DongFeng

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DongFeng (东风) was a watch brand produced by the Tianjin Watch Factory from 1966 until 19xx. Using Tianjin's ST5 movement, the DongFeng was the first watch to be 100% designed and manufactured in China. The name means "East wind", a commonly used phrase in Maoist slogans of the time. Because of the political connotations of the name, when the watch began to be exported in 1973 it was rebranded as Seagull, a brand which continues to the present.

Unstriped movement

The ST5 movement is well known amongst collectors for the decorative stripes machined into its bridges, but the early versions of the ST5 which were used in DongFeng watches were unstriped, and have "东风" stamped into the wheel train bridge. The striped movements were used in later Seagull-branded watches. Watches of both brands occasionally show up for sale on eBay or Taobao with a mix of striped and unstriped bridges. It is possible these "mixed" watches are genuine vintage pieces which were repaired in the 1960s or 1970s using spare parts which were on hand, but it is suspected that many of them are recently constructed "frankenwatches".

Serve the people

Early DongFeng watches had the Maoist slogan "Serve the People" (为人民服务) printed on the lower half of their dial in distinctive red ink, but this practice was discontinued and the majority of DongFengs produced do not feature the slogan. Because of the rarety and perceived higher value of Serve the People watches, it has become a very common practice for unscrupulous sellers to print the slogan on DongFeng, Seagull and sometimes even Shanghai and other non-ST5 branded watches, in the hopes of selling the watch at a higher price. Seagull branded watches with Serve the People should be considered especially dubious, as these watches were rebranded precisely to avoid the political connotations of the DongFeng brand. DongFeng branded watches with Serve the People may be genuine vintage pieces, but bright, thick red characters on very clean dials should be regarded with suspicion.