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Facing the Sun (Xiangyang) -
China’s 1st Generation Electronic Watches:
Balance Wheel Electronic Watches in 70s (2)
向阳 - 记七十年代国产摆轮电子手表

5 September 2010

by Youfang (游方)

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

It is possible that the production of balance wheel electronic watches continued for a reasonably long period; during that time, the variations in the product’s internal structure and external style were developed, with the colours of dial plate ranging from white, blue to black, and the watch case types including standard and wiredrawing.

Standard watch case

wiredrawing watch case

There were also alterations with the inner works of the product over the time. In the early model, the balance wheel was made of red copper, later it was changed to brass, while the initial white porcelain coil stud plate being replaced with the one made of blue plastic.

white porcelain coil stud plate

blue plastic stud plate

By looking at the embossed stamps on the back cover, we can roughly figure out the product sequence, which should begin with JO-312, then be followed by BC-SD2, BD-SD2 and BE-SD2. Since very few balance wheel electronic watches survived to this day, and even fewer paper records could be found, this is the best guess we can come up with so far.

Embossed stamp on the back cover

As for exactly how long the production line had been running and how many watches were actually released to Chinese market, no one can tell for sure. We can only wonder how many more facts regarding China's first generation electronic watches have been lost to history.

Note from Author: Information on Wuxi Red Star watches is provided by Mr Zhu Wei, a Wuxi native, who collected the valuable materials through studying documents, visiting the sites and talking to the people involved. I hereby thank Mr Zhu for his wonderful input.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

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