This Week’s Featured Watch #32 – the Crystal Date 17j

When the well known Crystal Seven series was launched in 1965, using the ’52’ base caliber, a number of other models were also produced with variants of this movement. I’ve covered two of them in previous ‘Featured Watch’ posts – the 520 (https://sweep-hand.org/2012/03/20/this-weeks-featured-watch-27-the-520-auto-dater/) and the 540 (https://sweep-hand.org/2012/04/28/this-weeks-featured-watch-31-the-540-auto-dater/). The latter was the date only version of the 52xx movement, and this was also used in the more attractively named ‘Crystal Date’.

The Crystal Date was made with 17, 21, 27 and 33 jewel 5400 and 5401 movements, and there was also a Super Crystal Date Model, using the 33 jewel movement. I’m assuming from the name that it had the same hard mineral glass used in the Crystal Sevens. Most noteworthy is that the Crystal Dates (and another model using the same movement, the ‘Compact’) feature a special applied logo on the dial, above the 6 o’clock marker. This week’s watch is the 17 jewel variant, which has elegant lumed hands and lumed dots outside the hour markers:

Typical of its day, the bezel is fluted, whilst the back shows production inMarch 1967. The back carries the rarer ‘OR’ case type code:

The crown is the older ‘C’ style:

Here’s the 5401 identification on the movement:

And finally back to the logo – on this one it’s a mix of applied and printed. The central part is an applied decorative ‘A’, for automatic, with a printed design around it:

On higher jeweled models, the logo is all applied, and they also have an applied rather than printed ‘Citizen’ signature. Click on the ’52 Crystal 7 / Seven Star Family Tree’ blogroll link to see where the Crystal Date fits in the movement group.

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8 Responses to This Week’s Featured Watch #32 – the Crystal Date 17j

  1. dfkafka says:

    Did all Crystal Date watches come with luminous hands? I just purchased a 17j model but it doesn’t have luminous hands.

  2. sweephand says:

    thanks for your kind comments 🙂 Enjoy your Crystal Date, it’s a nice one to have, and seen much less often then the Crystal Seven.
    Stephen

  3. Ronald Yu says:

    I have a similar Crystal date like yours and I wish to replace the crystal with a 3-facet one to make it look like a Seiko 6146 8010. Both have logos in the same position on the dial. Do you think Citizen has ever made such size crystal ? It seems to be rather big, at lease 32mm or over, is there any suitable replacement from the after market product? Thanks.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Ronald, thanks for visiting my blog, and apologies for my slow reply. I’m not sure whether you can get a three facet crystal as per the Seiko to fit the Crystal Date. But here are the specs for the crystal, so if you can match it with a suitable crystal you might be able to do it:

      Stephen

  4. Ronald Yu says:

    Thanks very much.

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