Citizen’s 8110A chronograph automatic high beat movement is a fine piece of engineering – compact in design with hand winding and ‘fly back’ capabilities it is a great addition to a collection. The model that it most often seen for sale – by a long way – is the Challenge Timer, now more usually called a ‘bullhead’. This model had a much longer production run than the other models in the 8110A line-up, and the ‘bullhead’ style is a popular design for today’s buyers. I’ll use the original and therefore ‘proper’ name of Challenge Timer 🙂
Of course it’s good to see vintage chronographs for sale, often at reasonable prices, but there are issues to look out for if you are looking for an original Challenge Timer. And even if you are not after an original piece, it may be useful to know a little about it and what may have been changed or replaced, especially if the seller describes the watch as ‘rare and collectable’, or something like that.
As well as this post, my page on the automatic chronographs (https://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-chronographs/) also provides reference information and images. Although I’ve tried to make this as comprehensive as possible, because there are no full historical records available, more data on original pieces may yet emerge, and I will of course update my information accordingly. And I am more than happy for questions to be asked and /or additional information to be provided to enhance what we know already.
I’m not going to say anything about values here – I suggest searching auction sites for completed listings or live auctions as the best way to get an idea of current prices.
1. General Points:
Five Challenge Timer models were produced, only one of which was cased in stainless steel – the octagonally shaped 67-9356. The rest have ‘base metal’ cases, albeit with stainless steel case backs. Two have black coated cases, and one had a gold plated case. One model the 67-9011, the one most usually seen in fact, has a finely brushed base metal case – I’m not sure of the material, but it may be a nickel alloy. This is a satin finish, not polished – only the 67-9356 stainless steel model has a polished case (see this post for reference images: https://sweep-hand.org/2012/12/16/challenge-timer-bullhead-original-case-finish/). And other than the 67-9356, the bezels were finished in contrasting colours – so, for example, the gold plated model has a black bezel. See Section 2 for a summary of the case and bezel finishes, and dial variants.
Case backs are important! Not only to keep dust and water out, but also to provide information on the model. So they are key to determining (a) that the case back goes with the rest of the watch, and (b) that the case and bezel are correct for the model. Always look for a case back image when looking at a watch for sale, and ask for one or to be told what’s on it if a photo is not provided. For information on dating a watch from its serial number, please see here: https://sweephand.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=857&action=edit
Besides the serial number, the case back will provide the case number – 4-901xxx, and usually the model number – 67-9xxx as well as a case material code, e.g ‘SSB’. All Challenge Timers have a case number starting with ‘4-901’, whilst the rest will vary according to the model.
The case material code is very useful since it provides case and bezel materials and colours. The third letter in the code refers to the bezel, so for example ‘SSB’ equates to a stainless steel case, with black bezel, whilst ‘BLG’ refers to a black case with gold bezel. I see a lot of Challenge Timers that have been de-plated and then polished or brushed, or even nickel plated, yet retain their original case back – most commonly ‘GPB’ – which describes their original appearance. One additional important point to note – the base metal model has a case material code of ‘SSB’ which is a bit misleading! However, the case back clarifies this since it will have ‘base metal top’ stamped on it.
Similarly, I see a lot of bezels polished back to metal, with the original black coating or gold plating removed. The bezels do get chipped and worn, so it is understandable to some extent that they are cleaned off. Sometimes they are re-painted, but this is unlikely to be very durable.
This brings us to dials – there has been an increasing supply of after market dials, and they are produced in a wide variety of colour combinations. Original dials feature just five primary colours: Silver, Black, Gold, Green and Grey. Sub-register dials are black on most models, white/silver on one and grey on another, whilst some also have multi-coloured highlights. It’s best to refer to the Automatic Chronograph page to see the various dial combinations and dial codes, which are found between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. Also please use that page to study the hand types and colours, since they are sometimes replaced and may not be true to the originals.
2. Model Numbers / Case Numbers and Case Material Codes:
Here is a quick reference guide to the original models and the all important case back information:
Model #: Case #(s): Primary Dial Colour: Case Material/Bezel:
(none) 4-901096 Green Black, Stainless Steel (BLS)
67-9011 4-901177 Silver, Black or Grey Base Metal, Black (SSB)
67-9011 4-901053 Silver Base Metal, Black (SSB)
67-9011 4-901011 Silver Base Metal, Black (SSB)
67-9020 4-901193 Gold Gold Plated, Black (GPB)
67-9143 4-901134 Gold Black Coated, Gold (BLG)
67-9143 4-901088 Gold (dark) Black Coated, Gold (BLG)
67-9356 4-901223 Silver or Black All Stainless Steel (SS)
3. Other Points To Consider:
I would advise to always ask to see a photograph of the movement if it’s not already provided – look for a ‘clean’ movement without corrosion. Check that the chronograph functions are working correctly, and that the chronograph hands snap back to zero (the 12 o’clock position) when the chronograph is reset, or restarted using the fly back feature.
Also check that the quick set date and day mechanisms are working correctly (although I have known where a seller didn’t know how to quick set the day – it’s done be pressing the chronograph re-set button when the crown is pulled out one step).
Case finish – I have seen several examples of the 67-9011 ‘bullhead’ Challenge Timer where, at first glance, they appear to be in just about mint condition. The case looks flawless and the original satin finish seems to be present. But, on closer examination, all is not quite as it seems since the condition has been attained by a re-finish. To achieve this, and to remove all the dings and scratches caused by years of wear, a considerable amount of metal is removed. Also, bear in mind that what looks like a little used example may in reality have led a hard life, so the movement may be worn and in need of a full service, and possibly replacement parts too. Paying a high price for an apparently ‘mint’ watch and later finding that a tired movement needs to be serviced is a considerable expense in total. My tip for checking whether a case has been seriously re-finished is to look at the back, and particularly at the size and shape of the triangular lugs. These are larger at the top of the case, but each pair should be the same size and shape. Here is my example, with these areas highlighted – note how they are prominent, symmetrical and evenly sized (although one of the lower ones is not clear in this image, but you can see the shape and sizes of each pair):
Compare to this back, where the effect of heavy case re-finishing has reduced the size of the lugs and left them unevenly sized too:
Bear in mind that parts are hard to come by, and are most likely to be available only through buying a donor watch or movement, and servicing will be expensive – and you’ll need to find a competent watch repairer who is able to work on a mechanical chronograph. Members of the relevant forums may be able to make recommendations.
Thanks for an informative and very helpful article!
You’re welcome Jay – glad you find it useful,
Excellent article – thanks for your efforts. I have posted links to this at a couple of watch forums as it is extremely useful information, with so many frankens and poorly ‘restored’ examples out there.
Thanks for your comment, and for posting links, much appreciated 🙂
I saw on Ebay uk some citizen new old stock from the mihaitar user. I tried to look on internet about the numbers on the back (as far as I could decipher) but couldn’t find anything. Do you know them? Are they replicas? Because I’m in love with one model 🙂
Thanks in Advance
Alex from Romania
Hi Alex, I have had a look at these – sending you an e-mail
I currently own a reconditioned Citizen Bullhead chrono with a black face and silver/grey sub-dials. I am very pleased with the watch. A beautiful little machine that keeps good time and harkins back to an era before digital this and digital that and cell phone clocks. Love it…a true collector’s item!
Hi Mike – sorry for slow response, but been away for a few days. In good condition these are very nice watches 🙂
Stephen, I was wondering why the price seems to fluctuate daily on the Citizen Bullhead chronograph watches, especially from my source for the watches in Thailand?
Hi Mike, good question! I don’t follow prices much, so I just had a look at recently completed auctions. To be honest I couldn’t make much sense of the varying prices. Some obviously refurbished models with after market dials sold in the UK and Europe at fairly high prices, whilst similar pieces in the Philippines, from a reputable seller who describes them properly, were a lot less. I supposes that there will always be some fluctuation in auction sales, partly dependent on who happens to be looking for a particular model. What struck me most of all was that almost all the sales were of refurbished examples, with after-market dials etc. I know that these can still be attractive watches, but it must be hard to find original examples.
I have a beautiful Bullhead 9011 but when it came back from a service it was missing a reflective glow hour marker. I would really like to get it back to it’s original condition and I was wondering if you could offer any advise on where I could obtain one. I have tried contacting Citizen in the UK but didn’t get anywhere.
Hi James – thanks for visiting my blog. I think your only option would be to find an old original dial to get an hour marker. ‘New old stock’ dials are very hard to find, and I’ve never seen dial markers for sale anywhere. Here is an eBay link, for example: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-CITIZEN-Bullhead-Chronograph-Automatic-Panda-DIALS-for-Caliber-8110A-/201810445361?hash=item2efcd70431:g:UHwAAOSwubRXNi~D
I’m not a watchmaker so I don’t know how easy / difficult it might be to remove and refurb, then fit an hour marker. May be worth talking to your watchmaker to see what he thinks.
