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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings all,

I read through the archives for a systematic and thorough set of answers to the questions here, but found no systematic or thorough set of explanations. If some authoritative answers are given to the questions here, perhaps this thread can be archived for people with similar questions, since the issue of “replica” (counterfeit, fake) watches is such a major concern to most of us here.

(Please note: I claim no credit for being the creator of any of the borrowed photos in this post. See disclaimer at bottom.)

I have two separate sets of questions that both relate to confirming or disconfirming the authenticity of two similar models of Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver watch:

First, how does one interpret the case and caseback markings on these two “Eco-zilla” models:

1) Citizen BJ8050-59E Men’s Watch Eco-Drive Professional Diver 300M Stainless Steel Bracelet

2) Citizen BJ8050-08E Men’s Watch Eco-Drive Professional Diver 300M Black Rubber Strap

Can these markings be used to verify the authenticity of either model, and if so, how can we know this (online or hard copy information source)?

I have some photos and some more specific questions below.

The Citizen website photo of the Eco-zilla/black strap model shows the name of the watch inscribed around the outer edge starting at the about the minute 58 mark: “PROFESSIONAL DIVER’S 300M.”

Click here: Citizen Professional Diver's 300M Model BJ8050-08E.

The Eco-zilla/stainless steel bracelet model is, most of you all probably know, discontinued, so there is no picture of it on the official site (that I could find).

However, is the location of “PROFESSIONAL DIVER’S 300M” supposed to be uniform—i.e., in the same place on both models?

The photos below show what I am asking.

Note that “PROFESSIONAL DIVER’S 300M” begins at the 58 minute mark.


58 minute mark, just as the watch shown on the official Citizen website below.


The location of “PROFESSIONAL DIVER’S 300M” is the same in both photos above.

However, after I clicked around to various places online (including here), I noticed photos of the Eco-zilla/stainless steel bracelet model with markings that begin at a variety of points around the edge: 15 minute mark, 16 minute mark, 6 minute mark, 58 minute mark, and the 42 minute mark (see below).

42 minute mark.


6 minute mark.


15 minute mark.



15 minute mark (another, it seems).


16 minute mark.


What is going on?

Why the inconsistencies?

Do they indicate that a watch is inauthentic?

How can we know whether the inconsistencies indicate anything, such as authenticity, a sign of having been worked on, etc.?

Again, does anyone know if there is a website or a hard copy information source that answers these questions authoritatively?

Second set of questions:

The caseback of these watches seems very similar (unsurprisingly), but it does not seem to be identical.

There does seem to be the following markers on the caseback of both models:

1. a four-digit movement calibre: B873
2. the case number: S057908 (What can this tell a prospective collector or buyer?)
3. the serial number: 800087 (What can this tell a prospective collector or buyer?)

The citizen website explains things only this far:


That information is not very specific or detailed, and it really reveals nothing useful for the questions asked here.

On the Eco-zilla/stainless steel bracelet model only, there also seems to be a strange, additional marking on casebacks of some of them but not all.

Under the image of the diver’s hard hat there is an engraved rectangle containing engraved letters on this one: “RFN,” see attachment:


Another one here with "RFN":


What do these "RFN" markings or the serial number or case number tell about the watch?

Can any of these markings tell me particular details about a given watch--i.e., whether it is authentic or not, when it was made, where it was assembled (Japan or China), etc.?

What does “RFN” even mean, why does it not seem to appear on all of the BJ8050-59E models, and why does it not appear on any Eco-zilla/black strap model (that I have ever seen)?

Why is there no “RFN” on this one below?


Is the one with the "RFN" fake and the one without authentic--or vice versa? (Or is the RFN no sign of either authenticity or inauthenticity?)

The significance of the four-digit movement caliber (B873) and the product identification codes (BJ8050-08E and BJ8050-59E) both seem self-explanatory.


What about the serial number (see immediately above, also showing the "RFN" marking): 800087? Is there an online or hard copy log of actual, officially recorded serial numbers (the way there is for Colt revovlers, for example)?


And what about the case number to the left of the "RFN" (see immediately above): S057908?

Again: Is there an online or hard copy log of actual, officially recorded case numbers?


