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This Week’s Featured Watch #81 – the Varia-Matic (A1309)

This Week’s Featured Watch #81 – the Varia-Matic (A1309)

This week’s featured watch is not one of mine – it belongs to Thierry who contacted me about it recently and kindly sent photos. It’s a rare export ‘Valiant’ version of a Jet Auto-dater, called the ‘Valia-Matic’ on the dial. I have seen a Valiant hand winder before, but not this automatic model.

Here’s a view of the dial side with date window:

As you can see the stainless steel case holds a 21 jewels movement, with date window, and is marked ‘waterproof’ rather than ‘parawater’, indicative of a watch made for export rather than the Japanese domestic market. There is also no ‘Jet’ name printed on the dial and the positioning of the logo, model name and jewel count is different from what would be typically seen on Japanese market Jets.

One appealing aspect of some of these export models is the use of special designs on the back, and this Valia-Matic is no exception:

A closer look of the back reveals what appears to be a Roman legionnaire motif:

The surrounding engraving includes ‘anti-magnetic’, ‘shockproof’, ‘waterproof’ and ‘unbreakable spring’ all of which cater for English speaking markets whilst the serial number – 5110857 – gives a production date of November 1965. The full model name is given as the Valiant Automatic.

As well as the production date the use of a screw down back and the date complication indicate that this is not one of the earliest Jet models, a range that Citizen introduced in 1961. Here’s a nice shot of the movement (so much better looking than a swinging weight design imho):

The ‘A’ in the model number – A1309 – tells us exactly what the movement is. Citizen used this for just two movements, one of which is the hand wound ‘Ace’ which can be discounted here of course. The other is what we are looking for, the 1120/1121, which was first produced in January 1962.

As with all Jets, this movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour. Here’s a link to my blog page which summarises all the Jet movements, to which I now need to add the Valiant Automatic:

The Valiant joins other export model names that were used with more than one movement. The Valiant hand winder for example uses the ‘Homer’ date movement, i.e. the 18xx series. The ‘Newmaster’ is the more common example of these, which was also used with a Jet movement – the Jet variants will always be the more desirable as well as the oldest. Other examples using the Jet automatics are the ‘555’ and the ‘777’ – if you know of any more please let us know.

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