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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As the old thread was started when Thomas was an employee of HK Sea-Gull (also known as Tsinlien Sea-Gull), which is no longer the case, the forum moderators have chosen to re-open this new thread under a more accurate title given present circumstances.

The relationship between Thomas and HK Sea-Gull is between them and further discussion regarding that relationship is to be discussed only between them, with this caveat:

If either HK Sea-Gull or Thomas have any statements to make regarding the relationship that they wish to be made public, they are both kindly asked to provide the statements to the moderators prior and for approval.

Any such posts placed by either without prior moderator approval will be deleted by moderators and infractions imposed which, depending on circumstances, may be up to and including termination of WUS membership.


Onward...
 

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A good idea. I'm mostly just writing to get in on this thread early but I do hope that it will be as active and interesting as the last one.
 

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Now that we've commenced a new thread on this topic, perhaps somebody who has a handle on this could provide a brief run-down of all the various 1963-style watches currently on the market?
 

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+1
 

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Just a brief (and maybe incomplete) run-down:
there are three variants of the 42mm version... varying only in dial colors based on some pics that were posted in the old thread. And the true re-issue in 38mm.
I just got my 38mm version and I must say I'm completely satisfied with it. I hasnt left my wrist since the day it arrived.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, I can provide WatchUnique in the Netherlands which has been a 1963 vendor for quite some time, offering a:


  • G10/NATO strapped model at Excl. VAT Tax: €147.93 or Incl. VAT Tax: €179.00, and
  • a leather strapped model at Excl. VAT Tax: €164.46 Incl. VAt Tax: €199.00....
  • And a display caseback available at +€24.79 (+€30.00 Incl. Tax).
The site is: Watchunique (to help estimates: €199.00 is $269 CDN at today's rates/$262 US)
 

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Let's see more pictures. Anyone got the 42mm version? How about one with sapphire? I've been kicking tires on this one for a while now.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

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Just joined this forum. I received my 1963 from Watchunique this week. Exactly the same as the one above except mine was in a round tin. Never seen this type of tin before. Is there any connection between the type of tin/wooden box that these watches come in and their date/place of manufacture or supplier or something else that I haven't thought of?
 

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Martin,

That is the perfect leather strap for this beautiful watch!
It is the right colour and has a good texture that does not over power the watch :)
 

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If I wanted to order a 42mm in cream with sapphire glass, how would I do it?
 

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Hi

The more I look at this watch the more drawn I am too it. So far I've heard very few negatives and bags and bags of praise.

I'm in the UK so an EU based seller like WatchUnique would seem the best way to go (to avoid import VAT and handling charges). However I've noticed that the exhibition back is extra, approx 30 euro and to be honest I'm not sure I'd be missing too much, especially as its covered in bold type obscuring a lot of the movement.

I know it's a personal choice but do you think I'd regret saving a few pounds and forgoing the exhibition back. Also as this watch is at the top of my current budget does anyone have a discount code for Watchunique? There's space to a add one at the checkout but I can't find anything.

Thanks
David
 

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Since it is quite recent, and so as not to see it lost in the closed thread, I am repeating my review of the 38mm 1963 Reissue which I received from Thomas a couple of weeks ago...

My 1963 Reissue arrive today. I purchased the 38mm version, with the cream-colored dial and acrylic crystal.

And I've spent some quality time with a microscope and a loupe.

First, the case. The case is really excellent. The lugs are long and stylish, and the stepped bezel makes the watch wear bigger without being bigger. I put it next to my Poljot (late version with a round case) and the clunkiness of the latter becomes really apparent. I put it next to my vintage early-60's EBEL dress watch, which is to my eyes perfectly proportioned, and it holds up. The crown is big enough to hand-wind (necessary here, of course). The pushers are proportioned correctly. The watch looks better on a leather strap than on the provided NATO strap (pictures soon)--the case holds up to nice leather. The lug opening is not quite 18mm, and an 18mm strap has to be encouraged to fit, though it does not look compressed once it's there. I think a 19 or 20mm strap would look better. The 36mm case on my old EBEL takes a 19mm strap, and I like the proportions of the strap being at least as large as half the case diameter.

The detailing on the dial gives no cause for complaint. No weird printing artifacts or the like. And the acrylic crystal is perfect. The watch looks like a 60's watch, but without looking too small. And I'm glad this is an homage to an earlier Tianjin-made military watch--the writing on the watch is in Chinese characters and that means I don't have to feel guilty for wearing a watch that is pretending to be western when it isn't.

The bluing on the hands is a bit bright for real bluing, but that's a subtlety that will not bother me at all.

The movement is excellent. Obviously, I didn't tear anything down, but I did study it very closely. No Venus 175, as installed in, say, a vintage Breitling Navitimer, looks as good as this one, even if the imitation Geneva stripes were fly-cut rather than the result of polishing. At 30x, the grooves that give the stripes their look were even and large, versus the more random and far finer grooves that result from using tripoli on those tiny little buffs. But to the naked eye, they give the right effect. The chamfering on the bridges is done pretty well considering the price point.

The color of the blued screws suffers the same defect as the hands, but at this price it could not possibly bother me. But plain polished steel might have looked as good or better. The Seagull movement's chronograph control levers were highly polished--unlike those same levers on any Venus-made caliber 175, and unlike the control levers on my EBEL cal. 137. That really made the surface features of the movement sparkle, and it has great "curb appeal" through the display back. Look deeper, though, and the base plate and other inner workings are not pearled or decorated as they are on that EBEL movement and on the better Swiss watches (especially those wtih display backs). One has to look past a lot of sparkle to see that, though. Seagull just chose to polish and decorate different bits.

It's fun to study a hand-wind movement through a display back--no rotor to block the view.

