Sea-Gull 1963 Pilot's Chronograph
We've got a soft spot for the under-appreciated. We love the recent releases of vintage Chinese watch reproductions, like this 1963 Chronograph from Sea-Gull. Manufacturing standards in China have improved over the last decade to a level that represents a great value, and the finish of this particular example is on par with much pricier producers. When we added this watch to our collection, we also decided to make one available to our customers. It looks great, tickles that vintage fancy, and won’t break the bank.
Sea-Gull is one of the world’s largest producers of watches and movements, including tourbillons — but you might not know that if you live in the United States. You’re more likely to find some of their movements in watches from Stuhrling, or a handful of others, that use Sea-Gull “versions” of popular ETA movements to keep their price points reasonable without sacrificing too much in terms of quality. True to form, the movement in this watch is based on the company’s ST19 movement, which is a design that was originally Swiss and off-loaded in 1961 to Sea-Gull.
When Sea-Gull introduced its own line of throwback watches a few years ago, they made a bit of a splash among watch aficionados. Sea-Gull’s updated “re-issues” caught the eye of collectors like me with stylish, vintage aesthetics delivered with a high quality finish for the sub-$500 price point.
Industry watchers like Worn and Wound described the first 1963 re-issue “sexy and affordable”. We agree.