The man revealed that he was one of the People's Liberation Army pilots who wore this legendary Tianjin 1963 aviator watch decades ago! He reminisced about the shortages back then, when pilot chronographs were even more scarcely precious resources - each pilot sharing one on sorties.
This former airman held a deep personal bond with the watch. In April 1961, with an official order from the aeronautic department, Tianjin Watch Factory secretly commenced Project 304 - developing China's first military chronograph exclusively for PLA Air Force pilots. The resultant 1963 chronograph was China's inaugural Air Force-issued wristwatch. Because 1963 marked such a milestone, this model later became universally known as simply the "1963” among collectors’ circles.
Officially deployed in 1966 after rigorous testing, the 1963 model equipped multiple PLAAF and PLA Naval Aviation Corps squadrons in limited numbers before discontinuation. The turbulent mid-1960s decimated archives, rendering surviving pieces hugely coveted among global watch collectors.
Despite lifelong sentimentality towards it, the retired pilot never had the chance to own a 1963 until Sea-Gull’s reissue. To own and preserve this grail before time runs out, he visited to secure a commemorative limited edition copy. Deeply moved upon hearing his poignant history, the shopkeeper shared that with scant pieces remaining per store, stocks may soon be depleted forever. How serendipitous that this veteran aviator can finally wear his emotional grail watch in his lifetime!
The pilot determined to pass down this legend among posterity - just as this enduring watch itself has passed into heritage. His intergenerational aspiration signifies the everlasting bonds of brotherhood and dreams represented by the 1963 chronograph in China's aviation history.