1963 ‘ED’ with a Seagull ST19 movement
Story by Joe
I was taking a trip to Hong Kong, and as a frequent on Watchuseek, I posted a thread to see if anyone had any knowledge about vintage stores that I could visit while I was there. I was searching for a Rolex Air King at the time and ended up getting contacted by a guy, a Hong Kong local named Ed, who was like “come along and i’ll show you”. So I met up with him, but never ended up getting an Air King because I couldn’t find one for under my budget. But he was really friendly and was kind enough to take me to a local yum cha restaurant for lunch.
We spent the time chatting watches and found out that he runs independent projects on Watchuseek. He mentioned that was currently running a project, in which he was crowdsourcing funding to create a reissue of a chronograph from 1963, originally created for the Chinese military. He told me that he knew an ex employee from Seagull Watches China, which is one the largest movement manufacturers in the world. The ex employee was willing to get the watches made, if there were enough orders and use a reliable ST19 chronograph movement. He showed me some prototypes and they were right up my alley; vintage style, great size, well made and he was a nice guy, so I signed up. The price was inexpensive, so I put my deposit in. The great thing was though, that unlike many projects that are run on Watchuseek, this one was done within six months from the final design to having it on my wrist.
This watch is called the 1963 ED. It’s called ED, because of his name, Ed. It’s not an official Seagull watch and it’s not allowed to be branded Seagull. He actually had quite a lot of trouble creating this watch, because you see that logo on the dial? It is actually an old Chinese airforce logo. It’s looks a bit like a Star Trek logo.. Someone accused him of making a ripoff watch and as a result he had to engage in extensive research to see if there were any patents and if so, whether they had expired. The original watches ended up being from the 60’s, however the logo wasn’t used. Additionally, Seagull themselves, were absolutely fine with him using it for the watch. You just find guys on the forums who are just quite aggressive about things like that.
I love this watch. The tactile feel of a mechanical chronograph is so interesting and accurate. Not particularly with this version, but with the more popular 1963 reissue model, the reliability of the watch is apparently an issue. But this one is accurate, reliable and fun to use. I time everything with this watch, like when the bus is going to come, when dinners going to be ready and it’s simply just a fun watch.
It’s not a vintage watch however, and one day I will replace it with a vintage chronograph, but I won’t get rid of it, it will just be kept in storage.
Thank you Joe for your story!