This watch is an interesting watch for me, it is a, well, second grail watch for me. My first is my Seiko Alpinist, but this was a pretty close second. For those who are not familiar, Seagull is a Chinese watch manufacture, which began in 1963. I do own quite a few Made in China watches, but those are generally homage, this, however, is an unabashedly Chinese watch. I held out buying this watch until a sapphire crystal was available, but as you can see, I do have this beauty on my wrist and in my watchbox.
Like my other reviews, let’s begin with the dial. It is a beautiful golden color, with a bead blasted appearance. The left sub dial is running seconds, the right is the 30 minute chronograph accumulator. These both have super fine concentric circles. The markers are gold plated and applied to the dial. Much like the Alpinist, the even hours have Arabic numerals, the odds are triangle markers. The 9 and 3 O’clock are omitted to make room for the the sub dials. The markings on the dial are minimalist, with a Chinese red star and 21 zuan (jewels) at 12 o’clock, and Made In China at the 6 o’clock, in Chinese.
There are luminous pups at every hour and a printed minute ring with 1/5 second markers. All the hands and blued steel, with luminous material on the hours, minute, and tail of the chronograph hand. The lume, well, kinda sucks on this watch, especially compared with my Alpinist. The hours and minutes hand are simple sticks. The sub dial hands have a slight baton with spade shaped tails. The chronograph hand with tipped in red, which matches the red star on the dial. The tail has a star as well and add wonderful symmetry to the dial. The overall look is very clean and had surprisingly good quality fit and finish.
The crystal protecting the dial is domed sapphire, with anti-reflective coatings. The bezel is a separate component and is a highly polished. The watch case is stainless steel and polished impeccably, and is just the right size at 40mm diameter. The lugs are 20mm and have a slight downward curve. Again, the space between the lugs is polished. I really appreciate this, as this was intended to be worn on leather or fabric. The crown is signed with a star and does not screw down. This is a hand wound watch and the large, easy to grasp crown is a nice touch. The pushers are well polished as are the tubes. They are easy to press and have a satisfying click.
Moving to the back of the watch reveals even more beauty, the Seagull ST1901. This a column wheel, vertical clutch chronograph. What does this mean? The chronograph is fully integrated into the movement, not as a separate module. The movement is just gorgeous. All the bridges have Cotes de Geveve with finely polished edges. All of the screws are blued and the brass wheels are all polished as well. This is a 21 jewel hand wound 30 minute chronograph with a 45 hour power reserve. The movement winds quickly and the chronograph has no stutter, which is to expected with a column wheel watch. Accuracy is very good, my only complaint is that it does not hack. It beats at a typical 21,600 BPH. From what I have read, it is a derivative of a Poljot 3133, which has the exact same features and specs. Even under a loupe, the finish is great, no corners cut. They are proud to make this watch and it shows. The case back is screw down and a full display back. The only English markings are 1963 and Plan B. I can see made in China, I am sure the other marking say something like stainless steel and what the water resistance is. In this case, 50M.
I am truly impressed with this watch. The watch came on a genuine leather band and came with a NATO strap as well. I ended up putting it on a waxed fabric cotton strap. The fit and finish are as good as watched costing 10x as much. It is honestly Chinese and in no way an homage, it really shows what China can do if they really care about making a watch. As a second grail, I could not be happier and it shares a watch box lot just inches away from my Omega.
Case: 40mm diameter, 316L stainless, 50M water resistance.
Back: Stainless display back, screw down
Crystal: Domed sapphire with anti-reflective coatings
Movement: Seagull ST1901, 21,600 BPH, hand wind, 30 minute chronograph
Complications: 1/6 second chronograph with 30 minute jump accumulator
Other: Luminous hands and markers, decorated movement.