This Week’s Featured Watch #50 – the Adorex (8000)

In the early 1970s Citizen were making a range of high quality automatic mechanical and electro-mechanical watches as their production development reached its peak, just before the introduction of mass produced quartz models transformed the landscape. An example of Citizen’s expertise and innovation is the ‘Adorex’ line – especially those models with the 25 jewel 8000/8001 movement (technically the 8000A/8001A, but I don’t believe any other variants were made).

The Adorex models used two movements, during only a short production run starting in 1974 – the 8000 and the 8050. But it is the 8000 movement that is of greatest interest, since it has a unique feature not seen in any other model before or since, as far as I know….

Firstly here’s my example, which has a sparkling white dial in an otherwise conventionally designed stainless steel case:

The 8000 movement was the first to use a rotor which wound in one direction, which became the standard design a year or so later in the ubiquitous 8200 movement – the movement number is clearly stamped on the back, with a production date of February 1974:

Here’s the movement, with the arrow on the rotor showing the winding direction – these are high-beat, running at 28,800 beats per hour:

But uni-directional winding is not the unique feature….you may have noticed that there is no conventional fine adjuster on the balance, but there is a lever which locates in a slot:

And this is the unique feature of the 8000 Adorex – since this lever, which allows fine adjustment of the hairspring, is connected to the crown. So this allows regulation of timing without opening up the watch – it is activated by pulling the crown out to a third step, beyond time setting position, as seen in this scan of the instructions:

Pulling the crown out to the regulation position is not easy, it takes some force, presumably to avoid accidental activation. Here’s a video of the feature in use, with the back removed to clearly show what happens:

http://s282.photobucket.com/user/Sweephand/media/Adorex/AdorexRegulator_zpse51f7a56.mp4.html

The design was probably not deemed to be too practical – the degree of movement for regulation is necessarily small, and not being able to see the gear as it is moved would make it difficult to use without removing the case back. So it’s an innovation that was only seen in this model and therefore short-lived – yet fascinating to see and now to have in the collection.

And remember, if you are looking to acquire one of these, it is only found on the 8000/8001 movement, whilst the 8050 Adorex’s have the conventional type of fine adjuster.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Vintage Watches and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to This Week’s Featured Watch #50 – the Adorex (8000)

  1. stuartm1970 says:

    Reblogged this on Vintage Watches Middle East.

  2. Anil says:

    wow… I never knew this feature existed (fine tuning via crown) and now I want one!!

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Anil, thanks for visiting my blog. It is, as far as I know, a unique design. I’m not sure it is very practical in reality since with the case back still on you can’t see how much the adjuster is moving, and very fine adjustments are needed. Still, it is an interesting thing to have 🙂 And remember it is only the 8000 movement that had this, not the 8050.

      Stephen

  3. Richlw says:

    Hi, I’ve just purchased an Adorex 8000 which arrived in the post yesterday. It’s my first Citizen watch and I love it! Your article was very interesting and a learnt plenty about the watch.

    One question I did have was whether you know how to remove the crown as I would like to clean the case? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I’ve got a feeling this won’t be my only Citizen in my growing collection:)

    Richard

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Richard, thanks for visiting my blog, and good to hear my post on the Adorex was useful 🙂 The 8000 version is quite hard to find, compared to the 8050, but of course it’s the more interesting one because it has the unique fine adjustment mechanism via the crown. Because of that I wasn’t sure whether the crown would be removed in the usual way, so I had a look at mine. And it is removed via the usual method, so it is straightforward. First off, pull the crown out to the time setting position (no need to pull it out further, i.e. to the fine adjustment position). Then gently press the button near the stem to release it – the button on mine moved easily with just gentle pressure (a very small screw driver should do it). Just reverse the procedure to re-fit the stem and crown. I emphasise being gentle since sometimes these buttons can stick when pressed down, and the movement might have to be partly dismantled to release it. Please be sure that you are happy to do this at your own risk before you go ahead! Here’s a pic showing the button, but please note that the crown is fully in & therefore not in the time setting position which is required before you press the button and pull it out.

      Would be good to see some pics of your Adorex – if you can upload them and post a link here that would be great 🙂 (you can’t post pics directly here I’m afraid)

      Stephen

      • Richlw says:

        Hi Stephen

        Thank you so much for the quick and comprehensive reply. The crown is now out! I’m just waiting on some Crystal polish and I will take some pictures

        Thank again

        Richard

        • sweephand says:

          You’re welcome Richard – looking forward to the pics 🙂

          • Richlw says:

            Hi

            The watch is all back together and I’ve taken some pics, but not sure how/where to post them?

            Also I’ve had to fit a bracelet extension as it was a bit short – any ideas on betting more links? I realise you will need to see the pictures first!

            Richard

            • sweephand says:

              Hi Richard – I’m afraid only I am allowed to post pics here. If you can upload to somewhere like PhotoBucket you can post a link. Or if you wish I can email you and you can send pics to me.

              Stephen

  4. maripido says:

    Hi Stephen – first off, thanks for this fantastic post. I’m currently looking at this Adorex from Japan: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Auth-CITIZEN-ADOREX-4-380177-TA-Day-Date-Hand-winding-Watch-for-Men-5477-/222345387177?hash=item33c4d15ca9:g:JHMAAOSw44BYPTkY

    I have a few questions about it – does the case look polished to you? To me, it looks like the case back is polished since the engraving is a bit shallow. Also, the caseback doesn’t seem like a screw down. Is it supposed to be opened from the front? all-in-all, is it a legit watch? Thanks again man.

    BTW – I’m enjoying the Cosmotron I just bought. Thanks to you for posting a ton of information on the line.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Maripido, thanks for visiting my blog and for your positive feedback, much appreciated. I don’t have this model, but I think the case back is ok, looks to me that the photos are a bit over exposed – that might be deliberate since it can hide some of the scratches! And I agree it looks like a one piece case, so would be opened from the front. But it could be a press on back, so worth looking for a small indent somewhere to check whether it can be prised off. Here’s another (rather dirty!) example of this model so you can compare: http://aucview.aucfan.com/yahoo/m136976444/

      Good to see you have a Cosmotron, they are great watches – and glad you found my info useful.

      Stephen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s