My Reference Articles


So far I’ve completed 3 articles which give more detailed information on a few of Citizen’s more iconic watch lines.

The first two are very much related in that they look respectively at the hand wind and automatic Chrono Masters, plus a mention of the electric version of course! (that’s in the piece on the automatics).

The mechanical Chrono Masters were launched in 1967 and were Citizen’s highest grade models at that time replacing their original ‘Chronometer’ (hand wind only) model which was produced from 1962 to 1968. The wider range of Chrono Masters included both chronometer and ‘superior’ chronometer grade pieces as well as the standard model.

The two Chrono Master articles can be found via links in the Header.

My third article is on the Leopard line, a range of high beat watches first produced in 1969. The Leopards were all automatics, using a swinging weight type of rotor (by then Citizen had moved away from their circular geared rotor – the ‘Jet’), and the range was extensive, featuring a number of different styles.

It’s probably fair to say that the Leopards started at upper mid-grade and reached distinctly high grade in the chronometer version, which features its own unique dial logo and case back medallion. Whilst most run at 28,800 beats per hour, the higher grade models are 36,000. Typically the jeweling reflects the quality hierarchy, starting at 22 jewels and reaching 28 jewels for the best ones.

Often sub-titled ‘Superbeat’ the Leopard line is a great reflection of the quality of mechanical watches to be found back in the early 1970’s.

My article on them is also on the Seikoholics forum via the specific Reference Data link.

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25 Responses to My Reference Articles

  1. make says:

    Citizen 17 jewels
    water protected
    unbreakable spring
    parashock

    4-020103-k
    20801036
    63-5537

    plss: I`m very intrested to know type and year of this watch: nassau66@gmail.com

    ps, can`t find it from family tree, and movement table allso…

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Make,

      your description, and particularly the case number (4-020103), tells me that your watch uses the Homer 0200 movement, first made in 1960. Because the dial on yours only has Citizen on it, and not a name like Homer or Newmaster, it’s not so clear where it fits in the Family Tree and the Movement Table. In fact it fits in the top box of the 02 Family Tree, marked 020 Homer – and in the Movement Table it is part of the 0200 Homer group on page 2.

      I believe yours is an export model, since it has no name on the dial, but does have Unbreakable Spring and Water Protected which are not found on Japanese domestic market models. At first I wasn’t sure that these were authentic, but I’ve had another question about them and seen others for sale and they are correct models. I have seen some watches for sale with Unbreakable Mainspring on them which I don’t think are original.

      I’m sorry it was not possible for you to find it in the reference material – I think I will now add something to the Movement Table and the Family Tree to make them easier to find.

      The 0200 Homer moveemnts were made from 1960 into the 1980s – since yours has a model number – 63-5537 – which weren’t used until the late 1960s, so I think yours was made in August 1972.

      Can you link to a pic of the watch, it would be nice to see it 🙂

      Here’s a pic of a similar model: http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk252/Sweephand/UnbreakableSpring17j.jpg

      Hope this helps,

      Stephen

      • make says:

        Thank you! This helps a lot. anyway, What do you think about the possibility that it may be, however, 1962 because it is water protected, not resistant? It is, indeed, an export model, sold in Finland.

        • sweephand says:

          Hi Make – the main reason I think it’s 1972 is because the style of the model number – 63-5537 – wasn’t used until the late 1960s. Also 1962 would have been fairly early in the production run and I’m not sure Citizen would have been exporting them very widely at that time. There are some comments on the ‘Hand Winders’ page from ‘Jay’ who has one of these, which belonged to his grand father and was produced in 1966. The case back on his doesn’t use the style of model number you have on yours – it’s a simpler four digit number. I know that water ‘proof’ (usually ‘Parawater’ on Citizens) was dropped around 1970, but I have a 1973 ‘parawater’ model so there was some phasing out and in going on, so I don’t think ‘water protected’ means it can’t be from 1972.

