Chinese watch timeline

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This timeline lists milestones in Chinese watchmaking in chronological order. In order to provide historical and technological context, the timeline also includes some major events in Chinese political history and in the watch industry around the world.

1950s

1955

  • China's first watch, the WuXing is produced.

1957

  • Watches worldwide: The world's first electric watch, the balance wheel-based 500 Model, is released by Hamilton, USA.
  • Tianjin WuYi Watch Factory established.

1958

1960s

1960

  • Chinese history: Sino-Soviet split begins.
  • Watches worldwide: The world's first fully electronic watch, the tuning fork-based Accutron, is released by Bulova, USA.

1961

1962

1966

1967

1968

1969

  • Chinese history: Cultural Revolution is declared over.
  • Watches worldwide: The world's first quartz wristwatch, the Astron, is released by Seiko, Japan.
  • Watches worldwide: The world's first, second and third automatic chronographs are released; exactly which came first depends on who you ask (either the Caliber 11 by Heuer, Breitling and Buren, the El Primero by Zenith or the 6139 by Seiko).
  • Chinese standard movement project begins.
  • Production of SM1A movements beings at Shanghai ZuanShi Watch Factory.

1970s

1971

1972

1973

  • Export approval for the ST5 movement is granted, and Sea-Gull branded ST5 watches are the first exported Chinese watches.

1975

1976

  • Chinese history: Mao Zedong dies.

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s