Perpetual Buzz | The Tianjin Seagull 1963
Recently featured at Hodinkee, we decided to take a closer look at the Seagull 1963 Chinese Airforce watch. While the watch is no Audemars Piguet Tourbillon, it is an affordable and fun little watch that stands out in the sea of Tag and Omega emblazoned wrists these days. More likely, look at it as an improved replacement to the trendy return of the Timex with NATO style bands on them.
Originally commissioned as the first chronograph for the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army, it would be originally produced in 1963 by the Tianjin Watch Factory. The face of the watch features a red star representing its national heritage and reads 19 Zuan under it. Below the hands, reads China and The Tianjin Watch Factory in Chinese characters. Within the handsome 35 mm watch casing, we find a ST 19 mechanical chronograph movement (handwound) outfitted with 19 Jewels (19 Zuan). It features a 40 hour power reserve, and a 30 minute totalizer.
It comes in a wooden case emblazoned with the same texts. Overall, it is a very interesting unique take on the Pilot’s watch and should stump the occasional self-appointed horological connoisseur. Lastly, don’t expect it to be featured at Baselworld any time soon, though it will prove to be a nice change of pace and should keep pace with your day pretty well.