production in May 1969, whilst the case number indicates that this model uses one of the 52xx movements:
Although not that clear from the first picture, the movement has 25 jewels, so it is at the top end of the Seven Star series, which also came with 21 and 23 jewel variants. However, along only with the Rally Custom, the Yacht Custom 25 jewel movement is designated 5290 rather than 5270, as seen in the rest of the Seven Star series (note: the Soccer Custom uses the 21 jewel non-hacking 5270 caliber). The automatic movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour and hacks as well as hand winds:
When new, these retailed for about JPY12,500. Here’s a scan showing the piece in better condition:
The Seven Star model was not the only ‘Custom’ model to use this countdown ring, since two Custom V2’s also made use of it in the early 1970s, one with a grey dial and blue highlights – although Custom V2 models are often seen for sale, I have yet to see another one of this particular model for sale:
The case design appears to be the same as the Seven Star original, but the ‘Yacht Custom’ logo has been dropped, nor is it depth rated. The movement used now is one of the 72xx series, launched in 1969, whilst this one was produced in April 1970:
Now with the 21,600 beats per hour 7290 23 jewel movement, this one hand winds and hacks:
This model retailed at JPY15,500, so was a mid-range watch, similarly priced to the cheapest (high beat) Leopards.
These sports models, together with their diver contemporaries, were the largest of Citizen’s vintage pieces and are an interesting and somewhat rarer sub-set of their more frequently seen model lines.