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My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Last February, Torsten showed us a beautiful Huaihai with a double phoenix dial. There are double dragon dials too. :)









Under the balance is a date code of DG over 中国 上海 (China Shanghai). I don’t know if Xuzhou Watch Factory used movements manufactured elsewhere, but it appears possible.

Another new-to-me blue dial watch from Jiangsu is this Suzhou.





Usually Suzhou tongji watch casebacks have 苏州手表厂 (Suzhou Watch Factory) at the bottom. This one has a Pinyin inscription: ZHIQINGZHONGBIAOYUANJIANCHANG. I didn’t know what it meant, so I decided to try to find out.

Once I found out how to spell it in Hanzi, I used an online translator and the result was Educated Youth Clock & Watch Components Factory. Apparently Zhiqing is a term used for educated young people who left the cities to assume peasant lives, especially during the Cultural Revolution.

I Googled the factory name. Surprisingly the first result was not only a post at Watchuseek, but one of my own posts.:roll::-d It is a mention of the factory in relation to the history of clock and watch making in Suzhou from a document I quoted. I found another result from the search: a detailed history of Suzhou Watch Factory. On the webpage it is found after detailed histories of Suzhou bicycle and sewing machine manufacture.

If I understand correctly, Zhiqing Clock & Watch Components Factory was established in 1979 to manufacture parts for Suzhou Watch Factory. The name was changed later to Clock & Watch Components No. 5 Factory. It’s possible that the name change may have had something to do with official discontinuation of rustication in 1980.



The watch’s crown is signed with the Suzhou logo. Under the balance of the movement is stamped ZSZ-17-AI (or is it A1?). Above this is a triangle with a dot at its centre.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Two very interesting VCMs! Congratulations!:p:-!o|

I have a blue dial Huaihai without the dragons so it is only 1% of the rarity IMO. My Huaihai Has an unsigned movement that is also blank under the balance, and a somewhat different caseback. Mine has a Shaihai crown that may not be original.

The Zhiqing Suzhou is very interesting. The current Chinese communist party leader Xi was a Zhiqing when he was young. Those Zhiqings might have lived in the countryside for a few years, and then came back to the cities to work in this factory.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Yup, that puts it exactly correctly :) Wonderful stuff!

I Googled the factory name. Surprisingly the first result was not only a post at Watchuseek, but one of my own posts.:roll::-d
I hope you know how good it is for others (including me) to have your beautifully detailed and photographed posts as reference for VCM-related searches. English speaking VCM collectors today have resources I wouldn't have dreamed of when I started collecting. Your site is a masterpiece.

Very well done!
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

That has to be among one of my favourite 'dragon' dials!

In a little over a month, the dragon will be history, but I will still enjoy my dragons and any new ones that come my way :)

Both of those blue dials work for me...blue is my colour :)
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Both watches are very appealing and I especially appreciate the descriptions and historical insights that you include with your photos.:-!
 
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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Thank you all for your very kind replies. :)
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Thanks for sharing your VCMs. Congrats.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

I kind of feel obligated to try to track down a Suzhou watch, given I'm working here. Thing is, I haven't seen any! I've been to a few flea-markets etc but VCMs seem thin on the ground around here and then of course getting it overhauled is another thing entirely. Hhhmmm.
Are there any vintage horological societies I could contact with the help of my Chinese colleagues?
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

I kind of feel obligated to try to track down a Suzhou watch, given I'm working here. Thing is, I haven't seen any! I've been to a few flea-markets etc but VCMs seem thin on the ground around here and then of course getting it overhauled is another thing entirely. Hhhmmm.
Are there any vintage horological societies I could contact with the help of my Chinese colleagues?
Hi,

There are a few dozens on taobao right now at good prices except one for rmb 24,000.00.:-d

ËÕÖÝ_ÌÔ±¦ËÑË÷
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Hi,

There are a few dozens on taobao right now at good prices except one for rmb 24,000.00.:-d

ËÕÖÝ_ÌÔ±¦ËÑË÷
The RMB 24,000 one has an interesting 21 jewel SS1-style movement.

Seller's pictures



There's another available. For only RMB 4500 it's a steal :-d
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

The RMB 24,000 one has an interesting 21 jewel SS1-style movement.

........

There's another available. For only RMB 4500 it's a steal :-d
I still missed a couple for RMB 50,000! This seller has many interesting and rare pieces, but the price.......:( His collection could be a good online museum though.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Update:-
A colleague in my office contact the seller of the piece below and was told the following:
The piece to be sent is the individual piece pictured (!)
It is in working order
It was serviced last month.

