Citizen launched this rather unique vertical-clutch column wheel 8110 chronograph in 1972 - like the all original, recently serviced 1977 example here with its original bracelet - and its compact movement has a high beat, running at 28,800 beats per hour.
Significantly, the 8110 movement was Citizen’s answer to Seiko’s famed 6139 movement, with one key difference - Citizen’s well designed 8110, unlike the 6139, featured hand winding and ‘flyback,’ which allows the wearer to zero the chronograph whilst it’s running, rather than having to stop it first, then restart. This permits an instant stop and re-start of the chronograph function.
The compact design of the movement in the 1970's 'flyback' Citizen 8110 "Challenge Timer" automatic bullhead chronograph allowed smaller casing, so the 8110 tends to be lighter than, for example, the Seiko 6139 (which did not have a flyback feature) chronographs of the period. The 8110 is a far more compact version of the Seiko’s own bullhead design, the 6138-0049.
The start and stop of the chronograph is by pressing the button positioned at the 11 o’clock position and is reset by pressing the button at 1 o’clock. Pressing the reset button without first stopping the chronograph enables instant restart from zero. All models have the column wheel/vertical clutch design. These movements have quick setting mechanisms for date and day. Both are set when the crown is pulled out one click – the date by rotating the crown, the day by pressing the reset button.
Compared to modern chronographs, the only chronos in today’s market with similar features and construction sell at a far higher price point – such as Blancpain, Vacheron Constantine, Patek, and Audemars. The 8110’s are the least expensive, yet most sophisticated chronograph ever made!
This Citizen 8110 bullhead comes with a stainless-steel mesh bracelet, nylon NATO strap, spring bar tool, and Pelican travel case.
1977 Citizen 8110 Challenge Timer Bullhead Chronograph
DIAL: Original Citizen-signed silver dial with original minute, hour, and chronograph hands. Lume luminosity is poor.
CASE: Nickel Citizen 38mm x 44mm (with crown) case, with stainless steel caseback. The case features hooded lugs.
CRYSTAL: Scratch and blemish-free.
STRAP: Stainless-steel mesh bracelet; bracelet will fit up to a 8.5 inch wrist. This bullhead also comes with a gray and orange nylon NATO strap, with stainless steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Citizen 23-jewel automatic movement, manufactured in June 1977. The 8110 flyback tachymeter movement can be wound either manually or automatically. Separately, the date and day - with Kanji Japanese/English calendar variants – rotate and set as designed. This watch received a full service in June 2020.
CROWN: Original Citizen-signed crown.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress with satisfying click, no stick. Chronograph hands snap back and reset to zero with no issue.