This Week’s Featured Watch #75 – 4-722132

This week’s watch might be called a Leopard that has lost its spots 🙂  I came across this model for the first time recently, case number 4-722132, with 26 jewels, from August 1971:

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Although the 7200 movement with 26 jewels runs at 21,600 beats per hour (bph), the 7210 variant runs at 28,800 bph and is one of the Leopard family. I noticed that this example had a fine adjuster on the balance, a clear sign of a high beat movement. However, with no Leopard, ‘Superbeat’ or 28,800 logo  on the dial I was intrigued – in fact for another reason which I’ll come to shortly I was doubly intrigued. On arrival I quickly found 7210 stamped on the movement, so confirmed it’s the high beat version:

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Before buying I had of course wondered if it may be a so-called ‘franken’ watch, i.e using parts from different models. But I was able to find a couple of other examples of this watch, both with the exact same markings, and also without any of the usual Leopard’s markings. I could also see that the same dial code was evident, and one that is appropriate for a 72 model – 6-724850. So I am happy that this is a genuine model, and the first ‘Leopard’ that I have found without its ‘spots’.

The other feature that intrigued me is the bezel material, indicated by the case back code:

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I have seen ‘BLTI’ before, i.e on a black coated case, but not ‘SSTI’. See my example here: https://sweep-hand.org/2011/10/19/this-weeks-featured-watch-15-6501-with-tungsten-bezel/ 

I’ve been working on Citizen’s case material codes lately, and although these ‘TI’ codes are unfortunately notable by their absence, Citizen used Titanium Carbide (TiC) and Titanium Nitride (TiN) so could this bezel be TiC (as opposed to TiN which is gold coloured)?  But it now gets a bit more complicated! On other, slightly later models, Citizen used UHA (TiC) and UHAG (TiN) for their carbide cases and bezels, whilst I’ve seen some descriptions of TI bezels as tungsten carbide, hence my description of the BLTI model as tungsten. My titanium (not carbide) cased X8 Chronometer is marked TN….It’s possible therefore that Citizen used tungsten carbide at first, using TI as the material code (for a reason that is somewhat lost on me!)  and then adopted UHA for their Titanium Carbide models. I noticed on another example of this watch that the bezel was chipped on one side. Although tungsten carbide is very hard, it is relatively brittle, so that damage lends some additional credibility to it being that material, perhaps replaced later by titanium carbide as a better option. Any thoughts/more information is very welcome!!

Whatever the exact material of the bezel, from a cosmetic point of view it has an attractive grey appearance and certainly shows little or no signs of wear:

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All in all this is an interesting watch, with a good quality movement and an unusual case material and bezel combination.

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6 Responses to This Week’s Featured Watch #75 – 4-722132

  1. Andrew says:

    Hello Stephen,
    I recently purchased a Citizen Leopard that is also a little unusual that you don’t seem to have mentioned in your articles that I have read to date, although I may have just not read them all yet. The Leopard that I have is from 1969 ( serial number 90904596) on the dial is Citizen in the usual place & at the 6 o’clock simply ‘Leopard 26 jewels’ with no Leopard logo. The interesting thing is that it has the 7200 21,600bph movement which initially I thought may be the wrong movement. However the seller (in Japan) also included a photo of a page from one the seiko watch books with details of the 1969 Leopard confirming indeed that this is the original movement. Also the colour of the dial is while unusual, I believe quite beautiful with a blue dial with green hour markers & green inserts on the hour hands. I did notice in one of your articles on Leopards which you included photos of brochures from 1971-2 that it did indeed include a watch with these very same colour combination. Additional info that might be useful: casback says ‘Parawater, Automatic, SS, 4-720024TA’. I would be interested to hear if you have heard of, or seen, or have additional info on these Leopards. Cheers….. Andrew (Australia).

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Andrew – I’m surprised that the seller said that the 21,600 bph movement is original to this model. I’m pretty sure that none of the 21,600 movements have 26 jewels – maximum is 25 in some of the Custom V2’s, whilst Leopards go down to 24, but use even numbers of jewels. 21,600 bph models use odd numbers of jewels. See the 72 ‘Family Tree’ – https://sweephand.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/72leopardsevenstarfamilytreesecure.pdf If you take the back off, can you see a movement number on the movement? It will be stamped close the the balance wheel. It would be helpful to have that. Stephen

  2. Andrew A says:

    Hello Stephen, The movement is stamped ‘7200’ & also states ’26 jewels’. I have also some images / photo’s of page 17, 55-56 of the book “Japan Domestic Watch Vol.6 – Citizen Automatic watch” which describes this 1969 Leopard as having the 7200 movement & that it runs at 21,600 bph. I am unable to attached photo’s here unfortunately but willing to provide same of watch, movement & catalogue photo’s if this helps.
    Cheers… Andrew.

  3. Andrew says:

    Hello again Stephen- Yes the movement does seem to have the fine adjuster from what I can tell. Also I just noticed that in your article above (the Leopard that lost its spots) you do mention in the second paragraph that the ‘7200 movement with 26 jewels runs at 21,600bph’. Thanks for taking the time to reply & I hope I am not being too pedantic? Cheer again… Andrew.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Andrew, thanks for confirming that it has a micro-adjuster. I had gone back to my reference material and translation of the Japanese text about the 7200 with 26 jewels suggested that it has the adjuster. So this confirms, as did the seller, that this is a correct 7200 model running at 21,600bph. I hadn’t looked closely at this before since I didn’t realise before is that this movement was used in a Leopard, and is the only one that isn’t high-beat. It’s always good to hear about things like this as it makes the reference information more complete, so thank you for asking about it and providing all the info. I’ll do a post about this on the blog, and will include a pic of this model, from a 1971 catalogue. Stephen

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