Musings: For other articles by my guest contributor Jude, please click here.
Hi all, I am Jude and once again I am contributing another article to this blog. This time it will be on one of my vintage pieces called the Citizen Newmaster.
My motivation to write about this piece is that there is not much articles that share about Citizen vintage pieces and I would like to share more to help raise awareness of vintage Citizen pieces. In my opinion, Citizen has been making very interesting pieces and in terms of value for money, they might be on par or even better than the more popular Seiko pieces of the same genres.
This watch is called the Citizen Newmaster which should be a watch from the 1960s. The Newmaster started as a new line of Citizen’s line of simple non-automatic watches. My sample is the Citizen Newmaster model with a very interesting ring rotor automatic winding which I will touch on later. Please see below for a sample of one of the manual winds from the 1960s:
The dial is a nice silvery sunburst. Despite the age of the watch, the sunburst effect is still fantastic. The markers of the watch is applied and each marker has pyramid looking designs. This texturing of the markers create a 3D effect that reflects the light in several angles to give it an illusion that the marker is floating on the dial. A very nice effect.
In similar fashion, the dauphine hands have a layered design to it to give it a 3d effect. I think this design goes really well with the overall look of the dial and markers.
The crown is just the right size, not too large to make it look awkward but just big enough to make it easy to wind. The winding is made easier with hatched design of the crown. The crown is also signed “CTZ” as seen in the picture.
My favourite part about this watch is the movement. It has a very interesting automatic winding mechanism with a ring rotor. According to one of the sources, this ring rotor movement is called a “Jet movement”. It was shared in the blog that Citizen chose to replace this movement with a central swing rotor due to economical reasons. Other reasons I have found was that it was unreliable and hence discontinued.
Reasons for the discontinuation aside, this movement is interesting in how different it looks from the more standard central winding rotor.
The movement ring rotor has very sharp and nice teeth and it is fixed by very small ball bearings onto the main movement. The movement itself is able to be manually winded and when the ring rotor is attached, the watch could also be winded by wrist movements. I think having a windable automatic movement in the 1960s in your entry level models is quite amazing. Comparatively, many other Japanese watches in that era are either manual, or automatic without manual wind. I am also guessing that the empty space in the ring rotor also allows the watch to be able to manufacture a thinner movement. The manual wind creates a very crunchy winding sound that is much louder than other watches but it is a rather intriguing sound.
Tracing this movement to current times, Carl F.Bucherer has watches with rotors on the side, similar to the concept of this ring rotor watch. You can find out more about the Bucherer movement here.
The caseback is quite interesting as you can see stainless steel, shockproof, unbreakable spring, anti-magnetic and waterproof written on it. The waterproof word was understood to have been used until the end of the 1960s so this watch should be some time in the 1960s. Hence, this waterproof wording could be used as an indication of the upper limit of the circulation date, on top of providing information such as the model and serial number.
In summary, this Citizen Newmaster is a charming watch and I am very glad to be able to get hold of a nice sample for review. The best thing is that this watch can be had for a song. As it is not a model that has high awareness yet, I think it is possible to get one under 100SGD. This is quite a steal for a charming vintage piece like this. Recently, I had a conversation with a vintage watch seller and he shared that if you appreciate vintage watches, you could enjoy it regardless of the price and you do not necessarily have to spend big bucks to upkeep your vintage watch collecting hobby. This watch is testament to that statement and it is a philosophy that I truly believe in. Hope you all enjoyed this review.