Watch Hunting in Bangkok - Jatujak Market 12th August 2002
Part I, Part II

And here is the watch that was in my opinion the most interesting find of last Saturday, a vintage Citizen Ladies' hand wind from the 70ies again.

A hand wind with 21 Jewels, NOS, and in good condition, who could pass on this one. And like the Seikos, this one also had a very interesting indices layout.

I immediately fell in love with this one. It was also the first one I had spotted on that low shelf. But since this watch has such an interesting construction, I decided to dedicate the whole Part III to it. One interesting thing about those indices "in line" is that the relatively small dial seems to be uncluttered and it even looks bigger. In pictures to come, I put a match's head next to the watch to give you an idea about its size.

Always read what is on the dial before opening the watch. In this case however, I was a bit mislead at first because I had been reading what was on the case back - and again, I can not date this watch due to the serial number, but my guess would be mid 70ies.

OPEN THRU CASE BACK PUSH SET-LEVER PULL STEM... at first I thought this would be one instruction on how to open it. I pulled the crown and gently tried to lift the watch out of its outer case. Then I saw that pulling the crown advanced the date, an interesting quick-set date indeed! Thus, the pulling of the stem had nothing to do with the opening of the watch case. Consequently I removed the bracelet, because I started to have a feeling, that this watch was similarly built as the square vintage Seiko I had found last Tuesday. Once the bracelet was removed, I found this:

Spring loaded retainers for the watch case inside an outer case, just like in that square vintage Seiko 5606!

I tried to push the springs in with my finger nails first. The problem was that there were two feathers to be pressed simultaneously and with the third hand one would then have lifted the inner watch case out. But since we do not have that often desirable third hand, I decided to use a history frequent flyer card as a pusher - can you guess the name of that historic airline :-)

I managed to push the springs in and down with a credit card and then lifted the watch out of its outer container which also holds the crystal. And as with the square vintage Seiko, the O-ring is positioned on top of the inner watch case. And also in this case, no case back in a classical sense.

With the experience from the square Seiko from last week, I thought it would be very easy to get this movement out, since it was obviously a very similar construction. I used a thread needle with with a non-sharp point. And I closely inspected the shape of that crown lever with my 10x loupe. There was a small V-shape cut visible, but what was rather strange, that lever moved freely around its pivot about 5 degrees. I softly pressed down on that lever, the crown would not move out at all

Hm, what was wrong? Nothing really as it turned out. One just has to find the right position of this lever and then suddenly it gives way downwards and then the crown pops out. But in the mean time I found it safer to mount the watch in the case holder for my trial-and-error attempts to push that crown lever down:

Pushing that lever down was a lot easier in the case holder

And here are all the parts after lifting the movement out of the lower watch case:

A very similar cut-out for the crown release lever as in the square vintage Seiko, the lever however looked completely different and this construction was definitely less sophisticated then the Seiko lever, but that one was so tricky, because it had a hole in it, just were one needed to push down.

The key this morning was, that I had a good night's rest, the experience from the Seiko from last week and the goal of not rushing anything with this beauty. One just has to take time, the disaster starts, once one is trying to rush things. So far so good, the movement was out:

Is that not a beautiful and compact hand wind? The finish is not as bad as it looks on this picture, the grooves are so well visible because of the flat angle of the light from the side. You can see, that the finish is actually good on the next movement pictures.

Wow! I never expected that watch to have such a nicely designed movement in it. And it looks even better from the side:

A very interesting detail is now clearer to see: besides the shock protection, there is this flower shaped jewel retainer spring - Rob told me that this was done in better Swiss movements and called "DUOFIX" and this is the obviously the Citizen version of it. Citizen was not afraid of going an extra mile here to provide such a nice way of a removable jewel.

And here is a look from the opposite side:

It is a nice movement without any doubt! The rusty lever is the crown release lever by the way. Interesting that there was rust on it, the movement had been certainly removed before, but whoever did it, treated it respectfully, except may be that rusty lever :-)

And like in article Opening Tricky Watch Cases  I would like to close this hunting report with a last look at the ingenious construction of the watch case. It is interesting that Seiko and Citizen had very similar designs in the 70ies to increase water resistance. This is certainly an interesting milestone in the development of water resistant watches. These cases are probably quite expensive to produce and I really like this way of packaging the movement in an inner and outer case. If one does not know the construction well, opening can be quite tricky. Interesting also that the bottom of this Citizen shows a patent number, would be interesting to know whether Seiko learned from Citizen or the other way round. Citizen's marketing department obviously named watches featuring this special construction PARA WATER and as the movement pictures show, this packing kept the moist out.

I am aware that this was a very lucky Saturday and it will probably hard to find 6 nice watches like these on any other hunting day. But I will keep hunting anyway. The next hunting trip is scheduled for tomorrow: China town it shall be. We plan to "graze' along the streets of Yaowarat and Soi Texas. But before the hunting, a visit at the watch part shop is planned, the Royal hand wind needs a proper crown. I hope you enjoyed the tour. More is to come soon.

Best regards

Reto Castellazzi, Bangkok, August 12th, 2002


Part I, Part II