The Jet Automatic


Although Citizen’s first (and now rare!) automatic watch used the familiar ‘swinging’ or ‘oscillating’ weight type of rotor when it was launched in 1958, the company designed and used its own circular geared rotor in the early to mid-1960s. It used this design in the ‘Jet’ and ‘Super Jet’ models, and it is known as the ‘Jet rotor’.

In the mid-1960s the Jet movements were dropped in favour of swinging weight designs – I have read somewhere that the Jets were a little less reliable, but I’m not sure if this was actually the case. Perhaps more important was the trend to slimmer designs to which the swinging weight was better suited.

The Jet movements all ran at 18,000 beats per hour, and generally can be hand wound – the exceptions (as far as I know) being the 0320/0321 and 1130/1/2/3 movements with 17 and 19 jewels. This includes the ‘Rookie’ models, some of which have small, recessed crowns as a result. I’m not sure at this stage whether the 1120 movement with 19 jewels has hand winding or not.

Some movements had an ‘Easy Change’ quick set mechanism for the date, which involves pulling the crown in and out when in the time setting position – this has the disadvantage that the date can be accidentally changed if the crown is pulled a little too hard when the time has to be adjusted. As far as I know, all the later (41xx) movements had the Easy Change feature as well as hand winding capability.

The later models had day windows, which can only be set by winding back and forth between 12 and 9.

The Jet models are all part of the ’03’ movement ‘family’, which comprises three groups starting with the 03xx models first seen in October 1961, followed by the 11xx (January 1962) and completed by the 41xx (1964). Interestingly this last group includes one hand winding model – the Seven – which uses the 23 jewel 4000 movement (see here for a look at that one: https://sweep-hand.org/2011/06/29/this-weeks-featured-watch-9-the-seven/)

NB: The ‘Seven’ description on these models, and indeed on other lines, for example the Crystal Seven, appears to be used where both day and date windows are present.

The movements look pretty well the same, but there is an easy way to identify the later, 41xx calibers from the earlier ones. This is done by counting the screws on the rotor – the early ones (03xx and 11xx) have six, on the left below, the later 41xx has just four:

 

Before summarising the movements and models, here’s a quick video showing how the rotor moves, it winds in both directions: http://s282.photobucket.com/albums/kk252/Sweephand/Jet%20Auto%20Dater%2017j/?action=view&current=MVI_0537.mp4

The following summary is correct to the best of my knowledge at the moment – I’ll add and amend if and when other / more information comes to light.

________________________________________________________________

Movement & Model Summary:

Movement #    Model Name(s)                           Jeweling         Date/Day        First Production

0310                   Jet Automatic                              21, 23, 25            None            October 1961

0320, 0321        Jet Rookie                                    17, 19                   None                    1962

0340, 0341        Super Jet, Super Precision        35                         None                    1963

1120, 1121         Jet Auto Dater, Newmaster,    19, 21, 23,             Date           January 1962                                120m, Para200mWater                 27, 35

1130, 1131,        Jet Auto Dater, Rookie,              17, 19                    Date                    1962         1132, 1133         Para400Water, 40m

1150                   Super Jet Auto Dater,                 39                          Date                    1963                                     Super Auto Dater 80m/150m

1160, 1161         Super Jet Auto Dater                  39                         Date                     1963          (Easy Change)

1170                    Jet Auto Dater                             27                         Date                     1962          (Easy Change)

4101, 4102, 4103    Auto Dater Seven, 40m      25                          Date & Day         1964

4111, 4112, 4113     Auto Dater Seven, 40m,      19                          Date & Day        1964                                             Ceto

4130                   Auto Dater Seven , 40m            35                          Date & Day         1964

4120, 4121        Auto Dater Seven Monthly       19                  Date, Day & Month   1964

(NB: I think all 41xx movements had ‘Easy Change’ quick set for date)

_______________________________________________________________

Movement Dimensions:

Width:                          Depth:

0310, 0320/1, 0340/1                          29.00mm                      4.65mm

1120/1, 11300/1/2/3                            29.00mm                      5.00mm

1150, 1160/1, 1170                                 29.00mm                     5.34mm

All 41xx Movements                              29.00mm                     6.39mm

________________________________________________________________

If you’re interested in the architecture of the movement, here are schematics showing how it is  put together.

