Been thinking about favourite watches….

….and one I often come back to is a ‘UNI’ Auto Dater from 1965, which I’ve been wearing today. The UNI was the first Citizen to use a swinging weight automatic movement – the 1400. Introduced in 1963, it marked the phasing out and ultimate demise of the Jet movement.

Technical details aside, the lovely ‘linen’ dial puts this firmly in the ‘favourites’ category:

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10 Responses to Been thinking about favourite watches….

  1. marvin says:

    It’s easy to see why this dresser is among your favorites!
    I also like the fine cross hatch pattern. The other design elements are well integrated and proportioned. Love the 12-6-9 hour markers … is that an asymmetrical cut, or just the light reflection? Hard to believe that it’s 50 years old. Modern and elegant.

  2. sweephand says:

    Hi Marvin – it’s the way light is reflected, rather a neat effect 🙂
    Stephen

  3. Stuart Burton says:

    I think Citizen were at the top of there game in this period. Elegant but totally legible I love it.

  4. Marko says:

    Brilliant watch !!!
    I have Eterna from the same era and there´s exactly the same cross hatch pattern on the dial. Could be some kind of “fashion” of that time…? I think my Eterna is also from 1965, if i recall right.

  5. Markus says:

    Very nice watch with great pattern on the dial.
    Do you have more infos about the calibers 1400 and 2400? I mean it’s obvious that they are no genuine Citizen designs. The design is Swiss from Anton Schild. Although they are not a 100% copy with minor differences there can be no doubt about the AS heritage.
    I wonder if Citizen had a license from AS or if they just copied the design.

    Greetings!
    Markus

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Markus – thanks for visiting my blog. Interesting observations and questions 🙂 I know Citizen used Swiss expertise early on to kick off their wristwatch production – in fact the Citizen Watch company, founded in 1930, was in large part the result of Swiss investment, undermining Swiss watch companies which tried to operate a cartel and prevent the transfer abroad of technology and expertise. I’m afraid I don’t know whether Citizen simply copied designs or used licences in the 1960s, other than the licence they had from Bulova to produce tuning fork movements. I don’t know the AS movements but have had a very quick look at some of them in the Ranfft archive. The AS1700 looks most like the Citizen 1400/2400 movements to me, but it is dated 1965, whilst the Citizen ones are 1963.

      Stephen

      • Markus says:

        For example the AS 1701 seems to date back to 1955, which would be much earlier than the Citizen 1400/2400. They really pretty much look alike. And it’s the same with the Citizen Alarm 3100/3101/3102. They also resemble the AS 1475 (dating back to 1954) pretty much.
        Because of these two examples I thought about the idea of Citizen producing under license slightly modified AS calibers. Which would explain the short production time of the 1400/2400 as it makes no sense paying for a license if you have your own technique with the 5000 series.

        Markus

        • sweephand says:

          Hi Markus – the AS 1700/01 movements do look very similar, and as you say, given that they appear to have preceded the 1400/2400, it makes sense that Citizen used the design for a short while as they finalised the 52 calibre. I know the 3100/01/02 is a Swiss design, which was also used later by Poljot. I would have thought Citizen made them under licence agreements – I would think Swiss makers would have sued them otherwise!

          Thank you very much for your comments and interesting information – they all add to the resource here in the absence (generally speaking) of reference material elsewhere,

          Stephen

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