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Who is interested in doing an SM1AK movement f72 project watch in 2020?

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since the micro-rotor appears be a no-go, we need to check the interest in using the workhorse SM1AK movement made by ZuanShi and making a homage to VCMs.
Think of this as Part II of a VCM series that started with the 2013 WUS CMW forum ST-5 movement.
This is only to check the interest of using this movement and if there are enough members to move forward with this project.
The SM1AK was given the distinction of being the best movement made in China for 10 years in a row.
It is the pinnacle of Chinese watch making in the 1970s, and would a great movement for a VCM inspired watch.
Why a VCM inspired watch? Many watch buyers only know of the mushroom brands and homage watches that come out of China.
It would be great to make a watch that celebrates the horology of CMW in a time when the words cheap and copy appear be the qualifiers that dominate the perception of Chinese watches in the world.
 

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sounds like a good idea! honestly, I would join any forum project watch as I love the idea of a community created watch. The historical significance of SM1AK certainly is an added bonus
 

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I'm interested. I think this would be a fun opportunity for WUS to participate in a bit of Chinese horological history. I don't know a lot about the SM1AK movement itself, so I did some searching and found the following:

First manufactured: 1972
Handwind
Hours, minutes, central seconds
17 jewels
21,600 bph
+/- 30 sec/day
45 hour power reserve
Movement size: 30mm x 4.6mm

However, I got a bit confused. Is SS1K another name for this movement? Many sites reference the SS1K as the first national grade 1 movement, though I can't tell if that's the same accolade Monkey refers to in the first post. Regardless, if I've made a mistake in any of the data here please correct me.

This thread has pictures of the movement semi-broken down, but they seem to be blocked by photobucket. If anyone can resuscitate them or find similar pictures, that'd be great.

Here are some pictures of the movement culled from various sources:
f9587276377ae23811ac8040e4426865o.jpg
yin_bei_movement.jpg
zuan_shi_movement_0.jpg
 

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I will certainly monitor any project that comes to be, but I don't want to register a vote as strong backer, since I'm fairly likely to drop out of any project these days that's not very unique and cohesive. The ST5 project was brilliant, and this could be too, but I suppose at this point of my watch life, I'd probably be more interested in an original SM1AK than in a rebuild. This forum has come up with some brilliant, must-have designs in the past though and could easily do it again. b-)

The micro-rotor interested me more because it was completely unique in this space. I'm pleased to see HKEd and Thomas will be testing samples, though what you've discovered about its reputation Jason makes me pessimistic about it.
 

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I will certainly monitor any project that comes to be, but I don't want to register a vote as strong backer, since I'm fairly likely to drop out of any project these days that's not very unique and cohesive. The ST5 project was brilliant, and this could be too, but I suppose at this point of my watch life, I'd probably be more interested in an original SM1AK than in a rebuild. This forum has come up with some brilliant, must-have designs in the past though and could easily do it again. b-)

The micro-rotor interested me more because it was completely unique in this space. I'm pleased to see HKEd and Thomas will be testing samples, though what you've discovered about its reputation Jason makes me pessimistic about it.
+1 fwiw.


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Is SS1K another name for this movement? Many sites reference the SS1K as the first national grade 1 movement
No. SS1 was an earlier movement, a predecessor to the Tongji or standard. Compare to the SM1As above. (thanks, Wiki)

Shanghai-SS1.jpg
 

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I'd love to see this happen. The SM1A is a formidable workhorse.

I'll just mention that I bet the SM1AK would be strong enough to support a center-wheel world timer like this design...

worldtimer_face.jpg


...which would make the SM1A forum watch a compelling tool watch, and reminder, for so many of us with ties (horological/interest/historica) to China.
 