Schematic 1 -Rotor Side:

Schematic 2 – Dial Side (11xx Variants):

Schematic 3 – Dial Side (41xx Variants, excluding ‘Monthly’):

___________________________________________________________________

Gallery:

Here are just a few examples to illustrate the range of models that used the Jet movements, with acknowledgement to sellers on Yahoo Japan for the images:

Jet Automatic: 

Jet Automatic:  

Jet Automatic:  

Rookie:                

Super Jet:           

Auto Dater:        

Auto Dater:        

Super Jet:           

Auto Dater 7:    

Auto Dater 7:    

Some models have special case backs, e.g.:

Auto Dater:        

Auto Dater 7:   

Super Jet:         

Super Jet:         

And finally from my own collection:

1120 Auto Dater:

1130 Auto Dater:                 

4101 Auto Dater 7:

4120 Monthly:

Super Jet:

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29 Responses to The Jet Automatic

  1. Albert says:

    Hi,
    What is the easiest way to open a snap cover on Super Jet Auto Dater. There is no lip or notch to go by.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Albert,

      there should be a fine notch in the case back – depending what position the back is in, it may be between the lugs so will be hidden by the strap or bracelet. In fact I think that this is the correct position, with the notch at the 6 o’clock point. The notch is rather fine, so will be clearer under a loupe. I have found careful use of a small (watch repairer’s) screwdriver, small enough obviously to engage in the notch and then twisted rather than pushed too much, works on this type of case back. My knife type case opener is not really thin enough, and is more likely to slip and cause damage.

      Stephen

  2. Albert says:

    Thank you Stephan.
    I inspected the case under the magnifying glass and it looks so tight as if it was a single piece. No sign of notch. Is there a way to access it from the front, through the crystal?

    Albert

    • sweephand says:

      That’s interesting Albert – I have only my Super Auto Dater to go by, and a number of photos, but of course they won’t show the type of back clearly. I’ve looked again at some more reference material, and Super Jets were made with a one-piece case as well as the more usual snap on type, so clearly it looks like you have one of these. I’ve seen the one-piece case on the Super Jet diver, I guess this would make it a more water resistant design. Sometimes this is indicated by a mark on the case back, an ‘X’ in a circle like on this one:

      I’m not a watch repairer, so I’ve never opened up a one piece case, but there are tools for this, one being a ‘claw’ which pulls the crystal off. A competent watch repairer should be able to do that.

      Have you any pics of the watch you could link to – it would be nice to see it, there are not that many about 🙂 If not can you describe it and the markings on the back?

      Regards,
      Stephen

  3. Wilson says:

    Hi Stephen, do you know if the Jet family watch came with a signed buckle or it is usually plain in 1960s? Thanks!

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Wilson – good question! I’m not sure whether the Jets would originally fitted with signed buckles – or whether some were, e.g. the Super Jets and others were not. Leather straps and their buckles are likely to have worn out and been replaced over the years so finding fully original examples is going to be very rare. I’ve not got or seen any original catalogs or adverts for the Jets, which may have shed some light on this. However, there were definitely signed Citizen buckles from the 1950s and 1960s, so I reckon it is likely that they did use them on the Jets. Here’s a pic from a Japanese auction of a number of vintage leather straps and buckles, which went for a great deal of money if I remember correctly:

      Where Jets were fitted with bracelets, I would think they may well have had signed clasps at least sometimes, although one or two of my 1960s watches (not Jets) have original bracelets with non-signed clasps, although they are clearly marked ‘Citizen’ inside. Here’s an example of a 1960s signed clasp with the earlier mark that would have been used when Jets were in production:

      So I’m afraid I can’t give a clear cut answer – my gut feeling is that it is likely that signed buckles and clasps would have been used, but not necessarily on all models, may be on the more expensive ones.

