Metal Bracelet or Leather Strap?

The majority of Citizen’s watches were originally sold with steel bracelets, sometimes gold plated, sometimes black. Although some bracelets are very nice, and it’s good to have an original one fitted, I confess to a preference for leather straps. I find them more comfortable and in my opinion they can look better than steel. Living in the UK with its cool climate, leather is also ok for the prevailing conditions.

One of my watches that came on a non-original bracelet is the Deluxe ‘Parawater’ – this was Japan’s first waterproof watch, first made in 1959. The steel bracelet was in decent condition but did’t have suitable end links:

And looking at my reference material, the watch is shown on leather as well as a steel bracelet – so I changed it today:

Although ‘Parawater’ clearly refers to keeping liquids out of the watch, a UK Citizen sales person’s hand book I have – from around 1968 – emphasises that the basic proofing (i.e. to 10 meters / 1 atmosphere) is good to keep dust out, thus better  preserving the quality of the oils.

After a comment from Bogdan I realised that I hadn’t had the back off this one – so just did that, and pleased to see a nice low number on the movement. I don’t know how Citizen determined the number though….


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10 Responses to Metal Bracelet or Leather Strap?

  1. Not bad, not bad at all! If possible a movement shot?

  2. Very interesting, I have a 21 jewel newsmaster in NOS with original metal bracelet,s/s, watch is gold tone,a very stunning watch. Pete.

  3. Jay says:

    Just like what I have decided for my cosmotron, you won’t go wrong with leather.

  4. Marko says:

    Hi, Stephen!
    I have waited this kind of thread… Well, everyone have their own taste, but i think, that there should be an original bracelet/strap. It´s just so difficult to find out, which one was that original… And if you get that information, then you have to find it from somewhere :D.
    It´s amazing, that they have used metal bracelets as early as 1950´s. All i have seen so far is those flexible, spring like metal bracelets from -40´s (I guess they are from -40´s…?)

    Regards, Marko

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Marko, I don’t know when those expanding type bracelets were first made. I agree that if you can get an original bracelet then you should! Or leather, but they are hard to find of course. I have two leather straps that I am confident are original although one is too fragile to wear, and one part leather/part metal where the leather has just about disintegrated! The leather ones are on a Hisonic from the early 1970s, and the fragile one is on a Jet ‘Rookie’ from 1962. The Deluxe Parawater might have been Citizen’s first to come on a steel bracelet (in 1959) – makes sense for a waterproof model which could be worn when swimming.


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