Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum

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Post by Mortuus on 2014-04-05, 18:51

Howdy, all.  You're probably getting a little sick of me and my looky-looky-what-I-found posts...I understand.   Hell, I even annoy myself sometimes.  Still, this is an honestly beautiful old Citizen that is making its way to the Homestead of the Dead, and I guess I couldn't wait to share it with y'all.  So, here's the latest of my very lucky finds...

I want to start by giving a bit of credit where it's due: a friend of mine on another site brought home a gorgeous NOS/MIB/BAMF Croton Antarctic watch, manufactured well before the Mermelstein clan bought the brand in 1991 and began the process of "stupidizing" the Croton name.  (I invented this lovely term because 'bastardizing' and 'stupefying' alone didn't quite cut the mayo.)  This Antarctic is amazing, and the first thing that really got the old drool pumps going was its gorgeous textured dial, something that every vintage watch aficionado craves, especially those over-the-top examples from the 1950s.

This newest acquisition was something I came across not long before my buddy wowed me with his Croton, and that watch -- especially its dial -- pushed me off the fence and inspired me to pick up this beautiful Citizen Crystal Seven, 33-jewel Day-Date Watch.  Have a look, please:

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum 0eab9a50-14b1-4ebf-8a79-d1fa7c751d86_zps9697654c

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-10_zpsfc5b5dbd

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-02_zps67d30924

This dial is almost nothing like the Croton that inspired its purchase, but it has a charm all its own that shouts 1950s!  Now have a look at the amazing crystal:

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-08_zpsac6c50f1

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-09_zps172843da

This is a feature that you just don't see in very many watches from this period (late 1950s), but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the only reason this watch was given the Crystal 7 moniker.  Taking in the whole of the dial, the thick crystal and the brushed case, there is a sense of the lines and veins that are seen in crystalline structure, be it something as mundane as everyday ice, all the way up to expensive crystal and gemstones.  It just somehow seems to fit the name.

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-11_zpsc1d7fc68

The original bracelet -- sort of a cross between an old jubilee and a new Watchadoo   What a Face  -- looks to be "all there."

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-07_zpsfb895994

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-06_zpsbceb367e

The case back -- or, you're Alon Nisimov, 'de kezz-beck' -- is in remarkable condition, and it also happens to allow us to date this watch down to its month of manufacture.  The first three digits of its serial number, located at the bottom of the case, gives us this info.  The first digit, 8, tells us that it was manufactured in a year ending in 8; this narrows it down to either 1958 or 1968.  (The parawater notation at the top of the case was no longer used after 1973, when it became the standard to use water resistant.)  My educated guess is 1958, simply because of the very 50s-centric styling of the dial and, to a lesser extent, the case structure.  I just can't see a watch like this being produced in '68, when the style was more toward cleaner dials and thinner cases.  Finally (I bet you're thanking God that you saw that word, eh?), the second two digits give us the month of its manufacture, in this case 11, or November.  Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy...

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-04_zps90ae468a

How bout those innards, huh?  Them be boss, Hoss!

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-05_zpseeef2264

I'm still involved in the rather tedious task of researching the movement, as the seller didn't know, and Citizen doesn't have any records that pre-date 1970; not even the guys in the Seiko Japan office knew anything.  (If it comes down to it, my Watchmaker, who's a whizz at that kind of stuff, will find it one way or another, though I'd rather find out on my own; it's really the best way to learn all that good stuff...)

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-03_zps475088d9

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-02_zps67d30924

Well, gang, that's it.  You've survived another of Mort's wordy 'picture essays' about a watch that's en route to the 'ol mausoleum.  As always, your time -- and patience! -- are very much appreciated; thanks for stopping by, my friends...

Yet Another Vintage Citizen en Route to Mausoleum Mortuorum CitiCrys-01_zps7b44144d

 What a Face

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Post by wottime on 2014-04-18, 22:59

That poor crystal wouldn't last long on my clumsy door jam finding wrists. Appreciate the vintage look, but that would be an awesome reissue with updated feel. Always enjoy the write ups and pics. Thanks Mort.

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Post by Mortuus on 2014-04-19, 06:11

wottime wrote:That poor crystal wouldn't last long on my clumsy door jam finding wrists. Appreciate the vintage look, but that would be an awesome reissue with updated feel. Always enjoy the write ups and pics. Thanks Mort.
Thank you, wotts, for stopping by our little ghost town...it gets lonely 'round these parts.  What a Face
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Post by kahuna74 on 2014-07-16, 14:46

Nice mort. I like the old citizen watches a lot.
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Post by Mortuus on 2014-07-16, 17:37

Thanks, Big K...I'm really behind on my reviews, as I'd planned to have one completed for this particular watch last month. I've gotta get back in my stride...  What a Face 

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