Stephen, the day of the week “quick set” button does not work right on my watch. I am thinking of returning it to the original seller. ALSO, the day of the week for our English FRIDAY is abbreviated as”FRE” What language is this?
Hi Mike, firstly looks like the day wheel is in German – Freitag is Friday. Sorry to hear that there is a problem with the quick set 😦 The day quick set is unusual on these – i.e. using the bottom pusher, is that what is not working properly?
Stephen, sometimes the day of the week flips over on its own, sometimes not. I just manually rotate the crown to reset; it seems to be less “wear and tear” on the mechanism this way. Incidentally, I replaced the watch’s original-style bracelet with a beautiful black leather strap. It really improves the overall appearance of the timepiece, in my opinion. Thanks for your feedback! Mike(aka Chronographguy).
Hi Mike – it’s not a big problem if you can’t quick-set the day. Most vintage watches before the late 1960s didn’t have it anyway.
I prefer leather to steel most times so I can see why you are liking it on a good quality strap.
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Speaking of case backs, I have been looking around the Internet for these bull heads. And there seems to be quite a bit of variation in the case backs I see. Some of them are probably fake. Could you post some pictures of ones that you are confident to be authentic (maybe with some random digit of the serial numbers blurred out, to be safe; I just want to know the general layout and stamp quality to expect).
I’m not sure I’ve seen fake case backs, but I have seen the wrong case back fitted, or the watch case has been re-finished which makes the case back seem wrong. This is usually where someone removes the gold plate and the case back still shows the case code ‘GP’. Some case backs may also have been heavily polished which can make the marks shallower and look different. Here’s the case back on mine, which I think is typical:
Here’s an example that looks to have been polished, but not too heavily:
There are variations, this one is the gold cased model:
If you see any that you are worried about perhaps you can post a link here and I can take a look,
For example, even within the same model, the layout varies:
The pictures are of a three watches of the 67-9356 model (although the first two have the white dial and the last one has the black dial).
You can tell that the layout of the first two are similar enough – with the brand, case number, serial number, and model number filling mostly the bottom half of the circle – whereas the last one fills up the whole circle.
I’m suspicious of the last one.
Thanks for the links. The third one is the odd one out, and searching on the web only shows matches with the first two so I understand your suspicion. Unfortunately there’s no definitive information available for vintage Citizens so the different case back could be ok – got to have a big ‘?’ for now though, until / unless we can find more examples of that design.
Thanks for the confirmation. At least now I know I am justified to be suspicious. 🙂
Great posts, by the way, this and the other post about vintage citizen auto chronographs!
thanks k-sze, we need to look out for others now to see if there are more with this design or not,
I spotted a 67-9356 a couple of days ago. Somehow, upon inquiry, the seller tells me that the model does *not* have flyback function. Is that possible? Or maybe it’s just the seller not knowing how to use it? What’s the right way to trigger the flyback (so I can ask the seller to test it)?
Never mind. The seller just rechecked and has confirmed that it’s flyback and is working.
here’s a pic of the two types of 9038 backs, both of which I’m sure are original:
So maybe there were two versions of the 9356 backs, similr to these. Therefore I wouldn’t conclude that the one we’re suspicious about is fake, although it would be good to see a few more like it!
Good to hear the fly-back is working 🙂 I’ve been looking at case backs and although they are not 9356’s there are two styles on the 6038’s. Not done pics yet but will try to do some later this evening.
Thanks for the info, Stephen. Yes, I imagine that after all these years, most of the bullheads have had reconditioned dials;I used to own an original Seiko bullhead bought in 1978(base Army PX).
After only 5 or 6 years, the dial faded a bit, esp. the luminous hour hand and minute hand. I had to get them replaced as the watch would no longer glow at night!
Hello looking to find the date of my stainless steel octagon bullhead , the No on the rear is 91202477
Hi Alan, thanks for visiting my bl;og. The production date of yours is December 1979 (from the ‘912’ in the serial number). I don’t think these would be made as late as 1989, and they certainly weren’t made before 1972/3.
i have recently bought a second hand recon bullhead, but i do not know how to set the day on the watch itself, along with how to the handwinding . Would you be kind enough to let me know how to do so ? sorry for the dumb qn!
Hi and thanks for visiting my blog. To set the day, pull the winding crown out one step so that you can set the date, then press the chrono reset button to change the day. On a bullhead this is the button to the right of the winding crown as you look at the dial. To hand wind, turn the winding crown clockwise when in the normal running position.
Hope this is clear and that all is working correctly on your watch,
I just bought a reconditioned bullhead, and I am not sure how to adjust the bracelet, there are no arrows to indicate which way to apply pressure. I have no idea if it is an after market recreation or if the bracelet is original. Any input would be really useful.
This guide was extremely useful for navigating all the bullheads out there on the Internet. Thanks.
Hi Mickey, thanks for visiting my blog, and I’m glad it has been helpful. As Mick has said a jeweller / watch repairer could easily make the bracelet adjustment. However if you want to try it, if you have a loupe or other magnifier, have a look at the pins in your bracelet – if one end is solid, and the other end is split, then you would push the pin out from the solid end. Remember which side of the bracelet is which and then you can replace the pin in the same direction – i.e. press the solid end in to locate it.
Mickey, I happen to also own a Citizen Bullhead chronograph…it came with a reproduction “original” bracelet which was ENGRAVED with the Citizen logo.An original Citizen bracelet that came with this watch should have the Citizen logo STAMPED(letters:CITIZEN in capitals and raised in relief) into the stainless steel buckle;original bracelets sell for between $70-$80.00, so your bracelet is probably not an original.I don’t believe that there were any adjustment arrows stamped on the original bracelet(as is common now with modern watches); take it to a jeweler and he/she can adjust for you no problem.Goof luck with your watch!
First of all congratulations on this site, I recently purchased a Citizens Men’s wind up watch thru Ebay, I’m sending you the page on E bay that has the pictures of the watch I purchased, After reading almost your entire blog, The back casing of my watch has no serial number. This is the only information it has in the back Citizen, water resistant, stainless steel, 4-022845-SMH, then it says 0200, 63-4832..It did come with a new expansion bracelet, and the watch is in mint condition and working perfectly. I only paid $25.00 US dollars for it. Just wondering since it does not have a serial number in the back, if its a fake, and more or less when was it made…The seller told me he thought this watch was dated between the 60’s or 70’s
Please let me know if you’re able to see the pictures from Ebay..
Thanks in advance
Hi Pedro, thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comment.
Although I’m unable to see the eBay pics of your watch, I found another example. Yours is a correct and legitimate model, certainly not a fake. For some reason Citizen did not put serial numbers on some of their watches and this is one of them! The 0200 mark, and the case number – 4-022845 – tell us that this uses the Homer hand winding movement which was first used in 1960 and made right through to around 1980. The watch is from the 1970s, since the case is marked water resistant – before 1970 and at the latest by 1973, Citizen used the term ‘parawater’ which meant ‘waterproof’. Around 1970 manufacturers could no longer say their watches were waterproof and had to use resistant. Unfortunately the lack of a serial number means we can’t pin it down to an exact year, but mid -1970s is pretty close.
Thanks for replying so fast, I appreciate your information regarding my watch, I took it today to a watch repair person to have it checked and cleaned .. when he opened it there was no serial number inside or inside the back case either, and he indeed said it was an original and not fake, it only said Citizen 21 jewels Japan inside, the face is blue with the citizen branding on the upper part of the face and 21 jewels in the bottom of the face and of course the information I previously sent you about the back case..and on the crown it has CTZ, But anyways i’m very happy to have purchased it and most important it still works just fine and considering how old the watch is ,its in mint condition.. Wish I could send you pictures of it since you weren’t able to see it in the Ebay link I sent . That way if you’d like to post the pictures for others to see as another example of how some citizen watches didn’t get a serial number and that they aren’t fake. If interested id be more than glad to send you the pictures to an email or so..it would be like my little contribution of history on your site
I’m glad I bumped into your site it has made me appreciate even more a vintage watch
Keep up with the excellent work !
Thanks once again
Hi Pedro, you’re welcome, and thanks for your positive comments, they are much appreciated 🙂
I will send you an e-mail soon so that you can send pics of your watch to me, and I can then upload them here.
I hadn’t noticed before that the link to your watch pics on eBay was here, but for some reason it was showing to me with your contact details, so it wasn’t visible in your comment. This is the link:
Yes that is the watch i purchased on eBay, im glad you were able to see them , as the seller stated it came with a new expansion bracelet, im thinking that originally it mustve had a leather strap or so..but anyway it looks awesome…i hope the pictures of my watch are of any help to your site
Thanks again for getting back to me
You’re welcome Pedro, enjoy your watch and I hope you get some more vintage Citizens 🙂
Hi there, thanks for this page! Just wondering, how can you tell the year based on the information on the back of the watch? Is there a chart or is it encoded in the serial number?
Hi Phillip, thanks for visiting my blog – the way to date a vintage Citizen is via the serial number, plus knowing which decade the watch was made in. Take a look at the page ‘Vintage Citizen Case Backs’ (please follow link beneath the home page banner since WordPress is not letting me add the link here at the moment). At the bottom of the page you’ll see how to do it – if you need any help on the decade in which the watch was made please get back to me.
