How long do chinese mechanical movements last? - Page 4
Like Tree107Likes

Thread: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 61
  1. #31
    Member Ron521's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,572

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    I have no direct experience with the ST19, but I traded for THIS watch more 20 years ago. A Chinese graduate student was wearing it, and it fascinated me. It STILL runs well.

    Name:  Diamond watch 1.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  207.9 KB

  2. #32
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    625

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    My username checks out - I'm a big fan of Seagull watches from China (Irish-Chinese heritage).

    Please have a look at my post on the Chinese watch forum detailing my visit to the Seagull factory:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/pil...n-4057937.html

    There I held some gyrotourbillon, minute repeaters and wonderful artesian pieces by Seagull. Of course they also make cheaper pieces too but I have always been satisfied with their build quality - my ST25, ST2130, ST19 pieces are all functioning correctly (or were functioning well when I sold them on).

    And I'm by no means some ignorant watch person who doesn't know better - I also own(ed) nice Citizen, Seiko, Tudor, Omega, Tag, Molnija or Vostok pieces. I can appreciate why my Pelagos cost more than my Sea-Dragon King (and a lot more than my Amphibia) but I can assure you that a well made Chinese piece can easily be passed on to future generations if well cared for.

    It is surprising the amount of posters on the Affordables forum who have such open disdain of Chinese watches - I might have expected such responses in the High-end Luxury forum but here in affordables I would have thought that people would love what the legitimate Chinese watch brands bring to the table - affordable entry into high-end/complicated mechanical movements. My tourbillon cost me triple digits to buy not quadruple or quintuple. The column wheel mechanical chronograph movement in the ST19 allows for a cheap entry into column wheel chronographs... am I going to compare it to my Speedmaster? Of course not, but then again it functions well and cost roughly 1/20th that of my Speedmaster.

    I welcome the OP or anyone else interested in Chinese watches to come and post on the Chinese forum - I'm sure there will be posters who can help you understand more about Chinese horology :)

  3. #33
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    625

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    Oh and as for another bespoke Chinese brand - Maison Celadon is one started by a fellow WUS-er and uses Beijing movements in its watches - they can have beautiful cloisonné, silk or guilloche dials.

    I challenge anyone to look at the Celestial ($5888) and not see a piece of art that is worthy of passing on to future generations:
    https://maisonceladon.com/collection...oke-timepieces
    Blackwing530 likes this.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #34
    Member HoustonReal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Bunker Hill Village, Texas, United States
    Posts
    4,285

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron521 View Post
    I have no direct experience with the ST19, but I traded for THIS watch more 20 years ago. A Chinese graduate student was wearing it, and it fascinated me. It STILL runs well.

    Name:  Diamond watch 1.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  207.9 KB
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f100/sh...nfo-91997.html
    hanshananigan likes this.

  6. #35
    Member cuthbert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    VR, IT
    Posts
    7,176

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    Yes this is the quasi-chronometer vintage Chinese watch, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topi View Post
    Yes, the D304 is really good. I had a HKED 1963 and while it was good, the D304 is better. It winds more smoothly, the buttons work really smooth and the fit and finish are really top-notch. It's also quite accurate. But I still don't think it's as good as its initial price - not for me, at least.
    Indeed 6600 RMB or $900 are a lot of money, but fortunately it can be found for about $350-375 that is a fair price for a watch of this quality.

    To the OP, if the ST19 you are looking for is made from a microbrand, it depends how reputable they are, for instance Lamberti from Italy definitely is a guy you can trust.

    Quote Originally Posted by seagullfan View Post
    It is surprising the amount of posters on the Affordables forum who have such open disdain of Chinese watches - I might have expected such responses in the High-end Luxury forum but here in affordables I would have thought that people would love what the legitimate Chinese watch brands bring to the table - affordable entry into high-end/complicated mechanical movements.
    Yes I was also surprised, especially at the light that most affordable are indeed made in China. The high end luxury watches fans on the other side know better and few of them have a ST19 chrono, not as main timepiece but as sidekick....most of them are satisfied, or so it appears.
    Last edited by cuthbert; November 6th, 2017 at 03:13.
    .

  7. #36
    Member hanshananigan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,323

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    I enjoy my HKED 1963 with ST19. Those were closely sourced movements, of course.

    On the other hand, Docvail of Lew and Huey nearly cursed out the ST19 after using it in his initial microbrand offering. Lots of happy customers, but many bad movements, apparently.

    I agree that if it worked for years, it should work well until it needs a service.

    The more significant risk factor is the honesty of the seller, I think.
    Last edited by hanshananigan; November 6th, 2017 at 16:11.

  8. #37
    Moderator: F72 and F71 AlbertaTime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Peace River, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    7,804

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron521 View Post
    I have no direct experience with the ST19, but I traded for THIS watch more 20 years ago. A Chinese graduate student was wearing it, and it fascinated me. It STILL runs well.

