My ‘New’ 3 Star Auto Day-Date

In 1953 the Rhythm watch and clock company became an affiliate of Citizen, and although they continued to make watches using Citizen movements, their primary business was making clocks.  I thought it would be good to have this part of Citizen’s heritage represented in my collection (especially after a drop or two of wine!) so this week a large box arrived from Japan…..


This is a wall clock with a thirty day mechanism, striking on the hour and half hour, and featuring date and day wheels. Although I’ve seen few Rhythm clocks like this for sale, similar Seiko, some Aichi Tokei Denki and one two other makes can be found, most of which are in brown wood cases with patterned glass in front of the pendulum. So I was pleased that my Rhythm example is in black wood with plain glass, and although clearly vintage, it has a design that goes well with modern décor, at least in my opinion anyway 😉  As far as I know it was made in the mid to late 1960s.

I’ve mounted the old printed paper instructions for setting the day and date on a piece of card, which you can see in the pendulum box. The method is the same as with a watch, so the day is set first, then the date can be moved forward. The date is reset at the end of each month (it will move to 32 if not reset). The right winder is for the clock spring, and the left for the striking spring. Hopefully it needs winding just once a month, and the power window is neat feature.

The red button is a marker for where the pendulum should hang when centred, and there a couple of adjusters in the lower part of the case, which can be turned to move the case away from the wall to help get it vertical. The strike gives a pleasant and not too loud ring, so it can be left running and striking without disturbing the rest of the house.

Historically this type of wall clock has not been common in the UK, and more recent (non-Japanese) versions have a poor reputation with clock repairers who regard them as being of poor quality, using inferior metals etc. I think it’s important not to tar Rhythm and other Japanese makers with the same brush, particularly for their 1960s/70s offerings where I have only found good reports about them and their reliability and accuracy.

Although it is early days, my Rhythm ‘Three Star’ is keeping excellent time, without any regulation on my part. Not bad for $29 (US) (+ a lot of shipping!)

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