AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 9: April 18t/19h - Shanghai 1

Chinese watch Museum and travels to China

AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 9: April 18t/19h - Shanghai 1

Postby AlbertaTime » August 7th 2018, 4:14pm

Synopsis: Leaving Xinmi-arrival in Shanghai, then visits to the Shanghai Industrial Technology School and the Shanghai Clock Culture and Science Museum with AHCI/Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants Member Guo Ming and horological writer, "A.J.", followed by a Shanghai vintage watch collectors get-together with (among other notables) Joel Chan of Micmicmor watch at Blogspot, which was the west's very first significant website dedicated to China's modern horological history.

We begin...

As much as I was thoroughly enjoying my time with Sky Han and his friends and family, it was time to leave for Shanghai, but I'd arranged for an afternoon flight to allow some 'goodbye" time with Sky and his wife, and because Zhengzhou airport was two hours away. I didn't feel like rushing.

So, the day started with the three of us in Xinmi before Sky and I drove to Zhengzhou and the airport, sharing the bounty at the Cheered Hotel restaurant's incredible morning buffet, easily the equal of anything of its type I've experienced elsewhere.

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Then it was off to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO).



I take out-of the-window photos to keep myself occupied on flights. Later, I find out what I'm looking at by hunting Google Earth until I can match my snapshot with what I see there. It can take a while because, for example, the angles are different and the photo orientation (like in these two cases) can also be upside down--or any otherwise oriented--relative to the natural Google Earth view.

My photos on the left, and Google Earth images on the right. (after matching the location, the other half of the fun is manipulating Google Earth so that it mirrors the angle of my photos, as closely as I can manage...)

The top pair is Gongqing National Forest Park in Shanghai, viewed from the north. The bottom pair is Wuxi, Binhu and Nanchang, also viewed from the north, and both on approach to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. (The second/Wuxi photo was taken before the Forest Park photo.)

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I arrived in Shanghai in late afternoon, same day, the 18th, and headed straight to the kinda rustic but totally authentic older Shanghai apartment I'd rented for my stay. The owner calls the place "Shanghai Sunny House". It's almost like an AirB&B but not through them.

It might look run-down but it was cheap ($36/night), clean, comfortable, air-conditioned, had a complete kitchen and bathroom with shower, and (the very lucky part) was smack-dab in the middle of a very typical older downtown Shanghai gated hutong neighbourhood (214 Huanghe Rd, if you want to look it up). Happily and comfortably living like the locals...

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The view out the window at night was classic older shanghai...

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Later in the evening, Shanghai film actor and VCM collector Eric Heise (more with Eric in a later post) and I got together over a wonderful meal at the very nearby Yue Lai Restaurant to talk watches and to make plans for some watch hunting in a couple of days. The second photo below is courtesy of Eric, and taken by restaurant staff. The Yue Lai has a very mixed reputation for service and cigarette smoke, but when we were there the food was delicious, the place wasn't smoky at all, and the service was very friendly.

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After a number of "no watch content" days in China, all that was about about to change, big-time.

First on the agenda the next morning (April 19th) was my meeting with AHCI member Guo Ming (AHCI/Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants details at the link) and Chinese horology journalist "A.J." (yup, that's how he's known in English and in Chinese horology circles).

Mr. Guo is one of China's most notable independent watchmakers. He's also an instructor to lucky students at the Shanghai Industrial Technical School, and he'd offered me tours of the Industrial School's watchmaking program and the very new Shanghai Clock & Watch Science Museum which had opened late in 2017. I'd been invited to visit the School by SITS Principal and Professor Mr. Wang Yigang when we'd met at the China Watch and Clock fair in 2015, and it had been far too long between the invite and the arrival. I was excited.

Guo Ming and A.J. met me, on the dot, at 10AM at the School, A.J. on the left (stage right) and Guo Ming on the right (stage left).

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Campus photos...

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The next photos are mostly in the order they were taken. I can't explain them all because I wouldn't know what I was talking about, especially the hardware/machinery--so I'm thrilled a picture is worth a thousand words :-)

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I think this poster means work hard and increase productivity...

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Some students were on break while this was taken...



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The Shanghai Industrial Technology School (SITS) watch making program is very closely tied to Shanghai Watch Factory, as shown by these plates...

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Classrooms...

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Sample teardowns...

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Guo Ming tourbillon (video)



Guo Ming Flyback pocket watch (2 photos and 1 video)

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Mr. Wang, the Principal, invited A.J. and me to lunch at the school, so here we are, guests facing hosts, chowing down and talking about what we were seeing. And, I wish I could get box lunches like these where I live! Very fresh, warm, nutritious, and very tasty.

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With the very friendly and knowledgeable Professor Wang Ligang , Principal at SITS..

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After lunch, our next stop was the nearby (and new) Shanghai Clock Culture and Science Museum (like the sign says)...

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The next five photos are the large clock and close-ups of the internal mechanisms...

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A large working display mechanism...

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Celestial sun dials...