I tested the watch with Kello (that cheapie iPhone timer thing), and the watch ran +12 dial down to +6 with the dial vertical and 12 o'clock pointed down. No other position ran outside that range. We'll see how that plays out in the real world, but I call that very little positional variation and at least close to chronometer timing, at least with a full wind. Yes, I realize that COSC measures time gained and lost in each position for a full 24 hours, and I"m considering this test just an indicator. My new EBELs are all within about 30 seconds of each other, having all been set alike four weeks ago. And they are all maybe 90 seconds fast, which means they are averaging about +3. That's right in the COSC sweet spot, it seems to me. The Seagull will need a week or two of keeping it wound to know for sure, but it doesn't seem as though it will be much outside that range, if at all.

Of course, the ST19 runs at 21,600 bph, and not at the 18,000 of the original Venus 175.

And now that I have a chrono with a column-wheel control, I understand it somewhat differently than how it is usually described. The column-wheel requires force to turn to the next position (which is what the start/stop pusher does), because the pillars are actuating a couple of levers as that is happening. The pillars are small, so the part of a lever falling off of one as it moves away, or climbing onto one as it is pushed underneath it, has to be close to the lever's pivot. That means whatever the lever does has a lot of leverage to exert onto the column wheel, and that adds to the workload of the start/stop pusher. One other thing that is happening is that the reset lever is being cocked when the chrono is first started. When the column wheel is in the run position, that reset lever is held in place by one of the column wheel pillars, which prevents it from becoming uncocked even if the reset pusher is pressed. Thus, the reset pusher does not have to wind anything up to have enough snap to roll those heart cams back to the zero position. That pusher requires almost no force at all. The start/stop pusher requires as much force as the start/stop pusher on my lever-actuated EBEL 137, and both require less than the one on the Poljot 3133.

I was surprised to discover that the minute totalizer is designed to jump minutes. The chrono seconds wheel has a single tooth that aligns with the minute wheel, and engages just enough to catch one tooth. The minute totalizer wheel has minute detents, and that passing tooth moves it to the next detent. So, the minute totalizer jumps to the next minute as the chrono seconds hand is passing 12. The minute wheel on my EBEL does not do that, and it's a nice feature.

The case could be made that the Venus 175 was one of the key innovations that helped restore the Swiss watch industry coming out of the Great Depression, and keep it going during WWII when they were powering the watches favored by military officers. But it was not an auto, and that was a crippling defect by the 60's. That's why Venus sold the tooling and so on to Tianjin--they were trying to fund the development of a lever-actuated chrono that could be thin enough to have automatic winding. (Column wheels are not thin. But Zenith figured that trick out three or fours years later, and kept the column wheel.) Given the 175's role back in the day, there is some lamenting that movements like it are no longer available. Well, they are. And they seem to work as well now as they ever did--maybe better--and there are nice watches available that use them.

Here are the pictures:


1963 Reissue, in original cream dial and 38mm case. I like a black leather strap with the cream stitching on this watch, rather than the NATO strap it came with.


A closeup of the dial to show that the printing and applied markers are really done quite well.


The ST1901 movement--a modern 21-jewel version of the Venus 175, made using the vintage tooling.


Here's a closeup of the movement, showing the column-wheel chronograph control at top center.

And, finally, a poor iPhone wrist shot:
View attachment 982915

Rick "to keep the information alive" Denney
 

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Hi

The more I look at this watch the more drawn I am too it. So far I've heard very few negatives and bags and bags of praise.

I'm in the UK so an EU based seller like WatchUnique would seem the best way to go (to avoid import VAT and handling charges). However I've noticed that the exhibition back is extra, approx 30 euro and to be honest I'm not sure I'd be missing too much, especially as its covered in bold type obscuring a lot of the movement.

I know it's a personal choice but do you think I'd regret saving a few pounds and forgoing the exhibition back. Also as this watch is at the top of my current budget does anyone have a discount code for Watchunique? There's space to a add one at the checkout but I can't find anything.

Thanks
David
The display backs from Thomas no-longer have the red print. It is a clear back with laser etching on the outer perimeter shown above.
 

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I'm not sure what the price difference is but bear in mind that if bought in Hong Kong VAT ought so be charged when it comes through customs. I know sometimes you are lucky and avoid it but you can't guarantee that. Buying from watchunique the VAT is included. The service is very quick, mine left Holland last Friday and arrived in Bristol on Monday. Obviously Fedex work through the weekend. Also watchinique sell the clear back separately so if you regret not buying it you can always get it later. At leat they did last week. I notice its not on their website now but I know they have been doing a lot of site maintenance and may have overlooked it. Mine came with both backs so clearly they have the clear ones separately and fit it if you want it.
 

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Thanks everyone for your helpful replies

I would of course love to order from Thomas and Ed (HKED), I recently sent my deposit for the 2013 WUS project watch and I have received nothing but the best possible service. But I regret that cold hard cash is a factor. I may be conforming to a stereotype but we Yorkshire men are renowned for our careful approach to money and I’m no exception.

I’m interested in the 38mm version, although on my hippo proportioned appendages I’m not sure what it would look like. Here’s what I think it would cost

Watchunique – 198 Euro (incl delivery) = £175 (1.13 Euro = 1GBP)
Hong Kong - $210 (incl delivery $20 less $10 WUS discount + VAT @ 20%) = £168 (1.50USD to 1GBP)


But I also have to add an as yet undisclosed handling fee from the shipping agent.

As you can see its close and the only real difference would be the clear back. Having said all that the photos without the red type make a big difference, it looks a lot better and may well be worth it. Delivery times are also a factor and possible delays in customs would make me think twice.



If anyone has imported one of the watches to the UK I’d be really interested to hear about your experiences (and what you were charged)


Thanks Again
 
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