Thanks, I appreciate the help. On Ebay, I notice what seems to be a lot of variety on the color of the minute/second hands. Most seem to be metal with a thin luminescent strip in the center. I’ve found others that claim to be 100% authentic that looks like the hands are half painted white/luminescent. Are both styles legitimate?
Same observation regarding the chrono hands. Some seem so red hot they look almost pink. Thanks for your insights!
Hi Phillip, as far as I know the original hands for the standard ‘bullhead’s are metal with lumed centres. The models with black / grey dials (including the octagonal one) use the white / lume hands, which are also found on other 8110 models. The white dialled octagonal model uses a black / lume hand set. The images on the Chronograph page provide what I think are the original models for reference. There are after-market red hands, which could fade to pink over time, but they are not an original colour.
Thanks again. Since looking for a bullhead I’ve noticed all these little variations probably because of so many after market parts, so it raises a lot of questions!
As you mention in your post, a lot of these watches have the black bezel polished off because the original paint in bad condition. Is there anyway to restore the bezel that looks good and is durable? It definitely looks better black in my opinion, but those seem difficult to find. I’m looking for a white/silver dial in case you have any leads! Thanks
Hi Phillip, thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 Citizen was one of the earliest makers, if not the first, to use black coatings on their watches. I don’t know exactly which method they used in the 1970s – not sure if it was the now well known PVD type, or something else. I agree that a black bezel looks better than a polished metal one. Chips can be touched up using a black marker pen, but if the case / bezel is significantly worn then touching up will not be sufficient. Paint is not durable unfortunately, so I suppose the answer would be to get it re-coated, but a little Googling on that subject suggests it could be expensive (although that is for a whole case & bezel).
Original dials are hard to find, and are likely still to be in an original case! I don’t know of anything available to the moment. I can only suggest searching eBay – ‘Citizen Bullhead’ seems to find most things, or try asking on relevant forums just in case somebody has some spares.
Hi I really love your blog. SO informative! Thank you.
I am looking at purchasing one of two watches and do not know if they are original… would you please see what you think?
here are the links: https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/165655533/citizen-chronograph-tachymeter-black
Hi Eva, thanks for visiting my blog, and I’m pleased you have found it useful. I’ll email you with my comments on the watches you are looking at, hope that’s ok,
Great site and a fantastic article.
Why do I get the feeling it’s going to be expensive reading it… Ooo cosmotrons…
Hi Tony, thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 email on the way shortly,
Thanks for such an informative blog!
I’ve just found this Bullhead on ebay, do you think its legit?
Been looking out for one of these for a while which isn’ being sold out of Peru / Philippines!
Any thoughts would be great.
Thanks in advance
Hi Tom, thanks for visiting my blog, and for your kind comment 🙂 I’ll email you about the watch you are looking at if that’s ok,
This article just save me from spending $280 on Chronograph rebuild. For example none the case and dial of the watch looked amazing but the neither of them matched up with the back case serial number.
Pleased to hear that you found the article useful 🙂
Hello, Stephen. I’ve just bought my first chronograph, a Citizen single register chrono with the 8100 movement. This is the page on Ebay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111333254347?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649. I should maybe have read your blog beforehand, but hadn’t set out with the intention of buying one. I’m pleased with the watch, even though it gains about five minutes in twelve hours (I can’t tell over a twenty four hour period, because it stops after about for hours if a take it off at night, having worn it all day!) I feel a trip to my watchmaker coming on. I’ll try and get some proper pics to you.
Hi Geoff – if the watch is otherwise functioning ok, then it sounds like a thorough clean and service is what is needed. I like the 8100 models, and they are generally a bit rarer than the 8110 ones. You’ve perhaps realised that this model should have a black case:
Since the rest of the watch looks correct, the original coating has probably been removed no doubt because of wear and tear over the years.
I like the retro chronograph watches as they tend to use more hues of orange and blue!
Hi Mike – this one certainly does 🙂
Oi Stephen ,gostei muito do seu post ,estou de olho em um Bulhead ,sera que você poderia analisar ele pra mim e me dizer se esta certo ,adjunto link. Muito obrigado .
Hola Ricardo, gracias por visitar mi blog. Me temo que usted está mirando el reloj ha sido elaborado de varios modelos diferentes. Es el caso de los 67-9356 octagonal, fondo de la caja es de un 67-9143 (estuche negro con dial de oro) y la esfera es de un 67-9011 (el más común ‘ Coto’). ¿Es uno para evitar que en mi opinión.
[Hi Ricardo, thanks for visiting my blog. I’m afraid the watch you are looking at has been put together from several different models. The case is from the octagonal 67-9356, the case back is from a 67-9143 (black case with gold dial) and the dial is from a 67-9011 (the most common ‘bullhead’). So it is one to avoid in my opinion.]
Me desculpe tenho esquecido do link ,e este :http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-568546264-citizen-crono-chifrudinho-cxsextavado-modpanda-automatic-_JM#questionText
What do you think of that ???
Hi Spiros, thanks for visiting my blog. Here’s what I think of the watch in the link you posted. The dial is a poor quality after market replacement – the ‘Citizen’ logo is totally wrong, no lume on the hour markers. All the hands are after market, and the sub-dial & second hands are not correct for this (or any other 8110 model). The main hands are fairly poor copies of the originals. The case has been heavily polished, so some of the lines and the overall finish are wrong. The case back is from a 67-9143 bullhead, which has a black case and gold plated bezel – it looks like that the coating and plating have been polished off and the bezel painted black. You can see traces of the original black coating around the chronograph buttons (at least the seller posted some decent images!). The bracelet is not correct for this model. The seller’s description that the watch and bracelet are ‘original’ is, therefore, more than a little misleading!
Damn … I already paid for it … 😦
Ouch! Well, you could rightly say it is not as described. It is far from original so the description is misleading, and there’s no mention of the replacement parts. You could contact the seller if he hasn’t shipped it – if he is honourable he may agree to refund without the hassle of shipping and you returning it. He says he will give full refund if ‘not as described’.
I should have said as well that the crown is not original – it should be signed ‘CTZ’, so that’s another point you can raise.
Thank you … I ll try … Could you point some decent cases of original citizen 8110 bullhead watch??? Or even the e210 though i know is difficult to find … Thank you very very much ….
If the seller doesn’t accept what you say, feel free to copy to him what I’ve said to you and send him this link: https://sweep-hand.org/want-an-original-citizen-bullhead-a-quick-buying-guide/
It is hard to find original ‘bullheads’ – they are often sold with after-market dials and hands these days. I’ll have a look around and see whether I can find anything. I don’t know the e210 very well – that’s an eco-drive chronograph isn’t it?
yes its a 2004 model but limited edition unfortunately and very rare to find ….
That’s a smart looking piece – I didn’t know that there was an eco-drive ‘bullhead’!
Just sent you an email about the vintage model.
Hi Stephen, I’ve just found your site, I’m looking at a few CItizen chronographs, it is very helpful to find such an excellent and informative source about them. 🙂
I’d like to ask your opinion about this item: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191356007911?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Thanks in advance,
Gyula from Hungary
Hi Gyula, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments 🙂 These are my observations – there are some issues in my opinion, if you are looking for an original piece. Firstly the case looks to have been polished, so it has lost some of the sharpness of the lines especially the angles each side of the dial. As far as I know the date and date wheels should be white with black print with this black dial version (and black with white print with the white dial). The main hands don’t look correct to me, they look to be from a 67-9011, and the second hand should be white rather than yellow. The case back is correct and looks to be in nice condition, and the bracelet is of the correct type.
Hi Stephen, thanks for your reply. I was sure a pair of experienced eyes can see much more than mine. 🙂 I guess I’ll have to keep looking.
Thanks again, and I’m sure I’ll follow your blog, it’s really good!
You’re welcome Gyula – good luck with your search and thank you for your kind comments 🙂
Hi stephen good day!
We have a watch citezen from grand father. This is original ? & how old this watch?
CITIZEN WATCH CO.
Can i ask how to upload the picture citizen watch in your web site coz to know this is orig. Watch??
Hi Vincent, thanks for visiting my blog. Unfortunately visitors aren’t able to upload pictures directly. You can either post a link to somewhere like Photobucket or I can email you and you can send them to me. I have your email address, so please let me know if you want me to do that. The markings on your grandfather’s watch appear to be authentic and original for a gold-plated ‘bullhead’ chronograph, and indicate that it was made in May of 1978. Here is a pic of the 67-9020 model:
My name is Rithin i had the similar citizen bullhead model 4-901193 k . i think it is 1980 model still it is working in good condition but had some scratches in its case. It would be great if i am getting a new case of the watch in silver color.
Please find below the back case details
JAPAN G P B
Hi Rithin, thanks for visiting my blog. I have seen many of the 67-9020 model with cases that have been polished to remove the gold plate. I think that is a shame – is yours badly worn?