      Stephen

  4. trxtr says:

    Hi, I’ve recently bought citizen jet. It looks a bit of frankensteined, here’s a pic.

    the bigger problem is that original caseback was replaced with a caseback fom the regular GN-4W-S. it’s slightly lower then the original, and rotor gets caught if the case is fully tightened. Do you know where I can search for the original caseback, is there a number code for such spare part?

    • sweephand says:

      Hi, and thanks for visiting my blog. First of all, it is very hard to find parts for many of the vintage Citizen models, and especially so for the Jet automatics. Finding a ‘donor’ watch would be the way to go. Unfortunately the code to identify the correct case and back would be stamped on the case back, so finding the right case is quite a challenge if the back has been changed. However, I’m afraid your concern that your watch is ‘frankensteined’ may be well founded 😦 Apart from some very rare Jet divers, the Jet models have press on case backs as far as I know, which suggests to me that the case itself is not correct for a Jet model, rather than just the case back. The hand set doesn’t look right to me either, and there are questions about the dial too 😦 Where did you get the watch?

      Stephen

      • trxtr says:

        Thanks for reply, I like vintage Citizens a lot, though I can’t afford collecting them as much as I’d like to. Your blog is a great source. I bought it rather cheap from some online seller from Malaysia. I was interested in rotor movement (there’s early 23 jevels movement inside, running strong http://i58.tinypic.com/13zzle8.jpg ), at least this is something that can’t be forged : ) . What are your suspicions about the dial? I think it’s pretty hard to repaint sunburst dial with fine print.

        • sweephand says:

          Good to hear the movement is running well 🙂 My concerns about the dial are that first I haven’t seen this dial design before on a Jet, although I’m sure I’ve not seen every design that Citizen made. The other concern is the printing on the lower part of the dial – it doesn’t look fine enough, and the spacing / proportions don’t look quite right. Also the style of the ‘A’ and ‘t’ in automatic is different from the usual style, and the ‘j’ in jewels is lower case rather than the usual upper case. The space between ’23’ and ‘j’ also looks too big as is vertical the space between ‘Automatic’ and ’23 jewels’. I can’t see the printing so clearly on the upper part of the dial so I can’t comment on that. Here’s my example of the plain Jet dial for comparison, I hope you can see what I mean:

          Sorry I’m pointing out some possible problems, I don’t like having to do that 😦

          Stephen

          • trxtr says:

            thanks again. do you think it’s worth it to compliment this watch with proper case (I think I can get one from japan in NOS state) and hands, or this is a lost cause?

            • sweephand says:

              I have seen ‘Jet’ cases for sale on Yahoo Japan, so it could be possible I suppose. Have you seen the hands for sale? I have seen dials too. Do you think it might be a safer bet to look for a complete Jet model on Yahoo Japan? They can be found at reasonable prices in decent condition. That might be better than buying parts and finding they don’t all fit together properly!

              Stephen

              • trxtr says:

                so, I have a NOS case now, but can’t find the hands. Any advice? May be some other models have the same hands? As for the dial. I think I’ll leave this one as is

                • sweephand says:

                  Hi trxtr, good to hear you found a case 🙂 The hand set size for these is 152/100/18 – that means the holes measure 1.52mm for the hour hand, 1.00mm for the minute hand and 0.18mm for the second hand. All the Jet models have these sizes, and I believe the part number for the originals is A58-40222. The original hands would be ‘dauphin’ style, like these:

                  I’ve had a look around for modern replacements in this style, but not been able to find the correct sizes I’m afraid. They only to go up to 150/90/17 and I don’t know whether they would be the right length. So I would think a donor watch is the likeliest solution, but finding a cheap parts watch is not easy. I’ve had a look on Yahoo Japan, but nothing on there is suitable at the moment.

                  Stephen

  5. H.Philippens says:

    Ik heb een oud horloge Resistant Citizen automatic BLG 6501 4-652347 TA 30600411. 61-0780. Wat moet ik hiermee? Roos

    • sweephand says:

      Hoi Roos, Bedankt voor het bezoeken van mijn blog en excuses voor mijn late antwoord. U hebt een burger ‘Blackie’ van juni 1973, met een gouden vergulde bezel en met een 6501 beweging binnen. Dit heeft dag en datum op de wijzerplaat. Deze bewegingen werden geproduceerd voor een paar jaar in de vroege jaren 1970. Mijn voorbeeld van een 6501 model is hier: https://sweep-hand.org/2011/10/19/this-weeks-featured-watch-15-6501-with-tungsten-bezel/

      De Online Vertaler doen niet te goed werk van het vertalen van uw vraag, dus ik weet niet als ik het heb beantwoord!

