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My love / hate relationship with Sea-gull movements

25395 Views 35 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  InsaneMainframe
Recently I have some thoughts on the nature of many popular Sea-gull movements that is commonly seen. In another post these thoughts sort of flew out of my mind but the previous thread was already crowded enough as it is. So here I am reposting them and start a new discussion.

This is what I wrote

What I had in mind in terms of original was more towards workhorse everyday movements. I think from a horological point of view, the progression of improvements on an original design is what I find highly respectable. We see it alot in the popular VCMs, such as Shanghai 581 evolved to 611 ~ 1120 etc. Or Beijing's BS-2 that evolved into BS-5. Later, we even see Tonji evolved and became the even more refined Shanghai B. In all those examples, Chinese manufacturer started with one design and modified, simplified or improved on those well tested models. By copying other popular Swiss and Japanese designs in their modern offerings, Sea-gull has gain exposure and popularity in the West. But it may be impossible to shake off that impostor image in the foreseeable future. It saddens me to see such fate on this historical and truly beloved VCM brand.

MHe225 kindly shared this link and its contents (correction -originally posted on Chinese Watch Industry Wiki )

The Origin of Clone Movements

Although some current Chinese watch movements originate from foreign designs, these likely have not been developed specifically to build fakes. Development and manufacture of mechanical watch movements are only within the means of major, established enterprises with too much to lose if caught building counterfeit watches. However, clones of popular Swiss and Japanese movements seem to have been developed primarily to accommodate demand from 3rd party OEM makers. Some of these manufacturers sell quantities of 'cleanskin' watches, which of course may easily be converted into fakes. Similar market forces drive the development of 'look-alike modules' i.e. generic movements with enhancements to produce a dial layout similar to a famous Swiss watch.

It is a myth that 'Asian ETA/Valjoux/Unitas' movements are made by Chinese companies using ETA tooling. A careful examination of ETA movements alongside their Chinese equivalents reveals some subtle differences. The Chinese designs appear to be adapted to simplify manufacturing and assembly and to enhance durability. There are other differences that are simply...different. Sea-Gull, Hangzhou, Liaoning, and Shanghai watch factories have all had to create their own tooling to produce these movements.

Common Swiss Movements and their Clones

ETA 2824-2 - ETA's basic automatic winding, twenty-five (25) jewel movement which traces its roots back to the 1950's.

» Near-exact copies of the 2824-2 are produced by Sellita (the SW200) in Switzerland and by Hangzhou (the 6300), Sea-Gull (the ST21) and Shanghai Watch Factory (designation unknown) in China. The Valanvron watch company in Switzerland assemble and finish ST21 ebauches as legally 'Swiss Made' movements, designated Valanvron 24.

Detailed comparison: How do Seagull and Hangzhou compare to a ETA: An in-depth look...

ETA 2836-2 - The day/date variant of the 2824-2

» Near-exact copies of the 2836-2 are the Swiss Sellita SW220, Chinese Hangzhou 6311 and a Sea-Gull ST21 variant. The Valanvron 36 is based on a Sea-Gull ebauche.

ETA 2892.A2 - ETA's more upscale 2892 is an automatic winding, twenty-one (21) jewel movement fitted with top quality components, with its design dating to the 1970's. Owing to it's relatively slim height of 3.60mm, the 2892.A2 provides a good platform on which to add or build a chronograph complication.

» The Sea-Gull ST18 is a near copy of the 2892. Valanvron assemble and finish ST18 ebauches as Swiss Made movements, designated Valanvron 92.

Detailed comparison: An ST18 and an ETA 2892-2, a review

Valjoux 7750 - The ETA/Valjoux 7750 is a widely used automatic winding, twenty-five (25) jewel chronograph movement, which can be fitted with a variety of features including the triple date (day, date, month and moon phase) or a variety of two and three register models with totalizers or counters for minutes, seconds and hours.

» Various Chinese clones of the 7750 are manufactured by the Liaoning Watch Factory and the Shanghai Watch Factory. Non-Chinese clones include the Swiss Sellita SW500 and Russian Maktime 30664.

Unitas 6497-1 - The ETA/Unitas 6497 is a large, manual winding, seventeen (17) jewel movement, often fitted with a subsidiary (small) seconds complication in the 9 o'clock position. Originally intended for pocket watches, the 6497 has seen a recent resurgence in popularity due to its association with Officine Panerai wristwatches and homages.
» Hangzhou's 9000 series is a near copy of an earlier version of the 6497/6498, whereas the Sea-Gull ST36 is closer to the current ETA version. Both Hangzhou and Sea-Gull versions are available in skeleton versions that stylistically differ from the ETA version.