ËÕÖÝÀÏÊÖ±í-ÌÔ±¦Íø

While there are a couple of other, more desirable pieces in the link kindly provided by Soviet, a couple of sellers provided no reply to the email enquiries sent on my behalf, so I very quickly printed off a couple of item pages and asked for info on them and this is what came up- I'm sure the membership would agree one cannot be pissy in this situation. I have to be honest, I'm sceptical about this actually having been properly serviced- I'll be happy if it runs at a consistent rate under 30s/day- at least I can use this as a basis to work from. I have the tel. and address of "Suzhou Specialised Spectacle and Watch Company" which is the authorised repair and service centre in Suzhou for Orient watches (from the worldwide list supplied by Orient), so I am hopeful they will be competent and maybe happy to work on a piece of local horological history. Who knows, someone there might have had a hand in making this Suzhou watch.

_________________________________________________________________

Some advice please?
How many winds should I give it per day? I ws thinking about 25 slow winding motions, paying attention for tightening of the mainspring or warning pressure. Sound reasonable?
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Oh and apparently it's from the late eighties/early nineties.
Does this sound right?
Any info on this model would be greatly appreeciated.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

Update:-
A colleague in my office contact the seller of the piece below and was told the following:
The piece to be sent is the individual piece pictured (!)
It is in working order
It was serviced last month.

ËÕÖÝÀÏÊÖ±í-ÌÔ±¦Íø

While there are a couple of other, more desirable pieces in the link kindly provided by Soviet, a couple of sellers provided no reply to the email enquiries sent on my behalf, so I very quickly printed off a couple of item pages and asked for info on them and this is what came up- I'm sure the membership would agree one cannot be pissy in this situation. I have to be honest, I'm sceptical about this actually having been properly serviced- I'll be happy if it runs at a consistent rate under 30s/day- at least I can use this as a basis to work from. I have the tel. and address of "Suzhou Specialised Spectacle and Watch Company" which is the authorised repair and service centre in Suzhou for Orient watches (from the worldwide list supplied by Orient), so I am hopeful they will be competent and maybe happy to work on a piece of local horological history. Who knows, someone there might have had a hand in making this Suzhou watch.

_________________________________________________________________

Some advice please?
How many winds should I give it per day? I ws thinking about 25 slow winding motions, paying attention for tightening of the mainspring or warning pressure. Sound reasonable?

I don't know how you made the decision, but I saw quite a few in better conditions and asked lower prices.:-s

I would buy one in best possible condition and lowerest possible price, and if there is something wrong, it would not be difficult to find a watch maker to fix it for RMB 20-30 yuan. These Suzhou usually has a Tongji movement inside so that it is easy to find spare parts for them. But that is my experience in Beijing, it might be different in Suzhou now.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

As I said above, I didn't make the decision, my colleague did. I printed off a few pages and asked her to fnd out what she could about them. She came back with this one, told me it was working, had been serviced, did I want it? I told her to go for it.
I have still to find a watchmaker. The @^%#@ who sized my Certina bracelet when I bought it was so bad that AD will never get any of my business ever again and in fact he deserved a smack in the mouth. I would be astonished if I was lucky enough to find someone competent who would do the work for 30 yuan, but I can only hope the seller does know such a man. I've no problem paying a few extra yuan for him to have done this.


About the winding Soviet? 25 turns or more please?
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

As I said above, I didn't make the decision, my colleague did. I printed off a few pages and asked her to fnd out what she could about them. She came back with this one, told me it was working, had been serviced, did I want it? I told her to go for it.
I have still to find a watchmaker. The @^%#@ who sized my Certina bracelet when I bought it was so bad that AD will never get any of my business ever again and in fact he deserved a smack in the mouth. I would be astonished if I was lucky enough to find someone competent who would do the work for 30 yuan, but I can only hope the seller does know such a man. I've no problem paying a few extra yuan for him to have done this.


About the winding Soviet? 25 turns or more please?
Sorry, my reply may sound a little blunt, but I didn't mean it. I just realized that your colleague could be trying to find another one made by master Kiu Dayu with a 21 jewels movement?o|

I never really counted how many turns when I wind a watch, but just now I tried one with a Tongji movement, it was almost 50 turns! Usually I would stop winding when I feel resistance.
 

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Re: My VCMs – Part 99: Huaihai & Suzhou

No worries Soviet. It can be hard to be nuanced with plain text. :)
It's due to arrive on Monday. I'll update.
Let's hope I've picked a winner.
 
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