Writer Marcello Di Cintio visited the AMCHPR for the Financial Times.
Click here or the photo to read the article.
Big thanks to The Financial Times, Marcello Di Cintio, and photographer Lori Day.
Here's another of the friendly crew at the JIUSKO booth in Shenzhen: Hong Zheng, Moshe, me, and Joan and The Mannequins.
It was a treat to meet Moshe, and to discuss the business and industry while visiting the show. The hospitality for us all at the Jiusko booth was terrific and my thanks to Hong Zheng and Joan of JIUSKO!
Full disclosure: While at the Shenzhen fair, the Glucks very generously offered me a birthday present, and it doesn't near convey my appreciation to tell you all I'm much more than grateful. As you're about to see, this was an astonishingly kind gesture on their part.
On to the gift: the JIUSKO 153LS0107 tourbillon watch...housing a Hongzhou 3335 tourbillon movement including the presentation box and certificate from the Gem Testing Center of All-China Federation of Commerce. The watch will be a cherished addition to the AMCHPR collection.
(This link goes to the ChineseWatchWiki article on Chinese Tourbillons, which provides more details on the various types of tourbillon movements.)
The video shows the tourbillon movement in action.
Tourbillon watches built outside of China are usually (as in almost always) prohibitively expensive ($30K and well up) and highly sought after by many seasoned high-end collectors, which is why it was a huge shock to the horological world when China began producing true tourbillon watches that -- although still not inexpensive -- were much more affordable than their European counterparts, allowing sophisticated watch lovers with smaller budgets a chance to own a complication that, until relatively recently, was only available to the very well-off.
The JIUSKO 153LS0107 is an eye-pleasing, well-built, more affordable way to more enjoy this very entertaining high-end complication.
Deputy General Manager Mr. Xu ChuangYue (徐创越) is a very cordial, very focused individual, and I was pleased to be provided a chance to meet and talk with him while attending the China Watch and Clock Fair, June 25th/2015. The meeting followed a noon lunch and watch inspired fashion and information show, hosted by Fiyta and Fiyta's General Manager Mr. Du Xi:
The specifics of the agreement, as Google translated from the initial message from Li Wei are:
"@Ron Good: News eleven FIYTA a joint venture with the Beijing Watch Factory Watch Company Tencent securities 2015-06-05 20:04:00: FIYTA A (000026) June 5 evening announcement, in key areas to enhance the company's core competencies parts, the Board of Directors authorized the management and the Beijing Watch Factory Co., Ltd. signed a framework agreement to jointly invest in the establishment of North-table industry ( Beijing) Limited. Under the agreement, Beijing Watch Factory agreed to watch movement components and manufacturing operations, "Beijing" and "Shining" brand and related business team and other resources, the establishment of a separate north-table industry company, which holds the North exemplar companies 100% of the shares. After the separation is completed, the company intends to cash 80 million yuan (including 51 million yuan as registered capital of the target company) north exemplar investment companies, investment shares after the company accounted for 51% of the shares of North exemplar companies, Beijing Watch Factory accounted North exemplar 49% stake in the industry."
Mr. XuDi stated the day the collaboration was announced (translated):
"Our bilateral cooperation has many meanings. First, FIYTA, to cooperate with the North watch factory after FIYTA full manufacturing capacity will be time to add in the future we will have a production movement, which can directly enhance the core competitiveness of FIYTA enhance industry strength . For North watch factory, with FIYTA in marketing, channel, and many other advantages, the North watch factory own movement manufacturing level and brand development must also be improved. ”
Fiyta is strongly placing itself in the active wear watch market, and supports many athletic and fitness activities. Later in the evening, Fiyta invited (and transported) many guests to a group fitness run along Shenzhen's shoreline, a great end to an informative and fun day.
I'm eagerly waiting to see the concrete results of this exciting development.
Watch photography hints
The next morning, the 25th/June, the CWCF Fair opened the main gates to the expected more than 1000,000 visitors, with the fair housed over two buildings in the huge Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center complex.
The main building primarily housed brands with finished watches and clocks, and the second building focused mostly on support industries: machining, dial, case, movements and parts manufacturers, CNC machine developers, leather and metal bracelet/strap manufacturers, periodicals, tools and the like, although there was some crossover...and enough that both sections were well worth exploring across the board.
The slideshow below contains 65 photos and informative captions covering a broad range of exhibitors at the Shenzhen CWCF 2015, as well as a few casual shots taken with industry notables and friends in Shenzhen.
The next slideshow starts with Shenzhen's beautiful Dameisha Beach Scenic Area where I was fortunate to spend an overnight at the Sheraton Dameisha Resort, then other areas of Shenzhen, both older and newer, and ends with...Chinese domestic watch eye candy.
In watch collecting, the realms of...
…are often unaffordable or even just unavailable due to scarcity to most collectors (me, for example)
But with Chinese and especially Chinese vintage watches, every category listed above can still be affordably explored, most of the time at under $100-200 per piece (actually, often still well under $100 CDN) and the available vintage Chinese mechanical watches – beside meeting the above criteria – are cosmetically and mechanically sound, attractive, reliable and capable of excellent, sometimes even chronometer like, accuracy.
Besides all this, of course, many of the current and vintage designs from the Chinese watch factories are just plain cool. :-)
From a historical point of view, in just over 60 years China has gone from putting a half dozen watchmakers in one single room to a situation where just a single one of its many companies now supplies a full one-quarter of the world’s mechanical and automatic movements, on its own.
From a collector’s point of view, or at least “me”, it’s my opinion/impression that prices for vintage Chinese watches on Ebay and on Taobao have gone up by maybe 35% over the time I’ve been collecting, and the supply of a number of pieces is getting scarce. But I still think examples of much of the good stuff are around and available – and well worth having if you’re on a budget but you still want to have historically significant pieces. After all, it’s highly unlikely the Chinese are going to just fade away out of the watch business.
Anyways, just sayin…
And because “a post is worthless without pix”, here’s an example or two from a few categories from the AMCH/PR (except for “in house movements” because many vintage Chinese watches have in house movements…that is: movements built by the manufacturer of the watch itself, and the watches below are no exception):
Shanghai A-581 (Shanghai’s first generally issued watch model, circa 1956—1965). Available to careful purchasers for around $300 CDN…but be careful, hybrid or “franken” pieces are common.
A historically industry milestone:
1960s DongFeng ST5…the very first 100% Chinese designed and built wristwatch (19 jewels, including jewels for the mainspring barrel)…pristine: $180, but excellent only around $40/$50 CDN: (Dongfeng was the second “brand” name for Tianjin—now Sea-Gull—watches)
A very high jewel piece:
1970s Beijing Shuangling 40 zuan SZB-1C (high jewel) — roughly $100 CDN, but not too easy to find.
Another high-jewel (and more modern) example:
2005-2006 model Shanghai 35 jewel automatic on stock strap: $60 CDN on Taobao
Prototype/limited issue “shizhi” or “test run” example:
This is a Liaoning test run piece. Such items were generally issued to factory workers for real-world testing, but likely also issued as well to government people for approvals before larger production runs (roughly $65 CDN).
There are still gems out there...