Thank you for an absolutely amazing blog! 🙂
I wonder if you could e-mail me so I can send you some pictures of a Bullhead I want to buy. I want to know what you have to say about it, if everything is correct .
Have a nice day !
Hi Markus, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Email just sent 🙂
Stephen, if you email me with your address, I will send you a photo of my Citizen Bullhead chronograph watch!
Hi Mike – email just sent 🙂
Hi Stephen, I recently picked up a very cheap ‘Frankenstein’ bullhead, it has a gold case, gold bezel and gold face. I’m guessing it’s creator really liked gold! Part of the reason it was cheap is that the bezel is not currently attached, I was wondering if you knew what the best way to reattach it was?
Hi Danny, thanks for visiting my blog – the original gold plated / gold dial bullhead had a black bezel. I’m not a watch maker, but I understand the bezel has a gasket to help secure it in place in the case, and then the crystal fits into the bezel, again with a gasket to seal it tight. See here for supporting info:
Is the crystal coming off with the bezel, or just the bezel?
hey stephen, thx a lot for your informative sites….. just wanna ask ur opinion about the citizen bullhead that i just bought…. can u please send me an email….. i’ll give you the pictures of my citizen watch! thx! 😀
Hi Paul, email just sent 🙂
Thank you for the very informative articles you’ve shared. They actually encouraged me to look at vintage citizen chronos. I would like to kindly ask for your expert opinion on a citizen 67-9356 i am trying to buy. But im hoping to send the pics to your email. Thank you in advance sir.
Hi Gerard, thanks for visiting my blog. Email on the way 🙂
I recently had by 8110a serviced but my watchmaker said the fly-back function was a bit worn and he couldn’t fix it. I also noticed the day doesn’t change smoothly. Do you know of a watchmaker in the UK who may have the replacement parts to fix this my watch?
Hi Neil – thanks for visiting my blog. Finding replacement parts for vintage Citizens is a major issue I’m afraid, and often donor watches are the only way. But it can be possible to find some parts – do you, or your watchmaker know exactly what is needed?
Yes, I believe I need the following parts:
The stem (Citizen part number 065-1780), the right pusher (Citizen part number 508-0019) and the left pusher (Citizen part number 508-0018). Any ideas where I can get them?
Hi Neil – a stem can be found on eBay (from the Philippines, a seller who has a decent reputation): http://www.ebay.com/itm/CITIZEN-STEM-FOR-CITIZEN-BULLHEAD-8110-WATCH-C-16-/291430186268?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43da97bd1c
The pusher part numbers are for the gold plated bullheads – I can’t help with those I’m afraid. Is it definitely the pushers that are the problem, rather than the levers they activate?
hello there Stephen … congrats for this site is very helpfull … please i would like your expert opinion on this bullhead right here (silver dial) …. thanks in advance …
Hi and thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. This one (silver dial) looks to have an after-market dial – the printing looks rather coarse and seems to have ‘bled’ (e.g. the dial code). The chrono hands have either been re-painted and/or are after-market (centre holes are painted over). Case back is correct, black bezel has been painted – too glossy compared to the original finish. Bracelet is not original to this model.
Hope this helps, Stephen
Hi Stephen, tour site is extremely helpfull, expecially for new ones to vintage watches. Using your advises I’ve spot ed this one on ebay http://www.ebay.it/itm/171793526798?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649, althougt the cae seems to have been polished, I wanted to know your opinion on that! That is in advance! Francesco
Hi Francesco, thanks for visiting my blog, and for your kind comments. You are right that the case has been polished – the original finish on these was finely brushed giving a satin appearance. I would think the bezel has been re-painted since they do get chipped and worn over the years and the chronograph hands have also been re-painted – you can see the centre holes are painted over, which is a shame in my opinion since more careful painting can leave them looking much better and how they were when the watch was first put together. It looks to me to have the original dial, and it’s nice to see black day and date wheels. The case back is correct and not gouged by removal tools, with a 1981 production date. Other than the corrosion on the rotor the movement looks ok to me. I would think the crystal has been replaced, it looks a little thicker to me than the original, but it looks like the white crystal gasket is there.
Hope this helps,
Thanks for you replay. Finding one in god and original conditions seems to be not a easy task…. I’ll keep looking for a good example… Must have one!! If anybody has other suorces (other than ebay) to suggest I’ll apreciate. Thanks again!
Good luck Francesco – let us know if/when you find one! 🙂
fascinating site, thank you for sharing your researches.
i have a few challenge timers (was not aware of the correct name until now). the case back of one differs from the table you give at the start of this article. it has 5 lines stamped. 1) GPB 2)8110 3)4-901029-K 4)413C1080 5)67-9020
it is line 3 that has me puzzled. this is not mentioned by your table. i would appreciate any help.
Hi, and thank you for visiting my blog, and for your kind comments. Your question has been very helpful – I hadn’t realised that there are two case numbers for the 67-9020 gold plated model. The one I was familiar with and put in my article (4-901193) is listed in a casing parts manual I have, but I have checked the number on yours (4-901029) and that is also a correct number. So, as with one or two other Challenge Timers, two case numbers were used – I don’t know why, maybe the were made at different factories. I can now add your number to the chronograph page on my blog. Thank you for asking about this 🙂
Thanks for this very helpful article!
I bought a Citizen 8110 Bullhead in a pretty good shape. But unfortunately do not have the case screws and casing clamps, which fix the movement in the housing. The movement just sits loosely in the housing. Where I can buy those fixing parts for this movement? I only found some numbers on an old spare parts list.
Case Screw 925-48
Casing Clamp 082
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Michael – thanks for visiting my blog and good to see that you have found it useful. I don’t know if any suppliers would have these parts now, but a watchmaker might be able to find screws and clamps that would do the job, but would not be original of course. However, I do have a couple of correct screws and clamps:
Let me know if you are interested in these, and if so I’ll email you (I see the mail addresses of people who comment so no need to post it here),
Thanks for your quick response and offer. The problem was a loose movement. I thought the clamp were missing. But my watchmaker told me that I did not need the clamp. The movement is fixed with a plastic ring. This is broken. But I’ve already got a new one.
Thank you again.
Hi Michael, you’re welcome – good to see you have got the watch sorted out, and thanks for the update 🙂
Thanks for the very helpful article. I perhaps should have done my research before placing my bid, but could you help comment on the (degree of) authenticity of this: http://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/311523599952
I’m feeling insecure about the deal right now and would greatly appreciate your advice!
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve had a look at the watch, and what you have is a re-worked Challenge Timer (‘aka bullhead’). The dial and hands are original , but are somewhat worn, especially the tachymeter scale around the edge of the dial. The black bezel looks to have been painted, which is unlikely to be very durable. The original gold dialled models had either black coated or gold plated cases – this one has the case code BLG so it should have a black case with a gold plated bezel. So the case itself has either had the black finish polished off, or is a case from a different model. It’s not an ‘authentic’ model, and a seller should really explain what has been done to create it – that is rarely done though, and I’ve seen a lot of gold or black coated cases re-worked this way since they can be badly worn.
Thanks for this Stephen. The seller was nice enough to cancel the transaction without penalising me. I left him good feedback, but will nonetheless be careful of similar listings in the future. Cheers
You’re welcome 🙂 I’m pleased that the seller was honourable and didn’t make it difficult for you to cancel. Please feel free to ask about any of the vintage Citizens, I’m happy to answer questions as best I can. If you have a query before you bid on an auction, I can send a private email if you prefer.
I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, and I find it to be a fascinating look into vintage Citizen watches. Thank you for your hard work that you have accomplished over the years.
It’s always nice to see someone with as much passion and dedication as yourself, as it always creates new collectors and brings to light a brand that isn’t that well known for their mechanical timepieces. Actually now it is :).
When I say known I mean to the general public, as the focus is always towards swiss, or seiko watches.
I am trying to find a ‘bullhead’, for me the red hands, panda dial 9011, looks the best. Looks ussually are subjective and can change with time.
I’ve found this model on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121923503587
From the experience gathered from your guide, this watch appears to have a new dial. Other than that the lugs seem reduced and have an asymmetrical shape and the case back seems overly polished. On the other hand the movement seems very clean.
Considering this, do you believe this model is worth the 300+$ price? Did I miss something?
Also I see some models have a 901177K and others have a 901177Y case number on the back. Is there a difference between the K or Y letters? Sorry for the multiple questions:)
Thanks in advance and good luck with your work on the next articles.
Hi Paul, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. I am very familiar with thee seller of the bullhead – typically his watches are re-furbished models bought fairly cheaply from, for example, the Philippines. You have to be careful to check that things like case backs are correct for the model as well as what you have checked out already – I agree it has a new dial, and hands set by the looks of it. The case has been re-finished but doesn’t look to have had too much metal removed. Looks to me that the bezel has been re-=painted so durability may be an issue. I don’t know the quality of the servicing it’s had, or whether it was done by the seller or by the previous owner. Worth checking I would think.
