A Little Project – Black Dial 67-9038 Chronograph Sorted

I’ve had a spare 67-9038 (8110A chronograph) case lying around for some time. On an original solid link but somewhat stretched bracelet, it has been polished a little over zealously, and the black bezel had also been polished back to metal. Still, it seemed usable to me so I’d been looking for a dial and movement for it, but nothing had come up for at least a couple of years. Then last week I spotted an eBay auction……

Although the auction images didn’t show a 67-9038, it did show what looked like a very nice black 67-9038 dial and hand set installed in a black case. I could see this was from a 67-9551 (single register 8100A model), whilst the back was from a 67-9020. All looked to be in good condition though. So I bid for it, and was successful 🙂

The watch arrived today, so I set to work to transplant the movement and dial – fortunately this is an easy process given my limited technical skills. After I had seen the auction I decided first to paint the bezel on the case. I used my pristine blue dialled 67-9038 as a reference to do this – the finish of the bezel is what I would describe as ‘semi-gloss’, not matt, satin or full gloss. I mixed gloss and matt enamel paint to get as close a match as I could. It won’t be very durable, but it will look authentic! I also got a new crystal since that was missing from the case.

Here’s the donor watch, which actually looks rather nice:

As you can see that dial looks very good indeed (edit: well, it does, but it turns out that it’s an after-market dial…see separate post). The original bezel on this case should be polished metal, and this one has been painted – note the chip which the seller was very clear about in his auction description. The case back, although from a different model, is also in very good condition, as is the black case:

Once I had removed the movement I could see that the bezel was a later addition to the case, rather than the original one, which explains why it had been painted.

So what is the result? In my opinion a perfectly wearable 67-9038:

The stem and crown  from the donor watch do not fit the 67-9038, but since it shares these parts with the 67-9313 ‘Speedy’, I’ve used them from a second ‘Speedy’ I have for now.

Here it is alongside my blue example:

I also want to add a few words about the seller – often sellers of non-authentic watches get a lot of stick, sometimes rightly so when they present them as ‘all-original’ and a ‘must-have for any collection’ . However, after contacting the seller (who made no such claims) I’m sure he had no reason to think it wasn’t authentic, given that a fair bit of knowledge is required to properly identify them. He has been very positive when I explained the issues about the watch and has visited the blog 🙂

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9 Responses to A Little Project – Black Dial 67-9038 Chronograph Sorted

  1. Jay says:

    Excellent work Stephen. I’ve seen a similar model on a second hand shop recently. Now, you got me contemplating to get it. I just hope my wallet can afford it though.

  2. Markus says:

    Hello Stephen!
    Very nice result. Not every watch can be all original. With good parts a custom made version sometimes looks even better than what came out of the factory.
    Your dial looks that good because it’s an aftermarket part. As for the bullheads there are aftermarket dials for the 67-9038 as well, which look almost like the original dial. I guess they are made in China. The only difference is the Citizen logo, which is bigger than the original.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Markus, thank for visiting my blog 🙂 I was very interested to read your comment especially about after-market dials for the 67-9038. I had not seen or heard of that before, and in fact I’d not looked at this one under the loupe to study it properly – I was too keen to get it put together. And you are absolutely right – the Citizen logo is larger than it should be, but that is not the only difference. In comparison to my blue dialled version, the quality of the printing is not as good, not as fine as the original. So lesson learned, we need to look out for after market products for these (and maybe others?), not just the Challenge Timers (‘bullheads’). I also found today that the crown was stuck to the stem, rather than screwed on properly – it would have come off rather easily if used in that state.

      I’d better edit my post now!! 😉


  3. It is getting harder and harder to find real Citizen “hidden treasures”. This could be also a sign people are getting interested in Vintage Citizen Watches.

  4. Marko says:

    Better late than never… It took almost a year to find this one! :D.
    Once again, excellent job you have done!

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