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A different type of shadow-cast sundial...

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An early gravity-fed water clock...

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Sun dial...

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An early marine chronometer...

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Maritime navigation tools...

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Two early travel clocks...one front view, one top.

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Dust protected/cloche covered tortion pendulum clock...

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Mid-century house clocks...

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Two "Suzhou" styled clocks...

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Mid-century mantle clock...
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15-day wall clock....

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A 29 jewel sterile Shanghai military diver...

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A few more VCMs, from the Shanghai CC&S Museum collection.

The museum has many more watches and clocks than seen here. Visit to see more :-).

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The next three photos have an exploration connection, but I'm not sure exactly how. I think the submarine and the Colgen might go together--but the sub is cool, anyways ;-)

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I do know the Fiyta is the issued "space watch" for Chinese astronauts.

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1920s watchmaker tools...

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A pressure tester, and three types of quartz watch testing apparatus...

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A 1980s receipt for a wristwatch (Not sure about the display significance. Anyone?)

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A modern Shanghai watch commemorating Shanghai's famous Bund district. (The fade is bad lighting)

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And this is a terrible photo of the quite nice souvenir photo taken of us at the museum, at the end of the tour. What a mind-expanding morning and afternoon!

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How could things get better than this, you didn't ask? Why, by meeting Guo Ming and A.J. later that evening at a Shanghai watch-lover's VCM viewing and chatting spree/dinner, that's how!

Check the guest list...from your left to right:

Mr. Wu of Lao Luan/Old Disorder watches; Mr. Guo Ming (AHCI); Mr. Cheng, noted VCM collector and webmaster of China's camgle.com (a camera site, well known in China) who I'd met in 2013 and to whom I owe gratitude-many thanks!--for arranging this dinner; me; Mr. Jiang Qing (another re-meet from 2013, and the inventor/designer of the 1966 Shanghai SS1 movement); Mr. Joel Chan of Micmicmor Vintage Watch, a mentor and friend from my early collecting days, even before my first visit to China when we first met in person; A.J., the horological writer (links to articles at the end of this post); and Mr. Zhou, a watch forum moderator (like me!) and also a very noted VCM hunter/collector.

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So here's how this busy and fascinating day ended, with all of us discussing a bevy of very rare vintage Chinese mechanical watches over great food and superb Shanghai liquid refreshments. My kinda day!!

First: a very, very rare Shanghai 592 woman's watch with (rare and early) luminous hands...

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A stoopid rare and gorgeous ST5D Dongfeng automatic with date. The 29 jewel Sea-Gull version is rare enough (I have one--bought it for about $100 maybe, and now the current price is over $1000)--this is much rarer, still...

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Also very rare, a vintage Shanghai "military use"/军用 17 jewel watch...my camera glitched on the (now non-existent) caseback photo...

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A factory engraved A 581 movement (I've only ever seen 2, including this one), with a September '61 date code under the balance wheel...

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...and a Shanghai A656, also very very hard to find (Fangci/防磁/antimagnetic, Fangshui/防水/waterproof, Fangzhen/防震/shockproof)...

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I'll almost end this post with the very kind gift I received from Mr. Wu of Lao Luan (Old Disorder) wristwatches...

The Lao Luan/老栾 (Old Disorder) watches closely copy the earlier and somewhat well-known collaborative series of watches made by Shanghai Watch Factory with the Jellymon design house. These are a legitimate re-issue of those designs. Joel Chan informed me that Mr. Wu purchased the design rights from the owner(s), and I'm very grateful for the gift.

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...and I'll really end this post with 5 links to A.J.'s horological writing:

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/W7vshSHwqiXGBSsYVDsZFQ
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/exgL59G32p43iAxLbtL1Lw
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/W609jGqujjukAiA7zfT6sQ
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/pJlMbjNkkrX0gFXTDa3pkw
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/s-uzQc2cXNK0oSgyImrPVA

There's eye-candy at those links, and A.J. knows his stuff.

Next installment...Benjamin Chee, Celadon watches and Suzhou silk...
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 9: April 18t/19h - Shangha

Postby artman » August 7th 2018, 4:59pm

Hot dayam Shanghai Rocks! I love factory tours. Thanks AT, that was very cool.
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 9: April 18t/19h - Shangha

Postby AlbertaTime » August 7th 2018, 10:41pm

artman wrote:Hot dayam Shanghai Rocks! I love factory tours. Thanks AT, that was very cool.


Thanks for that, artman! It was a good couple of days :-)
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 9: April 18t/19h - Shangha

Postby conjurer » August 8th 2018, 9:11am

Dang. Fuck.
I checked you out, and I now want you to take the journey to lick my taint. It's small, but vast.


--Temerity, to Mr. Neckbeard.
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Re: AMCHPR China Tour 2018 - Part 9: April 18t/19h - Shangha

Postby AlbertaTime » August 8th 2018, 4:22pm

conjurer wrote:Dang. Fuck.


Dang. Fuck. Indeed :-) I feel the same way.
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