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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On another thread I had described my experiences with this watchmaker's watches which have been incredibly good. A poster noted that this was useful information so I thought I'd start this main thread to talk about their watches. Here are my thoughts on them and their products.

1- I have collected swiss watches for over a decade and recently became interested in chinese watches. Having accumulated too many swiss watches, I now have too many chinese ones, I have one of everything. Perpetual-watches.com service and products are the closest to the quality and features I had become accustomed to in a swiss product.

2- Details of what I mean by that: I believe all (or most) come with true sapphire crystals, not mineral crystals. This is more expensive and the crystals can withstand more force and with anti-reflective coating produce an amazing affect. The perpetual-watch.com chronograph crystal is beautiful in this regard.

3- Straps: all of the watch straps on these watches are awesome. They are either an excellent quality leather strap on the less expensive models and alligator on the chronograph for example. The strap alone costs what most of this watch would cost me in the US. So I don't have to change the strap right away on the watch, I instead enjoy it. Plus he often gives a free rubber strap.

4- Deployant- The deployant on the watches is top-quality, near swiss-quality. No sharp edges, push-button, etc. Very high quality, no throw-away like so many.

5- Case: The cases don't have sharp edges and are extremely well finished and polished. Very high quality.

6- Dial: The dials are absolutely amazing. I don't know how they do what they do for the cost. They have an engine turning technique that is incredible and beautiful, ultra clean dials. Just exceptional, again much more like a multi-thousand dollar swiss watch.

7- Hands: Once again, zero disappointment, these hands are far and above beyond the quality I am used to seeing in chinese watches. The stainless steel sword hands on the chronograph are stunning

8- Crowns-- once again, well polished and easy to use, not sharp.

9- Movements and Complications-- the seller has unique watches with interesting mechnaical complications. His regulator watch is an amazing value and the chronograph is a fantastic implementation of the seagul venus movement. The movements are heavily tested and go through an involved quality control process before they are used, cased, and before they are shipped (the watchmaker explained to me what he does, its also on their website)

10- Warranty and shipping-- the seller ships 3 day, I still don't know how he affords to do all this given what he sells. He gives a 2 year warranty and insists on paying return shipping if you have a problem. The communication and passion from this seller makes him one of the top 3 sellers I have dealt with in my decade of watch collecting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
another point- marketing and the soul of a chinese watchmaker

I thought this was a point that could be added to this post, it is something I very much noticed with this seller in the many emails I had with them.

Marketing, the soul of a watchmaker, and why its so hard to find these folks-- perpetual-watch.com in particular is an interesting case. I found them on the web and ebay and had advised them that they were impossible to find but had great products-- the keywords in the auction weren't anything anyone would search on. I don't think they understand the Internet entirely except for the purpose of providing overwhelmingly great customer support and communication which they do. What I heard back on my emails to this watchmaker was a long email about why what's inside their watches is special, their work, investment, and care in what they do. They explained why they felt many other watchmakers are cutting corners, etc and they were frustrated why consumers couldn't see that. What I heard from these folks was the soul of a watchmaker-- they care about what's inside, even if others just may not see it, they care. It was an intriguing experience for me to see it from a chinese watchmaker's perspective as I've seen this already from dedicated swiss watchmakers. The bottom-line I think is that the very characteristics that make one a great watchmaker may be some of the very ones that are polar opposite of what it takes to be a salesman/marketeer. So in the end, their challenge is to manage these conflicting points. What I noticed with perpetual-watch.com is they don't want to use keywords that might lead people to their products that make them look like copies (aka rolex clone, panerai clone, in fact they sell nothing like it.) They didn't even want to use the Sea Gull name because they didn't see permission there in referring to the movement when Seagull makes watches. They expressed great disappointment in the chinese watchmakers making counterfeits and he felt passionately that this is something that should be stopped. So what we have here the soul of a watchmaker. It's a pity it takes so much to discover it but once you do, I think it's a very satisfying collecting experience.
 

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This comes off as an infomercial. :think:

Alex's watches are great to his defense. I am in the process of ordering one for myself. |>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not sure how to respond to that but I see your point. I have no affiliation with the guy, I just feel he is off the charts in value and I see other brands here spoken about frequently and I'm at a loss as to why he isn't getting any air play along with them.

