The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!
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  1. #1
    Member sduford's Avatar
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    The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    (those my age or older will recognize the reference to the 1960s cold war comedy: The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!)

    I know many folks here on WUS have an aversion to all things Chinese and I used to be one of them. I viewed Chinese watches as mass-produced junk with no QA whatsoever and mostly cheap knock-offs. After reading a couple of reviews of PerpetuaL watches I became intrigued: those watches seemed to be original and of very decent quality. So I started lurking around the Chinese Mechanical Watches forum and discovered that while the cheap knock-offs still make up the bulk of the Chinese production, there are a few small watchmakers who have started to design and make fantastic watches that offer unparalleled value. The big factories (BWAF, Shanghai, Sea-Gull) also got in on the action and started producing "premium" watches and even grand complications.

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ID:	1395991These watches tend to have very original designs with a sense of esthetics informed by the rich and ancient Chinese cultural heritage. These watches also show very-good quality control and they have started to use the expression "Made in China with Pride" to set themselves apart from the "Made in China" which is synonymous with cheap junk for much of the world. But the fact is that the Chinese are more than capable of producing good stuff, as evidenced by the fact that some of the world's most respected companies like Apple and Bosch (and err, Swiss watch companies) now manufacture much of their stuff in China.

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    What was missing to the equation was the PRIDE aspect. Chinese manufacturing tends to be all about high volumes, low cost and cheap copies and more often then not lacks any desire to design and manufacture good stuff. But now the likes of Celadon and PerpetuaL are small shops run by real watchmakers who take great pride in their craft. At the same time, the best factories are also stepping up their craft.


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    So after discovering this treasure throve of affordable watches and fresh excuses to spend money I decided to try one on for myself. I read a glowing review of the PerpetuaL R-01 at WhatchitAllAbout (link) so I took the plunge and ordered one. Had to go on a waiting list and it took a few weeks, but it was more than worth the wait. I think it is a fantastic looking watch and an astonishing value for the money ($150). It will definitely not be my last Chinese watch.

    Here's my watch:
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    I think we will hear a lot more from Chinese watchmakers in the coming years. I certainly plan to enjoy a few more of their watches, but quickly, as the prices are already rising rapidly along with their reputation.
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    Last edited by sduford; February 24th, 2014 at 04:16.

  2. #2
    Member jkpa's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    That regulator looks very nice indeed.

  3. #3
    Member skywatch's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    I agree! I still want to add a Beijing to my collection, there are several that tempt me. I got seduced to Chinese manufacturers by way of Sea-Gull, and those have pride of place next to Swiss and German watches in my (need to shrink) hoard.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

    "Watches tie people to the celestial clockwork... but people have been encouraged by their clocks to ignore the daily and seasonal cycles and to pretend that there is nothing to contend with but metronome-paced linear time. We appear to have caged the sun inside a machine." Michael Young, The Metronomic Society, p. 204

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  5. #4
    Member super-b's Avatar
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    The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    Just checked out their website and they are all sold out of all models.

    Really nice looking watches


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    Oops.....only one collection is sold out...my bad
    Last edited by super-b; February 24th, 2014 at 04:21.
    So many watches......so little time.

  6. #5
    Member sduford's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by super-b View Post
    Just checked out their website and they are all sold out of all models.

    Really nice looking watches


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    You just have to email Alex and get on the waiting list. He produces less than 100 watches a month and all are pre-sold. You get on the list and when he's ready to ship he sends you a Paypal invoice, no need to put money upfront.

  7. #6
    Member Deepsea_dweller's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    Like it

  8. #7
    Member super-b's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    Bookmarked for when I can buy the next round of watches....really like the Regulator


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    So many watches......so little time.

  9. #8
    Member KarmaToBurn's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by sduford View Post

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    Great write up. Any info on this one?

  10. #9
    Member theinterchange's Avatar
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    "Emergency, everybody to get from street! Emergency, everybody to get from street!"

    sduford, I'm 31 and instantly recognized your title as being a reference to The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming! I've been quoting it all week... I just rewatched it a few days ago! haha

    Every time I do, I start wanting to add another Russian to my watch collection...

    Randy
    phdavenport likes this.

  11. #10
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    Re: The Chinese are coming, the Chinese are coming!

    Check out these threads from the Chinese Mechanical Watch Forum :

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/cel...ns-969877.html

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/som...ng-865427.html

    Or the brand home page:

    Maison CELADON

    It was created by a frequent member of the Chinese Mechanical Watch Forum: Monsieurxu
    KarmaToBurn likes this.
    Current Collection:
    Seiko Arctura Kinetic SNL025, Xetum Tyndall Off-White, Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart, Sea-gull Wuyi #87, Armida A1 PVD, Olivier Bronze 500m Diver ETA #87, Armida A1 Blue, G Gerlach m/s Batory Big Date, G Gerlach p.24

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