Qingdao Zixin Industrial Company
From its humble beginnings in 1956 as a watch repairers collective, the Qingdao Zixin Industrial Company has grown into a significant manufacturer of clocks, mechanical and quartz watches, and mechanical watch movements.
Movements are produced for PTS Resources, Hong Kong. Complete watches are made bearing the brand Jinmao (Golden Anchor). Qingdao Zixin has patented a technique for fabricating movement plates from sapphire.
In 1956 a watch repairer's collective was founded in the city of Qingdao, Shandong province. In July of that year, using only simple watch repair tools, Jing Zhenlu built Qingdao's first watch. It was a 4 jewel, pin-lever, 3 hand watch of crude design and execution, but surprisingly accurate. It was unfortunately unsuitable for mass production so work commenced on a 17 jewel design. A small trial production was undertaken using a combination of locally-produced and bought-in parts. The poor quality of the trial watches did not warrant further production. In 1958, the collective merged with other horological enterprises to become the Qingdao Instrument Factory. The name was changed to Qingdao Watch Factory in 1962.
Using blueprints supplied by Shanghai Watch Factory, and tooling bought from East Germany, production commenced of the Qingdao A601 watch; a near copy of the Shanghai A581, albeit of somewhat poorer quality. Technical and economic issues limited the output, and in 1965, parts had to be bought in from Shanghai. In 1966 the watch brand name was changed to Gongnong (Workers and Peasants) in keeping with the politics of the time. By 1967 the A601 was still failing to achieve national quality standards and the design was revised to the A701, now with shockproofing.
In 1971, with the A701 still falling short of expectations, Qingdao Watch Factory produced a series of prototypes as part of the Chinese Standard watch program. The 19 jewel Jinmao ZQDA superseded the Qingdao A701 in 1975. Quality standards finally being met, production expanded rapidly. A calendar watch followed a couple of years later.
A quartz digital watch was developed in 1979, but did not enter production due to a lack of market in China for such a watch. A woman's watch developed in 1982 was the nation's smallest and thinnest watch.
In the 21st Century, now as a privately owned company, Qingdao Zixin continue to produce watches and clocks under the Jinmao brand name. Complete watches are produced using quartz movements including solar-powered and radio-corrected types. Mechanical watch movements are produced in partnership with PTS Resources. Qingdao Zixin has also partnered with Beijing Watch Factory in the development of a dual tourbillon incorporating Qingdao Zixin's own patented gemstone movement plate technology.
www.chinazixin.com (Note: This link triggers antivirus software. Proceed with caution.)