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WRENCH

Quality Chinese

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I probably spend more time than is healthy studying "new" technology,and what I have noticed is; anything Swiss and there is always a huge flurry on the various online review sites, whereas, Chinese, very little other than posts on the favourably biased forums. So rather than dismiss all Chinese horology as junk, here's a couple of movements that interest me.

Liaoning Peacock SL6601, 70 hours power reserve,  31 jewels, 28,800 bph, quickset date , small second's at 9 and a  power reserve indicator. 

5d12da5253f359d2612aad000d3e9a51.jpg

and, the Beijing Watch Factory SB18 (allegedly based on a Miyota 81200). Manual wind, hacking, 21600 bph, 

09b4ed8b8134fdc989d8d4bce00e0f5c.jpg

Watches equipped with these movements seem to fall into a price range of £300-£350, and special limited editions can be much more. Like this 38mm Maison Celadon for around £850 plus import duties etc.

imperial-red_720x.jpg?v=1501087526

maisonceladon-imperialmovement1_2372f137

Its too easy for the unqualified to dismiss all Chinese products as junk. So anybody got one with either of these movements ? Incidentally the manufacturer of the "Celadon" offer a ten year global warranty, confidence, or factored in to the purchase price ?

Edited by WRENCH
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Having tinkered with all sorts of watches and movements from cheap to a bit more pricey I would say that regardless of how good looking these movements are they will not match the quality, finishing and finesse of swiss movements. Not only that but they also won't last you for 50 years even if unserviced like many Swiss movements will.

They are specifically made to look nice and interesting and copy the swiss movements (or the japanese high end ones) but they're not the same thing.

There's a reason one costs (talking about actual costs not the inflated retail price) 50$ and the other costs 1,000$.

You can buy a 3$ chinese bamboo spatula and it'll perform identical to the one in Ikea that you get for 15$ but watches are a lot more complicated than that.

Both a cheap and an expensive watch will tell the time the same way but will they both function unscathed for a long period of time ? :tongue:

Edited by gimli
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17 minutes ago, gimli said:

Both a cheap and an expensive watch will tell the time the same way but will they both function unscathed for a long period of time ?

This may well be. In the case of some other products,Chinese manufacturers will supply quality in relation to price, meaning, if you want quality, you will get it if you pay for it. I had a lengthy discussion on this very topic with a retailer, whose take on it was that the Chinese are more than capable of producing quality comparable with anything coming out of Switzerland, but what they lack is brand image and heritage, which is possibly closer to the truth in terms of marketing. Another worrying/interesting trend I've noticed is that the replica market that were selling fakes boasting genuine Swiss movements are now using "high grade" clone, Chinese movements.

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Hi,

About the SL6601 - let me show my Chinese sub-forum watch, project 2016, variant "Classic". 

IMG_20171207_133501.jpg

Due voting three variants were selected for production. They are so different, that I'd say they are three different models, than variants of one model (like previous projects, where the difference was only in color of the dial)

WUS2016.jpg

All they are equipped with Liaoning Peacock SL6601. It's a new movement, larger than usual (36 mm). All the watches with larger cases, but with smaller calibers, suffer the 'strange' date window position, too far from the edge. Here the date window is in normal position at 6. The bigger size also let the power reserve to be increased dramatically, up to 72 hours. Of course, this has to be shown :), so the power reserve indicator took place at 3, while the small seconds hand is at 9.

As usual, the design is custom, chosen with many votes. The combination of the white 'spirograph' dial, elegant font 'Berlin' (especially with red 12), and vintage-styled hands creates a beautiful retro feeling. Strange for me, a modern case was chosen, but fortunately there was no problem my classic example to be swapped with the 'pilot' case, which looks much more vintage. A wristshot:

IMG_20171207_133451.jpg

The glass is slight domed sapphire, without anti-reflex (or if there is, it's not noticeable :) ), which prevents the beautiful guiloche dial from being seen. But at the evening time it looks really amazing.

IMG_20171207_133519.jpg

Well, here's the movement, so beautiful, and pity it can't be visible all the time :) 

IMG_20171207_133617.jpg IMG_20171207_133631.jpg

What more to say? About the longevity of the Chinese movements, the ST5 from Seagull is an excellent example, developed 50 or 60 years ago, but still working precisely and reliable (even it was used in Project 2014).

Regards, Miro. 

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2 minutes ago, miroman said:

the ST5 from Seagull is an excellent example, developed 50 or 60 years ago, but still working precisely and reliable

Agreed, I have two which are excellent, and older DongFeng's The project "SL6601" is one I have read and very interesting/positive it is, but is "sold" to a positively receptive audience, which is not a bad thing. The main problem I have with buying anything more expensive Chinese is what happens if it goes wrong ? A lot of watchmakers don't want to know, and there are a few horror stories of watches disappearing, held up in customs, etc etc that have been sent back.

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The Beijing watch movement you posted was reviewed quite well on WUS some years ago I was going to get one when they were about £120 as I was keen to try out something different and a supposed in house movement.

 

What I soon started to discover online though was the movement may well be Citizen or at least based on a citizen movement.  Secondly the number of QC issues just seemed to mount up which soon put me off buying.

Pity really but this is the major problem with Chinese movements and watches the QC issues are numerous.

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Funny,

 

I've had and still have, a number of Chinese watches. Never had a problem with any of them.

Some of the movements are Seagull, some are a cloned 7750, and some are a cloned 2824-2. I've yet to have one fail, and no servicing whatsoever.

 

As inferred previously, the Chinese are more than capable of making quality items. Cheap does not always mean poor quality with Chinese goods.

Edited by Garry

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On 20/12/2017 at 19:42, Garry said:

Cheap does not always mean poor quality with Chinese goods.

The ones I have were bought on the understanding that if they were no good, then they would go in the bin. I have had one bad one, but the rest, all Shanghai manual wind, have been good, well finished, and accurate. The straps are rubbish though.

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To many people are prepared to slag off Chinese products, but many of them are a carrying an I phone, and half their electronic equipment is made in China. The Chinese will make you what you want. If you want a quality watch, they will make it, if you want a cheap bit of cr@p they will make that as well. Most of the reason Chinese products are cheap is because the labour costs are cheap. There are Seagull movements that are absolute replicas of ETA movements, to the point parts are interchangeable. I own several Chinese watches, and swear by Parnis. They are well put together, they look fantastic, and the movements are accurate and reliable. It's true to say that you can't compare a £60 Parnis with a £5k Omega, but what would you expect. However, in my opinion a £60 Parnis is significantly better than a £60 Seiko or Citizen. Others will argue this. It's true that if I decided to wear one of my Parnis watches every day for the next twenty years, they would either die or look awful, but as I only wear any of my watches no more than once a month, I can see them all outliving me :huh:

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On 09/12/2017 at 08:27, WRENCH said:

Agreed, I have two which are excellent, and older DongFeng's The project "SL6601" is one I have read and very interesting/positive it is, but is "sold" to a positively receptive audience, which is not a bad thing. The main problem I have with buying anything more expensive Chinese is what happens if it goes wrong ? A lot of watchmakers don't want to know, and there are a few horror stories of watches disappearing, held up in customs, etc etc that have been sent back.

Funny you should say that. I have bought several watches from mywatchcode.com, and recently had a problem. To be honest, it may have been partly my fault. Anyway, I contacted them, and after sending them the tracking number, they refunded me the return postage. The watch was repaired within a week of them receiving it, and it is now on the way back. It's a shame I have been without it for a month or so, but that can easily happen when you by a product from a UK supplier. 

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