Venus 175 - A hand-winding movement with column-wheel controlled chronograph with 30 minute totalizer, no hour totalizer. Production ceased in the early 1960s.

» Strictly speaking, the Sea-Gull ST19 is not a 'clone' of the Venus 175, as it is descended directly from a movement built on the same tool-set as the original Venus, transfered to the Tianjin Watch Factory in the 1960s for production of a watch exclusively for the Chinese air force. This ancient design was resurrected in the 21st century, and subtly but extensively upgraded to become the ST19. Due to its use in fake Omega Speedmasters, it is occasionally (and very incorrectly) referred to as a 'Lemania clone'.

From time to time, luxury Swiss watches are offered featuring refurbished vintage Swiss movements, including the Venus 175, however examples have emerged where Swiss companies have used the ST19 and claimed to use a vintage 175. Any such watch featuring more than 19 jewels and an escapement 'upgraded' to 21,600bph should be assumed to be a mis-labelled Sea-Gull ST19.

Note: A thorough comparison of Sea-Gull's clone movements and their ETA counterparts can be found on the TZ-UK forum (edit: link is broken)

Common Japanese Movements and their Clones

Miyota 8205/8215 - The Japanese made Citizen/Miyota 8205/8215 and 82S and 8N series variants are among the most popular off-the-shelf automatic movements used worldwide by OEM and proprietory watch manufacturers due to their robust nature and low cost. These movements are able to hand wind, but auto-wind in only one direction and lack a hacking (seconds stopping) function. The escapement beats at 21,600bph (6 beats per second).

» Chinese-made clones include the Dixmont Guangzhou DG28/38 series and near identical Nanning NN28/38 series. In their basic form these movements exactly match the dimensions of the Miyota movement, enabling them to compete directly for some of Miyota's established clients. Their most significant difference from the Miyota is the wide range of functional enhancements available on these movements, which gives the Chinese manufacturers a competitive edge in the marketplace. For example - the ability to offer a watch assembler both a day/date and a GMT complication compatable with the same case dimensions. Unlike the Miyota, the DG and NN movements have a hacking function. Fujitime is an example of a watch company that has switched from Miyota 8205/8215 to DG28. The DG/NN design may be visually distinguished from the Miyota by a stepped top plate with prominently chamfered holes for the jewels on the edge of the step.

Fujita offer a basic version of the DG/NN design, possibly finished from a bought-in ebauche. Qingdao Zixin have also produced some variants of the Miyota clone. The Beijing Watch Factory make a version of this same design, distingishable by a different shockproofing device, and usually a very high quality of finish. Elaborately decorated skeleton versions are produced, along with many unique calendar and dual-time functions.

» The Sea-Gull ST16 is also greatly influenced by the Miyota design, but with significant differences in the auto-winding mechanism, which is based on the Seiko system. Like the DG and NN movements, the basic ST16 is also dimensionally compatible with the Miyota, but also hacks. The revised ST17 positions the 4th wheel at 6 o'clock to better suit a seconds sub-dial, while retaining the Miyota dimensions. Both the ST16 and ST17 have a separate plate for the auto-winding module, making them easy to distinguish from a Miyota movement.

The excellent reputation of Miyota automatic movements has led to some on-line sellers claiming a 'Miyota' movement in watches using the DG or NN movements. The Croton watch company even goes so far as to designate the the DG28 used in their watches as 'Japanese CR8215 movement' and their sellers claim it is a 'modified Miyota'. The rotor is marked 'Japan', even though the DG logo is clearly visible below the balance wheel. Similarly, their day/date 'Japanese CR8205 movement' is in fact the Sea-Gull ST16.

Seiko 7009 - The classic 7009 movement is one of the most produced movement calibers in the world. Developed from earlier Seiko movements featuring the patented 'Magic Lever' winding system, the 7009 has the winding mechanism mounted directly on the top plate of the base movement, with the pawl on an off-set wheel engaging the rotor.

» Hangzhou's 2000 series of movements are based on the Seiko 7009. Hangzhou offers many complications for this movement series, most of which were never available from Seiko. The use of these movements in some counterfeit Seiko watches has led some to claim these movements were designed specifically for that purpose. However, given the costs associated with designing and tooling up for production of an all new movement, and the many un-Seiko-like enhancements also offered, it is far more likely that the movement was created for more general use, but its similar appearance to the Seiko 7s26 makes it attractive to fakers.

