Hangzhou Watch Factory

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History

The Hangzhou Watch Factory was established in the city of Hangzhou in 1972 with export rights granted from the outset. Early production included some Yingxiong brand watches with Beijing-made SB5 movements. Initial production of a 17-jewel Standard movement watch, designated ZHZ, soon followed. The Yingxiong brand continued to be used for a short time until it was succeeded by Xihu (West Lake) brand, named after the famous landmark near the city. Soon after the ZHZ was upgraded to 19 jewels. Xihu watches were at one time awarded the top national award for quality.

As resources permitted, the factory introduced a new woman-sized watch with an in-house designed small calibre. These watches were also branded Xihu, and that name was also engraved on the movement. Meeting the challenge of a changing market in the 1980s, the factory introduced an automatic Xihu watch. This was a man-sized watch, but the movement was based on the small Xihu calibre with an enlarged main plate and a very simple auto-winding module with a large rotor.

In more recent times, the changing demands of the market required a higher grade of automatic movement, the 2000 series, which was developed based on the older Seiko calibre 7009 design, but with some detail differences such as a smaller balance wheel. Almost no parts are interchangeable between Seiko and Hangzhou calibres. Besides the basic date and day/date versions, there are also skeleton, triple-date, dual-time and jump-hour versions. The 2000 calibres have been used by many international brands, including Orion (Russia) and Stuhrling (with calibres designated 'Lexus').

Hangzhou Watch Company, are now partners with PTS Resources, Hong Kong. This has enhanced the company through investment in new PTS calibre designs, and has expanded Hangzhou's customer base, particularly at the premium end of the market.

Hangzhou Watch Company also manufacture complete watches under the brand Farrere.

Current Production

The Hangzhou Watch Company website, as at 2008, show the following calibre series:

2000 Based on the Seiko 7009. Many complications are available, including some that are exclusive to PTS Resources.

3000 PTS-designed tourbillon.

6300 ETA 2824 clone.

9000 Clone of ETA-Unitas 6497 and 6498, with skeleton, calendar and dual-time versions.

The Xihu automatic and small hand-wind are not listed on the company website, however some low-grade watch brands such as IK Colouring and Слава Созвездие are still producing watches with these calibres, so they may possibly remain in current production.

Links

http://www.hzwatch.com.cn