Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Citizen 1300m Professional Divers Watch

I used to think that a divers watch with 200m to 400m water resistance was impressive until today's watch came into my collection.

Today's watch is one of the Citizen Professional Divers watches, designed for serious underwater use. The models were made for saturation divers (tool divers), and came in 3 different levels of water resistance. This model is the most serious of the lot, with a crazy 1300m water resistance - yes, really 1300m!  The others in the range were only 800m and 300m. My research has found that the watches come from the early 80s (with my one being made in 1982), and it seems they were very expensive at the time, with only a very limited number being produced mainly for the Japanese domestic market (-I guess the market for people needing this level of water resistance is quite a small one). From the comments on various forums, it seems that this1300m  model is even one of the holy grails of the tool divers watch collector. I was pretty lucky to get it, as it was mixed into a pile of old junk watches I'd bought online, and it is in excellent condition!

The watch is a large case analogue model based around the Citizen 1251 quartz movement. It has a 3 hand dial design, and there is a day and date window at the 3 o'clock position. There is also a rotating bezel with lock feature, so to turn it you need to press the bezel down first, reducing the chance of an accidental nudge. As this has a high water resistance, it unsurprisingly has a screw down crown too.

The case is large and more of a square shape, but is made of titanium, so is pretty light and comfortable to wear. The strap is thick and long, so is suitable for use over a diving suit, and it has the Professional Divers name printed onto the lower half. The buckle is printed too, with a table of no-decompression limits to be used while diving.

The back of the watch controls the usual mode number and construction material information. The unusual part is that there is a section with dates (1 for year, and 1 for months) which is used to show the battery change date - I don't know if this is when it was changed, or when it needed to be changed, but suggests that after the battery change, you may have been expected to replace the watch back too!

The full model number is 1251-215249. In terms of value, it seems that the watch commands a reasonably high price, often being put up for sale for over $2000.

UPDATE: I found that the watch was still for sale in the 1990 Citizen catalogue, and I've added a picture of the advert. The catalogue number was SPN56-0503, and it had a sales price of a rather massive ¥172,000! 

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