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Zuanshi Watches of Shanghai

Posted: September 12th, 2023 | 1 Comment »

Perhaps the best known watch brand of post-1949 and pre-reform China was the Shanghai Watch Company. Second to them was Zuanshi Watches and today Zuanshi timepieces are far harder to fin d than the fairly common Shanghai watches. Shanghai Watch was better known and remains more widely found in auctions and markets because a) it was in business longer than Zuanshi b) it produced a lot more models than Zuanshi and c) Shanghai Watch was championed by Zhou En-lai which gave it a status and street cred in the 60s and 70s. It’s Shanghai factory and workers housing down in Yangpu by Dalian Road was demolioshed in 2011. A part of the factory remained for a few years and certainly until about 2012 where Saturday mornings saw dealers (mostly former employees who had managed to get a lot of watches) and collectors (on my visits always all, except me, Shanghainese). All of that lot was then cleared (see here)

Zuanshi though was also a Shanghai-based watch company that launched its first watches in 1958 and in the 1960s continued to put out various wrist watches and also stopwatches. I beleive the company closed down in the late 1970s as a separate operation and merged with a Hangzhou weatch company. There are some nice example here.

I got a bag of random Chinese watches at an auction lately that included worthless rubbish Mao waving watches, some decent Shanghai watches and two nice Zuanshis…so you can spot them at your local auction here’s the ones I got…

Another Zuanshi face, again with Chinese numbers and the word “friendship”

One Comment on “Zuanshi Watches of Shanghai”

  1. 1 PC said at 10:41 pm on September 12th, 2023:

    These are gorgeous. I used to own an old Shanghai, which no repairer ever got to definitely fix. Eventually, lost it when the luggage it was in got stolen in a bus station in Madrid.

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