The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection
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  1. #1
    Member miroman's Avatar
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    The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -- Confucius
    Hi all connoisseurs of the vintage chinese watches. I'm the next in a row, who begins his collection. As usual, I've found two Seagulls on E-Bay, they are already in my case. Next, I've ordered some from TaoBao, they should be traveling to Bulgaria. I'd like to show what I've found here, in Bulgaria.First to mention that the Bulgaria is an ex-socialist country, ex-part of the Soviet influence in Europe. Now is a part of European Union, but still many people count it (not correctly) as an Russian-dependent. So in Bulgaria are many, many vintage soviet and russian watches, much less vintage japanese, much much less swiss, very few german, romanian, polish, and NO chinese :). And I'm glad and happy I succeed to find two watches. They are not something special, but as I said, finding them was a very long and hard work.The first one is men's XIANGSHAN: It's working fine, and IMO it's in a very good condition. It has a nice engraved back: and a signed crown: the movement is standard 17j: The other is RUILI (maybe unisex size?): unfortunately the back is clear and the crown is unsigned: The dial is signed 19j, but the movement is the same as the first - 17j. I have no idea why. I've found one more, with chinese movement, and 'Made in China' on the back, but it's enormous big (>40mm), have no 'China made' on the dial, and the brand doesn't sound chinese :). I hope it's a good new beginning. Obviously from now on I'll have to search outside Bulgaria.Best regards, Miro.
    Last edited by miroman; January 7th, 2012 at 13:21.
    Chascomm likes this.

  2. #2
    Moderator: F72 and F71 AlbertaTime's Avatar
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    Re: The bigining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    It's a great start!

    First, I had to look up Rui Li...according to WIKIPEDIA it's "Ruili City (simp.: 瑞丽市; trad.: 瑞麗市; Pinyin: Rúĺ Sh́) is a county-level city in Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan province, southwest China. It is a major border crossing between China and Myanmar." and I've never seen one before. Good catch #1, and it has a ZHF movement like the Baoshihua I just posted ???

    Good catch #2...your Xiangshan is in excellent shape and I love the dial logo.

    Cool catch #3...the Saxon. It looks to have a ZHQ movement, which is Hongqi...and that's a good movement. But I've never seen a VCM with those lugs before and I have no idea who made it, although I gather it's an export model due to all the English writing on the dial and caseback. Love the look of it.

    Also: you can edit the post title by going to "advanced" mode in the editor window; then it's open season on editing the title.

    Great post and WELCOME to the fun of VCMs!!
    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

  3. #3
    Moderator Martin_B's Avatar
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    Re: The begining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Congratulations, they look to be in perfect shape

    But be warned, it's addictive

    Regards,

    Martin

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  5. #4
    Moderator soviet's Avatar
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    Re: The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Welcome to VCM collectors' group. You might be the very 1st Bulgarian VCM collector in the world! Both Xiangshan and Ruili are great catches. These are not so easy to find in north China. Is there a plan to build an on-line museum like Ron's in the future? ;)

    Kind regards

    Soviet

  6. #5
    Member saskwatch's Avatar
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    Re: The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Three great catches -- congratulations!

    The Xiangshan looks excellent. I especially like the caseback.

    I've never heard of Ruili brand before. A Taobao search brings up only newer models with that name. The Chinese name for the new Ruili, which may or may not be the same as yours, is 瑞力. When I tried to translate it, it came up as "lucky power", but perhaps someone who understands Chinese could translate it better.

    On the other hand, I have seen Saxon watches. I think it was an East German brand. Is it possible they used Chinese movements in the same way that Orex in Romania did?

