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Thread: More VCMs

  1. #11
    A couple of Sea-Gulls I picked up along the way:

    The seller didnít have crown or movement photos. It was a bit disappointing to discover that the crown isnít signed, and the ST5 isnít striped.

    But considering I could have paid more for the bracelet alone, itís a win.

    Iíve had this black dial Sea-Gull for longer.

    The regulator is turned far to the minus side, suggesting that it should probably be serviced soon. Still, itís a pretty movement.

    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  3. #12
    Between 1961 and 1968, Beijing Watch Factory produced 166,861 BS-2s. Theyíre excellent watches and were comparable to some good Swiss offerings at the time. Early versions had 17-jewel movements, while later versions had 18 jewels. This is an 18-jewel BS-2 with an uncommon 6-12 dial.

    Not the cleanest watch, but itís a welcome addition to the collection. It has the most-frequently-seen caseback.

    Everything else looks legit.

    About a decade later, Beijing made this Shuangling.

    Itís an average, run-of-the-mill example.

    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  5. #13
    Liaoning Watch Factoryís major brand name in the late 1960s was Wannianqing, a plant (Rohdea japonica) of some symbolic value. described its appearance on Mao badges made at about the same time.

    The plant shown on these badges is the Sacred Lily (Rohdea japonica); in Chinese it is wannianqing, meaning "10,000 years green". The plant is native to southern China, where is grows in moist forests and grassy hillsides between 700-1500m. A perennial, it flowers in early summer and bears a single cluster of berries in autumn.

    Rohdea japonica is an auspicious plant that is considered a good gift - it carries the wish for many generations to prosper. Two other factors made it especially appropriate for Maozhang; it is a minor, but neverthess potent, ingredient of Chinese traditional medicine, and its berries are bright, red and shiny.
    This Wannianqing proved to be irresistible.

    Wannianqing dials are similar to the dials of some other factoriesí watches of the late 1960s, most notably the Shanghai 10/11 series. The indices on this dial look narrower than ones on my other two Wannianqings.

    The back is chronologically second of the three Wannianqing casebacks with which Iím familiar.

    The thin crown is unsigned.

    By adding an additional jewel and shock protection, the SL1A movement was an upgrade of the SL1 movement used in Liaoning brand watches.

    The date code, 6801, indicates that the movement was made in January 1968. It will reach its 50th birthday early next year.
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  7. #14
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saskwatch View Post
    Liaoning Watch Factory’s major brand name in the late 1960s was Wannianqing, a plant (Rohdea japonica) of some symbolic value. described its appearance on Mao badges made at about the same time.

    This Wannianqing proved to be irresistible.

    That is lovely. As you say some strong Shanghai vibes to it.

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  9. #15
    Shanghai Third Watch Factory manufactured Hai Shi (sea lion) brand watches in the early 1970s. Several models were produced, including:

    31122: stainless steel case; 18,000 bph 3S1 (SS1)
    31522: stainless steel case; 21,600 bph 3S1 (SS1)

    3Z111: chrome-plated case, 3SZ1 (tongji)

    3Z112: stainless steel case, 3SZ1 (tongji)

    The numbering system appears to be related to those used by other Shanghai factories at the time. The first digit, 3, appears to be for Shanghai Third (as can be seen in the movement codes 3S1 and 3SZ1). 1122 and 1522 watches are similar to 112x and 152x watches made by Shanghai (No. 1) Watch Factory. The Z in the 3SZ1 models is for Zhongguo (China), i.e. the tongji. (My Huguang brand watch, also made by Shanghai Third, has an 18,000 bph 3S1 inside and a caseback with the model number 31121.)

    My first 31122

    Hai Shi casebacks are spectacular.

    Signed crown

    Signed 18,000 bph 3S1 movement

    Shanghai No. 4 Watch Factory is best known for having produced Zuan Shi (Diamond) brand watches. The SM1A movement, manufactured from 1969 to the mid-1980s, was very accurate Ė accurate enough for authorities to allow continued production when most factories were forced to make tongji watches. Because huge numbers were produced, and they were of such good quality, many are available today at low prices.

