- Master of Time
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- Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
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- Location: Peace River, Alberta
Guangzhou/Guangdong weather, though, had turned gray and overcast by the time I got into Guangzhou proper, and it mostly stayed that way for the next two days. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't uncomfortable. Just it wasn't all sunshiny, is all. The heavy rain that can come in Guangzhou's spring held off pretty much until it was time to say goodby on the 14th, so...It makes for kinda dull photos, maybe, but that's a high class problem.
Note: any photos of me in this post were almost always taken by Mr. Hui or Mr. Zhang.
I arrived at the offices of the Guangzhou Watch and Clock Association around 1:45PM and Mr. Hui and I went directly to a local Halal restaurant in the immediate area to grab a quick lunch before our planned 3:00 meeting with Ms. Fu Ping, the Executive Vice President of Guangzhou Shangguang Watch Co., Ltd.
Guangzhou Shangguang Watch Co. is, according to my understanding, the present holder of the Shanghai Watch Factory trademarks and facilities, and we were invited to visit the company's case and dial making facilities in Guangzhou.
How hungry were we? And how good was the food? Well, folks who know me know that I usually take my food photos before diving in. Not this time. Here's the carnage on the table when I finally gave a thought to shooting some photos of it. The restaurant is well worth finding if you're in Guangzhou
After lunch, we went back to the GZWCA office, passing this on the way...
...then headed straight out to the Guangzhou Shangguang facilities, home to Shanghai Watch factory in Guangzhou, of course, but Guangzhou Shangguang also produces dials and cases for other domestic brands, too.
These first photos and the clock video were taken just outside one entrance to the complex.
Group shot: Mr Liu, Partner and in charge of watch case production at the factory, Hr. Hui/GZWCA, me, and Ms. Fu Ping.
Once inside, we started at the case making and polishing section...
..following through the beautiful main entrance and lobby area...
...then to dial making...
...and the display area for current Shanghai products...
...ending at Quality Control.
And, again, my mind was spinning with new information as Mr. Hui and I went to dinner with ms. Fu and other Shanghai executives (names coming) at a--clearly indicated by one photo--very popular local restaurant. I don't know the name, but we had a private room for the meal, and the service and food were...well, look at the photos The shrubbery was near one of the restaurant entrances and I loved the lighting...
Time stamps say we left the restaurant at about 10PM...I got a ride home in a Tesla!!
I was back at Karl's AirB&B by 10:45PM and me being young and energetic, it only made sense when Karl suggested a quiet visit to a somewhat nearby craft beer pub. We arrived about 11:30PM, and the place was friendly, quiet, well-stocked with some very interesting small-company brews...and they had a cat. And kittens.
Perfect way to end the day. We were back at home by about 1PM, early by recently established standards
Next morning started at 9:00 sharp.
Actually, no. Next morning really started about two hours earlier when I woke up at 7:00AM to get ready and then grab transportation to *be* at the GZWCA offices by 9.
I made it
Mr. Hui and I spoke for a few minutes about something I'll talk about at the very end of today's post, and we then headed out to the Guangzhou Light Industrial College for a very informal, unofficial visit to the watchmaking program at Rarone Horologe College aka the Rarone Horological Institute, accompanied by "Henry," Mr. Fang Xuelong 方学龙, the Executive Vice President of Guangzhou Kinpac Watch Co., Ltd. and Chengxi brand watches. It was an apparent day off for the school students--but not for us.
Here's a couple of photos from the drive to the College...
I very unfortunately forget the name of our host, who I understood to be the head watchmaker/instructor at the College, and I'll fix that as soon as I have the information. The Guangzhou Light Industrial College grounds are beautiful, the Horologe College is well equipped, bright and modern, and our host is a true gentleman. Group photo: the instructor, Mr. Hui, and Mr. Mr. Fang Xuelong, outside the College building.
Translation for these next three signs would be very welcome
After the school visit, lunch was...more wonderful food. For perspective as (or if) you read the menu shots, 100CNY/RMB is about $20/CDN. There was *bunches* of food to take home, portions were friendly and generous. I could easily feed myself to 饱了 (bao lu/full) for 40 or 50 CNY at this place, tops, and the very non-alcoholic "apple vinegar beverage" is good enough the three of us finished of two bottles while sat and talked.
After eating, Henry drove us to a Guangzgou mixed residential/industrial area, and the offices and production facilities of the Guangzhou Shangzhipin Watch Industry Company, Ltd. (S&P), a Guangzhou company that specializes in dial making, including dials for Henry's Chenxi watches. I was very pleased to be introduced to Mr. Zhang Dachun 张达春, the company General Manager.
Group shot: Henry/Mr. Fang Xuelong, Mr. Hui, me, Mr. Zhang Dachun
Quality control on dial plates...
And a few photos taken on the way back to the GZWCA offices after the Guangzhou Shangzhipin factory visit...
By the time we got back to the GZWCA offices, the skies that had been gray and threatening through the day had broken loose, and given I had to get back, pack, sleep, and get myself on the plane to Zhengzhou tomorrow morning to meet Sky so we could drive from Zhengzhou to Xian by that night, Mr. Hui and I said our goodbyes and decided to call it a day, for this visit and till next time, after a memorable time together. I have no adequate words for the hospitality, support and interest Mr. Hui showed me, and I'll always be grateful.
I mentioned earlier that Mr. Hui and I spoke for a few a short while before we headed out to the Rarone College.
I've left this next part of this post to the very last even though it speaks of something that happened before Mr. Hui, Henry and I headed to the College. These announcements will explain, first from Wechat (Chinese, then English), and then from the summer edition of the glossy Guangzhou Watches and Clocks magazine...
I'm honoured by the invitation to take this position with the Guangzhou Watch and Clock Association, and of course I've accepted it and I'm once again blown away, gobsmacked, astonished by the support, encouragement and friendship I've found in China and in China's watch and clock industry. Some of you here have watched this part of my life develop from before my first trip to China, through to now, and you've seen along with me the welcome and acceptance I've been provided.
Mr. Hui once wrote about me on WeChat, that 他自称中国是他第二故乡，钟表业界朋是他家庭成员。 "He calls China his second home and the clock industry is his family."
And that feels true to me, all the time, ever since my first visit. Mr. Hui followed that with 祝愿友谊永固。 " I wish friendship forever."
Guangzhou to Zhengzhou to Xian, next...
"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu