Seagull 1963 has achieved popularity amongst younger clients for many reasons. Initially, this watch appealed to me because of its mechanical, affordability, chronograph movement, design, and size. A few years ago, before many micro-brands entered this market, the 1963 watch was one of the few subs $400 mechanical chronograph watches that you could buy new, at least with a non-homage design that uses the same movement.
There weren’t many affordable mechanical chronographs, apart from vintage Seikos and other older pieces, that didn’t come with poor service parts.
Let’s take a closer look at the 1963’s features:
An impressive design
The 1963 is perfectly sized to fit average wrist circumferences..
The specs include the following:
· Diameter: 38mm
· Thickness: 14mm
· Lug width: 18mm
· Movement: Seagull ST19 (Handwound)
· Caseback: Exhibition
· Crystal: Acrylic or Sapphire
The 1963 has an incredible visual impact. The gold, red and blue color scheme is perfectly executed to create an eye-catching design.
Looking at placement, the watch sits somewhat high on the wrist because of its “dumpy and chubby” factor (small diameter to thick ratio). However, its robust size is similar to many popular vintage pieces. The exhibition back of the watch displays the fantastic mechanical movement and adds to the impact of the design.
Over and above the signature specifications and aesthetics of this watch, it carries some historical relevance too. The hand-wound movement is similar to the Project 304 movement, developed by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in the 1960s. For those who are interested in military watches (there are many of us out there), this watch is a must-own, as few watches with such a direct link to history are being produced today.
The 1963’s design also inspired many variants of this watch over the years, including dial, case back, size, and crystal variants. However, the 1963 has faced some issues with quality control. While I have not experienced any problems with mine, there have been enough quality control issues reported that it deserves to be mentioned. Having said that, I have not experienced these issues for myself.
When mechanical chronographs are developed well below most counterpart alternatives’ standards, corners would have been cut to lower expenses -something that some customers have noticed..
This quality-control issue certainly will impact purchasing decisions.
The 1963 is an attractive, affordable collectors’ piece and offers many features that make it stand out from others. It truly is a pocket-friendly classic that will likely remain popular for years to come.