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The easy answer is that real Sea-Gull 1963 chronographs (made in Tianjin) will cost over $400, and have "Sea-Gull" branding and a model and/or Limited Edition number on the solid case back. Anything you can buy brand new for $350 and under, is not made by Sea-Gull, but will have a real ST1901 movement (unless quartz).

see the linked post below, for pictures of the real Sea-Gull models
 

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Just to be perfectly clear; a 1963 style watch with an ST19 movement, but without Sea-Gull branding is not necessarily 'fake'.

Watches of this style are all homages to a vintage air force watch that lacked branding and was built to a military project specification, so the modern Sea-Gull company does not 'own' the design. The first homage versions were not Sea-Gull branded products. Sea-Gull's versions came later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Authentic? Aren't they all reissues or facsimiles of reissues?
The easy answer is that real Sea-Gull 1963 chronographs (made in Tianjin) will cost over $400, and have "Sea-Gull" branding and a model and/or Limited Edition number on the solid case back. Anything you can buy brand new for $350 and under, is not made by Sea-Gull, but will have a real ST1901 movement (unless quartz).

see the linked post below, for pictures of the real Sea-Gull models
Ok, I found
Just to be perfectly clear; a 1963 style watch with an ST19 movement, but without Sea-Gull branding is not necessarily 'fake'.

Watches of this style are all homages to a vintage air force watch that lacked branding and was built to a military project specification, so the modern Sea-Gull company does not 'own' the design. The first homage versions were not Sea-Gull branded products. Sea-Gull's versions came later.
Everyone’s insights are very helpful. So the movement is what matters the most, in a sense
 

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Just to be perfectly clear; a 1963 style watch with an ST19 movement, but without Sea-Gull branding is not necessarily 'fake'.

Watches of this style are all homages to a vintage air force watch that lacked branding and was built to a military project specification, so the modern Sea-Gull company does not 'own' the design. The first homage versions were not Sea-Gull branded products. Sea-Gull's versions came later.
Interesting assertion. What movement did these earlier homages use, since Sea-Gull had basically discontinued the ST3, and only revived it as the ST19 family when they came out with their D304 Reissue? I am wrong about the movement chronology? Or are you saying that after Sea-Gull did their D304 Reissue, other factories started to produce the "Thomas"/1963 prototype style that has become the most common version?

From my research, the first 1963 Reissue was launched in Hong Kong in 2007 by the "Sea-Gull Group", a limited run of 208 with a numbered solid case back. It was then followed by another release of 500 with exhibition case back. The Sea-Gull Group was incorporated in 1997, and is made up of 20+ parties (with 16 manufacturers and 4 joint ventures), including those who were producing under license agreements (Tianjin Watch Factory, Sea-Gull HK, Sea-Gull Singapore, etc.)

 

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Interesting assertion. What movement did these earlier homages use, since Sea-Gull had basically discontinued the ST3, and only revived it as the ST19 family when they came out with their D304 Reissue? I am wrong about the movement chronology?
Yes, the ST19 was already in production for supply to external assemblers, prior to the first 1963 homages.
 

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Thanks. The CCP's blocks on internet access often make getting information on Chinese movements, and their manufacturers, beyond difficult. Shanghai Jing He's website is down or unavailable most of the time, and even Peacock's site is sporadic. Shanghai Watches hasn't had a working, Western facing website in quite some time.
 

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There are no fake 1963s. Period!
Except many sellers are portraying their timepieces as "Sea-Gull" and "Reissue" watches, and they only contain Sea-Gull movements. Since the original watches were produced before the Sea-Gull brand existed, any unlicensed 1963 homages have no right to say they are "Sea-Gulls", and since they didn't produce them originally, they can't "reissue" them. My Steeldive SD1970 has an NH35A movement, made by a subsidiary of Seiko, but it would be crossing a line to call it a "Seiko", or a "6105-8110 Reissue". Only Seiko can reissue the 6105-8110, and they did as the Seiko SLA033. Like Sea-Gull, Seiko charges a bit more for their Reissue, than my Steeldive homage.
 

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I see your point. But none of them call it Sea-Gull. They call them Seagull.
Does a hyphen make a difference? In China, it appears that it does because many Taobao stores sell Seagull 1963 watches and don't get removed.
Also, I don't like that they use Seagull. I am in agreement with you. But does it make them fake?

Except many sellers are portraying their timepieces as "Sea-Gull" and "Reissue" watches, and they only contain Sea-Gull movements. Since the original watches were produced before the Sea-Gull brand existed, any unlicensed 1963 homages have no right to say they are "Sea-Gulls", and since they didn't produce them originally, they can't "reissue" them. My Steeldive SD1970 has an NH35A movement, made by a subsidiary of Seiko, but it would be crossing a line to call it a "Seiko", or a "6105-8110 Reissue". Only Seiko can reissue the 6105-8110, and they did as the Seiko SLA033. Like Sea-Gull, Seiko charges a bit more for their Reissue, than my Steeldive homage.
 

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I see your point. But none of them call it Sea-Gull. They call them Seagull.
Does a hyphen make a difference? In China, it appears that it does because many Taobao stores sell Seagull 1963 watches and don't get removed.
Also, I don't like that they use Seagull. I am in agreement with you. But does it make them fake?
Ask yourself why they use the term Seagull, since the brand name only came into existence about 10 years after the original watches were produced? Is their intent to confuse their watches with the ones made by the factory in Tianjin?
 

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I have thought that way since I started that thread many years ago about authentic Tianjin Sea-Gull air force re-issues.
I wouldn't call that fake. I would call that deceptive marketing.

Ask yourself why they use the term Seagull, since the brand name only came into existence about 10 years after the original watches were produced? Is their intent to confuse their watches with the ones made by the factory in Tianjin?
 

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I see your point. But none of them call it Sea-Gull. They call them Seagull.
Does a hyphen make a difference? In China, it appears that it does because many Taobao stores sell Seagull 1963 watches and don't get removed.
Also, I don't like that they use Seagull. I am in agreement with you. But does it make them fake?
It's not even about Sea-Gull vs Seagull. "天津手表厂 "was the name of the company before they changed it to "Sea-Gull", I don't think anyone else can use it except Sea-Gull.
Plant Sky Building Tree Leisure
 

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Except many sellers are portraying their timepieces as "Sea-Gull" and "Reissue" watches, and they only contain Sea-Gull movements. Since the original watches were produced before the Sea-Gull brand existed, any unlicensed 1963 homages have no right to say they are "Sea-Gulls", and since they didn't produce them originally, they can't "reissue" them. My Steeldive SD1970 has an NH35A movement, made by a subsidiary of Seiko, but it would be crossing a line to call it a "Seiko", or a "6105-8110 Reissue". Only Seiko can reissue the 6105-8110, and they did as the Seiko SLA033. Like Sea-Gull, Seiko charges a bit more for their Reissue, than my Steeldive homage.
I thought Sea-Gull produced the first bunch of "1963" in 2013 called FKJB.
The one they made for Chinese air force in 1963 called D304 which looks very different from the 1963 "Plan B" we are talking about here.

2010 D304 reissue:
Watch Analog watch Gesture Clock Watch accessory
 

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Man, I love this thread. I learn so much coming here.
I plan on one day getting a '63 aviator, and all this information is super helpful. I admit, I have held off on a purchase, due to the clutter of offerings and the differences in price. Of course, buying a '63 directly from Sea-Gull would be great, but holy crap they are pricey (for me at least).
 
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