As to price, with original bullheads being rather hard to find these days, especially in good condition, I can understand the attraction of a refurbished one but the price, imho, should reflect that. This seller’s prices are more like what you’d pay for an original and his descriptions are somewhat cleverly worded, but infer originality and the use of after-market parts is not described, nor is what degree and type of refurbishment has been undertaken.
Good question about ‘K’ and ‘Y’! I have been trying to solve this for a while, but without much success. I wonder whether they are codes for the factory where the watch/case was made. The letters are not used in parts catalogues so they are not relevant for that. I will keep trying to find the solution but don’t have an answer just yet!
Hi Stephen, thanks for the fast and very informative reply.
I also thought that the letters were used to nominate the factory or country, like the ‘K’ and ‘J’ letters on the SKX models from Seiko.
My quest continues to find a original watch, even if it’s a little beaten up which is to be expected after all these years. If process of finding and acquiring one was simple, half the fun would be gone 🙂
Many thanks, Paul
I have come across this blog. And it is very informative about vintage Citizen watches. I have recently bought a Citizen Bullhead Octagon watch. But when I stop and reset my stop watch, the hour sub-dial (at 9 o’clock) still counting hours, if I push the reset button, the hand comes at 12 but starts again. Another thing is that my sub-dial hands are different than the pictures so far I have come across. I would like your comments on these questions. Thank you in advance.
Hi boss, thanks for visiting my blog, and I’m glad you have found it helpful. If your sub-dial hands are a different shape than the ones shown on my blog, then they are replacements. Only one style of hands was used, and they are either white if you have the black dial, or black if you have the white dial. I am not a watchmaker so I can’t give much technical advice. I guess you already know that the movement in these has a ‘flyback’ function, so it you press the right button as you look at the watch from the front when the chrono is running, it will return to zero but restart immediately. If you stop the chrono using the left button, then you can zero the chrono with the right and it should remain stopped. If the chrono, or the hour sub-dial keeps running when it should be stopped, then there is obviously a problem. It may be something that a full service will sort out, but a watchmaker would also identify whether any parts are needed. A full service and repair if necessary is quite expensive, but it you want to get the watch to run correctly then it is recommended.
Hi, do you have an email that I can send pictures of some bullheads I found that I want to buy, but need to confirm if the dials are original and if they are franken watches.
Thanks and I really appreciate this guide.
Thanks for the wonderful resource, I can feel your passion for these cool old watches and after reading your blog my interest has widened from the bullhead (or should I say Challenge) to some of the other vintage automatic Citizen chronos. I can see you’re often asked for advice re. internet purchases, I wonder if I could add my voice to the chorus. After reading how to date these, i’ve found one that was made just a month before me… would you send me an email so I can share the link with you? I would really appreciate your advice.
Hi Marcel, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Email sent 🙂
Hi, your website has been extremely helpful in narrowing down my search online for one of these beauties. I have actually come across an eBay listing by user “pig26458”, that seems like the real deal (9356). HOWEVER, (s)he does not post a clear photo of the caseback, but lists exactly the correct things that should be on there. He also says “[ For more information about this watch you are kindly invited to visit the following blog: sweep-hand.org Sweephand’s Vintage Citizen Watch Blog/Automatic Chronographs ] “, which almost makes me feel like he’s faking it and picked up every detail from your amazing resource and posted it in the description, avoiding to post a photo of it.
Would you be willing to look at this listing and advise me? Thanks!
Hi Payod – thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. Email sent 🙂 Stephen
I am so glad to have stumbled to your website and blog; it’s such a great source of information and fascinating to read. You’re very kind to be sharing your knowledge to the rest of the world!
You see, I’m a Seiko chronograph (6138s, 6139s) enthusiast and has my own little collection of these amazing 70s watches. Then I got interested in a particular Orient model (King Diver) from the 60s and, I guess to round up my fascination with Japanese vintage watches, now looking into Citizens. I have yet to decide which specific model I’d like to focus into; your website makes it difficult to do so! Of course, I’d be curious with your recommendations; I do like the slightly larger cases but history/significance is also important. Cheers and all the best!
Hi Roger, thanks for visiting my blog – you ask a big question! 🙂 People have different tastes, so I’m always a bit reluctant to make recommendations. For example, many collectors love classic divers with external bezels, but I’m not a huge fan, whilst price might also come into play – divers for instance have gone up hugely in value lately. Citizen’s chronographs are interesting and unlike some of Seiko’s offerings, are all high beat and have ‘fly-back’ all in a compact design. Some of the older watches that are significant since they were the first Japanese water resistant or shock proof models, are relatively small. The Jets are worth looking at in my opinion if you want something with an interesting movement, and the ‘Super’ versions of any of Citizen’s models are relatively rare and of very good quality. Citizen made Japan’s first electric watch, still with a hairspring, so that it is interesting, and the subsequent X8/Cosmotrons are of good quality and the later ones give high beat performance. If you want good quality mechanical with high beat movements, the Leopards are worth a look. Finally, Citizen’s chronometers are worth looking at – their first hand winder is very expensive, but the Chrono Masters are very nice, both manual and automatic. Hope this helps a bit, but there is still a wide range in this summary! I should add that larger cases can be found in the Custom ranges – for example some of the Seven Stars, Crystal Sevens and V2’s. Please get back to me if you have more questions or want more specific examples from any of Citizen’s lines. Stephen
Hi Stephen–Quick update here. I believe I’m starting to focus on the diver 52-0110 as well as the 100m seven star model. I like the ruggedness of them, being dive watches, and of course the Mercedes hour-hand. There was a 52-0110 on eBay the last couple of weeks that had a starting bid of €500 and appeared to be correct (unless I missed something) but wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger. Interestingly, no one bid and wasn’t sold… Cheers!
Hi Stephen–What’s your take on this? Thanks!
Looks OK I think – but expensive for this model which is the later 150m diver with the 8210 movement and therefore the one most often seen. Still not common though especially in decent condition. Stephen
Hi Roger, once you’ve been bitten by the diver bug, be prepared to spend money! 🙂 Prices have risen a lot, so bargains are very hard, if not impossible, to find these days. Stephen
Hi Stephen, a twin-crown compressor style Seven Star from Bogdan is on its way to my address 🙂
Hi Roger – nice 🙂 Which model is it? You must let us see some photos when it arrives. Stephen
Hi Stephen, Great wealth of knowledge you have on your site. I am looking at the Bullhead below on Ebay and some of the things don’t seem to add up, Case back marked as if it should have a gold case a black dial and the hour marks on the dial look wrong. The seller does state it has been refurbished?
Hi Peter, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. You’re right to raise some issues. This is a bit more than a refurb – if it’s the original case then it has had the black coating removed and the gold bezel has been de-plated and painted black. The case shape doesn’t look right, so it appears to have had quite a bit of metal removed when the original finish was polished off. The dial is after-market, as are the hands too by the look of them.
First wanted to thank you for the time and effort you have put into the website. A lot of info that has helped so many other Citizen/watch lovers. I first got into eBay probably 5 years ago, and have probably purchased 80 or so watches over that time. But, one watch that really grabbed my attention at the beginning was the Bullhead, or the Citizen Challenge Timer. Before I really knew anything about anything, I purchased a Citizen Challenge Timer because I had to have one, but wasn’t working, so I took it to a local watch repair shop, who said it couldn’t be repaired. So I bought another one, which seems to work. I guess my questions are, how do I know if any of my items are original (I have 3 dials, 2 movements, 2 cases, and 2 case backs), and second, where could I possibly send them to be looked at and restored in the US (Brian). I now have 5 Bullheads (Citizen, Lum-Tec, LIP, Adidas, and Quicksilver), but am always searching for more…
Thank you in advance,
Hi Scott, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. If you can upload pics somewhere I can have a look at your Challenge Timer parts. I’m afraid you can’t post images directly here. Or if you prefer I can email you and you can send pics to me. I can let you have Brian’s contact details – do you want to check the originality of your parts first? Stephen
I can definitely email you some pictures. I have a yellow dial which I am sure is aftermarket, but I do have two silver dials that I cannot detect. I purchased all of the watches/parts before they became really sought after on eBay, so I am hoping that something may be original. If not, I still really enjoy the Bullhead design.
Hi Scott – email sent, Stephen
I’m a very amateur watchmaker. Obsessed with nice watches, but cannot afford the ones I like so I’ve taken it upon myself to learn to fix them myself. I have books modern to antique that I am reading and I am practicing with a course from timezone. My friend fell in love with the Citizen bullhead design and I saw a few on ebay for cheap, so I picked up two for about $40. From what I can see, the two are in the same date range, so parts SHOULD be interchangeable and it looks like there would be one good watch between the two. I have a few questions about servicing these watches. Can you email me so that I can ask some questions about servicing? Things like the best way to remove the bezel and any tips that may be useful for my first foray into the world of citizen automatic chronographs servicing?
