Seagull 1963 Aviator Watch 42m
Hand Wind Mechanical Chronograph wThis special edition watch is an official remake of the 1963 Chinese Airforce chronograph, a unique and classic masterpiece now coveted by collectors nearly as much as the original. This new updated version has a 38mm polished stainless steel case with a sapphire crystal (front) and an exhibition case back. The gold tint creme dial features goldtone numbers and markers and a red star under the 12:00 position. The movement is a Seagull No. ST1901 mechanical (hand winding) chronograph with 21,600 VPH and shock protection. Power reserve is about 45 hours on a full wind without the chronograph running.
The Seagull chronograph uses a column wheel. In this design, the key component is a small rotating cylinder with teeth at the top, not unlike a castle turret. As the chronograph buttons are pressed, the column wheel rotates and levers fall in between the teeth to drive the functions. The column wheel movement is considered by most watch enthusiasts to be the most desirable, since it requires the greatest skill to design and build correctly and it is thought to be the most durable.
The sub-dial on the left is the running seconds counter and the sub-dial on the right is a 30-minute timer. The red seconds hand is activated when you click the pusher at 2:00.
Movement: Seagull ST1901 Handwind Mechanical 19 & 21-Jewel Chronograph
Case: Polished Stainless Steel, 42mm diameter x 13mm thick
Back: Exhibition case back
Crystal: Mineral crystal glass
Band: NATO style strap, buckle closure.
Water Resistant: 30 meters
Seagull in Tianjin bought the production equipment of Venus from Switzerland in the 60's and this particular caliber is therefore identical or the successor of the legendary Venus 3017 ratchet wheel caliber!
In 1961, the Tianjin Watch Factory was already well-known in China and famous for producing the first Chinese wristwatch. This watchmaker was then commissioned to produce the first Chinese aviator chronograph for the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army. Until October 1962, the factory produced three cargoes of this pilot's watch. At the end of 1962, 38 experts from various fields came together (Chinese Minister of Industry, flight commanders, military personnel ...) to test the clock. Thereafter, the Tianjin Watch Factory was officially commissioned to produce the watch. In 1963, this watchmaker then produced and delivered 1400 pilot's watches to the Chinese Air Force.
This Seagull 1963 Air Force Clock, available here, is now an official remake of the historic 1963 model.
-CTTO on the infos & photos used here.