Sea-Gull

Seagull 1963 - legendary pilot watch of the Chinese Airforce as original and high-quality prototype new edition at favourable price

If you want to buy a high-quality pilot watch Seagull 1963 at a reasonable and fair price, then you have come to the right address with us. The legendary chronometer of the Chinese Air Force from the 1960s convinces with its aesthetically fine appearance as well as its sophisticated mechanics and has an exciting history. If you then add the unbeatably low price of less than 300 euros for such a historical, beautifully shaped and mechanically mature pilot's watch replica of the Tianjin Seagull Watch Group, then you will acquire a real treasure with added value with this original watch from us. Our credo of offering great brands at a low price, we add a striking facet to this highly interesting pilot's watch prototype new edition. Air Force fans and friends of exciting chronometer history will find the Seagull 1963 just as much to their liking as lovers of unadorned optics without bling bling on the wrist. The excellent workmanship can also be seen with an extremely hard calculated price-performance ratio and prejudices against made in China are convincingly refuted by the way.

Production of high-quality wristwatches in China since the 1950s

The extremely exciting history of the Seagull 1963 dates back to the 1950s. At that time the Tianjin Watch Factory (today: Tianjin Seagull Watch Group) started the production of its own pilot's watch in the Chinese port city of the same name south of Beijing. At that time, international relations were grinding not only politically but also economically, and the Chinese government wanted to make its country independent of imports from Switzerland and not least the then Soviet Union by starting its own watch production. So a group of no fewer than four watchmakers began to produce their own chronometer from Chinese production. Parallel to the small watch manufactory in Tianjin, there was a second one in Shanghai. Of course, it was initially a highly demanding task for the Chinese watchmakers to have a chance at all, especially against the gigantic competition from Switzerland with its more than 100-year-old culture of high-quality watch production. But the coup succeeded and the industrious, adaptive and talented Chinese did a great job. Soon the first Chinese wristwatches ever saw the light of day in the Tian Watch Factory. The watches manufactured in the Chinese factory were initially not pilot's watches, but conventional wristwatches, the so-called Tianjin WuYi.

Pilot's watches for the Chinese Air Force in the 1960s

The Chinese government in Beijing soon became aware of the good performances in the first state-owned watch factory and drew up a plan: The Chinese Air Force was to be equipped with air force chronometers from its own production. Previously, precision timepieces from the Soviet Union or Switzerland were still displayed on the wrists of pilots of the Air Force of the People's Republic of China. The gentlemen in Beijing did not want to let this happen, especially in the wake of increasing Chinese-Soviet tensions, and strived for their own pilot's watches. The Tianjin Watch Factory was commissioned to develop and manufacture its own pilot's watch model as a chronometer for the Chinese Air Force at the same high level as its European competitors. Under the code name "Project 304", which sounds like a spy film, the watch factory in Tianjin received the official order. However, it was not possible to get off the ground completely without help from Switzerland, which had a wealth of experience with watches, and coincidence came to the aid of the Chinese: the Swiss manufacturer of bodyshells, Venus, was in an economic crisis and was desperately looking for a buyer for its Venus 175 calibre switch wheel chronographs. China took advantage of the opportunity and bought these highly complex production facilities from the Swiss for the manufacture of its own pilot's watches. After a few improvements to the factory facilities, the Chinese initially produced prototypes of the pilot's watches there from 1961 until the models were so mature that they could go into series production as Seagull 1963 Chinese Air Force pilot's watches. In 1969 the success story of the first Chinese pilot's chronometer ended and the production was stopped for unknown reasons. A maximum of 1,700 units had been delivered to the Chinese Air Force by then. The Tianjin Seagull Watch Group, on the other hand, remained in existence throughout all historical periods and is today one of the world's largest producers of mechanical movements with more than 3 million units per year. Where a handful of Chinese watchmakers worked more than 50 years ago, today there are around 3,000 employees in action. This is also where the legendary Seagull 1963 is manufactured as a military watch in a vintage look and in very good workmanship with a transparent case back and hand-wound movement as a high-quality replica. Since we are an official reseller of Seagull, you are guaranteed to get the official version of the replica of the prototype of this original military chronometer in our shop. Unlike other variants that are also on the market, this particularly beautiful and authentic new edition of the prototype is neither freely interpretive nor based on later series production. Also the Plexiglas (acrylic glass) is authentic in contrast to the mineral glass or sapphire glass used with other models.

Sophisticated high-quality mechanics made in China comparable with Swiss quality

Interesting for price-conscious chronometer fans: When you buy a Chinese Seagull in 1963, you buy a precision timepiece comparable to a Swiss Breitling Navitimer, but much cheaper. Thanks to the takeover of the 175-gear caliber from Venus, the chronometers are roughly identical in construction. When it comes to mechanics, the Chinese manufacturer Seagull does not have to hide behind the Swiss competition in any way. This is due in no small part to the very expensive calibre of the control wheel. The glass base makes it easy to observe the ratchet wheel at work. The fact that such a ratchet caliber is still used in chronometers in this low price class in place of the simpler and less smooth-running steering system shows the quality awareness of the Chinese manufacturer. The Seagull caliber ST19 is considered reliable. A shock protection was installed as well as an increase of the power reserve from 38 to 40 hours. The accuracy is extremely precise with a slight deviation of approx. 1 second per day. Besides the prejudices against made in China disproving, high-quality workmanship, the pronounced vintage charm of the genuine prototype replica of the Seagull 1963 Chinese Air Force pilot's watch is a big plus. The curved acrylic glass and the harmoniously rounded original design contribute to this. The relatively large overall height of 14 mm cleverly compensates for the diameter of 38 mm, which is rather small for a pilot's watch, and ensures a striking presence on the wrist.

Harmonic optics with charm and a touch of nostalgia

All in all, this extraordinary chronometer appears somewhat softer and more harmonious than comparable pilot's watches in terms of formal aesthetics. Also for fans of historical precision wristwatches, who often find classic military chronometers too bulky and masculine, the variant from China is a surprisingly graceful alternative. The slightly antique-looking cream-coloured dial of the original replica harmonises aesthetically convincingly with applied gold-coloured numerals and elegantly blued hands. The softer acrylic glass makes the hands and numerals shimmer particularly softly and at the same time clearly, unlike military watches with mineral glass. The nostalgic touch of this charming watch is underlined by the textile band in light military green that develops a stylish vintage charm over time. A certain slender elegance, otherwise rather atypical for military watches, cannot be denied to this stylish chronometer.

If you buy a Seagull 1963 from us as an official Seagull reseller, you will receive this attractive military chronometer with vintage charm in the beautifully designed original box and with warranty and papers.

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