WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.

home_image.3161058.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,421 Posts
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:

¹ú²ú±í±±¾©»úеÊÖ±í öùÓãƤ´ø·ÀË®ÖÐÐÔ±í ³¬±¡²»Ðâ¸ÖÄÚǶ·©Àűí-ÌÔ±¦Íø

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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,250 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
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.

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:

¹ú²ú±í±±¾©»úеÊÖ±í öùÓãƤ´ø·ÀË®ÖÐÐÔ±í ³¬±¡²»Ðâ¸ÖÄÚǶ·©Àűí-ÌÔ±¦Íø

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
 

·
Mod. Russian, China Mech.
Joined
·
18,304 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,421 Posts
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 Jörg 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 Glashütte Original, if you will.

Ric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
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.

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Any of you guys time the performance of the SB18-3 (or if there are any SB18-6 out there) watches - eg Beihai, Zhufeng?

The Beijing people told me the specs of the movement, but I'm curious to hear real-life reports. I've never bothered myself to be honest - there is no greater luxury then having time :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
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:

¹ú²ú±í±±¾©»úеÊÖ±í öùÓãƤ´ø·ÀË®ÖÐÐÔ±í ³¬±¡²»Ðâ¸ÖÄÚǶ·©Àűí-ÌÔ±¦Íø

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
Completely agree with you Ric, folks have got to realise how much a truly in-house watch costs to produce (don't forget 2 million USD and 2 years investment for the movement - for the SB18 it was more than 4 years. In Switzerland it would cost slightly more) with its R&D and the tooling needed. From what I was told, many of the lesser SB18s are installed in the lower-priced SB18-powered Beijing watches. That's not a problem for those who've bought the Zhufeng as 300 USD for a watch of such quality is just unheard of. It feels and looks better than the IWC Portuguese for example.

Consider how much an in-house Swiss or German (who position themselves as having better value than the Swiss) watch would cost? Ignore those in-house brands that use a self-manufactured but bought-in design (Nomos etc with the Peseux 7001).

A basic 2 or 3 hand JLC or GO in steel goes for about 9000 USD, depending on model. Those are the kind of watches a Beijing Beihai should be compared to, especially if you consider the Beihai has a higher-quality dial than the JLC (eg the Reverso) and better finished movement with more time spent on it (compare the SB18 with the JLC cal 818).

By the way, no hate to Nomos and JLC of course. Two of my most highly-respected brands on the market, for their simple lack (for the most part anyway) of marketing BS.

If you compare the movement of the Nomos Peseux 7001 movement (it would basically be an ETA ebauche if they did not make the baseplate in-house) to the SB18, you can see that even at 1000 USD (which is slightly cheaper than the cheapest Nomos), the SB18 watches Ric mentions are superior in movement decoration and architecture. Think about how much the cheapest 3/4 plate watch from Germany would be (GO).
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,158 Posts
Any of you guys time the performance of the SB18-3 (or if there are any SB18-6 out there) watches - eg Beihai, Zhufeng?

The Beijing people told me the specs of the movement, but I'm curious to hear real-life reports. I've never bothered myself to be honest - there is no greater luxury then having time :)
I did time the ZhuFeng when I just got it. After wearing it for a few days, it was on average +1.5 seconds per 24 hours. The power reserve was very good, something like 50+ hours, but I have to verify to be sure.
The BeiHai is slightly faste, but I never checked. I usually wear a watch for 2 days at most and have to reset it anyway.

Regards,

Martin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
... 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'm on the fence about getting the Beihai 50th anniversary. How much better is the newly-designed SB-18? I seem to recall seeing some Beihai that weren't anniversary editions (China Made instead of Make in China IIRC).

Any guidance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,501 Posts
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.

View attachment 1092712
The movement on my Beijing Behai that I received 2 weeks ago is identical to the one in your photo. The literature that came with the watch said it is an SB18-3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
The movement on my Beijing Behai that I received 2 weeks ago is identical to the one in your photo. The literature that came with the watch said it is an SB18-3
Was that the limited edition? Who'd you buy it from? Can you post or PM the details (or just vaguely point in the right direction)?

(I turned my PM on :roll:)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top