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I'm interested. I think this would be a fun opportunity for WUS to participate in a bit of Chinese horological history. I don't know a lot about the SM1AK movement itself, so I did some searching and found the following:

First manufactured: 1972
Handwind
Hours, minutes, central seconds
17 jewels
21,600 bph
+/- 30 sec/day
45 hour power reserve
Movement size: 30mm x 4.6mm

However, I got a bit confused. Is SS1K another name for this movement? Many sites reference the SS1K as the first national grade 1 movement, though I can't tell if that's the same accolade Monkey refers to in the first post. Regardless, if I've made a mistake in any of the data here please correct me.
SS1K was a different movement, made by Shanghai Watch Factory. SM1A-K was made by the Shanghai Zuanshi Watch Factory (at various times Shanghai 4th Watch Factory or Shanghai Stopwatch Factory). It was the 21,600bph upgrade of the earlier 18,000bph SM1A. Power reserve is officially rated at 45 hours, but usually it is good for 50 to 55 hours. According to watchmakers who have examined them, the SM1A-K movements were manufactured to much finer tolerances than other Chinese wristwatch movements. Other unusual features are the large mainspring barrel and the 12mm balance wheel that is larger than any used in other Chinese wristwatch movements. Unlike the manufacturers in other parts of the world, Chinese watch factories back in the day whenever upgrading an existing design to a faster-beating escapement always managed to achieve this without any reduction in the balance wheel diameter.

So there's a bit more context of what we are discussing here.
 

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I will certainly monitor any project that comes to be, but I don't want to register a vote as strong backer, since I'm fairly likely to drop out of any project these days that's not very unique and cohesive. The ST5 project was brilliant, and this could be too, but I suppose at this point of my watch life, I'd probably be more interested in an original SM1AK than in a rebuild. This forum has come up with some brilliant, must-have designs in the past though and could easily do it again. b-)

The micro-rotor interested me more because it was completely unique in this space. I'm pleased to see HKEd and Thomas will be testing samples, though what you've discovered about its reputation Jason makes me pessimistic about it.
My feelings are very similar.

I was more excited by the prospect of forging a new path and opening up more opportunities for interesting Chinese watches. And the affordable micro-rotor has been something of a Holy Grail for many enthusiasts over the past couple of decades.

All the same, another opportunity to explore and promote the rich heritage of Chinese horology has its appeal, too.
 

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No. SS1 was an earlier movement, a predecessor to the Tongji or standard. Compare to the SM1As above. (thanks, Wiki)
SS1K was a different movement, made by Shanghai Watch Factory. SM1A-K was made by the Shanghai Zuanshi Watch Factory (at various times Shanghai 4th Watch Factory or Shanghai Stopwatch Factory). It was the 21,600bph upgrade of the earlier 18,000bph SM1A. Power reserve is officially rated at 45 hours, but usually it is good for 50 to 55 hours. According to watchmakers who have examined them, the SM1A-K movements were manufactured to much finer tolerances than other Chinese wristwatch movements. Other unusual features are the large mainspring barrel and the 12mm balance wheel that is larger than any used in other Chinese wristwatch movements. Unlike the manufacturers in other parts of the world, Chinese watch factories back in the day whenever upgrading an existing design to a faster-beating escapement always managed to achieve this without any reduction in the balance wheel diameter.

So there's a bit more context of what we are discussing here.
Thanks for the clarification. This is good info about the movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'll just mention that I bet the SM1AK would be strong enough to support a center-wheel world timer like this design...

...which would make the SM1A forum watch a compelling tool watch, and reminder, for so many of us with ties (horological/interest/historica) to China.
This is a great idea.
BTW, what watch is that in the photo? I have never seen one of those before.
 

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This is a great idea.
BTW, what watch is that in the photo. I have never seen one of those before.
I saw Ron's post and I had an idea to start a thread about the classic 'complications' from the transitional period between vintage and modern Chinese watches. The four that I can think of are the world-timer, centre moon-phase, centre day/night and off-set day/night. I have the latter only.
 

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The only 'complication' that speaks to me is a world-timer...
 
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The only 'complication' that speaks to me is a world-timer...
Which is why I made the suggestion, because the Maanshan Shiba style is a wonderfully Chinese approach to the world-timer complication.
 

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I had zero interest in the whole micro rotor discussion. I would be interested if the discussion continues with any China hand winding movement.

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Voted yes. |>

As there are only 13 yes votes, may I suggest that members here reach out to other members in some of the other forums to advertise this.
 

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Voted yes. |>

As there are only 13 yes votes, may I suggest that members here reach out to other members in some of the other forums to advertise this.
 

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I'm in the same boat as watchcrank and chascomm ..... I therefore abstain from registering (my vote)
 
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