Also, does anyone know what the “HST” stands for, located to the right of the caseback number (S015804) in the photo immediately above?

“HST” seems to appear on all exemplars of both models (BJ8050-59E and BJ8050-08E).

I have two authenticated Eco-zilla blackstraps, one in titanium that I bought 8 years ago, and one in stainless that I bought two weeks ago, and they both have "HST" on the caseback, so that seems normal.

But what does "HST" mean?

I hope these questions, once authoritatively answered, prove useful to those of us who are trying to establish criteria for discerning authentic from inauthentic with regard to both models: BJ8050-59E (stainless bracelet) and BJ8050-08E (black rubber strap).

I am trying to learn how to read these markings in the event that their presence, absence, or location can be regarded either as signs of authenticity or inauthenticity.

In case anyone is wondering, money is not the issue. I want an authentic "Ecozilla" Citizen BJ8050-59E Men’s Watch Eco-Drive Professional Diver 300M Stainless Steel Bracelet for sentimental reasons, not monetary.

If money were an issue I would not have recently obtained a Citizen Men's AV3006-50H Signature Collection Eco-Drive Moon Phase Flyback Chronograph Watch:




Anyway, I would appreciate as much authoritative information as you can give about the markings on the "Ecozilla" Citizen BJ8050-59E, especially the "RFN" on the caseback.

I am looking for authoritative information, not casual conjecture such as, "I think it means . . ." or "Maybe it means . . . ," etc.

If you have an intelligent, informed response please cite your source, whether it is an online source or reputable book on the subject recognized by Citizen Watch Company as authoritative.

(Please do not troll this thread with snide, sarcastic comments or snotty insinuations. I am a serious collector.)

Thanks,
Roy

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. 17 USC § 107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use | Title 17 - Copyrights | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute[/URL] ]
 

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Read this on a few sites.

"RFN" denotes a removable outer bezel ring.
You could turn it clockwise and remove for easy cleaning.
Newer models are pressed on.
This would explain text on the RFN models being in different places...depends on how they are printed and screwed on.

http://www.lionseek.com/watches/brand/citizen/ss-ecozilla-with-rfn-stam-536543


By the way, if you are this concerned about it, as your post indicates, have you tried contacting Citizen or posting on their Facebook page maybe to get confirmation right from the source?




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Citizen customer service is one of the best in the industry. I'd bet that a phone call or this thread send to them in an e-mail could get most, if not all, of your questions answered by the pros.
 

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This photo you posted containing the "RFN" is of an Authentic EcoZilla
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1388754988.080363.jpg


So....the "RFN" marking definitely doesn't make it a "fake"........I know this to be fact, because the pic you posted is of my watch which was purchased from a Citizen Authorized Dealer. Hope that helps
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1388755296.075078.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Read this on a few sites.

"RFN" denotes a removable outer bezel ring.
You could turn it clockwise and remove for easy cleaning.
Newer models are pressed on.
This would explain text on the RFN models being in different places...depends on how they are printed and screwed on.

http://www.lionseek.com/watches/brand/citizen/ss-ecozilla-with-rfn-stam-536543


By the way, if you are this concerned about it, as your post indicates, have you tried contacting Citizen or posting on their Facebook page maybe to get confirmation right from the source?
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thank you.

I am interested in learning to read the markings.

That is almost always a very important thing for collectors to be able to do.

The other things I collect typically involve face to face sales of items with easily discernible provenance (though with higher prices), so this type of question is more readily resolved in other sorts of collecting.

I did email Citizen Watch Co. in Torrance, but I will call there some time soon since the post-Christmas season is mentioned on the website as a peak period during which certain aspects of customer service, such as emailed questions, might be handled slower.

Again, thanks.

-Roy
 

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I remember something about Citizen changing something about that outer locking ring, but I can't remember the details. Maybe its no longer removable or it threads in the opposite direction, but there's something changed about it. Changes like these may explain some of your observations.

I also seem to remember a rash of complaints acouple of years ago about the orange hand fading in color with age so again if you see this it may not necessarily be a fake.

I would find it very unlikely that there are fakes of this model out there, especially from a reputable seller. If you happened to receive a fake I am sure you would know right away.
 
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