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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a long time there has been a gaping hole in my collection. Finally I have filled it. :)



The Shanghai A-581 is probably the most popular model among Chinese watch collectors, and it’s entirely possible that I had the world’s largest VCM collection without one.;-) Among the many available for sale, it can be difficult to find and identify an original example. I suspect that almost all of them have replacement parts, not only because of the model’s popularity with collectors but also because they were made a long time ago and in most cases were worn daily for many years.

Fortunately Mr. Joel Chan has a detailed guide to buying them at Micmicmor. After studying it carefully and repeatedly, I thought I was ready to search. I finally decided on this black dial model as it appeared to have correct matching parts, but I missed one detail.

The stainless steel case looks correct. The dial appears to be original, including the curved 7 in 17 and the use of the flatter 占. The style of hands is commonly seen on A-581s. The caseback is correct for a stainless steel model dating to 1961-62.



The crown is correctly shaped and is signed with the Shanghai logo.



The non-shockproof A-581 movement, complete with balance screws, and the appropriate spacer look right.



The date code is 6312A, the first batch of December 1963, making it at least a year younger than the caseback. Although Mr. Chan said his dates are only a theory, I trust his experience and expertise. The date code in the seller’s photo is difficult to see, and I don’t remember whether I could tell what it was.

Notwithstanding this inconsistency in dates, I’m extremely pleased with the watch. A black dial Shanghai A-581 is a great find for a collector. It winds exceptionally smoothly and keeps time very well.

I would like to thank Mr. Chan for the valuable guide he posted at Micmicmor and also AlbertaTime for his wisdom and assistance. Ron, my friend, your decision to put your gorgeous black dial A-581 on a (later) Shanghai nylon strap inspired me to do the same with mine.



:)
 

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I am far more interested in this thread than I would have been only a week ago, after deciding to buy a Suzhou courtesy of "The Enabler", A.K.A. Soviet.
What kind of accuracy is normal for this kind of watch?

(please see my latest post on the "VCM Part 99" thread
 

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Jon, my most sincere !!!Congratulations!!! on both your new-to-you and very beautiful black Shanghai A-581 (which looks fully correct to me, well within highly collectible parameters) but also your 100th wonderfully detailed post in this remarkable series.



In case folks don't realize...according to most estimates I've seen, black dial A-581s are about 30 times as rare as white dial versions. Well, well done!
 

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Very nice!!! Are you obtaining these through Taobao exclusively? I would love to get an A581 though I am still waiting on its little brother, a black dialed A611.

A fitting watch for your 100th VCM post!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am far more interested in this thread than I would have been only a week ago, after deciding to buy a Suzhou courtesy of "The Enabler", A.K.A. Soviet.
What kind of accuracy is normal for this kind of watch?

(please see my latest post on the "VCM Part 99" thread
I hope you like your new Suzhou. I'm a huge fan of watches from Suzhou (I have 14), and none of them disappoint. I don't know how accurate an A-581 should be, and I don't have precise equipment to test. If I can wear it for a day and I don't have to adjust the time partway through, it's accurate enough for me.

Jon, my most sincere !!!Congratulations!!! on both your new-to-you and very beautiful black Shanghai A-581 (which looks fully correct to me, well within highly collectible parameters) but also your 100th wonderfully detailed post in this remarkable series.



In case folks don't realize...according to most estimates I've seen, black dial A-581s are about 30 times as rare as white dial versions. Well, well done!
Thank you again for your very kind words. :) These 100 posts would not be possible without the hard work and good will of many people who share photos and information about watches on the internet. Thanks to all of you!

Very nice!!! Are you obtaining these through Taobao exclusively? I would love to get an A581 though I am still waiting on its little brother, a black dialed A611.

A fitting watch for your 100th VCM post!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
Thanks! Although some watches were obtained elsewhere in the past, in recent times all of them were purchased from Taobao sellers. I hope to see photos of the A611 soon. :)
 
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