    Edited to add: After reading some old threads here, it appears that Saxon was a company that exported watches from East Germany for a time, but to quote a post from Sekondtime:

    I also have a Saxon with a Chinese 17 jewel movement. Saxon used to be supplied from East Germany with mechanical movements, mostly UMF 24 caliber. Following the demise of many East German manufacturing plants after German unification, Saxon watches moved to Far Eastern quartz and chinese mechanical movements.
    Last edited by saskwatch; January 7th, 2012 at 16:17.
    See my collection of Vintage Chinese Mechanical watches at myvcms.com

  7. #6
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    Re: The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Hi Miro,

    Welcome to the CMW forum.

    You have gotten off to a wonderful start on your VCM collecting

    It won't be long before you have a large collection like many here

  8. #7
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Quote Originally Posted by saskwatch View Post
    After reading some old threads here, it appears that Saxon was a company that exported watches from East Germany for a time
    Yes, I think that's closer to the mark. The country in which the brand originated is uncertain, but it probably wasn't East Germany as the 'Saxon' brand can be seen on Hong Kong-made LCD digital watches made in the mid-1980s while the Ruhla factory were still very much in production. And given that Ruhla's Eurochron subsidiary were making multifunction LCD watches, Ruhla are unlike to have ordered watches made entirely in Hong Kong.

    That said, the Ruhla-powered Saxons certainly appear to be entirely Ruhla-made with distinctly Ruhla cases and casebacks. So from all the example seen, it would appear that the owners of the Saxon brand were buying complete OEM watches from wherever was cheapest, including East Germany, Hong Kong and China.
    Chascomm
    Moderator, Russian Watches & Chinese Mechanical Watches Forums
    (no, I am not going to list all my watches here)

  9. #8
    Member miroman's Avatar
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    Re: The begining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_B View Post
    Congratulations, they look to be in perfect shape But be warned, it's addictive Regards, Martin
    Absolutely !!! So I let my insanity to take control and I succeed to dig another one here in Bulgaria, and have ordered some more from TaoBao and Bay. Also I'm very happy I've found a box for coins, which suit perfect for storing watches without bracelets / straps. Here are my awful pictures:
    The case:

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    Without the cover:

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    and now: Baoshihua & Chunhua

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    Uzhou & Xihu

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    Ruili & Seagull

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    Two more Seagulls

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    and two more

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    Chunlan & Xihu

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    Diamond & Shanghai

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    Jin Mao & Double Romb

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    Wuhan & Baoshihua

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    Shancheng & Butterfly

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    Shancheng & Xiangshan

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    That's for now, other 6 are waiting for the Chinese New Year festival to end and to fly to Bulgaria :)I don't know exactly which are 'legitimate' as I'm too new in the VCM, but I hope I'll learn enough and sort them in the near future.Thanks for viewing and best regards, Miro.
    Last edited by miroman; January 17th, 2012 at 22:09.

  10. #9
    Moderator: F72 and F71 AlbertaTime's Avatar
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    Re: The begining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Well...WOW!!

    That's a very smartly chosen collection. Attractive pieces and you have some of the coolest case backs available. Impressive.
    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

  11. #10
    Member Seele's Avatar
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    Re: The bеgining of my vintage chinese watches collection

    Quote Originally Posted by saskwatch View Post
    I've never heard of Ruili brand before. A Taobao search brings up only newer models with that name. The Chinese name for the new Ruili, which may or may not be the same as yours, is 瑞力. When I tried to translate it, it came up as "lucky power", but perhaps someone who understands Chinese could translate it better.
    saskwatch,

    The word 瑞 can mean divine, of the gods, of good fortune, etc. But it is also used as a compound 瑞士 which is Chinese for Switzerland. 力 means force, energy, or power. So in an oblique sense it can even suggest "Swiss powered"!

    By the way, the Chinese and Japanese meanings of the word 瑞 are similar; When Olympus got into the camera business they named their lenses 瑞光 or Zuiko, "divine light", which is quite appropriate as the company was first named Takachiho, "Mountain of the gods", close to the mountain of the same name. So it made perfect sense for them to adopt the name Olympus, the ancient Greek equivalence.

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