Orient 469 - Developed in parallel with the Seiko 7009, the base movement is almost identical, however the auto-winding uses the original Seiko arrangement of a rotor mounted on a bridge, with the 'Magic Lever' pawl attached directly to the rotor hub.

» A clone of unknown origin enjoys extensive use at the budget end of the market, especially short-lived brands from Shenzhen. An early client for this movement was Orion, Moscow. The Orient-clone is available in solid or skeleton, with date, day/date and day/date/24-hour options. The plates are often decorated with an etched and polished stripe pattern. Quality is generally lower than the Hangzhou 2000. Some sources state a Shanghai origin for these movements, and Golden Time seem likely, but firm evidence is lacking. Some on-line parts catalogues list these movements with the prefix 'SP'

» Fujita offer a basic day/date movement of similar design to the Orient clone described above, but with a differently-shaped auto bridge and a flange on one finger of the pawl. Standard of finish is poor. No other manufacturer is known to produce this design so it is probably an in-house design. Like the Hangzhou 2000, some of these Fujita movements have appeared in fake Seikos.
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After reading the above article. What is your general feeling towards Sea-gull?

It is true that many Chinese maker offers near copies of Japanese & Swiss movement designs. Nangning, Diximont Gongzhou, Hanzhou, Liaoning, etc. But it seems to me that Sea-gull dedicate almost their entire product line to this process. Why not retain one or two Chinese original like the ST5?

Another important point that was raised was the fact that, although these movements are near copies. Certain aspect of the manufacturing process was simplified to suite the Chinese maker. There are also functional add-ons that was retrofitted to give them an edge on the market.

It is true that no movement came out of thin air. ETA & Seiko all based their current design off other historical models. But there are certain things you learn on the way when one go through such evolving process. Let us take ST16, one of the first Sea-gull copy movement for example. It suffers from high amplitude issues. These problems gets passed consequently to its other movements that is based off the ST16. ST25 has loud rotor noise, perhaps due to the large rotor weight, there are even reports of the rotor separating at the bearing after just some short term of use. As I mentioned in another thread, ST19's click spring is prong to breakage resulting in a manual watch you can not wind. Sea-gull did recall a batch in the past and probably already have improved the said click-spring design. Don't get me wrong, the problems are rather minor and Sea-gull's QC is very decent. I just wish that Sea-gull spend more time, as they historically have, on truly evolving a competent design instead of going for low hanging fruits, copying what is commercially successful.
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Thanks for such an interesting and thought-provoking post.

Although I have several Sea-Gull watches and watches with Sea-Gull movements (and I like them a lot) in general I think that you are right to raise questions about their overall record and strategy.

The efficient manufacture of different clones is one thing; building a reputation for fine watch manufacture and high-quality and innovative movement designs that are backed up with service and maintenance over the long-term is another.

Is it possible to ride both horses? After all Seiko has managed something like that - though perhaps not without limiting the appeal of its top-end by its across the market strategy.

Or is Sea-Gull is going to have to choose the direction it wants to go in, sooner or later?
I think sea-gull has been trying to make that ultra luxury appeal with the announcement of their double tourbillion, minute repeaters and such. And if I remember correctly, some of their most exclusive watches come with free servicing for lifetime. I don't think these across the market strategy works, at least not in the West. Using cars as an analogy. Toyota and Honda each has to create sub brands to target the luxury segment. Although for their domestic market, the Japanese were without a Lexus for the longest time.

Lots of good information. I don't get the title and the intention of the posting, though.
My intention was just to offer my personal reasons why I love and hate Sea-gull movements. And wondering what are some general feelings towards them, after knowing a significant portion of their business rides on other companies designs.
You do realize that Koimaster cut-and-pasted that entire article verbatim from the (currently defunct) Chinese Watch Industry Wiki to his own forum site?

As the the question of 'disappointment' with clones; I don't think the act of reverse-engineering a public domain design is the end of the story.