I write this stuff off the top of my head. I used to post voluminously on another major swiss watch web site. I've written several books in my field (not watches, technical) and write frequently. So maybe it's just the sheer volume of it. I have a small fortune invested in a watch collection (more than perhaps I should) and I simply find that Alex has broken the ceiling in terms of overall value/horologic implementation. There are others that are obviously excellent out of the current chinese watchmakers and it's all subject to personal taste. It's funny, I never thought I'd find myself as interested in a product coming from China but watchmaking is a massive contradiction-- like a tourbillon is this art form as opposed to a really cheap article of clothing or computer part and its coming from a cost-centric model out of China. My brain isn't just aligned on the end-result, I tend to try to understand what went into it and that brings me to the east-west cultural contradiction as well. The "what went into it" shtick is something the swiss have done ad nauseum and at times, in my opinion, in a less than truthful fashion though the products are excellent. That may be one reason I am drawn to chinese horology. So it's a bit more of a cerebral process for me though I'll admit, maybe off the deep-end a bit so you don't need to beat me to the ground on that one, I get your point. I think that's a reason one large watch movement manufacturer executive referred to me as someone with a fixation ;-) :)
 

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Not sure how to respond to that but I see your point. I have no affiliation with the guy, I just feel he is off the charts in value and I see other brands here spoken about frequently and I'm at a loss as to why he isn't getting any air play along with them.

I write this stuff off the top of my head. I used to post voluminously on another major swiss watch web site. I've written several books in my field (not watches, technical) and write frequently. So maybe it's just the sheer volume of it. I have a small fortune invested in a watch collection (more than perhaps I should) and I simply find that Alex has broken the ceiling in terms of overall value/horologic implementation. There are others that are obviously excellent out of the current chinese watchmakers and it's all subject to personal taste. It's funny, I never thought I'd find myself as interested in a product coming from China but watchmaking is a massive contradiction-- like a tourbillon is this art form as opposed to a really cheap article of clothing or computer part and its coming from a cost-centric model out of China. My brain isn't just aligned on the end-result, I tend to try to understand what went into it and that brings me to the east-west cultural contradiction as well. The "what went into it" shtick is something the swiss have done ad nauseum and at times, in my opinion, in a less than truthful fashion though the products are excellent. That may be one reason I am drawn to chinese horology. So it's a bit more of a cerebral process for me though I'll admit, maybe off the deep-end a bit so you don't need to beat me to the ground on that one, I get your point. I think that's a reason one large watch movement manufacturer executive referred to me as someone with a fixation ;-) :)
Please don't be offended. I did not mean to be sarcastic. I guess I was expecting a watch review of some sort.

Do you have a Perpetual watch that you can review? I would love to read it prior to buying one. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I own both the regulator and their chronograph. I just ordered the retrograde, that seems to be new for him. I should take pictures and write a review. I've been very happy with them, wearing the regulator now. I will try to find the time to do it, I agree on a forum like this actual reviews with pictures are more useful.
 

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I own both the regulator and their chronograph. I just ordered the retrograde, that seems to be new for him. I should take pictures and write a review. I've been very happy with them, wearing the regulator now. I will try to find the time to do it, I agree on a forum like this actual reviews with pictures are more useful.
that would be cool. thanks. |>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't have a tourbillion from perpetual-watch. At the time I started buying them, I didn't know about this watchmaker. It was a lot of work to locate the site and the watches for me and once I found them, they were just one of many sellers and I didn't study in detail the differences. But once I ordered one (my first was the chronograph C-02, I really looked at the pictures and read the ebay description), then studied the site, and exchanged emails with Alex, I realized what a great source they were. The T-01 and AT-01 look beautiful in the pictures (I like the simple white dial against the stainless steel vintage-style sword hands.) I own the R-01 (regulator) which has an incredible engine turned dial (I think he uses an automated process, this isn't done strictly by hand, but the result is very impressive). I own a C-02 (chronograph) and despite having ungodly expensive swiss watches, this one gets noticed and comments more than most. The sapphire crystal/AR combined with the hands/dial, etc are really well-done. Alex's watches show what happens when you accumulate many small incremental quality decisions and combine them-- the overall result exudes it. That's what's missing a bit I think in some of the chinese watches, they work to save money which is an accomplishment itself, but the end-result is very nice and impressive often, but it just doesn't "click" from an ultra-high quality standpoint. This "click" is what I think saved the mechanical watch from distinction over quartz watches-- quartz watches just didn't have all the quality elements that mechanical watchmakers were focused on adding for decades. You don't see a watchmaker sitting there trying to perfect everything with many of the chinese mechanicals, you see someone working really hard to achieve quality and a price point and again it is impressive. But the clicking part is where Alex's watches break way from the pack for me, they actually "click" across a range of quality metrics and move to a new level for chinese mechanical watches. Per usc1's valid input, I realize I may sound like an infomerical. The reality per my other posts is that I just respect this kind of work as well as his warranty. With all of that said, I think the only thing you might hold-back on with his tourbillons is if the complication you want isn't there-- for example if you really want a regulator tourbillon (I don't see one on his website, don't know if he makes one). But if you don't own one already or that complication isn't what you are after, the wind and automatic ones on his website look very nice. After owning both wind and automatic tourbillons, I really like the one with the automatic module. I like watching the rotor swing around underneath the tourbillon and reflect light. I also like the added complication (the automatic module) and what it means in terms of achievement amongst the chinese watch companies because I as I understand it the Automatic module (Dixmont? Shanghai watch?, I'm trying to remembver who does it, the D on the rotor of some of these I think stands for Dixmont) is fitted to a Seagull movement which is I think a more unique kind of cooperation amongst the chinese watch companies that the swiss have done massively themselves over the years. For me, if I were buying one right now, I'd buy Alex's automatic tourbillon. I will add though that the Ticino watch I mentioned earlier is also done very nicely though the chronograph pushers for day/date change is admittedly a bit cheesy. I still really enjoy that watch, the seller also seems committed to quality. Alex offers more variety in more traditional quality attributes, 2-year support, and more of a Breguet or Blancpain design and feel rather than a pure sports watch approach. You can wear his watches with a suit or with jeans.
 

