Shenzhen, China Watch and Clock Fair 2019, w/Red Star Watches
Mr. Thomas Leung, seen above, center, is the Owner/Director of RED STAR watches (Time King Industrial Company Limited), a producer and distributor of "1963" or "D304" style watches. Time King also produces a wide range of other watches, mechanical, automatic and quartz/digital.
While attending the China Watch and Clock Fair in Shenzhen this year (2019) I sat down with Mr. Leung to ask him about the origin of the 1963 re-issues.
In this interview, he describes first seeing an original Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) 304 watch on the wrist of a Tianjin Sea-Gull manager while he was attending a Hong Kong watch fair some years ago as a long time employee of Tsinlien Sea-Gull (the Hong Kong subsidiary of Tianjin WF in HK).
He then describes how that initial encounter led to him to bring the idea of a 1963/304 re-issue to Sea-Gull, and how the initial re-issues ultimately led to him starting his own company to do the same, and more. Later in the interview, Thomas discusses which 1963 re-issue watches are "original" and why.
(Before opening his own company, if I understood correctly, Thomas stated he worked for Sea-Gull/HK Tsinlien for 15 years.)
This was the last day of the Fair, and as usual for Day 4, most sellers were packing up and Mr. Leung was readying to do the same. I apologize for my poor photo-fu on this one, but as I note, we were somewhat rushed. Still, I had a great time with Mr. Leung. He is friendly, open and accommodating, and I liked him immediately. We are in touch to this day, and I'm very pleased about that.
Here's some photos of Red Star watches, as displayed in Shenzhen.
I'll also note--and express a great deal of respect and gratitude--for the assistance of Mr. Leung for the production of many (if not all?) of the Chinese Mechanical Watch Forum project watches at Watchuseek over the years, working closely with Ed Tse and other Watchuseek forum watch committee members to bring a wide range of unique timepieces to CMW forum members. As a CMW forum moderator for many years, I've always been aware of Mr. Leung's helpful presence in the background, and it was a real pleasure to meet him face-to-face. (Thank you, Thomas)
Thomas can be reached at email@example.com