    My 22
    nd SM1A watch

    The name on the caseback, Shanghai No. 4 Watch Factory, indicates that it was made after the time in 1978 when the Shanghai Stopwatch Factory changed its name. Because itís an even number, 152 belongs on the back of an all-steel watch, which this example is.

    Signed crown

    The 21,600 bph SM1A-K movement (the K is for the fast beat model which entered mass production in 1972)

    Under the balance: SM1-803 Ė March 1980.
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  11. #16
    The style of this Chunlei is straight out of the 1980s.

    Chunlei brand watches first appeared in the mid-1970s. They were intended-for-export products of Shanghai Watch Factory, using their highest grade standard (tongji) movements. These early versions were given the English language brand name Budlet. In the late 1970s, the brand name was changed to the pinyin Chunlei.

    Beginning sometime in the 1980s, Chunleis were made with other movements, including the SB1 (Shanghai B), and tongji & SHD7 movements from Hongqi (Hudie) Watch Factory in Xian. Some others were made with European movements. I donít know why this was done, or even whether Chunlei watches continued to be produced by Shanghai Watch Factory.

    The text 19 jewels on the dial of this watch suggests that thereís a tongji inside. Both Shanghai and Xian Hongqi manufactured 19-jewel standard movements. Other movements used in Chunleis, however, had different jewel counts. Unlike Chunlei 7221 models, this one doesnít have quick-set date. To advance the date, the hands must be moved backward from midnight to 10:23 PM, and forward to midnight again.

    The back says Shanghai China, but Budlet/Chunlei watches typically didnít have a factory name on them. Apparently itís shook resistant.

    Signed crown

    As expected, thereís a tongji inside. However, I donít remember seeing the S marking on any other movement.

    Thereís a code under the balance, but one of the digits is difficult to read. Itís either Q8305 or Q8505. This is consistent with date codes seen on Qingdao Watch Factory movements, which came in 19-jewel versions. Apparently another factoryís tongji can be added the list of movements used in Chunlei brand watches.

    Itís worth noting that the gasket is on the caseback. In all of the Shanghai Watch Factory tongji watches in my collection, with the exception of one Jinji (which has no date code), the gasket is in the case. I donít think this necessarily suggests that it was made at a different factory. Itís quite possible that Shanghai made the change in all of their watches. If thatís the case, Iím more likely to believe the Qingdao movement was made in 1985, not 1983.

    SWF watches of the first half of the 1980s usually had anti-magnetic shields. I donít know if it means anything, but this Chunlei doesnít. It does say antimagnetic on the caseback, however.

    I didnít have a Guihua brand watch when I decided to buy this one.

    From Nanning Watch Factory, the brand was named for a shrub, Osmanthus fragrans (sweet osmanthus), which produces extremely fragrant flowers in late summer and early autumn.

    Not the most attractive caseback Iíve seen

    Signed crown

    An interesting tongji inside

    Under the balance is Nanningís tongji code, ZNN (although the 2nd vertical line of the 2nd N is missing), above 93. The click looks similar to the one inside my Resda automatic from Hefei.

    I donít have an explanation for this, nor do I know if the factories in Nanning and Hefei were connected in any way.
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  13. #17
    Hongqi Watch Factory in Xian manufactured Yanan brand watches from 1969 until about 1980. Within that time, at least 11 different model numbers were produced. One of the most common is the ZHQ-105.

    Usually 105 casebacks have a plum blossom design, but this one has the balance wheel design seen on 104 models, suggesting that itís an older example.

    Normally Yanans have unsigned crowns.

    The date code on the ZHQ movement is WB (February 1975). Unlike my other (later) 105s, its movement spacer isn't copper-coloured.

    The ZHQ-106 isn't seen as often. The logos used on the dials of tongji Yanans were more commonly variations of the letter y, but there are some 105s, 106s and 107s with the hanzi logo.

    Later 106s have the diamond-shaped Pagoda Hill caseback, but most, like this one, have the plum blossom caseback. Interestingly thereís no apostrophe in Yanan on the back, even though there is one on the dial.

    I donít recognise the logo on the crown. Itís probably a replacement.

    The date code on this movement is UK (November 1977).

