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The Story

The story of the 1963

 

Founded in 1955, the Seagull legacy was born out of a dream and a modest budget in Tianjin, the oldest industrial city in China.

A simple dream of building their own watch, after spending years of just repairing movements for others.

The Tianjin Watch Factory built the first Chinese watch, and it would become the first Chinese watch for export.

Originally called ‘WuXing’ (Five Stars), the manufacturing took about 100 days.

Shortly after, the brand name was changed to Dong Feng (East Wind) during Mao’s rise of power.

The name was picked as an indicator for the strong character of the company (the east wind is the strongest and longest blowing wind).

In 1961, the Tianjin watch factory was assigned the task of developing the official aviation watch for pilots in the Chinese air force. 

The Chinese military assigned classified serial numbers to the watches to remain structured. 

The confidential code for the watches created for Chinese Air Force personnel was ’project 304’.

In 1963, more than 30 prototypes were completed, and the official version of ‘project 304’ is done.

Seagull 1963

Nowadays, outside of China it is also known as ‘the 1963’.

Over the years, as the factory grew in size, many names were used.

In 1974, the year the company started to export their watches, and the name was adjusted to the English name ‘Seagull’.

The association with the seagull stands for flying great distances: a symbol for the global export strategy.

This is the story of the Seagull 1963. In the watch world, history is arguably just as important as the components of the watch itself, and the 1963 lacks nothing in both regards.

The Seagull 1963, or ‘304 plays an important role in the history of Chinese

military watches, and is therefore a must-have for watch collectors worldwide. 


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