Monday, October 05, 2009

Chinese Watch Movement


I am quite impressed with the performance of the 2 Chinese movement that I got recently. Both movement are running with a power reserve of about 58 hours. Both movement takes 7 turns of the ratchet wheel to full wind. The ETA/ Unitas 64XX takes 6.5 turns to full wind. I have been trying to find-out who made the movements and this is what I found out.

There are 2 Chinese companies that makes the ETA/ Unitas 64XX clones. They are the Hangzhou Watch Company and Tianjin Sea-Gull. The Hangzhou movement is called the Series 9000 and the Tianjin Sea-Gull movement is called the ST36. Here lies the problem. Unlike the ETA/ Unitas movement, the Chinese movement lacks any markings to identify them. For the record I have 3 Chinese 6497 based movement, 1 ETA/ Unitas 6497 movement and 1 ETA/ Unitas 6498 movement. I also have a baby 6325 movement, but that is another story.

Now I have been trying to find out how to differentiate the two Chinese movement. There are those that say that the shape of the regulator or index of the balance cock differentiate the two movement. If the index is shaped like a 'dagger', the movement is made by Tianjin Sea-Gull. If the index is shaped like a 'needle', the movement is made by Hangzhou.

The 'dagger' shaped index. Note the pretty swan neck regulator.


The 'needle' shaped index. No swan neck regulator.


Further readings indicate that this is not a conclusive method the differentiate the 2 movement as there are Tianjin Sea-Gull movement with the 'needle' index. This can be seen below.

The 'needle' shaped index.


It seems the only conclusive way to identify the movement is to look at the shape of the pallet cock. The pallet cock of the Tainjin Sea-Gull has a curved profile as compared to the Hangzhou movement.

The Tainjin Sea-Gull movement pallet cock.


The Hangzhou pallet cock.


Photograph: Martin WUS

Additionally the pallet cock of the Tainjin Sea-Gull movement is held by 2 screws. Note the screws at 1 and 7 o'clock position.


The Hangzhou pallet cock is held by a single screw. I cannot confirm this as I only have the Tianjin Sea-Gull movement (based on the shape of the pallet cock).


Photograph: Martin WUS

I also found out that the Tianjin Sea-Gull beats at 21,600 A/h (but not all) while the Hangzhou beats at 18,000.

The next few photographs are of the ETA/ Unitas 64XX movement.

The 'needle' index on the ETA/ Unitas 6497. Note the basic finish of the movement. At least it has blue screws.


The pallet cock of the same movement.


The 'needle' index of the ETA/ Unitas 6498.


The pallet cock.


11 comments:

  1. can u make a comparison between a swiss and china movements?

    together with their pros n cons as well?
    =)

    does eta that is made in official ETA HK factory is considered as swiss movements?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi bohjann,

    Welcome to the blog. That is indeed an interesting, to do a comparison between a Swiss and Chinese movement. Will have to look into it. As for the ETA HK factory and if the movement is considered a Swiss movement, I think you are referring to those movement where it says Swiss parts China movement? From catalogues that I have seen, they are categorised as Swiss movement. Hope that helps.

    Regards,

    Ivan

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  3. Hi Sppedmaster,

    Welcome to the blog. Thanks for the kind words and hope you enjoy your stay here.

    Best regards,

    Ivan

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great info Super photos Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Moose,

    Welcome to the blog. Thanks for the kind words.

    Best regards,

    Ivan

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  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Hi longge,

    Welcome. No links to fake products.

    Regards,

    Ivan

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Hi dingdang,

    You know the drill.

    Regards,

    Ivan

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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