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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thanks to George, I have now added a Junghans to my humble collection of 4 MHz watches.

As we know, in 1975 Citizen responded to Omega's 2.4 MHz Marine Chronometer (12 SPY) with a 4.19 MHz Crystron 4 Mega (3 SPY). The original cal. 8650A was followed by cals 7370 and 1730 in slightly lower-spec'd Crystron and Exceed 4 Mega models which Citizen produced right through to the end of the 70s.

A little late to the game, In 1978 (and for one year only) Junghans released three models based around 4.19 MHz cal. 667.26 and in around 1980 Casio blew the full-time whistle with three digital models.

Assembled here is an example or two from each manufacturer: all three Casios, a cal. 7370 Crystron 4 Mega, a cal. 1730 Exceed 4 Mega, a prototype Omega and now also a Junghans.

IMG_20161103_051600.jpg

Obviously not a complete set of every movement and every model, but at least I now have enough for each day of the week b-)

I have been timing them, of course, and data will be forthcoming in the fullness of time. So far, though, it's one of the Casios that's the clear leader in the accuracy (/precision) stakes.

As a footnote, the Junghans has '4 MHz' on the dial (as would be expected) but not the word 'chronometer' (which is odd). Further, there is no model number on the case back. Despite most certainly containing a 4 MHz crystal oscillator, the watch's movement bears the '667.20' designation of an ordinary 32 kHz Junghans quartz watch from the era. This is certainly not a rough-and-ready prototype like the Omega, however, so it is possibly either a pre-production demonstration piece or it has had a redial and parts of the movement replaced (along with a new case back). I like to think I got something special, rather than a Franken, but Junghans have not yet responded to my enquiries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Crazy money. I searched for 'Crystron 4 Mega' and got a hit on a cal. 7370 that's essentially the same as mine but comes with box and tag. As a related result eBay also threw up an Exceed 4 Mega that is a little different from mine but has the same cal. 1730. Each watch has an asking price of about £5,000, which may help to explain why they have been on eBay for so long (I saw the same watches there, at the same asking price, some months ago, I believe). None of my 4 MHz watches has come even remotely close to costing this much and I do sometimes see cal. 7370 Crystrons go for under well under £1,000.

Edit: an original cal. 8650A in mint condition might top £5k, but a search of historical sales on eBay shows Crystrons and Junghans going for very reasonable and quite modest prices, compared to what's currently up for auction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tom-HK, any info on the Casio watches? I've never heard of a Casio with a 4 MHz oscillator.

Thanks for sharing!
There are a couple of threads on the Casios. Models SP-400, SP-410 and SP-400G all used module 75, with the first two being spec'd to 15 SPY and the SP-400G being spec'd to 10 SPY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good theme, but over 1K USD for vintage seems steep.
The pricey examples on the Bay are exceptions. A mint Crystron with box and tag and an 18k gold Exceed. Still a bit OTT? Probably, but ultimately the market will decide and for those looking for more affordable options the 4 MHz game can be got into for very little if you have patience.
 

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These 4 MHz watches remind me of 70mm (65mm) film. A beautiful, superior but expensive technology that over time has been made redundant. In the case of the watches by 32 kHz quartz + RC/GPS, in the case of film by digital FHD cameras (and projectors).

Fun fact: up to and including DVD, there was no point in scanning a 70 mm copy of a film, 35 mm film is more than enough for DVD resolution. Only 1080p+ can potentially capture the quality of 70 mm film. Watching FHD Blu-rays of old movies really blows my mind, as does hearing about the SPY rating of 4 MHz.

Both technologies are also equally pointless. Most people have no use for that kind of resolution (not even most cinemas) and most people have no use for that kind of accuracy/precision. It's a great collection though!
 

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...As a footnote, the Junghans has '4 MHz' on the dial (as would be expected) but not the word 'chronometer' (which is odd). Further, there is no model number on the case back. Despite most certainly containing a 4 MHz crystal oscillator, the watch's movement bears the '667.20' designation of an ordinary 32 kHz Junghans quartz watch from the era. This is certainly not a rough-and-ready prototype like the Omega, however, so it is possibly either a pre-production demonstration piece or it has had a redial and parts of the movement replaced (along with a new case back). I like to think I got something special, rather than a Franken, but Junghans have not yet responded to my enquiries.
Hi Tom,
Rest assured, your Junghans 4 MHz is not a Franken with replaced and modified parts but rather a prototype or pre-production sample... but not the only one!;-)
I've acquired an other one just like yours with the same "specialties":

