Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chinese Skeleton #1

A week behind my previous, a second Chinese mechanical just landed, this one a skeleton. My very first skeleton, in fact. Last post, I probably fudged a bit in saying that my first Chinese mechanical was just a buck, since in fact it was $18 shipped. But this watch, also a mechanical, was $6.50 shipped. Yowzah, my Chinese friends, how low can you go?

Click image to embiggen

My first Chinese mechanical was unbranded, but this one is branded Fuyate. It has a 38mm case—as big as I like for a dressy watch—and weighs a very modest 52g. The case is chromed mystery metal and the display caseback is stainless, badly polished. Otherwise the fit and finish is excellent for the money. It came on a black patent leather strap with contrasting white stitching. The strap is less crappy than that of the previous watch, and is surprisingly wearable. I think I'll stay with it.

A skeleton watch has a see-through dial and case back which reveal a movement that (usually) has been carved to reveal its escapement and train, and often is engraved or otherwise decorated. This watch is not highly skeletonized, but for its absurd price it is very nice, even sporting some blued screws. The movement is another Chinese standard, but compared to my previous, it lacks the date wheel and the auto-wind module actually appears to work. It seems to keep decent time, but the crown is stiff to wind and the stem very difficult to pull out. This is my only disappointment with it.

Click image to embiggen

I like this watch. Most cheap Chinese skeletons look tacky. Even expensive skeletons can often look like they are just trying too hard to be noticed. This one is comparatively restrained. Even the my wife and daughter dig it, which is a real seal of approval. Usually they could care less what's on my wrist. And watching that escapement working away, every time I glance at my wrist, is great fun.

And for the price of lunch at McDonalds? Yes, I'm already shopping for a second.

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