And now for something non Swiss…

This is a “You Yi” (Friendship) watch from the Suzhou Watch Company. It’s a little kitschy with the seagulls, Chinese numeric markings and background picture of what I think is the Forbidden City at Tian An Men Square, but a fun watch, overall.

It’s got a ’70s style case and is hand winding with a locally produced movement though probably actually assembled in the late 80s or early 90s using a mish mash of parts. Back when China was a hardcore planned economy with entirely state owned factories, virtually every major region/city had a watch factory of its own  with people proclaiming that so-and-so factory produced the best watches out of local pride. In my experience, Chinese movements are a bit crude and basic but they are robust, get the job done and are pretty reliable.  Naturally even the Chinese watch industry has had to consolidate and downsize but they are still making some good stuff, including tourbillons and have virtually mastered reproducing basic Swiss movements like the ETA 7750 and 2824 probably due to Swatch Group having many factories in country and the ability to use machining now available to them thanks to the Swiss.You Yi

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