Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Citizen watch from Ebay

The Citizen automatic watch adventure started a couple of months ago when I was browsing on eBay for mechanical vintage watches. I was looking for old soviet watches when I came across a Citizen automatic 21 jewels "reconditioned".
The watch cost me 11.5 $ shipping included.
3 weeks later the watch arrived. It looked just like in pictures.

My first impressions:
What I did not realized from the pictures posted on eBay was the small size of the watch. The watch has a diameter of 30 mm, 34 if crown is taken into account. The distance from lug to lug is 39 mm.
This is my first mechanical watch, so it took me some time to figure out why the watch was loosing 10, 20 minutes in an hour. The watch was not winded.

Before I figured this out I took the back cap off to verify the mechanism inside. I took it apart with a homemade watch opener. A sheet of steel with a U type cut in it.
After taking the pictures of the mechanism the horror started. In the upside down position in which I kept the watch to take the photos the seconds hand fell off.
I took the mechanism of the watch out of the case, after 1 hour of figuring out how to remove the crown. All the tools needed was a Tikky mechanical pencil. The best tool for an amateur watch repair master.
To remove the crown I only had to lightly press the button circled in the picture above. After this the mechanism came out without any problems.

Do to my clumsiness I lost the seconds hand. 1 hour of search tuck me to find it just to lose it again. It took me more than 2 hours (spread over 2 days) for the find and rescue operation. I don't think that the second's hand is not for this type of movement because the shaft is thinner than the hole it sits in, this is why it keeps falling.
Because I forced the hand to be sure it will not fall again (it did) I bent the hour and minute hands. Because of this the hour hand ripped out the day / date golden decor.
Now the watch works without the seconds hand (for now) and without the decor around the day / date.
I also bent the crown stem because I forced it in when the mechanism was not perfectly inside the case, but managed to straiten it.
In conclusion the watch works good, it does not go fast or slow. The problems are cosmetic, I think the assembly is with parts that do not fit as they should (I’m talking about seconds hands or the decor around the day / date)
The hands have a thin line of lume. There are also green dots with lume above the hour lines on the dial. i did not test the time that the lume is visible but i have small expectations.
I will come back with a feedback after wearing it for a few weeks.
I think I will put my luck to test on eBay with other vintage mechanical watches.

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