Citizen Chrono Master - A Grand Seiko Killer

In 2021, Citizen have learnt from Seiko by making their top product into an independent product line "The Citizen". We will talk about the amazing 4 season release in the future, however we would like to show you the watch that all the top tier Citizen in the market today pay tribute to - the Citizen Chrono Masters from the 1960s. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, there are two long rivals in Japanese watchmaking and its impossible not to mention one another when discussing the brilliant watch history of them. The two companies went so close to competing with each other the design is of their dress watch are indiscernible from 5 to 10 meter of distance.  

Rival of King Seiko 

Today we are bringing along one of our offerings in the shop, the vintage Citizen Chrono Master 9040 0309. The Chrono Master was created as the answer to Seiko's King and Grand Seiko. 
Referencing vintage Citizen watches is not as easy as Seiko as there are fewer enthusiasts putting together information in database. From my source, the Citizen Chrono Master line was first launched into the market in 1967 and the watch we have on hand today is also an early reference based on its model number 9040 0309. In the wide range of very similar Chrono Masters Citizen offers, they did not fine-tune all of their watches to the COSC specification, only the most expensive examples in the line fine-tuned to the highest precision are added with the "Chronometer" to the dial. We are lucky to get hold of the "Chronometer" version in our shop. With reference to the price data now, vintage Japanese watch lovers seem to have forgotten the "Chronometer" variant of the Citizen because most of them are still selling at a lower price than a non-Chronometer certified King Seiko from the same period. That makes the watch a bargain for collectors.
 Citizen Chrono Master
Citizen Chorno Master with "Chronometer" stamp
Lower price Citizen Chorno Master with the Flying Phoenix Logo only
Citizen Chrono Master Catalog
Citizen Catalog from the 60s

Case of Citizen Chrono Master

After understanding the basic, let us zoom in to discover more of the charm of the Citizen. The details of the Citizen truly make it score over other King Seiko alternatives. The watch is fitted with a multidimensional designed watch case measuring at 37mm, hitting the sweet spot of the dress watch even by today's standards. The 37mm gives the watch enough present and a modern feeling on the wrist and yet it is slim enough to slip right under your shirt cuff. The thick dome bevelled mineral glass crystal also helps to bring an extra visual presence to the watch adding the thickness of the watch to 12.5mm. 

 Citizen Chrono Master Case
 Citizen Chrono Master Case

Dial with Texture

The dial of the Citizen Chrono Master is where is outperforming its rival King Seiko which are priced at an extremely similar price point. The Citizen is fitted with a silver sunburst dial, with an applied Citizen and Phoenix logo. The Phoenix logo is special as it is only fitted to the best Citizen watches in the product line. They have retain the Phoenix logo on their The Citizen A060 series watches as well. The Chrono Master name is also printed on the dial using a special font giving the dial some extra richness. Because of this particular example is the Chronometer version, a "Chronometer" wording is also printed on the dial. 
 Citizen Chrono Master Dial
Inside the Citizen Chrono Master, we find the 0940 manual winding movement beating at 18,000 bph. The detail of the finishing on the dial and the precision of its movement combined together make you unsurprised that Swiss people feel the threat from Japanese watchmaking as their main source of in-come  - watch making.   

The Gold Medallion

The place Citizen Chrono Master truly scores from other Japanese dress watches is when you flip the watch over. The Citizen Chrono Master is fitted with a Gold Phoenix Medallion. The quality of the Medallion is made in a more solid way compared with King and Grand Seiko from the same era. I really appreciate the finishing of the Medallion every time I put on the watch, it keeps reminding you that the is something special and you should take good care of it for the generations to come!
 Citizen Chrono Master Madallion
Gold Phoenix Medallion
In recent years where all vintage JDM watches are going up in value, I am surprised that Citizen Chrono Master can remain as a hidden gem in the market. Samurai Vintage always have the mission of promoting the idea of Japanese Vintage Watches to a wider audience, therefore after a long rest from my articles, I picked the Chrono Master to introduce to you. If you are interested in finding a special vintage Chronometer watch yet do not watch to go for the Swiss path, the Citizen Chrono Master might well be your best choice. 
Check the watch out on our website:
Until the next article, take care and happy watch hunting.

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