A New Blogroll Link….

I’ve just added a link to my Blogroll – ‘George’s Videos’ – it’s to George’s (aka ‘SkyM’) YouTube channel , who has done some nice videos of vintage Citizens (and Seikos as well). Please take a look 🙂 Here’s a direct link too: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq-pTaD-bAxvUPEecvrMrsw?view_as=subscriber

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Rare 8110A variant confirmed….

It’s not often that I’ve added ‘new’ variants to the Automatic Chronographs page, but I have recently been able to confirm one that I had previously been unsure of – and I must thank George, a fellow enthusiast in Ukraine, who recently sent catalogue scans to add to me reference material.

The model in question is the 4-901096 black cased ‘bullhead’ model, which was not given its own model number. I was sure about the green dialled version:

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But not so sure there was a gold coloured version – until now:

4-901096Gold

This is not the clearest of images, but the case number is confirmed. So, as with the 67-9071, the 4-901096 has these two dial colours. I’ve amended the Chronograph reference page accordingly.

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This Week’s Featured Watch #80 – the 67-9054 Chronograph

One of the Citizen’s range of mechanical chronographs, the 67-9054 is usually found to have been produced in 1974 – two years into the 8110 automatic movement’s production run. There were two dial variants, blue and green in colour, which are found in a chunky cushion style case . The all stainless steel case has a good degree of heft, giving the watch a substantial feel on the wrist. The almost ‘TV’shaped tachymeter is unusual, with printed blue numbering on both dial colours – here is the blue variant:

Note the layout of the applied CITIZEN  logo and the printing beneath – I haven’t seen any aftermarket dials for this model, but on other models aftermarket dials can be betrayed by failure to get this positioning right.  The other printing is ’23J’ under the centre at the 6 0’clock position. The blue on black theme of the tachymeter is replicated on the minute and hour sub-dials, giving this blue version especially a nicely harmonised appearance. The original bracelet is a familiar design, since it is also found on both the 67-9011 and the 67-9356 octagonal ‘bullheads’:

The case is a simple but effective design, here are the side views:

The case back is typical of the 8110 range, showing the model number, the case number 4-901070 and in this example, a production date of June 1974:

Now the green dialled version, and immediately we can see the problem with the design of this watch!:

Unfortunately the tachymeter bezel is very susceptible to wear, and these models can sometimes be found with all their markings polished off, or re-painted plain black. It is a shame, but there is no protection for the bezel, as can be seen on models with a steel bezel and tachymeter insert, for example as on the 67-9313 ‘Speedy’.  Although the tachymeter is worn, the rest of the watch case is in nice condition:

This one is from July 1974.

All in all these are good looking watches, but that basic design flaw is real problem, and leaves you apprehensive when wearing them – especially if you are lucky enough to find one with a mint bezel!

 

 

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Cosmotron from 1971 – What’s So Unusual?

Citizen made many different Cosmotron models, an interesting hybrid movement that became obsolete well within 10 years of its launch in 1966.  Here’s one, case number 4-480279, from November 1971:

4-480279

A passing glance might suggest it’s a straightforward enough rather plain model with the 4840 date only movement inside. However, you may already have spotted an unusual feature – zoom in and it becomes clearer:

4-480279DialDetail

Yes, it’s a printed crystal, with applied hour markers and the Cosmotron symbol plus the dial code on the dial itself. The rest is printed on the underside of the glass. As far as I know this is the only such model in the Cosmotron line-up, but if you have seen another please let me know 🙂

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Don’t Forget to do Your Research Before You Buy!

With prices rising all the time for good quality and original vintage watches, especially mechanical chronographs as seen in Citizen’s 8110 and 8100 automatics, I advise you to do your research before buying!! For example there’s an 8110 for sale at the moment on eBay described as ‘100% original’……well I suppose the parts themselves were originally made by Citizen, but the piece is a cobbled together watch with a 67-9178 case, a 67-9011 case back, and a 67-9071 dial – although offers can be made, the BIN price is over US$700.

If sellers have not done their research, make sure you do 🙂  I am happy to advise if you are not sure of something, just ask via the Form on the right side of the home page.

