While there are many watch collectors who are familiar with Seiko dive watch history, far fewer are aware of the fact that Citizen has been just as active in the field.
Citizen’s first waterproof watch was the Parawater, which was released in 1959. Seiko, on the other hand, did not release one until 1965.
Over 100 Citizen Parawaters were dropped into the ocean in buoys as part of an effort to research ocean currents and test the waterproofness of the watch. Each buoy also had a letter written in English by Japanese schoolchildren – intended to be read by their North American “friends”.
Over the next few decades, Citizen had continued to produce some very high quality dive watches such as the 150m/600m Crystrons. I *think* it is from the mid 70’s (Can anyone correct me?).
Of course Seiko had been making 300m divers since 1968. By 1975 they released the 600m auto tuna can. And finally, they hit 1000m in 1986.
And Citizen continued to follow. During the 80’s and 90’s they pushed as far as 1300m!
They also made 300m and 800m versions.
Recently, I came upon an undocumented version of the 800m professional diver. It's black/gold color combination is very reminiscent of Seiko’s 1000m tuna that was released in 1978. To the best of my knowledge, these colors have not been used by them before or since. Could it have been a desperate attempt to compete?
According to Citizen Japan, this model was made in 1984. They had no other info except that the UK division may have some spare parts. As far as the composition, the gold parts are immersion gold plated titanium. I am not sure about the black portion. It does not feel like ss/titanium or plastic. Maybe magnesium? The quartz movement is model 2851, and has a Kanji/English date.
Diameter --> 50mm
Unlike the tuna cans, the case is a regular screwback (gold ti too). The bezel is 120 clicks. The strap is of very high quality, and imho contrasts greatly from their typical lackluster straps.
Judging by the lack of information about it in both Japanese and English, it appears to have been a very limited model. I guess that there were not many divers back in 1984 who were willing to swim against the current and choose Citizen over Seiko. As for me, I want them all!
Citizen/Seiko timelines + Parawater article were scanned from the "Diver's Watch Mook" 2008
Citizen Crystron/1300m/800m pictures were taken from the scwf watch data base/yeoman watch blog
Rest are mine.