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Cheap Chinese successes?


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Anybody else love gambling their hard earned money on cheap Chinese junk, hoping to find a gem? Have you found anything that was?

I guess I keep doing it because I have found some gems, from the better known Parnis and Alpha, to the lesser known Alba and Pagani Design. Lately I've been trying super cheap stuff from AliExpress as well. I bought a couple Parnis sterile dial, they were fine. Another couple Pagani Design, both were awesome performers.

I also made a mistake of buying a few that I thought were sterile dial from an unknown brand, only to have them show up and be fakes. So I've learned to stay away from anything sterile unless it's Parnis. I'm not good enough to identify Photoshoped stuff I guess.

Recently I ordered, sight unseen of course, a couple of off brand name pieces that I'm awaiting and very hopeful for. With the access to YouTube and reviews, it seems easy enough to avoid scams and fakes (learned this lesson the hard way).

Funny thing is, in retrospect, I've not kept a single one of these watches. In the end I've given them all away, or bashed with a sledgehammer (the counterfeits). I guess that should be my indicator to stop huh? Lol

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@JayDeep cheers for the info  This is the one I came very close to buying at one point but just could not decide if I really like it or was it just a " like it at the time " ... looking back at it

Yup, Rolex, Omega, IWC, Tudor.......

I bought this just after New Year from Ali Express mainly because I liked the blue dial and bezel insert , I was not expecting too much for £14 (Inc Delivery) I kind of like it , very light in weight

I bought this just after New Year from Ali Express mainly because I liked the blue dial and bezel insert , I was not expecting too much for £14 (Inc Delivery) I kind of like it , very light in weight but a perfect grab and go watch 

IMG-20190122-105609.jpg

@JayDeep you mention you have bought a couple of Parnis I will admit it is a brand I have thought about buying myself only because I read mixed reviews , some say good for the price and some say rubbish . 

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2 minutes ago, jsud2002 said:

I bought this just after New Year from Ali Express mainly because I liked the blue dial and bezel insert , I was not expecting too much for £14 (Inc Delivery) I kind of like it ,

:swoon:  Bargain!  (where can I find this "Ali Express" you speak of...........? )

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@jsud2002

Yeah, that one looks pretty decent indeed!

My findings with Parnis are simple, if it's quartz you're fine, if it's automatic keep it simple (no complications, they tend to have higher propensity for being problematic), if it's manual mechanical keep it simple (Asian 6497/6498) and get it!! Lol

Hope that helps. I've owned at least 20 Parnis in my years of collecting. Only 1 stopped keeping time, it was a manual mechanical GMT with day night indicator. Suddenly it just started losing 15 minutes every half hour. It was crazy. So I decided to drop test the crystal. It was indeed Sapphire as they claimed. Lol

One automatic GMT I had took a little tap on the glass after setting the time to get it going. Another automatic GMT had a bothersome stutter in the seconds hand.

26 minutes ago, mrzee said:

Although I don’t think of it as junk; it was rather cheap. The beautiful Shanghai Diamond 

Shanghai Diamond mechanical watch

keeps excellent time and looks gorgeous.

No Shanghai is known for being a very good quality middle of the road Chinese brand. Much like Fiyta and The Beijing Watch Factory.

Edited by JayDeep
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I have a few Automatics from Ali Express, and have been really surprised at the quality of the watches given their price. Of the ones I have purchased Parnis, Starking and Carnival have been great, excellent value for money with Pagini's homage to the Seiko Presage not far behind.

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6 minutes ago, jsud2002 said:

@JayDeep cheers for the info :thumbsup:

This is the one I came very close to buying at one point but just could not decide if I really like it or was it just a " like it at the time " ... looking back at it now I still like it 

10817d1364602439-new-parnis-watch-image.

I've almost pulled the trigger on that one a hundred times!

Oh, that reminds me, the other rule with Parnis, if it uses a Miyota automatic, don't even think twice.... GET IT!!!!!

