The Mysteries of Citizen’s Model Numbers

Mikko, Marko and myself are currently doing some work on Citizen’s six digit model number, i.e. in the format of 12-3456. This format was first used towards the end of the 1960s. We are trying to see if there is (any) logic to this system by collating information from our own collections and reference material that is available to us. I suppose it keeps us off the streets at night! 🙂

One immediate issue, which I noted some time ago, is that quite a number of models don’t have a model number at all – just a case number. It is a puzzle, at least for now, why Citizen chose not to give some watches a model number….as an example this pic shows some of the chronographs, two of which don’t have model numbers:

So, watch this space, and feel free to offer any ideas about the model number ‘system’!

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14 Responses to The Mysteries of Citizen’s Model Numbers

  1. Mike Wilensky says:

    Nice posting!

  2. marvin says:

    Fun project, Stephen. It will be another of your contributions that will aid collectors for years to come. Btw, I’m partial to the chronograph model in your pic, 2nd row middle. Handsome watch.

  3. Rodolfo Cáceres says:

    Envidiable catálogo de cronógrafos tengo el 67-9119 de 1980 y realmente lo he disfrutado es de mis preferidos. Gran tesoro de relojería lo que hay en esa caja. Felicitaciones.

  4. Sam says:

    Hi Stephen:

    if you got a million clicks on your site from Australia in the last week, it was all me!!

    Long story short, I have in my possession a piece of jewellery made with an old Citizen movement. After hours of red eye research online, I confirm it is a 0153 17J from the 60s. Found your movement chart with a big ? next to 0153. Contacting Citizen, I was given a list of model numbers, no names or dates, just model numbers. Are you able to track down what watches these model numbers belong to? All I can do is google and that comes up blank and the format of these model numbers are different to what you have listed here.

    I have no previous knowledge of watches, armed with a half dismantled movement from the 60s, I came this far, if you could give me any assistance, it would be much appreciated. It is of great sentimental value that I find out what and where this 0153 came from.

    The (possible) model numbers of watches with the 0153 17J movement

    thank you.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Sam, thank for visiting my site and booming my stats! 🙂 I’m afraid I can’t do a proper reply yet since I’m on vacation, so I’ll get to it when I’m back which will be in a week or so. Unfortunately there’s no one else at home who knows anything about vintage Citizens!

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Sam – sorry again for a late reply. I’ve now had time to have a proper look at your question but I’m afraid it’s not going to be possible to pin down which model your movement came from. The 0153 is a hand winding movement, first produced around 1975 I believe. It was used in many women’s watches at that time, which didn’t have a specific model name – the dials were simply marked ‘Citizen’. I have a casing parts catalog from 1977 and just in that year it lists a total of 41 model numbers with the 17 jewel 0153 movement. Unfortunately without the case, or rather the case back, it’s impossible to link a bare movement with a specific model and production date. I’m sorry this is disappointing news. Stephen

  5. Sam says:

    You have an awesome site mate, all I have is a couple of G-Shocks, a generic Seiko and a Fossil Philippe Starck. Now I feel the urge to own a old school Citizen, but nah…. I am a salaryman with a mortgage and a cat to feed, so back to G-Shocks it is.

    Enjoy your vacation mate… for now, I will sure to be bothering you in the near future.

  6. Sam says:

    Thanks for looking into it and hope you enjoyed your time off.

    If you don’t mind me picking your brain, why was a single movement used on so many different watches? Is that a norm or business strategy at the time?

    Would you mind giving me a flagship, a mid range and budget watch name with the 0153? Even if I can single out a watch but at least I can have some scenarios of how the 0153 came to be in my possession.

    It is a shame, even with the model numbers I can’t nail down a single watch, but thanks for looking into it. Really appreciate it.

    All the best

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Sam – I’m afraid the 0153 movement wasn’t used in any of the higher end or mid-range watches, and as far as I can see there were no named models with this movement. It was primarily, if not exclusively, used in women’s watches and few of them had model names, especially in the 1970s. Sorry I can’t offer more help / info. Stephen

      • Sam says:

        Thank you so much~~~
        As long as I know what it could have been, I am happy.

        It is sentimental and not monetary reasons that drives my curiosity.

        You are a good man, I will be visiting your site regularly to keep my tabs on old school watches and perhaps acquire one years down the track.

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