For example, Hangzhou watch factory cloned a popular Seiko design but then added a very diverse range of optional enhancements to produce movements that are unlike anything else on the market. Their most popular variant of the 2-series is the 2089 which (being a skeleton) is clearly meeting a different niche to a Seiko 7s26 or variant thereof. Similarly the bread-and-butter of Guangzhou Five Goats company is a Miyota clone (DG2813), but some of the many variant models are even more creative than those of the Hangzhou 2-series. There is even one which uses a combination of open-heart and off-set sub-dials to produce the visual illusion of two movements. Clearly that is more than 'just a clone'. And then there is the thinned-down DG48 series that will fit cases designed for the ETA 2824, and the even thinner DG69 (some plate redesign was required to achieve this) that is of comparable dimensions to the ETA 2892, but also comes in a handwinding-only variant. Returning to Sea-Gull, the ST19 is obviously an update of the ST3 which itself was cloned from the Venus 175 (via the original Swiss tooling), but it is now available as an automatic (ST1940) which would have been unthinkable back when Venus originally designed the 175.

So for what it's worth, there's another way of looking at the clone thing. Although I agree that it is a bit disappointing that the Chinese watch industry has lately seen much greater prominence given to watch movements that look obviously like copies (especially of the ETA 2824) as this does tend to encourage an attitude already embedded in the minds of many consumers to see a Chinese product and look for what it was copied from.
I didn't know the entire article was cut-and-paste from the Chinese watch industry Wiki. Chascomm you probably contributed a lot in the original content. My sincere apologies and thank you for the clarification.

As for the issue with clones. Basically, I completely agree that copying movement designs is not necessary bad. As you pointed out, both Hangzhou and Guangzhou seriously invested in the process of improving the original designs. And bringing to market many creative complications in the process. I think by doing so, they have elevated an already matured movement design into something even better. I am a big fan of the DG28, 48 btw, and didn't even know about DG69, thank you for sharing that.

But Sea-gull, as a whole, seems to me is riding mostly on the success of others. Their entire lineup seems to be copies of successful models by other makers. I do see some additional add-on complications, but it seems they could dedicate more time on improving these designs further. A good example is the ST16. They have use it for so long and have so many iterations, why not resolve the high amplitude issues already? IMHO, this shows the lack of depth and eagerness only to rush products to market. So instead of dedicating on a wide range of offerings, I'd love to see them truly concentrate on a few designs. Again, it is not due to the lack of ability, I really like my ST19 with the add-on moonphase and calendar complication. It is not just a mere copy of the Venus 175 as you mentioned.

Another point I like to raise. Chinese watch industry as a whole can really shake off that impostor image given the right opportunities. After looking at many photos in AlbertaTime's recent travel post. Chinese owned Rossini/Eterna/Corum has the technical know-how & funding to create a successful original movement design. Such as the Calibre 39

Auto part Disc brake Wheel Rim Metal

By combining the strength of Chinese mass production cost innovation with historical Swiss identity. Dare I say a new breed of hybrid watches might be on the horizon?

We are a long way from the days of the notoriously unreliable Guangzhou SG3A, right?
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Does anyone know if this was resolved in the ST17? I can't find much information at all about the ST17 unfortunately.
The ST17 is a modified ST16 ... so yes, the high amplitude issue is inherited as the result. That said, if you are thinking to buy your first Rodina Bauhaus watch, you need not worry about the ST16's amplitude issue. Almost all mechanical watch designs come with some flaws, be it Chinese, Japanese or Swiss. Plus Sea-gull's QC is sure to catch the worst ones.
Specific to the ST5...

While in Tianjin in 2013, I brought up the ST5 movement to Mr. Jiang, owner and curator of the Tianjin Watch and Clock Collector's Association Museum (and highly and closely connected with Tianjin Sea-Gull), asking about the whereabouts of the ST5 tooling.

He stated that , back in the day, regardless the very good quality of the ST5 movement, spectacular over-production of ST5 movements and watches had almost caused the death of Tianjin Sea-Gull as a viable business, so the tooling was destroyed to prevent further production. I thnk that's a shame because I think the ST5 would have made a worthy replacement for micro-barnds now starved of ETA movements for their simple three handers.

As it happens, though, the ladies-sized ST6 movement was much cheaper to manufacture, not over-produced, workable and reliable as a hand-wind or automatic even in men's sized watches, and that single movement probably saved Sea-Gull.
Thank you Ron for sharing that. It is a shame that the original ST5 tooling were destroyed. I wonder if the ST7 tooling were destroyed as well? I think ST5D, ST7 or even the Shanghai B automatic would be some very competitive candidates as ETA replacements.