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Have You Contacted Me?….

I received a message today via the enquiry form, from ‘Marchand’ with an ‘@me.com’ email address. My reply is bouncing back as ‘undeliverable’, saying the email address does not exist or is unable to receive mail.

The query was about the calendar works in a 5470 movement. If you see this can you please contact me again, with a different email address if possible.

18th January – now resolved 🙂

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How to Identify an Original Bullhead Dial – Some Tips

Citizen’s 67-9011 Challenge Timer – usually known as the ‘Bullhead’ – is the most commonly seen version of their line of vintage auto chronographs. I’ve had more than a few people ask me to take a look at examples offered for sale, typically on eBay, to check whether they are original or not. I have published a page on this issue before ( https://sweep-hand.org/want-an-original-citizen-bullhead-a-quick-buying-guide/ ) , but I thought I’d add some more information, specifically about dials. Beyond the obvious point about non-original colours, it can be difficult to see other issues, so I hope to cover them here – I’ll also add this to the reference page. Of course some sellers describe after market parts, others don’t – maybe they bought the piece themselves believing to to be all original – so I hope these additional pointers will help.

I am using pics of my own example, which has the patina and wear you’d expect of a well-used nearly forty year old watch, but the condition of it clearly shows what to look for, at least for this, the most commonly seen model which has the dial code ‘901018‘. But first here is an example of an aftermarket dial, to help with the comparisons that need to be made (image from the internet, with due acknowledgement – or maybe apologies! – to the owner). This example is quite a poor copy, which makes it easier to see the differences:

BluAftermarketBullheadDial

And mine:

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The hour markers are painted white with a black edges and a lume spot at the outer end. Note how the ones on the blue dial have uneven edges and the lume spots are off centre.

Generally the printed letters and numbers are of a fine quality. The font used for the letters has been created by Citizen – later pics make this clearer still. It has a small ‘serif’, unlike the blue dial, and differences can be seen in shaping and detail – see, for example the ‘C’ and ‘G’.

The ‘C’ of ‘CHRONOGRAPH’ is positioned centrally under the ‘C’ of the applied CITIZEN’ logo, not to the left as in the after market example. On an original dial the ‘H’ at the end is aligned with the vertical end part of the “N’ on the applied dial.

The minute/second track is worth looking at closely – first the ‘TACHYMETER’ and position of the ‘500’ mark:

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On the blue dial ‘TACHYMETER’ appears taller and a little compressed in its spacing, and the 500 mark is placed to the right of the 7 minute and 1 second line – the original sits on the marker, but slightly to the left (this also applies the dial of  67-9356 octagonal all-steel model). The minute and second markers also touch the black tachy ring – there is a clear space on the blue dial. On the blue dial the white marks under the numbers are badly placed and overlap the edge of the black tachy ring and the main dial from about ‘250’ to ‘110’.

Printing of the dial code is positioned as follows:

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The ‘9’ is placed in line with the 24th minute marker and the code ends well before the 21st minute marker. The blue dial replicates this reasonably well. The detail of the font can be seen here on ’23 JEWELS’.  Next, note that ‘JAPAN 8110’ starts in line with the 39th minute marker and ends in line with the 36th minute marker:

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Also, note the fineness of the printing, and particularly here how the tachy numbers are positioned – incorrectly on the blue dial, for example note how the ‘1’ in ‘100’ and the ‘5’ in ’95’ relate to the white indices which start at ‘100’.

There is no gap between the edge of the sub-dials and the minute/second track – there is such a gap on the blue dial, at least on this side of the dial! On the other side of the blue example the track actually overlaps the sub-dial slightly:

67-9011DialDetail5

Again, note the detail of the font – it is a rather nice design 🙂

Finally, the sub-dials. These have a subtly grooved finish, rather like a tiny vinyl record (remember them? 🙂 ). Often after-market dials are too coarsely finished, although it looks like no attempt was made to replicate it at all on the blue dial. Also, the numbers do not touch the white indices:

67-9011DialDetail6

Happy hunting!

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