          Stephen

  2. make says:

    Thank u! I found it in Finnish secondhand store month ago …here is link:
    http://www.asadonaarteet.net/tuotteet.html?id=23/2079

    hope, it works…

  3. make says:

    Thank you so much, I am fully convinced that I have received from you the right information about my new old wristwatch-1972

    I take some photos later on, and send a link to work,

    Thank you once again
    Make

  4. Rudy Lakatos says:

    Hi I have a citizen watch very small. It comes in a light brown leather band with stainless case that the watch fits into. This has a glass window in it so you can see the time. It is not possible to adjust the watch when its in its case. The watch has no markings on the back. Can you help me identify this watch Here is a link to the pics I think it might be a very early example 1931-35
    https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=3E81E573B3BB63AD&id=3E81E573B3BB63AD%2113880
    https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=3E81E573B3BB63AD&id=3E81E573B3BB63AD%2113881
    https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=3E81E573B3BB63AD&id=3E81E573B3BB63AD%2113882
    https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=3E81E573B3BB63AD&id=3E81E573B3BB63AD%2113885

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Rudy,
      this link works, thanks – the others were password protected. This looks like a very early one, which would use Citizen’s first wristwatch movement, the type ‘F’. After initially making pocket watches in the 1920s, Citizen used a Swiss design to bring this to market in 1931. Given that the watch is kept in a secondary case I would think yours is likely to be from early in the production run – the F type models were made right through to the 1950s. Unfortunately there’s no way of dating the watch precisely, but I would think the early 1930s is a reasonable assumption. The first F type was a 10 1/2 ligne, quickly followed by 8 3/4 and 5 1/4 variants – yours looks to be small so it may be one of these smaller types. Have you a photo of the movement? If so we could be sure which one it is if you can also measure its width. I have an F type model, but later than yours although the movement is the same:

      And here’s the dial:

      It’s great to see one of these first wristwatches from what is now the world’s largest watch manufacturer – who’d have thought it at the time? – a little bit of horological history.

      Stephen

      • Rudy Lakatos says:

        Hi, I managed to get the back off this watch. I have added the pics to the link above. I hope it helps date this watch. Rudy

      • Rudy Lakatos says:

        Hi,

        I left a new link at the bottom of this blog. I will leave it here also for you. Let me know if it works for you. Thank you Rudy https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=3E81E573B3BB63AD!45532&authkey=!ABwWthhRx3-Tmko

        • sweephand says:

          Hi Rudy, thanks for posting the new link, that works fine 🙂 Given the design of the watch, especially the wire lugs, I would think this is one of the early models, some time between 1931 and 1936 I would think. However, I can’t find another type ‘F’ movement that looks just like yours! Although the winding and crown wheels and the balance look the same, the top plates are different. The first Type F is this one:

          If you compare with yours you can see the differences. In 1936 Citizen modified this design with a ‘cut’ balance:


          (pic courtesy of ‘Akable’ [SCWF])

          Later design changes were introduced in 1948 which used plates with straight edges and look very different from the early ones.

          So, my view is that yours is an early 1930s model – but the top plates are unusual and I can’t verify whether it is fully original or not. I’ll have to keep an eye out for more pics to see if another one like yours appears!

          Stephen

  5. Matt says:

    Hi Sweephand,

    Love your blog! Anyways, I have a question:

    I recently inherited a Citizen College Alarm Parawater 17 jewel wristwatch. I believe it is from 1960, as the serial number starts with “60.” It also says “S.S.” and “Star” on the back, as well as “Citizen Alarm.” It has two wind knobs to set alarm, time, etc.

    Anyways, it is a very cool watch – silver, no date function, not sure if it is automatic etc. I can’t find anything about this watch anywhere! Is there anything you can tell me about it?

    Many thanks for your knowledge!

