I want to start by giving a bit of credit where it's due: a friend of mine on another site brought home a gorgeous NOS/MIB/BAMF Croton Antarctic watch, manufactured well before the Mermelstein clan bought the brand in 1991 and began the process of "stupidizing" the Croton name. (I invented this lovely term because 'bastardizing' and 'stupefying' alone didn't quite cut the mayo.) This Antarctic is amazing, and the first thing that really got the old drool pumps going was its gorgeous textured dial, something that every vintage watch aficionado craves, especially those over-the-top examples from the 1950s.
This newest acquisition was something I came across not long before my buddy wowed me with his Croton, and that watch -- especially its dial -- pushed me off the fence and inspired me to pick up this beautiful Citizen Crystal Seven, 33-jewel Day-Date Watch. Have a look, please:
This dial is almost nothing like the Croton that inspired its purchase, but it has a charm all its own that shouts 1950s! Now have a look at the amazing crystal:
This is a feature that you just don't see in very many watches from this period (late 1950s), but I'm pretty sure it wasn't the only reason this watch was given the Crystal 7 moniker. Taking in the whole of the dial, the thick crystal and the brushed case, there is a sense of the lines and veins that are seen in crystalline structure, be it something as mundane as everyday ice, all the way up to expensive crystal and gemstones. It just somehow seems to fit the name.
The original bracelet -- sort of a cross between an old jubilee and a new Watchadoo -- looks to be "all there."
The case back -- or, you're Alon Nisimov, 'de kezz-beck' -- is in remarkable condition, and it also happens to allow us to date this watch down to its month of manufacture. The first three digits of its serial number, located at the bottom of the case, gives us this info. The first digit, 8, tells us that it was manufactured in a year ending in 8; this narrows it down to either 1958 or 1968. (The parawater notation at the top of the case was no longer used after 1973, when it became the standard to use water resistant.) My educated guess is 1958, simply because of the very 50s-centric styling of the dial and, to a lesser extent, the case structure. I just can't see a watch like this being produced in '68, when the style was more toward cleaner dials and thinner cases. Finally (I bet you're thanking God that you saw that word, eh?), the second two digits give us the month of its manufacture, in this case 11, or November. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy...
How bout those innards, huh? Them be boss, Hoss!
I'm still involved in the rather tedious task of researching the movement, as the seller didn't know, and Citizen doesn't have any records that pre-date 1970; not even the guys in the Seiko Japan office knew anything. (If it comes down to it, my Watchmaker, who's a whizz at that kind of stuff, will find it one way or another, though I'd rather find out on my own; it's really the best way to learn all that good stuff...)
Well, gang, that's it. You've survived another of Mort's wordy 'picture essays' about a watch that's en route to the 'ol mausoleum. As always, your time -- and patience! -- are very much appreciated; thanks for stopping by, my friends...