2, The Development of High
Frequency Day-date Watch by Shanghai Stopwatch Plant
The following entry is found in Shanghai
Chronicle: “In April 1969, the first Jewel Mechanic Watch
SMIA with off-centre movement was produced by Shanghai
Stopwatch Plant, which has a triangular structure and runs
at 21,600 beats per hour. It won the Best Watch Prize of
the Year 10 times out 17 China's watch quality assessments
for possessing bigger barrel, lengther spring bar and keeping
time for longer period, and received High Quality Export
Product Award granted by the Ministry of Light Industry.
In 1978, Shanghai Stopwatch Plant further
produced mens day/date mechanic automatic watch SM2H, with
additional brands SBIZS205, SBIZS2, SBIZB2, SBIZZB2 and
SBIZZS2 developed in 1991."
Shanghai Stopwatch Plant began to develop
high frequency auto day/date watch ever since 1972 when
the then Shanghai leadership decided to catch up on the
latest international trend by
producing a new generation of timepieces. Towards the end
of 1972, a formal design team was assembled with the members
including Wu Xiangqi, Lu Longcai, Wang Changxing, Yuan
Minghua, Shen Cailiang, Shen Fuhua and Sun Hongjun.
Their work was greatly benefited from
the previous experience in developing SMIA watch and a
system that encouraged, not just chief engineers, but all
related people - from machine operators to technicians
- to be actively involved in the program, which helped
the design team successfully produce the product in 1974.
The watches from the production trial run were distributed
to the workers for test use with commercial production
line set up four years late in 1978.
The new product, that was formally
named SM2H, beats at 21600 vibrations per hour with quickset
mechanism for the day and the date and a stopwatch function.
However, the commercial production continued only for two
years, partly due to lack of support from the higher level
authorities, partly because of the high demand for old
products, in addition to the factor that the new product
did contain some quality problems that could not be easily
fixed with the relatively backward machine tools of the
time. By 1980, the production line stopped completely.
According to the records, the plant produced 487 SM2H-watches
all together, and the semi-finished products and the components
were used for making Jewel 19 high frequency mechanic watches
which display date only but were quite popular among Chinese
consumers that had a total output reached 23,650 by 1983.
【The material in this section was provided
by Mr. Chen Heli, a collector of Chinese watches. I hereby
thank him for his wonderful input】
          
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