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Thread: Update for Taobao hunters & vintage Chinese watch fans...

  1. #1

    Update for Taobao hunters & vintage Chinese watch fans...

    For those of you who may be interested in Chinese (PRC) horology and watches like those found at the AMCH/PR, I've added a resource that will help with searches on Taobao...

    Since Taobao is almost entirely Chinese, I've compiled a list of Chinese brand-names, terms and phrases along with their English translations. The Chinese characters can be cut and pasted into the Taobao search engine. (The list/table is a work in progress so any help, corrections, additions or suggestions are very welcome)

    As I've noted before, hints and instructions on how collectors can search and purchase from Taobao are posted here.

  2. #2

    Re: Update for Taobao hunters & vintage Chinese watch fans...

    Excellent work :)

    I have a quick question (or possibly 2) - what would you say is the highest quality Chinese watch available today (and where would you get one)? And what would you recommend as a good starting point for someone interested in learning more about Chinese horology? (I'm assuming that, as with so many things, the Chinese were making time-measuring devices a couple of thousand years before everyone else)

  3. #3

    Re: Update for Taobao hunters & vintage Chinese watch fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by barneygumble
    Excellent work :)

    I have a quick question (or possibly 2) - what would you say is the highest quality Chinese watch available today...
    First, thank you

    The absolute highest quality watch might be this one, the "Dragon and Phoenix" tourbillon, exhibited at Basel (roughly $160,000 USD).




    Quote Originally Posted by barneygumble
    And what would you recommend as a good starting point for someone interested in learning more about Chinese horology? (I'm assuming that, as with so many things, the Chinese were making time-measuring devices a couple of thousand years before everyone else)
    I'd recommend three sites (besides my own)...

    The Chinese Watch Industry Wiki (most comprehensive), and

    Joel Chan's Micmicmor Vintage Chinese Watch Site (the best for getting up to speed as a discerning collector)

    Kevin Ma's ChineseWristwatch.Com (probably the most complete collection of watches and brands)

    ...although these sites all concentrate on PRC watchmaking as opposed to very ancient Chinese clocks and timepieces.

    For the very earliest Chinese clocks, I'd start here (regarding water clocks).

    Have fun! I really appreciate your interest. :D

  4. #4

    Re: Update for Taobao hunters & vintage Chinese watch fans...

    Many thanks for the reply! I think I need to rephrase my first question (seeing as I did not anticipate a $160,000 Chinese watch) - what is the best watch for under $1000? I am thinking that there may be some really high quality products there like the Grand and King Seikos produced in the 1960s, which were not really recognised for their quality outside of Japan. Is there a Chinese consumer equivalent?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5

    Re: Update for Taobao hunters & vintage Chinese watch fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by barneygumble
    Many thanks for the reply! I think I need to rephrase my first question (seeing as I did not anticipate a $160,000 Chinese watch)
    :D I confess, I did that on purpose :blackeye:

    Quote Originally Posted by barneygumble
    what is the best watch for under $1000? I am thinking that there may be some really high quality products there like the Grand and King Seikos produced in the 1960s, which were not really recognised for their quality outside of Japan. Is there a Chinese consumer equivalent?
    Thanks again!
    There are a number of quite highly finished and very well-constructed Chinese pieces available for under or around $1000 USD.

    The two companies I would look at most seriously are Sea-Gull (Tianjin) which has two websites worth exploring (the two Sea-Gull companies are very tightly affiliated but offer slightly differing product ranges)...

    Sea-Gull (PRC/mainland) at http://www.seagullwatch.com/cn/index.asp

    Sea-Gull (Hong kong) at http://www.seagullhk.com/english/pro...t.asp?TypeID=1

    ...and Beijing Watch Company at http://en.bjwaf.com/newEbiz1/EbizPor...ml/index1.html

    Both of the above companies have over 60 years of history producing reliable and well-built watches and offer a number of very cool choices in your range.

    A third suggestion would be Sea-Gull USA. but Kevin Ma (who is a terrific person to deal with) only offers a smaller range of pieces, and usually at the $100 to $500 range. Don't get me wrong, though...Kevin's pieces are all very good performers at their price range. For example, the "classic" range is all under $300 and they're beautiful.

    In any case, you can contact any of the above in English by email and they will all be pleased to help you. One thing to keep in mind is that while Tianjin/Sea-Gull produces a full 1/4 of *all* the world's mechanical and automatic movements right now, they keep their highest grade and very best QC movements for their own products.

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