    Best, Matt

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Matt, thanks for your comment 🙂 And it’s interesting to hear from someone with this alarm model, I have seen very few of these. The ‘College’ alarm was produced in the mid-1960s, as far as I know using the 9800 hand winding movement. This was a Swiss design that Citizen used for their wristwatch alarms which were first produced in 1958. They made them with 17 or 21 jewels, then released a revised version (the 3100 movement) from 1964, with 21 jewels and a date window. The early 9800 models had a ‘cricket’ back, which has an outer and an inner case back, but in a photo I have of a College version it has a single case back. Photos of yours would be great to see the design in more detail 🙂

      All Citizen’s vintage alarm watches are hand winders, they never developed an automatic version. I have one of the later models, see this post: https://sweep-hand.org/2012/06/08/this-weeks-featured-watch-34-the-custom-v2-alarm-date/

      As to the markings on the back of yours, ‘SS’ refers to the case material, stainless steel of course, and ‘STAR’ was Citizen’s own case manufacturer. Your serial number begins ’60’ so this is a 1966 watch, which is exactly right for this model. The first three digits of the serial number will give year and month of manufacture – you have to know which decade they were made in, but we know it was the 1960s so the ‘6’ gives us 1966. The next two will give the month, e.g ’09’ would be September.

      Hope this helps – you can also see this model on Page 2 of the Movement Table, here: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.netherwood/VintageCitizenMovementTablev6.0Secure.pdf

      If you have any photos, although you can’t post them here directly, you could post a link, or you could e-mail them to me if I send you a mail – it would be good to see 🙂

      Stephen

      • Matt says:

        Stephen, thanks for your most helpful info! While I am keeping the watch for sure – it is in utterly mint condition and is too cool to give up – do you have any idea of its value? And send me an email and I will definitely send some pictures! Or if you have an email address I can send to directly, let me know. Thanks again!

        Best, Matt

  6. Rudy Lakatos says:
  7. Rudy Lakatos says:

    That is really great to hear. Based upon your information concerning the Swiss connection I looked at some Swiss 1920s style pocket watches and I did find one very similar. I will upload this to that same folder and send you the link. My next step is to consult citizen japan. I really appreciate your love of vintage watches. Any help of where to go next would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

  8. Rudy Lakatos says:

    I found several 1920s Swiss movements very similar in design. Rolex Redburg I have posted them in the same folder. I would love to know what you think. Thank you very much. https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=3E81E573B3BB63AD!45532&authkey=!ABwWthhRx3-Tmko

    • sweephand says:

      Great research Rudy, I think you have nailed this! 🙂 Here’s some of the history – before the Citizen company was established, it was known as ‘Shokosha’. It was set up in 1918 and it bought Swiss books on watchmaking machinery and set up a school to teach watchmaking and train technicians in watch assembly. In 1924 they made the first pocket watches, and then the Citizen company was set up in 1930 after the mayor of Tokyo said the watches were for all citizens. A year later their first wristwatch was launched – the type F. It used a Swiss watch movement, called the ‘Premier Kit’ which was a basic and inexpensive movement, and would have been used by a number of Swiss makers too. As Citizen developed the type F they used movements based on the Swiss ‘Mido’ company. Here’s an example of one of the Mido 7713 movements from the 1930s; you can see it’s very similar to yours, except the balance plate is cut:

      (credit for image to eBay seller)

      In my opinion, having looked at the various movements including the ones you have kindly posted in your link, yours could well be one of the first ones, using the ‘Premier Kit’ movement which would date it close to 1931. To be absolutely sure we’d need to find an image of the ‘Premier Kit’ movement but I’ve not had any success as yet.

      Stephen

  9. Jennifer Pitts says:

    Hello I found your website and I have a question….
    We have 7 (yes, seven) Citizen watches, all with original hard plastic cases, booklets, tags, etc. They are all brand new never worn. Here is some info from one of them… hope you can shed some insight!
    1.) Citizen
    Water Resist
    Stainless
    2100-94332ssmk
    50100417 (serial #)

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Jennifer- thanks for visiting my blog. Can you describe the watch face and /or what the booklet says about the watch? As far as I know the 2100 movement, indicated by the model number (2100-94332), is an Eco-drive movement from the 2000s….

      Stephen

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