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I don't have a tourbillion from perpetual-watch. At the time I started buying them, I didn't know about this watchmaker.
Since they use seagull ST80 movement for at least one of their tourbillons, I believe the quality is reliable.
The other tourbillon Alex has is probably from Guangzhou.

I would really like to see the feedback from perpetual tourbillon users.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
OK, I looked up the information I had. His manual wind is definitely Sea Gull. His automatic is also SeaGull, as I said it is a Seagull with an added automatic module from Dixmont. That's what the DG8101 is. Here is an excerpt from the chinese mechnanical wiki and a direct link. So it is a modified Sea Gull which I find very interesting. Source: http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wiki/index.php?title=PTS_Resources Also I just noticed his automatic tourbillon is a center (centre as some posts write or coaxial as Alex writes it) tourbillon meaning the escapement isn't off center as it rotates around. Center tourbillons are another level of complication/difficulty. I don't have a center tourbillon so that just gave me one more reason to buy another and maybe this one ;-)

Calibres DG-8000 to DG-8021
The escapements are unmistakably Sea-Gull calibre ST80 flying carrousel-tourbillons, although the squared edges of the dial-plate is unusual. It looks like Guangzhou may have done some significant modifications to the base movement, or else are using sea-Gull tourbillon escapements in a calibre design of their own. These are all automatics.
Calibre DG-8101
Given the similarity to the other DG- tourbillons, this must be the Sea-Gull ST82 common-axis tourbillon.
 

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Center tourbillons are another level of complication/difficulty.
I did not know this. As matter of fact, I preferred flying tourbillons since it is very different from "fake center tourbillon", the open-heart, watches. I remember there is a shanghai center tourbillon which has a bar, that make the watch very similar to open-heart watches.

If center tourbillon is really a new level, maybe I should get one. now I have 3 watches on my wish list: minorva regulator tourbillon, perpetual flying tourbillon, perpetual center tourbillon...
:-d

the only thing that i don't like perpetual is its name, (sorry Alex if you are reading this post)... the are some famous watches that use this term for "automatic" watches... this is a little confusing.

again, as a science geek, I don't have problem with no-name brands as long as it comes with good mechanics. The KELEK watch I have has very good accuracy and it's not famous at all. I feel even proud of it because this separates me from majority of people who judge the value of product merely by its price. (We have to admit that majority of people don't know a lot about science and technology. If they face some products beyond their knowledge, the only thing they understand is the price. And I am happy that I am not one of such.)

Maybe I should contact Alex to replace perpetual with my name or even this name...
 