Their biggest trouble is with Chinese movements that don't come already lubed (or so I've been told). Then Parnis just slaps it in a watch without applying any lubricant themselves. But I've heard Miyota comes ready to install. I've had 3 Parnis with automatic Miyota and all were flawless. In fact, the only Parnis I still have left is a Miyota automatic.

Edited by JayDeep
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9 minutes ago, JayDeep said:

Their biggest trouble is with Chinese movements that don't come already lubed (or so I've been told). Then Parnis just slaps it in a watch without applying any lubricant themselves. But I've heard Miyota comes ready to install. I've had 3 Parnis with automatic Miyota and all were flawless. In fact, the only Parnis I still have left is a Miyota automatic.

The word on the street (well, internet) seems to be Parnis knock out their watches to 3rd party sellers unlubed but the ones on their own website are prepped by themselves so buying from anything other than their site is a bit of a gamble and ditto used ones as you don't know where they came from. How much truth and/or wild speculation or generalisation there is in that I have no idea, but sometimes that's what makes buying Chinese interesting - you seem to sometimes have several companies knocking out the same watches to completely different standards. 

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4 minutes ago, Perlative Cernometer said:

The word on the street (well, internet) seems to be Parnis knock out their watches to 3rd party sellers unlubed but the ones on their own website are prepped by themselves so buying from anything other than their site is a bit of a gamble 

The situation is as follows... Parnis is a giant watch parts factory... they wholesale parts, movements, kits and bracelets to the highest bidder in a system only the Chinese would understand. However, they also produce their own "superior" products from their own wholesale stuff on their own website that are indeed a different league due to exclusive crystals and assembly etc etc ... So yes buy from their website. Otherwise you may end up with something that is less than satisfactory.. 

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I bought this Parnis...Daytona clone for £63 delivered just before Christmas... it has a Seiko movement and keeps great time and very comfortable on the wrist with a decent Bracelet that is as good if not better than my Vintage Rolex pieces..its also great for confusing the hell out of people who Know I wear pieces of value and they don't like to ask if it is the real thing.

IMG-1931.jpg

Edited by Speedy112
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2 hours ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

The situation is as follows... Parnis is a giant watch parts factory... they wholesale parts, movements, kits and bracelets to the highest bidder in a system only the Chinese would understand. However, they also produce their own "superior" products from their own wholesale stuff on their own website that are indeed a different league due to exclusive crystals and assembly etc etc ... So yes buy from their website. Otherwise you may end up with something that is less than satisfactory.. 

That sounds to be the most likely case. This may very well have been what I read a while back, I just couldn't remember the details.

Although, the ones I had trouble with I bought directly from their website. I've only just very recently begun to use this AliExpress thing, and with those I've only had one failure, the manual GMT I mentioned earlier.

So my track record in fact would tell a different tale. Either way I don't mind taking the Gablme regardless

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9 minutes ago, JayDeep said:

That sounds to be the most likely case. This may very well have been what I read a while back, I just couldn't remember the details.

Although, the ones I had trouble with I bought directly from their website.

I put the word "superior" in quotes. The fact remains.. due to their chosen business model.... quality control largely does not exist ( as per the rest of China ) and it remains as a reassurance that buying from Parnis "direct" means you are far less likely to get a substandard watch compared to a 2nd/3rd/4th down the line franchised style assembler of their stuff. I do not mean this in a condescending or sarcastic way , but buying Parnis is dabbling in the "fun" end of watches... and as mentioned there is a curious mix of  quality... for example sometimes very well made bracelets etc etc.....

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48 minutes ago, Bonzodog said:

 I keep getting an image in my head of standing over the porcelain fixture flushing £20.00 notes .Cant bring myself to buy one.

On the plus side, with a Parnis you wouldn't be flushing very many notes down to toilet, so it wouldn't be a complete disaster.... :tongue:

I must admit, the video review of the Parnis Daytona that @Speedy112 posted has got me thinking... :whistle:  I don't know anything about the Rolex version, and I have no desire to own one of those (even if I could afford it - and I can't :laughing2dw:), but the Parnis is just a great looking watch in it's own right.  Looks well made too, if the video is anything to go by :thumbsup:

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