This Week’s Featured Watch #44 – the Crystal Seven Custom 23 jewels (4-521226Y)

Following the launch of its Crystal Seven line in 1965, Citizen later introduced ‘custom’ models with more modern designs, reflecting the design trends of the late 1960s / early 1970s. Using the 5204 movement with 23 jewels this model – case number 4-521226Y – has an unusual dial and hand set. Although rather too heavily polished my example is otherwise OK, and since they are not often seen I can live with the refurb :):

The dial features 5 minute markers rather than the standard hour markers, with lumed batons on the chapter ring. The main hands are interesting, with straight black blades that have painted white centres and luminous points:

The back shows rather too enthusiastic polishing – serial number gives production date of August 1969:

The 5204 movement runs at 18,000bph, with hand winding, but does not hack:

The crown is typically signed:

The Crystal Sevens were a medium to high grade range, and the Custom models offer some interesting alternatives to the more traditional models.

Here’s another example featured a little while ago:

And here’s a more conventional design:

Finally, it’s worth noting that Citizen used the same dial (with different model logos) and hand set, but in a squarer cushion case in their subsequent Seven Star Custom V2 line, as seen in this 1971 catalog image:


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7 Responses to This Week’s Featured Watch #44 – the Crystal Seven Custom 23 jewels (4-521226Y)

  1. That is a great dial, I really like it.

  2. Did the dial come in any other color combinations, or is this it?

  3. Oh, and I agree…it looks better on the leather.

  4. Hector GC says:

    Hi Stephen, I have just bought a Crystal Seven today at an antiques bazar. I’ve been reading your blog for most of the day and although i has been really really helpful to know what I bought, I have some questions and be really glad if you could help.

    The case back engravings are: PARAWATER / STAR / ACSS 2815-Y / S.S. / —-Crystal Seven / AUTOMATIC / 90109519 / G.N.

    From what I’ve learned in your blog I guess it was made in january 1969? That it is a custom crystal seven also known as the niagara just like the one shown in some of your pics, with a pewter-ish color dial and red/silver hour markers. “The one made to appeal younger buyers”

    I dont know if my guessings are right and really appreciate more info. My main question is: The caseback reads AUTOMATIC, but the watch is hand wind able. Can it be both? Can an automatic be hand windable? Or is it just handwindable. As far as I understand Automatic meant that you didn’t have to do anything but move your wrist to keep the watch working.

    Thank you, greetings from northern Mexico.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Hector, thank you for visiting my blog and congratulations on picking up the ‘Niagara’ Crystal Seven Custom, that’s a nice one to find 🙂 You are right that it was made in January 1969.
      It is an automatic watch, so it will keep wound when worn and can be started by ‘waving’ it from side to side, but as with the majority of Citizen automatics it can be wound by hand too. This is a nice feature since it’s easier to restart it by hand winding it rather than waving it around, in my opinion anyway!
      The markings on the case back are all correct for this model.

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