Citizen 4-095197 Y (50-2014) Crystron Alarm watch

Citizen 4-095197 Y (50-2014) Crystron Alarm watch

This is an old watch โ€” details are a bit sketchy about exactly how old (there isn’t a lot of information around) but guesses place it around 1976.

It was Citizen’s first LCD watch with an alarm, and the extra technology required meant the case is quite thick. It’s not overly heavy though and feels good on the wrist.

There were a few different styles of this watch, but I like this one the best – the rounded face with blue crystal is a great combination and this one came with its original bracelet which was a definite bonus as it’s wonderfully 1970s!

I picked it up from a watchmaker while on holiday at the coast and it was an absolute bastard to try and open.

These watches are snap-fit/press-in and they are incredibly tight. If you Google ‘difficult caseback’ you’ll quickly find a recurring theme that these are very difficult to open and even harder to close.

Because of this, the watch had its original Union Carbide battery which had long since died and left its remnants on the battery terminals, but thankfully hadn’t progressed too far and, better yet, hadn’t been worked on by anyone else so was a reasonably straightforward repair.

Putting it back together was even more difficult than opening it and requires so much pressure I was very concerned the rare and almost irreplaceable crystal would be cracked before the back snapped into place.

Fortunately though, thanks to freezing the caseback prior and using a thin line of silicone grease, it snapped back and is now back to it’s original glorious condition.

I haven’t removed any of the tiny scratches (it was in incredibly good condition for its age) on the case or the bracelet as they are commensurate with its vintage and overall it just looks great.

The alarm works well too โ€” although without the manual (I’ve never seen that before) working out the setting instructions did take a while and I thought one of the buttons wasn’t working (I wasn’t looking forward to trying to take it apart again) but it turns out you have to be in the right mode in order for the button to work.

The digits are clear and black, even the backlight still works.

Overall a fabulous watch and highly recommended if you find one for sale and have a liking for early digital watch technology.

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7 Responses to Citizen 4-095197 Y (50-2014) Crystron Alarm watch

  1. I’ve recently had the good fortune to acquire one, but can’t set the time (although I can th date). Any hints on how to get it into the right mode?

  2. Thanks for providing some information about this watch; there’s very little on the Internet. I recently bought one via online auction and I’m doing some preliminary research. Can you tell me what battery this takes?

    • From memory it takes a 386 (SR43W) but check that the case will close without putting too much pressure on the battery. It may only need a 389 (SR1130W) instead.

      • Thanks! You were right; there was a 386 inside when it arrived, and a replacement 386 brought it right back to life. I appreciate the reply.

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