‘Skeletonized’ watches may not be to everyone’s taste – me included in fact! – but they are nevertheless an interesting type of watch. And to be fair they make it easy to see what’s going on inside without taking anything apart 🙂
Citizen’s first skeleton models were made in 1971, using the 76xx movement. These are essentially the 25 jewel 7290 (i.e. hacking) version of the 72xx family, with no date or day wheels and with modified plates with special finishes to enhance the see through, or see into, nature of the type. See the 72 Family Tree to see where these fit: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.netherwood/72Leopard&SevenStarFamilyTreeSecure.pdf
This movement runs at 21,600 beats per hour, and was produced for only about 3 years when it was replaced by the 8060A, running at 28,800 beats per hour. These later models can quickly be identified by the position of the Citizen logo – it was moved from being stamped on the movement itself at 9 o’clock (76xx) to being printed on the chapter ring at 6 o’clock (8060). There are no serial numbers on the skeletonized models so an exact year of production cannot be determined.
The 76xx skeletons were produced with stainless steel, gold plated or black coated cases and the movements were finished in either gold or black, and had three types of second hand design as far as I can determine. As far as I can see the main hands were of two types, one of which is lumed. Mine is a black cased model with gold plated movement, lumed main hands and red ‘lollipop’ second hand:
The stainless steel model with black coated movement can be seen in two of the above images, whilst here are examples from the 1971 catalog, which have a standard second hand and non-lumed main hands:
And two other models from the 1973 catalog with more rounded black cases, black movements, a Cosmotron type second hand and lumed main hands:
Note the original retail prices – these were quite expensive watches in their day, using good quality, accurate and reliable movements.
Interesting article. Do you have any idea of the value of the original skeleton watch (25 jewel). Thanks
Hi Mark, I prefer not to try and give valuations, partly because I might get it very wrong! There are so many variables and what might be interesting or attractive about a watch to me may not be so for someone else. My advice would be to search the internet and eBay to see how much watches are selling for. Searching eBay to include completed listings can be very useful.
Hope that helps a bit!
Hiii Stephan I have citizen automatic 25 jewls I wanna sale….
(30 years old watch)
Hi Farman, other than eBay, you could try Vintage Citizen Watches (Facebook page) or the SCWF and Wrist Sushi forums. Stephen
Hey, interesting article. Mark do you have any idea if the watch is water resistant. Grettings from Chile, South America.
Hi Javiera, thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, the watch is water resistant – the GN-1 code on the back indicates a water resistant case design. Not that I’d put mine to the test! 🙂 Stephen
I do like skeleton watches, and your Citizen is one of the most beatuful examples that I’ve ever seen. Congratulations for the watch, and for your blog.
Thanks for your comments, they are much appreciated 🙂 I know that skeleton watches are not to everyone’s liking, but they are interesting and it’s nice to see the movement in action,
I can’t believe how perfect yours is! I stumbled on your blog because I’m looking at an 8060 but not nearly in the pristine condition that yours is in.
Hi – thanks for visiting my blog, but I’m sorry to leave you feeling jealous! 🙂 I was lucky to get hold of one of these in such condition – the printing on the glass back is often worn on these. I don’t think it’s been worn very much at all.
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I grew up mesmerized by this watch, which belongs to my beloved father. It put a spell at such an early age that I can’t remember a time before it. The watch also created an early appreciation within me for all things mechanical, beautiful and refined, yet practical.
The watch was given to my father as a gift from his brother. It currently sits in his drawer, aching to be restored. I’ll be trying to find a watch repair person in the Atlanta area to see if we can’t get it back into action!
Thank you for posting this, and with such terrific photos! It is a wonderfully nostalgic treat to take in!
Hi Joel, thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 It’s always good to hear from someone who has a personal story about one of the watches. I can understand why the skeleton model was mesmerising when you were a child. I hope you can find a good watch maker who can give it the respect it deserves 🙂
just bought a “like new” GN-1-S, without watchband or strap, can you tell me the size of the watch band? thank you
Hi, and thanks for visiting my blog. The typical width of the bracelet or strap, between the lugs where they attach to the watch case, is 18mm. But they can sometimes be 20mm, so best simply to measure between the lugs to check. Do you have a case number (e.g 4-123456) and model number (e.g. 12-3456) since hat might help to confirm the lug width. ‘GN-1-S’ is the watch type code, and is found on many water resistant models with screw down backs. Stephen
thanks for the quick reply, mine is the 4-760182TA
i payed 200 euros with post, little expensive but since it´s a unworn watch from collection i think it´s still a good price
you can see some images here https://imgur.com/a/OSpEvTQ
bracelet was not uncluded so i was thinking in a black stainless steel bracelet
so the best is to buy a 18 mm?
I have one of those, and it is 18mm – see pics in this post: https://sweep-hand.org/2013/01/16/this-weeks-featured-watch-45-the-4-760182-skeleton/ Seems like the skeletons originally came on black leather. Stephen
Hi, This was a great article. The skeleton Citizen is quite rare and not seen much on other watch sites. I enjoy mine and am amazed how such an old watch can be so accurate. I also have a Tissot hand wind skeleton they are favorites in my collection. Interesting that Seiko never made any full skeleton watches only open heart models. Thanks, Carl
Hi Carl, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Citizen’s movements are of a good quality and the 76 in the skeletonized model is no exception. I used not to be very drawn to this style, but I have grown to like this one more and more 🙂
congratulations for this information.
I have a citizen skeleton but the 8060A movement is to be replaced.
do you know where i could get one.
Thanks for visiting my blog – I’m afraid I don’t know of anywhere for this movement. I think it’s very unlikely to be able to find a movement for sale, other than in a donor watch. Stephen
I’ve recently acquired a 76xx skeleton as a non-runner. It’s in good cosmetic condition though, so I was considering upgrading with some 28800 or 36000 bph parts from some other Leopard & V2 movements in the drawer. Can you foresee any issues here?
The 8060a also fascinates me – which movement family does this fit into? I’ve not been able to find much about it online.
Hi Mark, thanks for visiting. The 76 movement does share parts with some of the 72 movements so it may well depend on which movements your spares are from. Do you know which parts it needs to get it going again? The 80 movements, i.e. 8000/8001 and 8050/8060, are a family in their own right. Stephen
Thanks Stephen, I appreciate the response.
I won’t be sure which parts the 76 needs until I get it fully open (it’s been a busy few weeks!), but in general terms and if everything else is OK, do you think I’d be able to swap the barrel/mainspring, escape wheel, & balance + cock to turn it into a high-beat skeleton?
You’re welcome. I’m not a watchmaker I’m afraid, so I don’t know if it would work. I’ll send you parts info by email so you can see what parts are shared across the different 72/76 movements.
Do you happen to have parts information for the 77 series?