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.
I had a question, I’m looking at buying a seven star deluxe 25 jewel and it mentions it has the 5290 movement. To be honest I’m just wondering if this is even legitimate. Can I send you pictures?
Hi Sid, thanks for visiting my blog – I’ll send you an e-mail so you can get the pics to me,
I received my seven star yacht custom as a birthday present in late sixties or early seventies. It has been through a couple of repairs, the back seal replaced, the winding rotor being reinstalled and the second hand coming off, both a couple of times. I eventually bit the bullet and accomplished these last two minor repairs myself, and the watch still keeps reasonable time. The crystal is scratched, as the watch has been worn under fairly rugged circumstances, but all is intact. It still has the original steel band and I enjoy wearing it. The day/date is black number/letter on white, the opposite to your photo. the marks on the back are similar in the circular enscriptions but a bit different otherwise, being from top to bottom, 4-720474- Y , AUTOMATIC , 11030612 , 67-4915.
if you are interested I could send photos. It is interesting that you indicate some rarity with this model. Is this due more to small production run or other circumstances? Look forward to your comments. Regards Maurice Stubbs
Hi Maurice, thanks for visiting my blog. It’s always good to hear about watches that have been owned from new by the same person, and is still performing reasonably well after a hard life 🙂 From the serial number yours was made in October 1971 (first three digits of the number – 11030612). I am a little puzzled though from your description of a ‘Seven Star’ version, since the case number (4-720474) is from the Custom V2 model. I would love to see photos, especially since it’s on its original bracelet, which might well dispel any confusion! – I can email you and you can send them to me since you can’t post them directly I’m afraid.
I regard these as rare since I have seen only a few of them, especially the Custom V2 model. I think the one I bought has been the only one I’ve seen of that version. I don’t know exactly why this should be so, but they were only made for a short while so maybe there just weren’t that many sold.
By all means email me and I will reply with photos. Interesting your comments about the numbers. Could this be an example of the using up of suitable stocks of cases to complete a production run?? Regards Maurice
Hi Maurice – I did send an email yesterday – have you received that? It’s showing as sent ok on my system. Not sure about the using up of stocks, since the case back provides information to the watch maker for servicing, ordering of parts etc.
Yes, Stephen I have your email and will send photos as soon as I organise them . Regards Maurice.
Thanks Maurice, look out for an email over the weekend 🙂
Hi, I know that this paper is very old, we are in august/2017, but, this is the only information that I saw about my vintage citzen watch. I apparently have one with the same discription of Maurice Stubbs with codes little diferences 4-720474- Y , AUTOMATIC , 10630411 , 67-4915. Interesting is that the days are in portugues, saturday is blue e sunday is red. A received it in a negotiation with one rare omega that I had. It’s very perfect, with small brands an very very beautiful. With you answer me it would be awesome, I can send to you pictures of it. Tks!
Hi Luciano, thanks for visiting my blog, and apologies for my late reply. I’ll send an email so you can send photos 🙂