Junghans 4MHz 488.jpg Junghans 4MHz 499.jpg Junghans 4MHz 500.jpg Junghans 4MHz 56.JPG Junghans 4MHz 466.jpg

Just in case, I too made an inquiry about the model but Junghans have not yet responded to my inquiry...
The fact that there are (at least) 2 prototypes or pre-productions samples available actually makes sense - just as in the case of your Omega 4 MHz.
One thing is for sure that there could not be that many prototypes/pre-production samples around of these watches.:)
 

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...Just in case, I too made an inquiry about the model but Junghans have not yet responded to my inquiry...
I've just received an email from Junghans: they asked for detailed pictures of the watch and the movement which I promptly forwarded to them.
To be continued...
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've just received an email from Junghans: they asked for detailed pictures of the watch and the movement which I promptly forwarded to them.
To be continued...
I went down the same path with Junghans and after considering the pictures for a while they replied that they had no record of the watch. Perhaps you will have better luck.
 

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I went down the same path with Junghans and after considering the pictures for a while they replied that they had no record of the watch. Perhaps you will have better luck.
We have 2 samples of the same "unusual" design/model so I'd say it's hard to imagine any other explanation than the "prototype" or "pre-production" explanations. If Junghans can't show any record of the watch then this would indicate very poor record keeping from the manufacturer. We'll see!
 

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We have 2 samples of the same "unusual" design/model so I'd say it's hard to imagine any other explanation than the "prototype" or "pre-production" explanations. If Junghans can't show any record of the watch then this would indicate very poor record keeping from the manufacturer. We'll see!
Here is the reply from Junghans:

"Dear George,

Thank you for your mail. Please be informed that we assume that you have actual a prototype.

It were only changed the IC and the quarz. Therefore you can change with a new eblock very easy a movement 667.20 to a movement 667.26.

We hope that we could help you in this matter.

With best regards
Karin Lederer
International Sales"

Tom, we both have the prototype model based on mutual assumption by you, me and Junghans... and let's not forget: this makes sense and sounds logical as well!
;-) This prototype must have been made in very limited numbers... wonder if there is any more out there... probably not... It goes well with your Omega 4 MHz prototype model.:)
 
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Is there any reason to update the IC and remove the prototype status??
I think you misunderstood her message. The point is that only the IC and the quartz are different between 667.20 (32 kHz) and 667.26 (4 Mhz), the rest of the movements are identical. So the "bridge" where you can find the caliber ID and the "Made in Germany" writing is identical. During the production of the prototypes Junghans might not have come up with a caliber ID for the 4 MHz movement (it was not even decided at that time whether it would be in normal production) so they just used the "bridge" with the "wrong" caliber ID.
The only difference between the "prototypes" and the "normal" 4 MHz movements is the caliber ID on the "bridge".
The "normal" production Junghans 4 MHz watches were cased in a different style compared to the "prototype" design. All the "normal" production watches have "Chronometer" written on their dials.
If you have a 667.20 (32 kHz) Junghans you only need the quartz and the IC from the 4 MHz movement to convert/upgrade your 32 kHz to 4 MHz (of course these days you would not be able to have access to the quartz and IC as spare parts so it is just a theoretical modification). As far as I know Junghans only made 2000 pieces of the "normal" production of the 4 MHz watches back in 1978 and probably only 2 samples of the 4 MHz "prototype" (Tom's and mine).
 

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I think you misunderstood her message. The point is that only the IC and the quartz are different between 667.20 (32 kHz) and 667.26 (4 Mhz), the rest of the movements are identical. So the "bridge" where you can find the caliber ID and the "Made in Germany" writing is identical. During the production of the prototypes Junghans might not have come up with a caliber ID for the 4 MHz movement (it was not even decided at that time whether it would be in normal production) so they just used the "bridge" with the "wrong" caliber ID.
The only difference between the "prototypes" and the "normal" 4 MHz movements is the caliber ID on the "bridge".
The "normal" production Junghans 4 MHz watches were cased in a different style compared to the "prototype" design. All the "normal" production watches have "Chronometer" written on their dials.
If you have a 667.20 (32 kHz) Junghans you only need the quartz and the IC from the 4 MHz movement to convert/upgrade your 32 kHz to 4 MHz (of course these days you would not be able to have access to the quartz and IC as spare parts so it is just a theoretical modification). As far as I know Junghans only made 2000 pieces of the "normal" production of the 4 MHz watches back in 1978 and probably only 2 samples of the 4 MHz "prototype" (Tom's and mine).
I did misunderstand and thanks for the clarification.
 
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