Thanks for visiting my blog – there should no problem about interchangeability of parts if they are both 8110 chronographs since only one version was made (along with the 8100 single register one of course). I’ll send you an email 🙂
I’ve searched high and low and nothing on my gold plated Citizen bullhead. The case back doesn’t appear to have a serial number and leads me to think maybe the case
Back doesn’t go with the watch. The case back is as follows:
The case is gold plated with a gold dial and black subdials. The black bezel is in good shape. Any idea on age?
Hi Michael, thanks for visiting my blog. From your description, the case back looks correct for the watch – ‘GPB’ indicates a gold plated case with black bezel, and the model and case numbers are also correct. I don’t why it has no serial number – very unusual. I don’t know the exact production dates for these, but the 8110A movement was first produced in 1972, and your model is listed in my 1977 case parts catalogue, so it is from the mid-1970s.
I just bought a model with the model # 67-9020 and the case # 4-901193, but it has a black dail and black bezel, the case is in stainless steel. Is it possible that it is a fake?
Hi Magnus – thanks for visiting my blog. I would describe this watch as somewhere between a ‘fake’ and a ‘franken’. The case has been heavily polished, to remove the original gold plating, since this model – 67-9020 – should have a gold plated case with the black bezel, as indicated by the case material code ‘GPB’. The original dial was gold, with dial code 901026, so the dial has been replaced by what looks to be an aftermarket one – the dial code (901018) is for a silver dial. All the hands are incorrect.
The price you have paid is very high and substantially over what I would consider reasonable for an example with these issues. Although it may be that the seller is unfamiliar with Citizen’s vintage chronographs he has not identified any of these issues, and to describe the case as in ‘excellent used condition’ is somewhat generous in my opinion – there is significant pitting evident, and several gouges on the sides. I note he has a returns policy….
A 67-9020 should look like this:
just want your opinion about a 67-9356 I bought recently. how do I send you the photos?
I would just want to ask for your evaluation regarding a 67-9356 I recently bought.
Hi Gabz, I’m afraid visitors can’t post pics here, but you can post a link if you have uploaded them somewhere. Or I can email you and you can send them to me – please let me know if you want me to do that. Stephen
I think it’s better if you could email me and i’ll send the photos via email.
Ok Gabz, email on the way 🙂
got it. thank you, stephen.
got another question. did the 67-9038 and 67-9119 also come with stainless steel hour & minute hands?
Hi Gabz, the white version of the 67-9038 was the only one with steel hands:
The 67-9119 only came with orange hands:
I’ll get an email to you late about your767-9356, Stephen
Thanks again for you reply. I have a blue dial 67-9038 with steel hour and minute hands which I suppose came from a white dial version. And I’m about to get a 67-9119 with steel hour and minute hands also. Oh well, I guess I will have to charge this to experience again.
Got your email re my 67-9356 and have replied to you.
Thank you so much Stephen.
You’re welcome Gabz – please don’t hesitate to ask about a watch you are looking at before you buy. Always happy to help someone who is interested in vintage Citizens 🙂 Stephen
I will definitely consult you next time before I buy a vintage citizen again.
thank you again for all your time and help, Stephen 🙂
Ok Gabz 🙂
Hi Stephen, thank you for sharing all this valuable info. I had a specific question. I am waiting to receive the following model from a seller. 67-9011 4-901177 Black racing dial Base Metal, Black (SSB). I know it is automatic, but is one able to manually wind and get a charge on this model with the crown in its default position? I.e if I am not moving as much or watch is stored?
Hi J, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Yes your watch can be wound by hand as well as being an auto winder, with the crown in the usual running position. The majority of Citizen’s vintage automatic watches can be wound by hand, which is a useful feature when you need it.
Firstly, this is a properly good blog posting. Comprehensive details for this watch. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
Secondly, I’m looking to buy my first Challenge Timer Octogon, and have noticed a number of instances where case back serial numbers don’t seem to be as mentioned in this blog post. Notably, the colour code designation is missing (i.e. SSB). Pic links below.
I’ve also included a picture of the movement to hopefully get some comments from you regarding authenticity.
Sorry, I should clarify that I was after your comments on this type of case back which seems to be slightly different in number arrangement than what you have specified. Could this be a fake or a Frankenstein?
Hi Brian, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. The watch looks ok to me – the movement shot doesn’t show the 8110, 23 jewels stamp so it might be worth asking the seller for that. The case back is fine – it is marked ‘all stainless steel’ as it should be. Only the more common ‘bullhead’ (67-9011) would have SSB since it has a black bezel. The 67-9356 has a polished steel bezel. For comparison have a look at my example here: https://sweep-hand.org/2015/01/27/this-weeks-featured-watch-67-67-9356-chronograph/
The only other comment is that it doesn’t have the original bracelet for this model, but it does have the one from the 67-9119.
Thanks Stephen for your response to this. I have since purchased that watch pictured based on your recommendations so a big thank you to you for the advice. My first vintage chrono!!!!!
You’re welcome, and congrats on acquiring the 67-9356 🙂
I won’t bother saying how good your website is, I think everyone knows.
Anyway, my question is: Have I imagined it or have I seen a ‘bullhead’ where the name Citizen is wavy, ie, it goes up and down?
Thank you, Rob….
Actually, I’ve just found this. Is correct?
Hi Rob, thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve seen this before, and it’s actually a bent applied logo that was originally straight. They are fragile items so can bend easily – I imagine with a lot of care they could be straightened but would risk breakage. Not sure how they get bent like this, may be just heavy handedness when someone has cleaned or refitted them. So, no they were never wavy originally. Stephen
Thanks for visiting my blog. Since my blog is a reference site for vintage Citizen watches I don’t have any sales or links to sales I’m afraid, so I haven’t published your comment. Stephen
Hello Stephen. I have been reading through your blog and found it very informative and helpful on a few issues dealing with Bullheads. I have had two Bullheads sitting in a drawer for over twelve years. I like them and greatly appreciate their design and quality but they are just too small for me and have been thinking of selling them on to someone who may actually wear them.
I know you get bombarded here with questions, opinions and even appraisals – so I may just take advantage of you in that way – as I am basically clueless as to Bullhead’s collectability and approximate values. I was wondering if I may impose on you and send along a few pics for your opinion? Thanks you.
Hi Steve, thanks for visiting my blog, and I’m happy that you have found it helpful. I am happy to have look at your bullheads – I’ll send you an email so you can forward pics to me. Stephen
Hello, I’ve just had my father’s 67-9020 GPB restored by a very capable Swiss fellow here in Sydney. (It literally had not ticked since around 1975). It cost be just over $1,000 dollars to get working and a lack of available parts meant that the original worn crown and a bent pusher rod remain in place. Was just wondering on availability of spare parts should these fail.
Hi Richard, thanks for visiting my blog. Great to see that you have had your father’s watch revived after not running for so long. Parts for vintage Citizens are indeed scarce. I will email you with some more info. Stephen
Wow, great write up!!!! Thank you for all the info!!
Hoping for some guidance with my issue below…
My Bullhead was recently brought in for service as one of the hour markers fell off & was rattling around in the case. While the watch was apart the shop I brought it to suggested a full clean and service. I got it on eBay with no history available but it was functioning ok with no known issues. He serviced it, fixed the hour marker and gave it a light buffing & looked 10/10….. when we were testing the chronograph (which is functioning great super smooth no jumps and re sets perfectly) we Noticed that when we hit “Re set” it was also changing the day…this should only happen when the crown is out for manual adjustment. He apologized and said he did not notice earlier & asked if I give him some more time with it….
He has worked on several of my chronographs in the past and have never had an issue so I trust him with the watch, the shop has a very solid reputation in my area….
Out of curiosity is this a known or common issue with the citizens? Is there a clip or a component perhaps missing from the watch? I’m guessing there is some kind of a disconnect or bracket that typically disengages the date adjustment when using the chrono re set…
The service shop will get back to me shortly but I’d love a second opinion while I wait lol….
Hi Rob, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I’m afraid I’m not a watchmaker so I can’t be of much help. I don’t know if it’s a common problem although I have seen it once on an un-serviced spare movement I had. I haven’t seen anyone ask this question before. I hope your watch guy sorts it out anyway. There are some schematics of the 8110A movement on my chronographs page if you’ve not already found it: https://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-chronographs/
Thank you for the site that helped me learn so much about such an interesting watch. One question I have is should the day date wheel color match the subdial color? All the vintage pictures show them matching, but a fair percentage of them now show a white day wheel in a black subdial or vice versa. Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Lawrence, thanks for visiting my blog, and it’s good to see that you have found it helpful. And you ask a good question!! I don’t think I can give a definitive, black and white ( 😉 ) answer. For the ‘stainless steel’ 67-9011 model, original catalogue images show black day & date wheels with the white/silver dials. But like you I have seen many with white wheels, including the one I have. My best guess at this moment is that both are original, mainly because of what I have found in a 1977 casing parts catalogue I have. This shows two part numbers for the date dial for the 67-9011, and indeed for the 67-9119 and the 67-9143, so there seems to have been alternatives for the same models. I have seen examples of both these last two models with black or white wheels – including a catalogue pic of the 67-9143 with white wheels. The day wheels have different part numbers for the different language combinations, as you’d expect of course. I wonder whether the white versions were original for different markets. For example I have two bullheads with black wheels, both of which have Kanji (Japanese) and English, and two with white wheels which are Arabic and English. This may be the answer, but needs to be tested! I might do a post to ask people to check their examples if they believe them to be all original. Finally, these deductions don’t apply to the 67-9356 octagonal bullhead, where the wheels always match the sub-dial colour as far as I have ever known. Stephen
What a great article. All the information I needed all though my watch has a case #4-901223 TA. Any idea what TA stands for? Also any idea what ON-4W- S refers to? Thanks in advance…great job.