    Name:  Diamond watch 1.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  207.9 KB
    Not a surprise a Diamond runs well. That factory won China's annual award for best mechanical movement 10 years running.
    Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River (AMCH/PR) 中国手表博物馆,皮斯里弗,艾伯塔省; Member: China Horologe Association; Chief Expert: China Watch Overseas Working Committee (CWOWC), a formally instituted CHA Working Committee; Sino-Canadian Horological Cultural Affairs Advisor: Guangzhou Watches and Clocks Association

  9. #38
    Moderator: F72 and F71 AlbertaTime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Peace River, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    7,804

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    The ST-19 is a mechanical column-wheel chronograph, and I view *all* mechanical chronographs as problematic. For an occasional display-use chronograph, I like the ST-19, but if I have any idea I'll be using the chrono regularly, I'll go quartz, every single time.
    Chronopolis and HoustonReal like this.
    Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River (AMCH/PR) 中国手表博物馆,皮斯里弗,艾伯塔省; Member: China Horologe Association; Chief Expert: China Watch Overseas Working Committee (CWOWC), a formally instituted CHA Working Committee; Sino-Canadian Horological Cultural Affairs Advisor: Guangzhou Watches and Clocks Association

  10. #39
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    625

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    And just to expand on my last post - generally with watches as in life, you get what you pay for. If you're spending $10 on a crapshoot mechanical watch from .........s or ebay I don't think you can expect much from watch or "brand".

    If you're spending $100 on a Seagull/Shanghai/Beijing watch I would expect the watch to be able to function perfectly and, if kept well serviced, function for the rest of one's life.

    If you're spending $1000 on a Chinese watch - I would expect that it comes with the trappings of spending quadruple figures on a watch - personalised service and "high-end" customer care.

    If you're spending $100,000 on a Chinese watch (and believe me, they exist - check out the Seagull gyrotoubillon with minute repeater and moving caseback or I guess some of the high-end Beijing pieces with personalised cloisonné dials) then you won't be on the affordables forum asking about Chinese mechanicals ;)

    There are some good stickied threads on the Chinese forums which give tear-downs of common Chinese movements and a comparison of Chinese mechanicals against the Swiss ones - again, these are watchmakers teardowns and they reveal the truth, warts and all, of Chinese movements:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/how...ok-216945.html
    Comparison: Sea-Gull ST2130, ETA 2824-2, Peacock SL3000 | Watch Guy

    The general consensus of watchmakers/repairers is that Chinese movements are done well, some are less well finished (especially on the parts that aren't visible to the eye) and can be serviced up to high standards. When taking cost into account they can be very good buys when you don't need the "extras" provided by a ETA 2824 etc.

  11. #40
    Member docvail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Earth. Somewhere near Philadelphia.
    Posts
    22,208

    Re: How long do chinese mechanical movements last?

    Quote Originally Posted by hanshananigan View Post
    I enjoy my HKED 1963 with ST19. Those were closely sourced movements, of course.

    On the other hand, Docvail of Lew and Huey nearly cursed out the ST19 after using it in his initial microbrand offering. Lots of happy customers, but many bad movements, apparently.

    I agree that if it worked for years, it should work well until it needs a service.

    The more significant risk factor is the honesty of the seller, I think.
    Pretty much all of this.

    Here's a pic of the rotor in my brother's watch, with the automatic ST1940, which I'm currently working to have fixed:

    Name:  Riccardo Rotor - ST1940.jpg
Views: 366
Size:  116.9 KB

    That, as they say, is no bueno.

    To be fair to the topic, and to everyone discussing it, I'll say the following.

    1. Don't put too much stock in what you read about it on the internet, particularly from people who haven't been involved in producing watches using the movement, no matter how much knowledge or expertise they claim to have, or any suggested "unique" knowledge of the subject. The internet abounds in faux wisdom.

    2. I'd put more stock in what people who actually work in the industry say about it, particularly if they've got firsthand experience with it.

    3. I have worked with the automatic version of the ST19, the ST1940, and I did have bad experience, which has led me to steer clear of Chinese-made mechanical movements since, particularly when my personal experience is combined with what I've heard directly from others in the business, and none of it has been particularly confidence-inspiring.

    4. That's not meant to be a condemnation of all Chinese mechanical movements, nor should it be necessarily taken as a condemnation of the ST19. As it is with many things, your mileage may vary.

    5. I would definitely consider the seller, using multiple criteria - experience, expertise, character, reputation, proximity to the source (i.e. Hong Kong/China), and track record for delivering, particularly delivering with that movement.


    The ST19 isn't really a 'good' or a 'bad' movement. It's a movement which, based on my personal, firsthand direct experience, backed up by what I've heard from others in the business, can work surprisingly well if you've been lucky enough to get a good working example of one.

    The problem is that there's a depressingly low probability of getting a good one. I don't mean that it's under 50% "low", just not the usual above 90% that would make me feel more comfortable using it.