Could you elaborate on how the lady size ST6 actually saved Sea-gull? Is it because these small ST6 is inexpensive to produce so it can compete directly with the even cheaper quartz? I always wondered about the existence of ETA movements in VCM sea-gull with MADE IN CHINA markings. This all make sense now, since Tianjin didn't have any more ST5, the discontinued batches of ETA must have been a viable option at the time.

And that is the kind of perspective that we need when discussing what we think is 'best' for the industry.
Precisely my point. Should the makers blindly copies everything under the sun? Or stick with one mature design and refine it further? A diverse range of products can be achieved with just one or two good core movements

I think the modular design like the Eterna Calibre 39 can accommodate the entire range of mechanical movements from just this one design alone. On the public domain. I don't see why Sea-gull can't start with the decent enough 2892 aka ST18 and add complications such as calendar, moonphase etc. Throw in a Dubois Depraz style modular chronograph and you have the whole product line. This will compete directly to the Swiss & Japanese giants and Sea-gull can concentrate on improving the details of the core movement. Like ETA, offer their movements with different grades of finishing and custom add-ons so it can still separate lucrative pricing tiers system. Just my 2¢
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Automotive analogies need to be used with caution, especially where geographic variations are evident. North America is not the only market in the world.
Sorry mate. I always forget the rest of the world is not US centric like us Yanks.

I was merely trying to give an example that across the board marketing effort doesn't usually yield very good results. In the case of Sea-gull, we have product range from low hundreds to upward to $100K. A bit too wide of a gap under one umbrella company, don't you think? Even Seiko, with a wider global distribution infrastructure has a hard time justifying prices of Grand Seiko in many countries. But we all know the quality difference of a GS vs entry level robot made Seiko 5.

I am no expert on marketing. But the fact remains that Sea-gull, although now a popular brand vs other Chinese makers. Could really focus on product improvement instead of just blindly copying stuff.

Like Romain, I was shocked to learn that VW is a luxury brand down in Australia. Very interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing that.
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I don't believe that Seagull is blindly copying stuff when the 2824 and 2894 are all designs that have fallen to the public domain.

Outside of that, the ST16 and ST25 movements are really great. Especially the ST25, an original Seagull design that has a date pusher (similar to the valjoux 7753) and accommodations for a big date, moonphase, and power reserve complications. These two movements alone could carry the entire Seagull line, and we're seeing far more ST25s and far fewer ST2130s lately, indicating that Seagull is moving away from non-inhouse developed designs.
I agree to disagree.

It is true that 2824 and 2892 (not 2894 which is a chrono movement) both fall into the public domain. But so are hundreds of out of patent movements from all across the world. Why not target any one else?
Just to provide a scope on what is/was available. Check out - ranfft's movement database here - bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements , just about every one of the vintage movement could potentially be a clone candidate.

And as I mentioned prior on this thread. It is a known fact that ST16 has high amplitude issues. The results of some example creates "knocking" - so much excess movement on the balance wheel, the impulse jewel actually knocks on the back of the pallet fork, wondering why some ST16 gain significantly? And also ST25 is not an all original Sea-gull creation. It was developed in 2003 by famous Sea-gull watchmaker "周文霞", Chou borrowed Rolex bridge design in the ST25. A very important note, although it has been created some 10 years ago. The ST25 rotor noise and rotor breakage report can still be found today. All in all, it shows modern Sea-gull's is dedicated not on refining their existing products. But perpetually "copying" other success models from other makers.

If we were to look into Sea-gull' historical models. They were perpetually seeking for new ideas and refining themselves in the process. Hence my love towards VCM era Sea-gulls.
Here is a link to Chinese language site watchlead that explains the various models made by Sea-gull, both historical and modern. Thanks Chascomm. Enjoy ~ ¹µÍ¨´Óо¿ªÊ¼£¡×ªÌù¿×µÄ¡¶º£Å¸»úо¼òÊ·¸Å¿ö¡·£¨¼¼Êõ×ÊÁÏÌû£¬Îðɾ£¡ÍûÖö¥£©_Ãû±íͨ - Powered by Discuz!
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Very interesting, you mind elaborate what the rumours are about? Just in a nutshell of course, not in all detail.