    I thought it might be useful to compare the date codes of the Yanan watches in my collection.
    XiaoYanan and 1120-101 were trial models and didnít have date codes.
    SHI-101: ZD, ZH, ZH

    SHI-102: donít have one

    ZHQ-104: XH
    ZHQ-105: WB, WK, VB

    ZHQ-106: UK

    ZHQ-107: SE, SI, RJ
    ZHQ-108: donít have one

    ZHQ-208: donít have one

    ZHQB: RD

    Within the same year (R=1980) I have:

    a ZHQB with the code RD
    a 107 with the code RJ

    a Xian brand watch with the code RH
    a Yulan brand watch with the code RJ (probably, itís difficult to read)
    a Butterfly brand watch with the code RC (it could be QC)

    In my collection, the Yanían apostrophe was never used on the dials of watches made before the plum blossom caseback was introduced (partway through the 105ís production run), but it appears on all dials after. Most models didnít have the pinyin brand name on the back, but (on the ones that did) the apostrophe appeared with the introduction of the diamond-shaped Pagoda Hill caseback (partway through the 106ís production run).
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  15. #18
    Occasionally a watch with a textured dial Iíve never seen before comes up for sale. Occasionally it becomes part of my collection.

    The rest of the watch is typical of a Zhongshan.

    The date code on the SN2 is NL.

    This textured dial Jinmao (Golden Anchor) was in the right place at the right time (at the right price).

    An all-too-common Shanghai replacement crown.

    The code under the balance, Q8107A, suggests the Qingdao-made tongji was made in July 1981.

    It runs well, but the position of the regulator concerns me. It might need some attention soon.
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  17. #19
    From the Chinese Watch Wiki:

    The SS1 is a 17 jewel, manual wind watch movement which was designed and manufactured by the Shanghai Watch Factory. Its design is derived from that of Shanghai's earlier A581 movement. The first variant, the SS1A, with a 18,000 bph escapement, was manufactured from 1966 to 1972, after which it was replaced by SS1K variant, which featured a 21,600 bph escapement and was manufactured until 1975. The SS1 replaced the A581 and its derived movements as the primary movement for the factory's own Shanghai brand until they began to use the Chinese Standard Movement in 1974. It was also used in many other brands.
    As far as I know, the first model to use the SS1 movement was labelled SS1A (although soviet has pointed out that some 611s have SS1s inside). Iím pleased to have added an SS1A to the collection.

    The back has the old 611 design

    Just like the one in AlbertaTimeís beautiful SS1A, the movementís date code is BC: March 1967.

    Interestingly, the movement inside my 611 was made in the same month. The two watches look quite similar on the outside.
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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  19. #20
    Occasionally a Shuang Yan (Double Swallow) brand watch comes up for sale. I grabbed this one.

    Both the movement and the dial say Zhongguo Chongqing, but afaik Chongqing never manufactured 20-jewel movements. Unfortunately thereís no factory name.

    The Shuangling crown was almost certainly made in Beijing.

    I suspect the movement was made there too.

    Every Shuang Yan Iíve seen has the same 20 JEWELS marking on the movement. The finishing looks similar to Beijing-made tongjis. But why would Chongqing produce watches with outsourced movements?

    [speculation] Itís possible that itís a product of the second half of the 1970s. The style is consistent with other brands of the time. Chongqing Watch Factory didnít begin production of tongji watches until 1977, and production capacity was limited. Perhaps outsourced movements were used to meet demand? Maybe it was made by one of the eight enterprises that were merged to form Chongqing Clock & Watch Company in 1980? [/speculation]

    As for the crown, it could be a replacement or original to the watch. Iíve seen another example with the same Shuangling crown.

    Another new-to-me-brand watch Ė a Gold Coin.

    Gold Coin brand watches were manufactured by Shanghai Stopwatch Factory, but it wasnít the same Shanghai Stopwatch Factory that made the SM1A movement and Zuanshi wristwatches. Instead it was the former Shanghai No. 2 Clock Factory which took over Shanghaiís stopwatch production (and the name) in 1978.

    The movement was made in Nanchang. The code under the balance, NC94, suggests it was manufactured in 1994.
    My collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanicals can be seen at

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