Citizen Eagle 7 – 1 Year Later

By: James Kibble

If you were to take a look into my watch box, you would see a wide array of large, sporty, modern watches. To be expected of a 19 year old collector, I suppose. But out of the corner of your eye you will see this beautiful vintage piece coming in at 36mm. It’s the Citizen Eagle 7 dating back to 1974. I want to share the story of this watch; from when I first purchased it for £13/$17 over a year ago, to owning over 4 variations of the Eagle 7 during this year and why.

Just over a year ago I found myself getting bit by the notoriously dangerous bug that is called “The Watch Bug”… You know what I am talking about! It sneaks up on you out of nowhere; you break or loose a watch and have to get another one. Next thing you know you’re reading about what a mechanical movement is and how it works. Once you find yourself searching eBay for a bargain on a vintage watch, well then you’re doomed!

During my time hunting through eBay I found my target! A beautiful white dialed vintage watch on a bracelet. All I knew was that it was a Citizen and that seemed to be the entirety of what the seller wanted to reveal – no description and 3 pictures.

After a few hours of research I found out this model had been named “Eagle 7” due to the eagle on the dial with the number 7 inside. They run on the famous Miyota 8200 which was produced in the early 70s and became Citizen’s staple movement by the end of the 70s. All the Eagle 7s run off this workhorse movement! Automatic, 40 hours power reserve & manual winding… It’s truly amazing!

I started watching the item and reading more about the Eagle 7. Then the final hour came… Watching the time tick down, hand on the bid button, waiting… Final minute… I put my max bid of £25 in and I won it! But not for £25, I won it for a CRAZY £13!


 
 

Once it arrived I was amazed! It was a tad bit dirty but with a toothbrush and some hot soapy water I cleaned it right up. It even had the original Jubilee bracelet from 1974 with it in great condition and it fit perfectly! I had officially fallen in love with my first true watch. I knew from that moment on I had to find more Citizen Eagle 7s! The hunt began.

The next Eagle 7 I sourced was another eBay find. I nicknamed this one the “Corum Eagle 7” since the case shape reminded me of one of those overpriced Corum watches. This one had a beautiful, dark blue dial and again came with the original Jubilee Bracelet; however it was dated in the 80s. This is one I regret selling to this day!

Next, was a very marmite Eagle 7, one that I personally loved! And you guessed it… I regret selling it also! This beauty had a jet black dial, gold hands and indices with a beautiful two-tone bracelet. I am not one for yellow gold but something about this spoke to me. I loved wearing it and would happily own one again!

And finally my most recent Eagle 7, one that I won’t sell as I will regret it! This is a beautiful fluted bezel variation; it has slightly thicker hands, indices and a wider crown. Also it’s my first JDM (Japanese Domestic Model) variation of the Eagle 7; this one has an English and Japanese date wheel.

So from the 4 variations of the Eagle 7s I have owned in the past year you should get a real sense of the variation of which these watches come in. All are 36mm which is considered small by today’s standards, but I do have to say it wears more like a 38mm. Plus, if you haven’t tried a 36mm watch before, give it a go! I have a 6¾ inch wrist and can comfortably wear a 44mm watch. Yet the watch I find most comfortable to wear and like on my wrist the best is this 36mm beauty! All 4 of them I picked up from eBay and all 4 came in under £50/$65!

What you get for that money is an inarguably beautiful watch that comes with a Day/Date feature, offers a great size, is versatile for everyday wear or dressed up with a suit and tie and let’s not forget… It’s a true vintage watch with a mechanical movement from a brand with true heritage, which alone is worth every penny!

The one other watch that I believe can challenge the Citizen Eagle 7 is the Seiko 5. They too come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes. I even owned a 1970s Seiko 5 along with the first Eagle 7 I purchased, I still own one of the two and it’s the Eagle 7. Why?

The vintage Seiko 5s are great and truly do offer great value for money too, I would never deny that. But something about the Citizen just speaks much louder to me, whether it is the raised bezel that makes the watch more substantial on the wrist, or the fact that the crown is typically placed at 3 o’clock rather than 4 like the Seiko. Or is it the more traditional hands that are easier to read or the cleaner dial with the subtle yet bold Eagle at 6? Whatever it is, it feels a lot nicer. I think the “Citizen Eagle 7 vs Seiko 5” subject deserves an article of its own as there is so much to go into.

My love for the Citizen Eagle 7s has gotten to the point of dedicating my 6 piece watch box to them, right now I only have 2 but I already have another on the way and the hunt for the ones I owned previously continues.

I would highly suggest these watches to any collector, whether you collect pieces of high value or low, whether you are young or old. Honestly these watches are worth every penny. This is the watch that started it all for me and one that I will continue to wear and collect even when I’m lucky enough to own more “substantial” pieces.

Editors Note: This review was written by James Kibble from itsKibble Talks Watches. Guest posts offer readers additional insight and opinion from valued and informed members of the watch enthusiast community.


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