A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing
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  1. #1
    Member monsieurxu's Avatar
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    A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Guys, recently I noticed a few differences between the SB18 movement in my enamel dial watch and the one in the Beihai. The positions of the gold chatons is different and the 3/4 plate is aligned differently.

    So a quick text message to the Beijing manager and apparently the one in my watch is a newly-designed SB18, which is just starting to be produced and has not yet (or will never be - still unclear) been installed on the latest batches of the Beihai and Zhufeng.

    According to them, the reliability and accuracy of this latest iteration is much better than the previous one. I also think it looks better as the 3/4 plate is now straighter and looks better with Chinese characters engraved on it, like a scroll. Beijing also said my CELADON Imperials made by them will have this new movement, which definitely made my day.

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    Reno, watchcrank and GUTuna like this.

  2. #2
    Member arktika1148's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Noticed a pic. of this on thier tmall store site, and the no seconds sub-dial SB18's.
    ......and the new prices :((

  3. #3
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Quote Originally Posted by arktika1148 View Post
    Noticed a pic. of this on thier tmall store site, and the no seconds sub-dial SB18's.
    ......and the new prices :((
    You got a link to the BJWAF tmall store, Dave?

    I *did* find these new SB18-engined watches on the bjqiaohanmei Taobao store. No seconds hand at all, which resolves the sub-seconds point in a way. Roman numerals not my thing, but I have to admit it's a handsome beast anyway:

    国产表北京机械手表 鳄鱼皮带防水中性表 超薄不锈钢内嵌珐琅表-淘宝网

    Looks to be CNY 8,800 rrp, and CNY 6,688 with the usual discounts. That's $1,400 and $1,100 respectively. Looks like BJWAF have realised what they're truly worth, and the days of an inhouse handwind movement for only $300 are drawing to a close.

    Ric

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  5. #4
    Member arktika1148's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing


  6. #5
    Member arktika1148's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

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    Taken awhile to find this, bookmarked the 'sky cat' sites on mine as find the most upto date info.
    Seagull's is pretty good http://seagull.tmall.com/?spm=a220o....ne=taobao_shop , Shanghai's makes the works listing look a joke imo http://shanghai.tmall.com/shop/view_...MgxgR&search=y . Only problem right click to translate only works with text not on pics. :((
    Last edited by arktika1148; May 21st, 2013 at 13:11.

  7. #6
    Member monsieurxu's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Those are enamel dial watches though, so the price is above the 8800 RMB mark, what Beijing considers to be their middle-range.

    If you guys notice, their more expensive watches with the SB18 have only two hands. I actually rather like this, as it makes it seem as if time has stopped, which suits the very much vintage style of Beijing;'s facilities (they use a combination of vintage 50s and 60s Swiss and Chinese machines, and modern Beijing-developed machines) and designs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Capucho View Post
    You got a link to the BJWAF tmall store, Dave?

    I *did* find these new SB18-engined watches on the bjqiaohanmei Taobao store. No seconds hand at all, which resolves the sub-seconds point in a way. Roman numerals not my thing, but I have to admit it's a handsome beast anyway:

    国产表北京机械手表 鳄鱼皮带防水中性表 超薄不锈钢内嵌珐琅表-淘宝网

    Looks to be CNY 8,800 rrp, and CNY 6,688 with the usual discounts. That's $1,400 and $1,100 respectively. Looks like BJWAF have realised what they're truly worth, and the days of an inhouse handwind movement for only $300 are drawing to a close.

    Ric

  8. #7
    Member monsieurxu's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Those watches in the links still use the old SB18 if you notice.

    I saw a white enamel dial version of the black dial watch posted when I was at the factory, it was absolutely beautiful with dark blue roman numerals.

  9. #8
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Is this new movement really designated SB18?

    The functional difference is that whereas the old movement has the wheels positioned more-or-less the same as the classic Miyota 8200 (escape wheel at 6 o'clock, 4th wheel at 5 o'clock), and therefore requires an indirectly-driven second hand even for a 6 o'clock sub-dial (unless the movement is rotated to place the crown at 4 o'clock); the new movement has a new alignment placing the 4th wheel at 6 o'clock to directly drive the second hand (if installed at 6 o'clock).

    This closely matches the change between the Sea-Gull ST16 and ST17, which is why we tend to see the ST17 in watches with a 6 o'clock sub-dial e.g. Rodina.
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  10. #9
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    Is this new movement really designated SB18?

    The functional difference is that whereas the old movement has the wheels positioned more-or-less the same as the classic Miyota 8200 (escape wheel at 6 o'clock, 4th wheel at 5 o'clock), and therefore requires an indirectly-driven second hand even for a 6 o'clock sub-dial (unless the movement is rotated to place the crown at 4 o'clock); the new movement has a new alignment placing the 4th wheel at 6 o'clock to directly drive the second hand (if installed at 6 o'clock).

    This closely matches the change between the Sea-Gull ST16 and ST17, which is why we tend to see the ST17 in watches with a 6 o'clock sub-dial e.g. Rodina.
    So the "new" SB18 might be a centre-seconds version? Could that mean BJWAF might retain both versions so they can also continue to offer sub-seconds in parallel? I hope so. Easy not to see in modern times, but centre-seconds was the original fancy complication coming out of the 1950s... it was the overhead cam of its time. 99% of vintage watches came with sub-seconds until then.

    I've seen that Stowa are offering no-seconds and sub-seconds of its Unitas 6497 (6498? I get 'em mixed up) because their previous modifier of stock Unitas into centre-seconds has retired from the business. So J鰎g launched a no-seconds version as a practical solution... but that remains contentious: "I must have a seconds hand so I can see the watch is working..." Which is a bit moot with a whopping big Unitas 'cos yer can feel the ground shaking when it's wound up. It's a cart horse, basically. But that big movement gives plenty of surface area for fancy decoration...

    Anyways, this is important, Ben, as BJWAF are one of the very few companies left anywhere in the world that continue to offer a variety of in-house movements. And that makes 'em fascinating to me. The Chinese version of Nomos or Glash黷te Original, if you will.

    Ric

  11. #10
    Member monsieurxu's Avatar
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    Re: A brand new SB18 movement from Beijing

    It is a new version of the SB18 according to Beijing, which is supposed to be an enhanced version of the previous generation.

    They also claimed that the SB18 was never derived from a miyota nor a Guangzhou movement, and said it was wholly developed in-house in 2006. Is it just sheer coincidence that the old SB18 had the same jewel positioning? After all the entire movement is manufactured in-house (not a bought-in ebauche), it is manual winding versus automatic, and is vastly more highly-decorated than most movements out there under 1000 dollars.

    Well regardless, the new SB18 is definitely no longer a derivative design if the old one ever was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    Is this new movement really designated SB18?

    The functional difference is that whereas the old movement has the wheels positioned more-or-less the same as the classic Miyota 8200 (escape wheel at 6 o'clock, 4th wheel at 5 o'clock), and therefore requires an indirectly-driven second hand even for a 6 o'clock sub-dial (unless the movement is rotated to place the crown at 4 o'clock); the new movement has a new alignment placing the 4th wheel at 6 o'clock to directly drive the second hand (if installed at 6 o'clock).

    This closely matches the change between the Sea-Gull ST16 and ST17, which is why we tend to see the ST17 in watches with a 6 o'clock sub-dial e.g. Rodina.

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