The Beijing Watch Factory

Established on June 19, 1958, Beijing Watch Factory is located in Changping, Beijing's backyard, nestled at the foot of the Jun Du Mountain and overlooking the Wenyu River. Over the past half century, the factory has been steeped in the culture of the ancient capital, nurturing talents and exploring the art of horology while challenging the limits of craftsmanship. It has cultivated a corporate culture of "people-oriented, collaboration, pragmatism, and innovation."
Beijing Watch Factory, after over three months of strenuous effort, successfully developed its first batch of 17 watches in September of the same year, filling a gap in Beijing's watch industry. These watches were branded as "Beijing" and classified as Type 1 watches. Featuring a large three-hand design, they were equipped with 17 jewels and possessed water-resistant, shock-resistant, and anti-magnetic properties. The movement thickness was 4.62mm, with a diameter of 42.6mm, housed in a stainless steel case. By 1961, Beijing Watch Factory had produced a total of 3,726 Type 1 watches, which, even by today's standards, remain elegant and of excellent craftsmanship. In the same year, factory leaders sent a delegation to Shanghai to study and learn advanced watchmaking techniques, laying a solid foundation for future research and development as well as production.
As Beijing Watch Factory continued to develop, it began to manufacture Type 2 watches. In 1963, it completed the first product upgrade and transformation, producing Type 2 watches. These watches featured full steel shock resistance and, based on the design of the 17-jewel movement, added an additional jewel bearing on the center bridge, bringing the total to 18 jewels. This series also included 18K gold watches and ladies' watches, reflecting contemporary preferences. From 1963 to 1969, a total of 166,861 Type 2 watches were produced. Currently, Type 2 watches are relatively rare and possess a unique historical charm.

In 1967, Beijing Watch Factory began production of Type 5 watches. In terms of movement design, these watches combined the upper and center bridges of the Type 2 watches into one, while also increasing the frequency from 18,000 vibrations per hour to 21,600 vibrations per hour. With a cumulative production of 1.5 million units, the Type 5 watches had a significant impact and made important contributions to China's watch industry, which faced a shortage of production capacity at the time.

In March 1970, the Ministry of Light Industry organized workers, cadres, and technical personnel from major watch factories, clock research institutes, and relevant colleges nationwide to form a joint design group to develop a unified movement. While the introduction of this movement somewhat sacrificed individual aesthetics, it greatly promoted the development of the entire domestic watch industry given the historical conditions at the time. Beijing Watch Factory, as the leading enterprise in the unified movement project, successfully developed and produced the unified movement, which went into mass production in 1974 and continued for 11 years, producing a total of 10.65 million units.

Starting from 1975, Beijing Watch Factory began producing subsidiary brand watches such as Shuangling, Changcheng, Shuangcheng, and Yanshan. Among these, Shuangling had the highest production volume and relatively high visibility. Shuangling was translated into "Double Rhomb" in overseas markets, and these watches were available in many places in East Asia. Some were even exported to Britain between 1978 and 1979.

In the early 1980s, Beijing Watch Factory took the lead in developing the Kun watch, a small-sized mechanical watch with significant craftsmanship challenges. They also developed the SB10 thin women's watch with a diameter of 24 millimeters. In 1983, the SB10 thin women's watch was awarded the Excellent Product Certificate by the State Economic Commission. In 1988, it received the Beijing Excellent Product Award.

As one of the few state-owned watch brands at the time, Beijing Watch Factory benefited from strong support for the development of the handicraft industry. Leveraging this environment, it learned and absorbed exquisite watchmaking techniques from abroad, continuously innovating and developing, shaping a positive brand image, and creating several renowned timepieces. Driven by a passion for state-owned watch brands, many young people who had just graduated from school joined Beijing Watch Factory. Most of them dedicated their youth to the factory, day after day of hard work contributing to the success of Beijing Watch Factory today. This represents a profound commitment and pursuit of excellence.

Since ancient times, Chinese people have possessed a spirit of self-improvement and perseverance. With the continuous innovation and efforts of the workers in the watch factory, today's Beijing Watch Factory has become more advanced. It has mastered the design and manufacturing techniques of high-complexity watches such as tourbillons, double tourbillons, tourbillon minute repeaters, double-axis tourbillons, and double-barrel long power reserve movements. Additionally, it has acquired expertise in advanced watchmaking crafts such as micro-carving, skeletonization, enameling, precious metal processing, and gemstone setting. As a result, it has emerged as a watch manufacturer with complete independent intellectual property rights and core technology in high-end watchmaking.

As a state-owned watch brand, the Beijing Watch Factory has played a significant role in driving domestic economic development and has received attention from the central leadership of the Communist Party and the country. On October 16, 1963, Peng Zhen, then Mayor of Beijing and one of the main planners of the establishment of the Beijing Watch Factory, visited the factory and praised the accuracy of the watches produced by the factory. He issued an important directive, stating, "All watches must meet Swiss standards, not Shanghai standards, national standards, or Soviet standards. They must adhere to high standards... Watches that do not meet Swiss standards are not allowed to leave the factory." On June 9, 1965, Marshal Zhu De visited the Beijing Watch Factory, providing great encouragement and praise. He listened to a work report from the factory director Jiang Zaiyu and instructed the factory to "produce more watches, make them cheaper, and support Asia, Africa, and Latin America." According to the leadership of the Beijing Watch Factory, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, and other national leaders were wearers and enthusiasts of Beijing watches during their lifetimes. This indicates that the Beijing Watch Factory was a highly influential state-owned watchmaker at that time.

Contact us