The Bejing Watch Factory Zhufeng is a true and elegant masterpiece!
Got to say, the moment I saw this watch, it got me. Thanks to a friend and collector a few weeks later I am the proud owner of a watch that, apart from its intriguing design, saphire dome and functionality has the insides of a full grown luxury piece: An 18 jewel, hand winding movement. It is not a turbillon as I have written before here!
The white face and the silver hands are a perfect match (even though I learned that there are now versions with a black second hand). It is very elegant and classy but still following todays trend of a slightly big diameter. The factory strap, aligator in black matches it well, even though pictures with other straps on several watch forums are looking equally nice. Guess the classic white and silver goes with everything. Last but not least it comes with a clasp. While I like that on a watch and I think the Beijing Watch Factory logo on it looks extra cool (as Moneygram locations well as on the crown), the clasp itself is a little rough on the edges. Totally contrary to the watch itself.
On a vendors site you can read a little story about Zuhfeng standing for the Mount Everest and the white and the silver representing the holy snow lying on this mountain. Design inspiration at its finest.
Now the Beijing Watch factory itself is actually a rather small one, employeng only a few hundreds of people. The factory is privately owned and was one of the first to create their own movements. Producing high standard movement they seem to hit the nerve of Chinese that look for a luxury watch and as you can see they caught the attention of watch geeks all around the globe. They also caught the attention of the Swiss watch industry by what they are doing and it seems not only because they learned from them and use Swiss machines (just like watch factories in Jura do), if not because the product is remarkable.
At the end of the day movements like this are around for hundred of years but these days they typically end up only in high end (luxury?) watches. And while it seems to be a bit more difficult to buy the Zhufengs then just simply via a few online clicks (you want to go thru a trusted source), the price of a watch like this is only parts of what a comparable Swiss watch would cost you…
The Zhufeng may well not be up there already – and mind you, some say it is – but give it a few years and then you could regret not having one of those little mechanical wonders in your collection from back in the days when you looked at a Beijing Watch Factory product and thought to yourself “Hang on a minute, this is an amazing pice of watch makery right there, thru and thru!”
Edit from April 15th 2013: I learned that the movement in the Zhufeng is not a Tourbillion if not a hand wind movement. The text above is corrected accordingly.