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Re: another point- marketing and the soul of a chinese watchmaker

the keywords in the auction weren't anything anyone would search on
This might be a real problem.
He has only sold 4 watches on ebay over the last half a year (or even more).
The problem is simple: the name of this brand is very confusing!
You know what I mean if you search the key word "perpetual" on both google and ebay. the first few pages on ebay are citizen and rolex. Somehow, the word "perpetual" has already be occupied by other well-known brands. This makes perpetual like a replica, sorry I have to use this word eventhough I know Alex will be very upset about it, but this is how I and other people feel about.
Since Alex has not yet built up his reputation on ebay, I would suggest him to change the name of the brand. He can keep the perpetual and sell them to previous customers, mostly in Japan as he said.
I hope he can read this post.
 

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I have their chronograph, and I can attest to the brand's quality and value.

It's difficult to believe how this watchmaking house based in Hong Kong can turn a profit selling a watch like this at the price they are charging. The chronograph comes with a domed sapphire crystal on the front, and flat sapphire on the back show casing the ST-19 movement. They obviously used diligence in selecting and assembling the movements as the power reserve in this example lasts 52 hours (power reserve on the ST-19 is known to vary between 36-50). The watch runs about +5 second a day.

The dial is crisp with well applied hour markers, and well printed chronograph/subsecond tracks. The subdials are slightly recessed, and come complete with subtle but beautifully executed circular guilloche. Chronograph second and subsecond hands are blued (though probably dyed chemically rather than heat-treated).

The watch is by no means perfect, but the workmanship is clearly evident, and the overall aesthetics are tastefully executed. I enjoy wearing this watch as much as I do with my others costing 10x as much.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: another point- marketing and the soul of a chinese watchmaker

It is true, if the name were unique someone would find it with simply that search term. Still, someone would have to know the name. It's a marketing thing, and again I perceive Alex as 110% focused on the watches and not on understanding how to turn-up on search terms. I think (my guess, I don't know) for him the term perpetual meant "you can have it forever, it'll run forever." Whever you use a word in a name like that, even if another watch brand uses it or it represents a mechanical complication (as-in perpetual calender accomodating leap year), you have trouble being found in searches. There are many famous swiss watch makers that became famous because they know how to market and make way over-priced watches. The soul of a craftsman is in their focus on the object of their craft. This is the dilemma. He does sell lots of watches though as I understand it, but he does so in Japan. This makes sense to me, it's a discerning market there.
 

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Re: another point- marketing and the soul of a chinese watchmaker

He does sell lots of watches though as I understand it, but he does so in Japan. This makes sense to me, it's a discerning market there.
He doesn't care so much about the market, as I understand.
at the moment all tourbillons are sold out and there is a long waiting list. I have reserved one ST 8000, hopefully I can get it before August.
 

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I have their chronograph, and I can attest to the brand's quality and value.

It's difficult to believe how this watchmaking house based in Hong Kong can turn a profit selling a watch like this at the price they are charging. The chronograph comes with a domed sapphire crystal on the front, and flat sapphire on the back show casing the ST-19 movement. They obviously used diligence in selecting and assembling the movements as the power reserve in this example lasts 52 hours (power reserve on the ST-19 is known to vary between 36-50). The watch runs about +5 second a day.

The dial is crisp with well applied hour markers, and well printed chronograph/subsecond tracks. The subdials are slightly recessed, and come complete with subtle but beautifully executed circular guilloche. Chronograph second and subsecond hands are blued (though probably dyed chemically rather than heat-treated).

The watch is by no means perfect, but the workmanship is clearly evident, and the overall aesthetics are tastefully executed. I enjoy wearing this watch as much as I do with my others costing 10x as much.

Looks great. Thanks for the picture!
 

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I have their chronograph, and I can attest to the brand's quality and value.

It's difficult to believe how this watchmaking house based in Hong Kong can turn a profit selling a watch like this at the price they are charging. The chronograph comes with a domed sapphire crystal on the front, and flat sapphire on the back show casing the ST-19 movement. They obviously used diligence in selecting and assembling the movements as the power reserve in this example lasts 52 hours (power reserve on the ST-19 is known to vary between 36-50). The watch runs about +5 second a day.

The dial is crisp with well applied hour markers, and well printed chronograph/subsecond tracks. The subdials are slightly recessed, and come complete with subtle but beautifully executed circular guilloche. Chronograph second and subsecond hands are blued (though probably dyed chemically rather than heat-treated).

The watch is by no means perfect, but the workmanship is clearly evident, and the overall aesthetics are tastefully executed. I enjoy wearing this watch as much as I do with my others costing 10x as much.

I was wondering if you could tell us what you did not like about the watch? Or what could have been improved? I am contemplating one and wanted to be aware if any major flaws existed. Thanks.
 
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