@aratron: I agree on your idea that Sea Gull should eventually think about re-structuring their brand into several sub-brands, just as Seiko. Unless they will in the future only focus on a less broader market. Unfortunately, I would come up again with an automotive analogy, but this time stay at least within one manufacturer: VW-Group (with the brands: VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche). Each sub-brand is somehow targeting specific customers or competitors, although a lot share basic items and developments but those cost are only paid when buying certain brands within the group.
My Chinese language ability is limited. But it seems the posts talks about a seasoned whistleblower Sea-gull factory worker, with some 11 years of experience, is sick and tired of internal company corruption that ripped him off his company retirement fund. Like many old familiar VCM brands, Sea-gull was state own. There were high ranking state officials that teamed up with Hong Kong investors to privatize the company 2 years ago. Converting government funds into privately held stock and profited in the process. Millions of $ was exchanged, top level personals profited greatly, but the factory workers was short changed. An ongoing investigation.

Yeah, maybe my rant on Sea-gull movements is not appropriate now. With no actual R&D funding, internal corruption. Working on a new movement is the least of their concerns.
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Thanks for sharing, xingfenzhen. This article really touched me


Though the article date to 2012. The information is still relevant and let me translate it a bit

Tianjin Sea-gull, though a global movement maker, most prolific Chinese watch factory and historic VCM brand is actually in a perpetual struggle. Both internal or external.

Internal problems
1. The lack of watchmaking talents - base level factory worker averages about RMB 2000 a month and is far from a competitive wage in Tianjin. The solitary, long hours, and monotony nature of watchmaking is hard for the young generation. Couple that with the lack of formal support from the state to provide proper tools and education. Makes watchmaker a dwindling trade even in Tianjin. The lack of talent translates directly into future R&D and viability of the company
2. Brand identity - as we talked about a lot in this thread, Sea-gulls items are too diverse, ranging from as low as $30 to a $165000 perpetual calendar minute repeater tourbillion. Previous partnership did not fare well though they were hopefull that Chow Tai Fook jewellery chain could introduce modern management style with clear roadmap for brand building.

External threats

1. Intellectual infringement issues - Being seen by the Swiss and Japanese as a potential threat. Sea-gull is being sued in multiple countries on their tourbillion designs. But due to the lack of resources and legal know how, its a losing battle.
2. Market manipulation - Many Swiss brands refuses to supply their inventory to shops that also carries Sea-gull branded items. Thus domestic distributors have no choice but to drop their Sea-gull line. As the result, Sea-gull is forced to opened up their own company stores.
3. Limited capital. The company stores aren't able to distribute efficiently, average turn around time is a year and half so even when innovative models are introduced. Being scared it will hinder sale of existing line, the new models won't be available for at least two years. This situation is self perpetuating, slow turn around tights up capital, stagnate marketing and growth potentials

Couple that with corruption charges I am simply shocked how does Sea-gull still stay in business and still have any R&D. It is a miracle that it hasn't close its door yet. Sigh ~
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Weighing against all of that is the fact that manufacture of Sea-Gull's most successful lines of uncased movements for export is distributed across several major factories other than Tianjin, resulting in an output that accounts for a quarter of all the world's mechanical watch movements. The assembly and sale of Sea-Gull branded watches has always been the smaller part of the business.

Also, in the past couple of years we've seen various articles, interviews and watch fair presentations, reported on this forum, indicating a shift in Sea-Gull brand focus towards the premium end of the market. This includes the development of high-grade movements that are reserved exclusively for in-house use. It may well be that the kinds of watches which we forum members most readily associate with the Sea-Gull name will in future only be produced under other brands, some of which will be Sea-Gull owned brands, and few of them assembled in Tianjin. However to achieve these goals, the management may need to consider new approaches to employment conditions and training in order to grow the kind of skilled workforce needed for the future.

Perhaps Ron may be able to offer some insights, based on his visits to the factory after the date on which that article was published, regarding any evidence of a change in factory culture.
Chascomm you are certainly right about Sea-gull's output of quarter of world's OEM movements. And I think this figure might even be higher now since the data dates to 2010~2011ish. However, the various issue that was raised in the article was still no less concerning. I initially came to the post believing that Sea-gull is a huge global company with a proper infrastructure for R&D and future growth road map. It saddens me to think even this horological giant does not escape the fate of many Chinese companies - a contract manufacturer working on very little margin, with little means to escape this cycle.

I think whatever opinion I had initially regarding Sea-gull has certainly been changed. As a business it needs to do whatever it can to compete in the global market. Cloning popular movements may not be glamorous or innovative. But it is completely understandable why Sea-gull chose this route. In its place, I am excited to see company such as Rossini that certainly have the appearance of a domestic luxury brand. Which might one day break the common stereotype of Chinese watches industry offers nothing original and a being mere contract manufacturer.
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