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Shanghai 1523 & Guangzhou SG3A

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June 14, 2013 07:13PM
One of the most common things to see on a 1970s Chinese watch dial is the number 21600. It refers to the number of beats per hour at which its movement runs. To be advertised as prominently as it was, it must have been an important development for the industry.

Even though there were some slow-beat (18,000 bph) prototypes, by the time designs were finalised for the tongji movement in November 1971 the beat rate was increased to 21,600 bph. A handful of factories, however, manufactured fast-beat watches before they publicly released watches with tongji movements.

Shanghai Watch Factory’s 15 series used a 21,600 bph upgrade of the SS1 movement, but it appears that the 1523 was produced with both slow- and fast-beat movements. The fast-beat models usually, if not always, had the number 21600 on the dial. This example’s is red.









WUS member Torsten described the difference between the slow-beat SS1 and fast-beat SS1K (in addition to providing useful date code charts). This one has a date code of GE, May 1972.

For a number of years Guangzhou Watch Factory produced watches with its SG3A movement, a design very similar to Beijing’s BS2. In the 1970s it introduced its own 21,600 bph version. Beijing, on the other hand, didn’t produce a fast-beat BS2, as it had already upgraded to the SB5 by the time 21,600 bph movements were introduced.

This Guangzhou watch has 21600 on the dial.









Unfortunately the movement doesn’t live up to the advertising. It’s a slow-beat (18,000 bph) SG3A. It’s likely that it’s a replacement. I don’t know how to tell the difference between slow- and fast-beat SG3As, but I noticed that in another WUS member martback’s fast-beat example SG3A is stamped on the movement and one of the jewels looks different. Maybe this is how to tell?
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Shanghai 1523 & Guangzhou SG3A Jpeg Attachments URL

saskwatch315June 14, 2013 07:13PM

These watches look great ! SmileThumbs up! (n/t)

IF110June 16, 2013 05:11AM

I have a slow beat SG3A and it's a good runner, which...

Anonymous User95June 15, 2013 07:58PM

Re: I have a slow beat SG3A and it's a good runner, which...

saskwatch87June 19, 2013 03:35PM



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