Citizen Chronograph 1973


Within a few months of each other Zenith, Heuer/Breitling and Seiko, released Automatic wind chronographs. Zenith was probably the first with its El Primo but Seiko got the jump with marketing, price and availability. For the next 10 years or so, Seikos dominated the chronograph market.

When Citizen introduced its Auto chronograph, sometime in the early 70’s they were behind the 8 ball and couldn’t match the Seiko in sales even though they had, in my opinion, a superior product. The Swiss where priced way out of it.

This 1973 Citizen has, minute and hour chronograph recorder, day and date with quick set for both, auxiliary hand winding, crystal glass, water resistant case.

The Seiko lacked the auxiliary wind and the hour recorder, although the upmarket Seiko 6138 model did have these.

The Citizen movement was much more sophisticated than the Seiko. The return mechanism for the hands is spring loaded resulting in a much better action than the Seiko.

This Citizen 8110 movement out-featured the Swiss also and was more efficiently designed.

So, as far as consumer acceptance, why was the Citizen left in the wake of the Seiko? Even today the Seiko chronograph is much more desirable with collectors.

I think it was a combination of image, designs and price (the Seiko was cheaper)


About robswatches

I’m a horoligical “petrol head”! I love classical mechanical watches, not because they tell me the time, I can get the time from cheap quartz watches, my computer, phone, microwave or just about anywhere. I’m interested in the movements of watches, the aesthetics of case design and their construction, the history and the simple thrill of watching tiny, beautifully finished wheels, pinions and other parts turning and oscillating and marvelling at the craftsmanship that created it.
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