    Factories in China and Hong Kong will try to talk micros out of using it (and for that matter, out of using just about all Chinese mechanical movements). That ought to tell you something.

    My experience was such that I can't even effectively quantify how high the defect rate was, given the fact that we had some pieces in for repairs multiple times, and I found my factory wasn't keeping the numbered casebacks with the right cases, so keeping perfect records became impossible for me.

    My best estimate is that we had somewhere between a 30% and 50% defect rate within the 2-year warranty period, but, as you can see by the pic above, I'm still hearing about problems occuring, years later. In point of fact, my brother's watch was already in for repair once before.

    When I first met my current factory's representative, I knew they'd made watches using the hand-wind only ST19 for other micros, and I asked for their experience. I was told they order 1000 movements, 400 go back to Sea-Gull. They get those 400 back from Sea-Gull, they turn around and send 200 back, and so on, and so on, and so on.

    I asked HKEd how he managed to deliver so many good ones. He told me his QC process involved testing, testing, testing, and re-testing them all, for weeks on end.

    HKEd's production partner is the WUS-famous Mr. Thomas, the man who led "Hong Kong Sea-Gull" in the development of the "original" re-issue of the 1963 chrono (or at least, that's how I remember the lore regarding him, and it). If anyone would seem to be well-positioned to get so-called "good" ST19's, it would seem to be him.

    And yet, there's Ed, with each new batch, testing, testing, testing, testing, for weeks on end, and sending many back to be sorted out before he can ship them.

    And when it comes to sending them back, I've heard mixed reports. My factory portrayed Sea-gull as being unmoved by the problems we were having. On the other hand, I've heard other micros more recently report a more cooperative attitude within SG. I suppose time will tell.

    I believe the proprietor of Perpetual Watches published the definitive work about the ST19, in his chrono report, available for download on his website. If my understanding is correct, he is in the habit of tearing every movement down and rebuilding them himself, in order to ensure they are all road-worthy. Unless I'm mistaken, though, he hasn't produced a chrono in a few years, and he doesn't seem to have any plans for more.

    But, again, surprisingly, many of the Riccardos we produced are still out there, running well, in fact, surprisingly well. It wasn't uncommon for me to hear, or personally find, that a Riccardo which ran well would exceed all specs for accuracy and power reserve. I had one in for repair, with a loose case clamp screw rattling around in the movement, and it ran better than spec.

    My best and only advice, beyond "buy the seller", is to go into an ST19 purchase understanding that there's a possibility - and it's not a remote possibility - that you'll get a bad one, and you'll be faced with the hassle of having to get it sorted.

    Many, possibly most US watchmakers won't want to touch it, and you'll be happy you did consider the seller if you have to rely on them to get it working for you.

    In some ways, it does make sense to consider used examples as being "proven", assuming you're dealing with an honest seller, and they have good reason to believe the watch is in fact a good example.

    By that I mean, I personally am an honest seller when it comes to my used watch sales, but I'm not one to investigate the performance of my personal pieces, and I wouldn't have good reason to tell someone I knew for sure a watch was running well unless I'd actually bothered to test it, something not every seller is in the habit of doing, if they're even effectively equipped to do it, as I am (I own a timegrapher, have access to a watchmaker, etc).

    If you were buying a used ST19 from someone like me (sometimes lazy, always unconcerned with performance in my personal watches), I might not put too much faith in its vintage as being an indication that it's a good example, since it's supposedly "performed this long". I might ask a seller if they'd actually tested the watch, how they tested it, and if not, would they have it tested, prior to sending funds.

    TL; DR - it's a gamble, buying any low-priced Chinese mechanical watch, and you should be willing to accept the risks before handing over your money.
    Last edited by docvail; November 6th, 2017 at 21:31.
    This used to be my signature, but now it's just this generic drawing of a watch.



    I'm not on social media 24/7. It’s not a good way to reach me for support, or for me to deliver it. In order to best serve my customers, and manage my time effectively, I have turned private messaging off. The best way to reach me is using the support page of my website. Thanks for understanding.

Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Chinese CHEAP Watch Empire: How long will it last?
      By Chronopolis in forum Chinese Mechanical watches
      Replies: 14
      Last Post: June 12th, 2013, 02:54
    2. How long do you expect 'cheap' mechanical watches to last?
      By shot3gun in forum Affordable watches
      Replies: 11
      Last Post: January 16th, 2011, 21:24
    3. Long long long long ago ~~~
      By thanxhide in forum Casio G-Shock
      Replies: 16
      Last Post: November 27th, 2009, 13:16
    4. The advantages of Chinese Mechanical Movements
      By buffedupboy in forum Chinese Mechanical watches
      Replies: 9
      Last Post: July 15th, 2009, 01:25
    5. Replies: 16
      Last Post: October 14th, 2008, 06:20

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •