Times Change, The Seagull 1963 Chinese Air Force Watch Stays The Same

The more things change, the more they stay the same: a good thing when it comes to “timeless” wristwatch designs such as this one, created specially for 1,400 elite members of the Chinese Air Force back in 1963.

The “Seagull 1963 Chinese Air Force watch” was a significant achievement for its time, coming into existence less than 2 years after the Tianjin Watch Factory successfully producing the first all-Chinese wristwatch. In recognition of their efforts, the factory was assigned the task of producing a high-quality, all-Chinese aviation chronograph for selected members of the People's Liberation Army Air Force. Failure was not an option.

Working tirelessly under the difficult conditions present in early-1960's China, technicians at the Tianjin Watch Factory completed the first three batches of “Assignment 304” - the first Chinese aviatic chronograph – in October of 1962. The watches were inspected by a group of 38 leaders and experts representing China's industrial ministry, air command, and naval equipment supervisory board for a critical review.

Having passed the appraisal with flying colors, the Tianjin Watch Factory received the go-ahead to mass produce the Seagull 1963 Chinese Air Force watch. Early in 1963, a total of 1,400 watches were delivered to the Chinese Air Force who then distributed them to deserving pilots and administrators.

50 years later, the Tianjin Watch Factory has been charged with producing an official remake of the Seagull 1963 Chinese Air Force watch. The special edition watch features a hand-wound, 21-jewel chronograph movement with 40-hour power reserve.

The steel, screw down solid case is fronted by a reproduction dial face labeled with “China - Tianjin Watch Factory” in Chinese and sporting a gold-edged red star. Both the strap and clasp are indistinguishable from the original. This retro classic timepiece is being offered at the price of $193 by WatchUnique and may be purchased online at their website. (via Jing Daily, UHR-Forum, and Malenkov In Exile)