Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Chinese watch Museum and travels to China
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AlbertaTime
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Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by AlbertaTime » June 17th 2019, 10:05am

Hi all:

You folks are the very first westerners to see this. I'll be posting more, in more detail, when I get back to Canada, but I've had quite an afternoon, so here's the story.

Over the years I've been involved with Chinese watches, I've known a few folks who have ventured to the site of the original Shanghai Watch Factory, with hopes of maybe seeing inside. To my knowledge, no one made it inside, although a number did see the SWF stores that are adjacent.

So, I was hoping, but not at all really expecting any luck, when I ventured to the site with David Rodriguez, who is the owner of small but dedicated Shanghai WeChat watch group called Watch-a-Holics.

When we arrived at the old Factory location, the security person appeared completely disinterested in talking to us, but David caught the attention of a person who was walking by wearing a loupe. David speaks some Chinese so, as he tried to explain what we were hoping for, I pulled out my CHA membership and my AMCHPR business card.

The person we'd met was very polite but seemed not that engaged at first, but after seeing the card and my CHA membership, he took us *inside* and up an elevator to meet some one even further inside. This next person introduced himself as Mr. Cai and made a phone call as I handed him my "credentials," such as they are.

Well, I don't know--and may never know--who he phoned but his straight and polite demeanor changed to broad smiles as his phone call progressed over a couple of minutes...

...and next thing we knew, were handed some refreshments and promo materials, and then taken around to take some photos and have questions answered!! It turns out that Mr. Cai is Secretary-General of the Shanghai Timepiece Trade Association, and he became our very friendly guide around the place.

So, here's the very first "inside the factory" shots I know of that weren't Shanghai promo or Chinese news shots :-), taken this very afternoon

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The next photos are of Mr. Cai and me, inside the boardroom, and...

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...in the lobby underneath some SWF script, and...

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...with David, as he showed us around the adjacent factory out let stores adjacent on Yulin Road.

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The next five shots are stuff I shot that was hanging on the factory walls.

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Now, here's some photos of outside, the last of which is the front of the factory,which I'll follow with some information.

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Now, it's clear the factory has seen better days, but Mr. Cai explained to us--and showed us some in-progress areas inside which we didn't photograph--that the factory is undergoing a quite full inside, then outside, renovation, which is expected to be (so far as David and I both understood) completed some time next year.

That means that this is probably my best and only--and maybe most westerner's best and only--chance to still see the factory with the patina of it's entire past history intact. It will be much more modern next year, if my experience at other factories is any indication.

After the tour, Mr. Cai, and David and I warmly exchanged parting greetings, and Mr. Cai and I both expressed our hopes to see each other again at the China Watch and Clock Fair, which starts three days from now, on June 20th, in scenic Shenzhen. I'm looking forward to seeing Mr. Cai again, grateful for David for his assistance, and totally overwhelmed at our good fortune.
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by biglove » June 17th 2019, 2:02pm

Holy cow, A-T!

That's is some kind of awesome. Possibly the first and only Westerner to ever get that chance. You are quite the ambassador!

Look forward to all your photos and updates.

Stay safe and have fun.
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by AlbertaTime » June 17th 2019, 5:51pm

BL, I think it's more that luck smiled on us than my skills as an Ambassador, but I do know my CHA membership still surprises Chinese watch people at times :-) and it does give me some credibility when I ask things.

Was sure a fun afternoon!!
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by AlbertaTime » June 17th 2019, 5:54pm

3Flushes wrote:Just knocked on the door- Incredible, Ron!!!!


Worked out really well. ;-)
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by AlbertaTime » June 17th 2019, 6:25pm

CHA is the China Horologe Association, the governing body for watch and clock production in China. I was made it's first non-Chinese member in 2014.

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Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by Thunder1 » June 17th 2019, 6:58pm

AT, you're something of a trail blazer in the arena of Chinese time pieces..keep up the good work, and thanx for sharing your exploits w/ us...
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by AlbertaTime » June 17th 2019, 9:38pm

conjurer wrote:Dang. Fuck.

(Otherwise speechless.)


:-) John!

I want to note that it was the kindness of Shanghai WF that ultimately made this possible. I appreciate that they understood, at least after speaking to whomever, my sincerity and appreciation for their industry. Sure, I'll take credit for my part--but I couldn't do what I do without receiving what I just described. After they did their due diligence, they were as friendly and accommodating as anyone could ask. We had lots of laughs, actually :-)

And: thanks to everyone for your comments. Love sharing this with you folks!
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"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
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Re: Good Luck in scenic Shanghai, June 17th/China time...

Post by AlbertaTime » June 18th 2019, 6:11am

kevco wrote:What a privilege! Thank you for sharing.


I feel luckier than I could ever imagine.
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
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