Citizen Parashock 5210

Apart from Stephen Netherwoods excellent blog and one or two others there’s not a huge amount of information about vintage Citizen watches on the web, especially showcasing the internals! Hopefully this post will help redress the balance slightly. This 1960’s Citizen Parashock came in recently for a mechanical overhaul and a new Crystal.

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It’s powered by Citizens automatic, 21 jewel, 18,000bph, calibre 5210 movement and this particular example dates from the sixties as can be seen from the information on the caseback. The serial number starts 808 which means the year of production was 1968 (8) and the month was August (08), Stephen has produced a wonderful table for determining the date of production of vintage Citizen movements.

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The movement looked reasonably clean, a slight bit of corrosion here and there but not too bad. When it arrived the watch didn’t run for more than an hour or so, the time couldn’t be set and neither could the day/date.

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The dial hour markers and hands had at some point been painted gloss black and the paint hadn’t aged well.

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The calendar wheel had a bit of wear and staining, the day wheel was a lot better but the DOM (Sunday) is printed in red and had faded. It must have been left with the DOM visible in the day aperture for some time I think.

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With the day wheel removed the calendar side works are exposed.

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Once the stripdown progresses it becomes apparent there are a lot of individual springs used, the date jumper and transmission wheel lever ones are squeezed together.

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The deeper you go the more springs you find! There was evidence of some water damage, small spots of corrosion etc but nothing as serious as the dial suggested.

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Finally the calendar side is stripped.

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This is just the calendar side components, note the six different springs used.

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The stripdown continued on the going train side, here the balance, rotor and autowind bridge is removed.

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The going train exposed, note the twin geared fourth wheel, both can rotate independently of each other.

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Here the movement is fully stripped and ready for cleaning and inspection.

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Whilst the components were being cleaned the crystal was removed for measuring.

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After inspection it was apparent that there were a number of worn components around the keyless work/date change area. As parts are very difficult to source for vintage Citizens it was decided the best course of action was to find a donor movement that had the parts we needed, hopefully in better shape. I contacted Stephen (who I mentioned at the beginning of this post) to see if he could point me in the direction of a suitable movement, not only could he, but he offered up a 5204 27 jewel movement that he had squirrelled away. To top it all he donated it for just the cost of the postage, a very generous gesture indeed. Here it is below, as can be seen the day wheel is a different orientation to the 5210’s one but most of the other components are the same, the main difference is the higher jewel count.

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You can see the escape and third wheel gain shock protection with the 5204.

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A number of parts were salvaged from the movement including this particular spring that had almost split in two on the original movement. This keeps the winding pinion engaged with the intermediate wheel when setting the time which was one of the reasons it couldn’t be set very well.

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Also utilised was the calendar wheel which was in much better shape.

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The mainspring back in the barrel and lubricated.

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Here the blank mainplate is ready to receive components.

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The train starting to come together, note the double fourth wheel.

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The motion work all back together. It has an interesting autowind arrangement with twin reverser wheels situated to the side of the barrel and train instead of on top.

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The calendar side starting to take shape.

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Here the calendar side is ready for the day wheel.

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The dial was in quite poor shape, the lacquer coat had transformed itself to dust in places and where it wasn’t dust it didn’t appear to be bonded to the layer below. As soon as I started to gently remove the worst of the corrosion on the dial with a damp cotton bud the lacquer lifted of in sheets. The dial was now stable but the dial text came off with the laquer, again it didn’t seem to be bonded to the layer below. You can see a shadow of where it used to be.

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I discussed the options with the owner and he didn’t want to go down the refinish route I’m pleased to say. Had that been done the sunburst finish would be lost and the dial would lose it’s character in the process – it would no longer be the dial his grandfather had looked at for all those years. A decision I fully support by the way! Here the dial and cleaned hands are refitted.

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The movement is now recased and ready for the caseback.

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Another shot of the caseback.

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And the here she is, back in the land of the living.

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And back on the original signed bracelet.

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Last but not least many thanks to Stephen Netherwood for his generosity in supplying the donor movement.

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