      (Hi Rose, thanks for visiting my blog and apologies for my late reply. You have a Citizen ‘Blackie’ from June 1973, with a gold plated bezel and with a 6501 movement inside. This has day and date on the dial. These movements were produced for a few years in the early 1970s. My example of a 6501 model is here: https://sweep-hand.org/2011/10/19/this-weeks-featured-watch-15-6501-with-tungsten-bezel/

      The on-line translator didn’t do too good a job of translating your question, so I don’t know if I have answered it!)

      Stephen

  6. Jeremy says:

    Hello. I was wondering if you could help me figure out if this watch looked legit or not. Great blog! Very helpful! http://www.ebay.com/itm/161620384783?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Jeremy, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. As far as I can tell it is an authentic model, but with some major caveats. The dial has been re-finished, which the seller (to his credit) explains in his description. Black dials are unusual on this age of watch, silver would be much more typical so that may betray some artistic licence on behalf of the re-finisher, as well as the gold coloured ‘7’ logo. I’m afraid I can’t be sure whether or not the hour markers and hands are original. It is very shiny! This suggests it has been heavily polished to remove scratches and dings. This process has taken away the crispness of the original lines, particularly evident on the fluted bezel which has been seriously smoothed down. Compare for example with this one:

      I can’t be sure, but it looks to me that it may also have been plated after polishing. It is so shiny – mirror like – that it may have been chrome plated. The case back also indicates heavy polishing.

      There is no movement picture, but the description tells us that the date is set by pulling the crown in and out, which indicates a Jet movement is inside.

      So, as far as your ‘is it legit’ question, I would say it is probably an original model, i.e. not a ‘franken’ that has been cobbled together, but it has undergone serious, and in my view heavy handed ‘refurbishment’ some of which is not described by the seller which takes it a good way away from its original character.

      Hope this helps!

      Stephen

  7. Jeremy says:

    Thanks so much. Your knowledge is impressive!

  8. chris says:

    Just got a 21jewel 6 ruby autodater. The dial is average condition but the movement is very clean.
    Thank you for such a great article on the jet.it has been most helpful.

  9. trxtr says:

    I’ve recently bought Citizen Auto Dater with Jet movement, and after a lot of time spent trying to open it I can confirm it has a monocoque design. You have to pry the bezel and lift the crystal. There’s no front lever to release the stem like in monocoque Cosmotrons 7803, but a split stem. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have (x) mark on a back case.

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Trxtr – thanks for the helpful info and link to the pic. Although the ‘x’ mark indicates a monocoque case, I know they don’t always have the mark. Not exactly helpful of Citizen!

      Stephen

      • trxtr says:

        the worst part is the case LOOKS as if it’s a snapback. there’s that particular circular line on the back, I’d swear you can pry it open

        • sweephand says:

          I share the frustration! I had the same problem with a Cosmotron GX. I don’t know why Citizen didn’t always mark the back with ‘x’

          Stephen

  10. Andrew says:

    Hello,
    I have recently bought a lovely Auto Dater and have been reading your info on the ‘jet’ movements. My watch has both day & date windows which from your tables would likely indicate a later movement ie 4xxx. However the rotor has ‘6’ screws which would indicate an earlier movement ie 03xx or 11xx. I am new to your blog so not sure how to attach pictures so I will provide info re my watch which might be useful. Dial says Citizen Auto Dater, 19 (jewels), 7 (in a crown), para40water. Case says Parawater, Star,ADSG-51401-Y, CGP which all circle a 7 in a crown with Citizen Auto Dater & serial number 41103187. Any idea which movement this may be, or can I find it written anywhere on the watch? PS. I enjoy your blog/site & have recently signed up, thank you.
    Andrew (from Australia).

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