Hi Alex, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I’m pleased to see that the information has been useful. I think the code on the back is ‘GN-4W-S rather than ‘O’, and this is the case type code. This would help watchmakers when servicing / repairing a piece, so they could look up the case type and if necessary find diagrams about the case and crystal construction and what methods and tools might be required. For example, some models have an ‘O-ring’ (a type of gasket) under the bezel which helps water resistance and this needs an O-ring inserter to place it in the correct position. GN-4W-S is a water resistant type, with a screw down back, as of course you know from your 67-9356 🙂 ‘TA’ is less clear – case numbers always have a letter or letters after them, but this not part of the number itself. My best guess is that it is a factory code – Citizen had a ‘Tanashi’ factory so maybe it refers to that. Stephen
ahh man. i just bid on a white face one. which im guessing is not original.
ya think this one is fake??
Hi David, thanks for visiting my blog. I wouldn’t say it’s a fake since the seller has described what’s been done to it – replacement dial and hands, and been polished (a bit more than a ‘light’ polish though imho). It’s a bit odd that it’s described as cleaned and oiled yet advises getting it cleaned and serviced is a bit worrying though. Stephen
thanks for the tip!
Thank you for the great guide! I recently came across a blue dial version, but so far haven’t found any references to such models. Does it mean it is likely fake?
Numbers on the dial are: 8110 901018 KA
Numbers on the case back are: 4-901177 K 67-9011
Hi Ian, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. The blue dial is an after market part. Only the dial colours listed in my buying guide are the original ones. Stephen
Thank you, Stephen!
Hi Stephen. Have dropped you a note via form submission. My enquiry is mostly on the challenger timer 67-9356. The rotor appears to have citizen watch co unadjusted in green which raises some questions on authencity.
Looking forward to feedback.
email sent 🙂
Just found your site from a comment in WatchuSeek. Great and very informative site!
I am getting rid of all my old watches and found 2 citizen Bullhead watches. I am going to sell them but need to check if they are original first.
After reading your text here I got a bit confused. I dont know if my watches are fake or if something else is wrong.
My first Citizen is in Stainless steel and has these number on the back of the case.
67-9020 4-901193 (GPB)
Since its not gold something is wrong, what do you think?
I couldnt upload pictures but they are in the last comment in this page:
Hi Otto, thanks for visiting my blog, and sorry I’m a bit slow replying to your comment. I’m afraid your two bullheads are not in original condition. The silver dial and hands look like they are original, but it’s not in its original case. The case has been heavily polished to remove gold plating, which is why the back is marked 67-9020 and GPB, which mean that it should have a gold plated case with a black bezel. The polished case has had quite a bit of metal removed, as you can see when compared to the other case. The red dial is an aftermarket one – not an original colour – and the second hand has also been replaced with a non-original design. The case and back look ok for a 67-9011 which is SSB, stainless steel with black bezel – the bezel may have been repainted since they do get chipped and worn. The crown has been replaced – it should be larger like the other one. Hope this helps! Stephen
Hi just bought a citizen bullhead chronograph 8110. I believe from reading your amazingly informative blog that the watch I have purchased has indeed got it’s original dial which if it has I’m feeling pretty good about the purchase I’ve sent the watch off to my watch maker to give it a good service and light clean and also change the mineral glass as it’s in pretty rough shape. He’s also going to sand blast the black bezel and re paint it to refinish it to the highest quality possible. On inspection of the watch he has picked up that the flyback function doesn’t work so will be needing a new part I was wondering if you had any links for parts.? Also could I send you some photos of the watch so you could tell me the year of manufacturer and if you think it’s in original state with the dial and hands. From your information I’m thinking its dated 1970-1973 with it saying water resistant on the back?
Many thanks for any response or information that you can help me out with.
Kind Regards Jonathan.
Hi Jonathan, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. I’ll email you so you can send pics, and I’ll attach parts info. to help your watchmaker. Stephen
Cheers have you my email address
email sent 🙂
First of all thank you very much for your website, it is a gold mine!
I wanted to have your opinion on this bullhead:
Does it seems legit to you?
A big thanks in advance.
Lucas from France
Hi Lucas – sorry I couldn’t reply earlier. I see that the auction has ended now. It does look ok to me. Did you buy it? Stephen
No problem! I bought the watch (my first ever!) 🙂
Can’t wait to wear it!
Why some bullheads have applied logo and some printed? Which one is the correct logo?
Hi Dmitri, both are correct – the applied logo is used on the ‘white’ (silver) dialled 67-9011, the green dialled 4-901096 and the octagonal models (67-9356). The printed dial is found only on the black dialled 67-9011. All are shown on my chronograph page: https://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-chronographs/
First of all, thank you for your very informative blog.
Just received a Cliff Booth 😉 Bullhead and I’m pretty sure the watch is all original from your information. May I have your opinion about it ?
Hi Christophe, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. You have acquired a nice example, all looks good to me. These can often suffer a lot of wear, and I’ve seen many that have had the plating removed. One thing I like to see is the clearly present white crystal gasket, which is an original feature. Is it running well? Stephen
Thanks Stephen !
Overall condition is good and everything works perfectly.
I was lucky enough to find this one for a fair price considering these last weeks Cliff Booth hype 😉
This watch is incredibly beautiful. and so fun to wear that my wife want to borrow it 😉
Good to hear that it is running well 🙂 Stephen
hi! the case is polished or brushed? can you please put a pic of it? THX!!
Hi Arthur, thanks for visiting my blog. If you’re asking about the 67-9011 model, then it is very finely brushed giving a satin like finish. Over time it can get a more polished look through day to day wear Stephen
As sweep hand says, case is not polished but satin finish.
Hi! Great blog and valuable information! Do you happen to know what the last year of production was for the 67-9020 with the Gold Plated case (AKA the Cliff Booth) ?
Hi Doug, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I’m afraid I don’t know exactly when production ended, but I would think it was around 1980. It shouldn’t be on Cliff Booth’s wrist though – the film is set in 1969, which was three years before the 8110 movement was first made 🙂 Stephen
thanks a lot for all work and time you spent on this blog,
i am about to buy a golden 67-9020 but all the hands, although original, are white and I thought there were right, whick were the original ones?
Hi Simon, thanks for visiting my blog, and for your kind comment. The original hands are gold with a black second hand on the 67-9020, or – since I have seen a good few examples – main hands gold with orange second and sub-dial hands. I don’t think white was ever used originally. Stephen
main hand gold you mean chrono hand gold and small ones orange? thanks
Hour and minute hands are always gold with lume centres. Chrono second hand black with gold sub-dial hands, or all three chrono hands orange. I’ve just replied to your email as well 🙂 Stephen
Good morning Master of Bullhead Citizien. In your opinion, althought hands have different color, what is original? The first, the second… or both? Thank you very much for you incredible guide!
Hi Andrea, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I have just replied to your email enquiry, Stephen
Hi Stephen, I am very curious about the dating of these models. You are very clear that the Bullhead did not start before 1972 yet the numbering on the front of two of my Bullheas are 008 and 012 which according to various citizen dating siting says 1970. I notice in one reply you mention that 912 was 1979 and december so somewhere we have lost 2 years in the decade. Also can you shed light on when the first octagonal Bullhead was made please. Again many thanks fro your incredibly informative blog.Regards Gareth
Hi Gareth, thanks for visiting. There were definitely not any 8110 models, including the bullheads, before 1972. So your serial numbers tells us that they are from August 1980 and December 1980. Production of some models did go into 1980, and the bullheads were more popular models so their production run was longer than others. I don’t know exactly when the octagonal model (67-9356) was first sold, but it isn’t listed in my casing parts catalogue from 1977. It was one of the later models, and mine is from 1980 – as far as I can remember I think 1979 is the earliest I’ve seen, and the latest 1981. The Walter Wolf special was the last 8110 variant, and that is from 1982/3. Stephen
Hi Stephen ! I’ve been reading your posts on Citizen bullheads and it’s very interesting and useful since I’m looking for one of the oldies for myself. I found one and I would like to ask you for a legit check. Thank you very much and greetings from Argentina.
Hi Mauricio, thanks for visiting, and good to hear that the blog has been uuseful. I’ll send an email so you can send info direct. Stephen
Hi. Wonderful blog. As a chronograph hunter, just wanting to be included. Thanks.
