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Now that it is repaired, I do not fear it to be cursed by a "too early review"!

The reason why I looked at this chronograph is two fold: Vertical clutch and flyback. A fellow forumer had my head filled with the beauty of the "jumpless" start of his Daytona, so I started to look after vertical clutch chronographs. Of course, most of the ones I found were high-end, way over my budget (for now... ;))

Then, while I was digging eBay for the One, I happened to see that Citizen. It is actually very rare that description on eBay mention the vertical clutch. I couldn't believe it, it said it was also flyback, a complication usually reserved also to high end chronographs! A quick check on the Ranfft database confirmed that information. I was amazed.

But I can't really say I loved the look of the round shape bullhead. So I started to digg on Citizen 8110 chronographs, and found that tons of them were available! Most of them with the round-shape bullhead, but also more "classic" looks, and especially the "speedmaster" one.



Surprisingly, I did not fall in love with these classic looks. I thought that this caliber deserved its specific look (no offense to those who have the classic cases, they are still amazing watches!). And suddently I spot that one eBay entry. The picture is a little bit sideway, and shows an unusual sharpness of the case. Too sharp to be a round shape. That was the octagon.

[img]http://www.blogmywatch.com/albums/Anteus/citizen-chronograph-8110/IMG_9813.JPG

Instant love, this is the spirit of the bullhead, but with that touch of agressiveness that make it more modern and definitely more sporty.

This is my review of the Citizen 8110 chronograph "Octa", which step-by-step repairing story can be found here: http://www.thewatchsite.com/index.php/topic,6847.0.html
The 8110 was introduced in 1973, he is the little brother of the Seiko 6139 which was launched around the same time as other famous automatic chronograph movements, the El Primero and the Heuer Caliber 11, at the end of the 60's. The Seiko 6139 and the Citizen 8110 are both vertical clutch, column wheel chronographs, but only the Citizen is also a flyback, which means you can reset the chronograph without stopping it, allowing to restart instantly a time measure without a sequence stop-reset-start.
8110 calibre was discontinued in 1990.

This chronograph is easily found on eBay for a very reasonable price, between $100 and $200. The octa is however a little bit more difficult to find, and some eBay seller offer it at $350 or more.
Despite the fact that this watch is probably older than me, it is in great shape. Only a few flaws testify that it's a vintage watch.

It looks like a tricompax chronograph, but it isn't: The 6 o'clock "register" is actually a fake one, and houses the day and date registers. Many of these chronographs offer day and date wheel with a color different from the register's one, which I don't like. A friend with great "eBay skills" spotted one for me that totally fitted my requirements: White dial, octa shape, black day and date wheels, white register hands (actually I managed to find another of these :D).

Main hands are made of simple stainless steel, mainly painted for the hours and minutes diplay. Lume is totally dead on mine, barely visible even in total darkness.



Maybe you'll notice that the tachymeter scale is a little bit too close to the rehaut on the bottom of the dial, compared to the top. This is positionning mistake of mine as the dial feet were broken and I had to glue it. I'll try to fix that another day.
No logo per say on the dial, but an applied brand name that is very well made, and echoes the inox of the hands. The indexes are applied too, and you can see that the 11, 12 and 1 o'clock ones are a little longer that the others. These indexes are very well made too: They are not simple "baton" shape, but the lume dot is actually on a sort of step lower that the rest of the index. I like this little but very present work that shows attention was paid to the details.
Overall, the dial is very balanced and coherent, with a good contrast. Only the black paint of the hands make them a little bit harder to read when overlapping the registers, but this is a minor flaw.
Subdial hands a white painted, maybe a little bit too white compared to the almost silver color of the dial, but that makes the chronograph information very easy to read.



Rehaut is polished, and opens the dial beautifully. I don't really know if the reflection increases or decreases the impression of deepness, but the dial certainly has some. Mineral crystal offers minimal reflection and optimal contrast here. It is flat.



As I said, what was appealing to me on this particular model was the shape of the case, called "octagon". Sides are polished, and the facettes (is that right, same as the french word?) give beautiful reflections, whilst reducing the visual thickness of the case. The watch may be small (38mm), it has definitely a huge presence on the wrist.
Another difference of the octa shape is that the bezel is polished instead of painted. I like it better, especially with the white dial.



The big specificity of the so-called "bullheads" is the location of the crown and pushers on top of the case. This gives a very special look to the watch, unmistakable. Moreover, it is actually easier to manipulate the pushers on top. But it has its drawbacks: The bracelet has to be attached very low on the case, and that makes the watch to look quite thick. The octa shape case has one advantage: The top side is a little bit slanting and almost aligned with the bracelet once on the wrist. That contributes to reducing the impression of thickness.



The global look is very sharp, sporty and agressive.



The bottom side is rounded, which is a good choice to balance the crown and pushers of the top. A plate side would have looked too empty.



The global profile is a little leaning toward the wearer, which goes with the racing spirit of this watch. Although the bracelet here is OEM and very well corresponding to the watch, it is too short for me and I have to use an ugly extension. I may turn to a thicker bracelet, maybe a watchadoo.



Case back is screwed, not very interesting. I wonder what all these inscriptions are, as they are way too complex for a serial.



This chronograph is sometimes called "Panda", like the Seiko bullheads. Guess why? ;)



But I can also call it "Grounded whale"



Or "Big seal stucked between two rocks"



It is anyway a very, very nice chronograph with amazing complications.
I made a little video of how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NpEoiIZfbA

Hope you enjoyed this little review!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Glad you liked it!

And thanks for moving it into the right section. I'm new to the forum, and I must admit I don't usually read all the rules and stuff O:)
 

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Thanks for a cool review.

I had one of these but sold it to a colleague when I needed some $$$ - it was a great watch, I miss it sometmes.

An important advantage of the octagon bullhead is that the case is solid stainless steel. Most (all?) of the other 8110 variants, with the possible exception of the 'Speedmaster', have base metal cases.

The movement is an absolute peach. I can't believe how affordable these are. Enjoy yours!
 

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Nice review - enjoyed the read :)


jason_recliner said:
An important advantage of the octagon bullhead is that the case is solid stainless steel. Most (all?) of the other 8110 variants, with the possible exception of the 'Speedmaster', have base metal cases.
Not all others were base metal - for example besides the 9313 ('Speedmaster') I have two 9054's which are all SS, whilst my 9119 is base metal. Looks like the ones seen most often for sale these days are the base metal variety, presumably they were less expensive originally and therefore more were sold.

Sweephand
 

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I'm totally envious of your Octa. It looks mighty good!


I have a question though: it seems that your bracelet has a push-button clasp. Is that the original that came with this model?
 
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