Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shijiazhuang 石家庄 Taihang 太行


Model : Taihang 太行
Manufacturer : Shijiazhuang Watch Factory
Year of Production: 1990
Case Diameter : 34mm
Weight w/o strap: 42g
Movement Model : ZJS (17 jewels)
Type : Hand Wind
Anti-shock (Fang Zhen) : Yes

This watch is by Shijiazhuang Watch Factory (石家庄手表厂). Shijiazhuang produces two brands, i.e. this Taihang (太行) and Honglian(红莲). There is an interesting episode in Shijiazhuang's early marketing effort. In 1982, the Shijiazhuang made about 600000 pieces of watches but could only sell 130000 of them. Shijiazhuang found that one of the reasons of such unsatisfactory performance was due to consumers' lacking in the knowledge of Shijiazhuang's quality. Shijiazhuang followed the marketing idea of Citizen in Australia used in early 1970s by throwing out watches out from a flying airplane. Shijiazhuang launched this marketing event in Handan City (邯郸市)of Hebei Province (河北省) on one fine day; in fact it was the very first time in China for the event. On that day, 70 Wacthes were thrown out from a plane with only 8 of them damaged; an impressive result which had proven the high quality of Shijiazhuang watches. The sales increased instantly after the event.

This watch was to commemorate the 11th Asian Game held in China in 1990. It was the first large-scale international sports event held in China participated by 6,122 athletes from 37 countries.The games served as a pre-cursor to China's further development in the sporting arena, as the country went on to bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics and then won the bid for the 2008 Olympics. The emblem is made up of red sun on the top of Great Wall, green in color, in cross form. This emblem is is printed on the watch crystal, but it has red Great Wall instead, which is quite unusual for a commemorative product to  have emblem with color scheme different from the official one.

The flat crystal on 2mm high up-stand steel trim with textile dial underneath make Taihang look different from the other watches with standard crystal. Like many other China Made watches, it has an interesting case back: centre of the case back is Taihang Mountains, the magnificent mountain range running down to several provinces at the eastern edge of China including Hebei Province  in where the Shijiiazhuang factory located. 

Taihang is powered by standard movement (统机) of China. The standard movement“ is inscribed with“ZJS" where “Z” stands for ZhongGuo or China (中国) and “JS” means Shijiazhuang (石家庄)

For more pictures, click below

The Portrait
The Crown
Movement
Movement and Caseback