Hi Jonathan, thanks for your kid comment. Happy hunting 🙂 Stephen
Thank you so much for such an in-depth and well researched blog!! I hope it isn’t too much of a nuisance, but could you help me determine which is the best option between these two:
The first seems in much better condition, but I think the chronograph hands are far too bright to be original. The second however is in much worse condition. Also, do they both seem legitimate? I am suspicious that the first one has had a significant repolishing.
Hi Matan, thanks for visiting and fr your kind comment. I’ll reply to you via email. Stephen
Hi Stephen, wonderful site. I wonder what your thoughts are on this item: https://www.ebay.com/itm/164313543521
Hi Nathan, apologies for not replying before now to your question here. I haven’t been able to check things out this week due to other things. Do you still want observations now that the watch is sold? Stephen
Really good blog. Im looking for one of these but worried on ebay that they all have exactly thr same descriptions and I’m not sure if there’s something dodgy going on. Would you be able tk have a look at the 2 or 3 on ebay atm and tell me what you think? Is ome a better watch? Many thanks
Hi Dominic, sorry for not responding – please use the comments/questions link if you still need help – thanks
Hi I currently have one for sale on ebay its 100 percent genuine and original have a look at the description it was serviced and is working as it should.
Thank you so much for this article. It is so informative and just what I needed to help me with my search and to find a genuine Bullhead. I’ve been looking for a Citizen Bullhead for a while now and I wondered if you wouldn’t mind having a look at this watch on eBay?
Thanks again for such an excellent article.
Dear Stephen, today, a 4-901177K fell into my lap. What is the first thing you do? Check the Sweephand Bible! Turns out the watch is all original! Thanks for serving the vintage Citizen community as a Crystal Ball!! All the best, Bert
Just bought a Bullhead gold plated.
Its in non working order, but quite good shape visualy. Seems to be original.
Can i send you some photos?
Thanks in advance, great and very helpful page.
Best regards from Henrik
Hi Henrik – email on the way….. Stephen
First, I just want to commend you for still answering people’s questions and comments years after writing this well written and informative article. That’s true dedication and I hope I get a response from you.
Second my situation:
I was very fortunate to be given this watch from father when I turned 16, about 8 years ago now. He was the original owner of the watch and when he gave it to me I’m going to be honest I didn’t have the biggest interest in it, so its sat in a drawer for years. I have now taken an interest in it since my father is no longer around, I really want to restore it to its former glory. It’s visibly in good shape, but it needs work done.
So I guess after this long winded comment, I’m trying to ask is what to watch out for when getting work done on this watch while maintaining its value?
I brought it to a watch repair shop, the owner seemed trustworthy and good at his craft and told me the things that need to be replaced (I can’t remember exactly what they are, but they’re important for the movement of the watch and the date dial). He’s charging me a decent amount of money, which I don’t really mind spending, but I don’t want to go through with the work and end up regretting it. Especially since I don’t know much about watches I can see myself making a big mistake, I came into the watch repair shop asking for a cleaning and the man told me that was one of the biggest mistakes I could’ve made. This watch has a lot of meaning to me so I want to make the best possible choice. Thanks, and sorry for the life story.
With great regard,
Hi Andy, thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. And no need to apologise, it’s great to hear from someone who knows the full history of their watch and wants to do the right thing by it. The first thing I’d advise is to make sure your watchmaker has the right skills to work with vintage chronographs and believes in maintaining them as original pieces. I use Brian Leiser who is in the USA (I’m UK) since he has the skills and is a Citizen enthusiast. As I think you know, it is expensive to get a watch serviced and repaired properly so you need to be assured that it is done properly. If it’s cheap it’s probably not going to be right imho. Original casing parts, dials, hands, crystals (and the gasket) and day/date wheels are very hard to come by these days, so your watchmaker should not be suggesting swapping them out for aftermarket items, nor should they be looking to polish out dings, clean/paint the dial etc – better to keep the ‘patina’ of a life lived on the wrist. I’ve seen examples that are visibly smaller due to so much metal being polished off! Some OEM internal parts may still be available, so if replacements are required the part numbers will be needed – I can email parts diagrams and part numbers to you if you wish (I have your email address, no need to post it). If you are happy with your watchmaker, then you could share with him if he doesn’t have them already. They are in the English language btw. If you do want them, can you confirm that your watch is an 8110 (two sub-registers) chrono, rather then the 8100 (single sub-register). Stephen
Thank you so much for the reply! I would really appreciate the parts diagram! My watch is a 67-9011 though. Is it possible for me to come in contact with Brian Leiser if my watch maker doesn’t work out?
Again thank you so much for the response!
Thanks a very very eusastive explain. It’s real “vademecum”
Hi, I bought a Vintage Citizen Bullhead GN-4-5 67-9011. It was in mint condition and I came across your article after I had purchased it.
From the case back it appears that the watch was made in July 1980.
I am trying to work out if my watch is the same as when it left the Citizen factory.
My version of the watch has a black dial with two gold subdials and a white day and date subdial as per my photo.
What I want to find out is if this particular dial face (part number 901018 Y) was ever used in the model GN-4-5 67-9011 during 1980.
Is there an archive of the different versions of watches for the model GN-4-5 67-9011 that were built in 1980 so I can tell if the dial face matches the year of manufacture?
I know that this dial face was used in the model GN-4W-S 67-9356 with the Octagon case and I attach a photo of this watch but I don’t know if this dial face was exclusive to the Octagon model or if it was used in all of the models.
Any help or tips would be appreciated.
I have not been able to upload any photographs to this site but the drop box link to my watch is https://www.dropbox.com/s/n13j9tfzzxydgpn/Image%5B38135%5D.jpeg?dl=0
and the link to the Octagon is https://www.dropbox.com/s/ufto5zy71hf48lj/il_1140xN.4588627899_jn8b.jpg?dl=0
Hi Koulourio, thanks for visiting and for the links to your photos – as you’ve discovered, visitors aren’t able to post pics on the blog. Although I haven’t got a 1980 catalogue, as far as I am aware, Citizen never produced a 67-9011 with the dial design that you have – the octagonal 67-9356 did have that with a white framed day/date window, but the dial code is different. The only black dialled version (which often fades to grey) is this one: https://sweep-hand.org/2020/06/02/todays-watch-citizen-automatic-chronograph-67-9011-2-23-jewels/
The code on yours is correct for a 67-9011, but having had a close look at your watch, I’m afraid in my opinion it is an aftermarket one. Besides the colours used, the circular grooves on the two sub-dials are are much too coarse – on original dials the grooves are much finer and therefore less visible. Here is a close up of a sub-dial on my 67-9011 to show what I mean: https://sweephand.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/67-9011dialdetail6.jpg?resize=438%2C438
Also, on the left sub-dial the second markers around the number 80 should all be visible, although ‘cut’ into by the sub-dial. Here’s a post I did about dials for more info: https://sweep-hand.org/2018/12/11/how-to-identify-an-original-bullhead-dial-some-tips/
I’m sorry I can’t say your is an all original model – was it sold to you as that?
Thank you for your prompt reply. The listing said “Vintage Citizen Bullhead Chronograph, mint collectors condition.
This watch is from my personal collection, it is mint, not a mark or blemish on it, new old stock.
Never seen one this good, I guarantee you wont be disappointed.
Everything works excellent.
Any questions feel free to ask.”
Well, I suppose the seller may not have known otherwise….
It is very hard to find a really good and fully original one of these.
The strange thing is that these watches are not expensive. They don’t sell for Seiko money. I don’t understand why there are so many franken versions around. They are a cool watch and I still like mine.
The cases of the versions that have “base metal top” engraving have a different finish and polish than those that do not. If you look at all the ones that do not say on their back cover “base metal top” they have the thinnest lugs. I would say that they are from different years, factories or different material
Hi Paul, thanks for your comment. Other than the all stainless steel 67-9356 (octagonal) model, the other ‘bullheads’ are alloy cased, either with a satin finish, gold plated or black coated. Are you saying that there are other types of finish/polishing than these that are original? Stephen
Hi I was wondering if I could get some insight on if the watch i just purchased is fake, I couldn’t find another one with silver dials and orange hands
its a 67-9356
Hi Nick, the link isn’t working, so not seeing the pic – can you please check it, thank you, Stephen
Sorry about that! hope this one works
Also found this listing on eBay that’s selling the same watch face
Thanks Nick, this link works. I’m afraid the dial is an after market, non-original one. The dial code – 6-901026 – is for a gold tone version used on the 67-9020 model. The hands are probably aftermarket too. The circular grooves on the chrono sub-dials are much too coarse as well for it to be an original dial. The 67-9356 was only made with two dial variations, they can be seen with relevant info on my reference page: https://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-chronographs/
Extremely grateful for the help! Had a hitch is wasn’t real after looking at other listings of the same model. submitted a return request and will be doing much more research before purchasing another bullhead