Nanchang Watch Factory

From Chinese Watch Wiki


Nanchang Watch Factory was founded in 1969 in Nanchang , Jiangxi province. It manufactured mechanical and later quartz watches, but it also produced camera shutters and some military equipment. Early watch production included Jinggangshan brand watches with Tianjin -made ST5 movements. Beginning in the 1970s Standard movement watches with the brand name Lushan , named for nearby Mount Lu , were produced. All of the parts were made in-house. Even though other brand names were added later, Lushan remained the main brand for the rest of the time the factory existed.

In the late 1970s a new air conditioned building was constructed, making Nanchang the first watch factory in China to have air conditioning. At the height of production in the early 1980s, 2,300 workers in 10 workshops produced one million watches annually. In the late 1980s the factory reportedly received a contract from the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to manufacture watches to commemorate the birthday of Kim Il-sung . A former factory worker, Hu Chengyong, described that on one occasion the factory dropped watches from a helicopter to demonstrate their quality, and none were broken.

Nanchang Watch Factory struggled in the late 1980s and the 1990s until it closed in 1998. It still stands but is now used for other purposes.

Movement Markings

Most watches produced by the factory are full size or midsize and use the Standard movement. The letters ZNCA appear on the train bridge of earlier Nanchang Standard movements. Alternatively, SZN can be seen on later examples. A date code under the balance consists of the letters NC (Nanchang) followed by two numbers -- the last two digits of the year of production. Examples:

  • NC80 = 1980
  • NC94 = 1994