Determining Authenticity: How to Spot a Real Seagull 1963
With its surging popularity among watch enthusiasts, imitation Seagull 1963 chronographs have flooded the market. Thankfully, there are ways to discern the real from the fake 1963 re-issues. Let’s explore the critical details to inspect when assessing authenticity.
Examine the Movement
The first place to check is inside the caseback. A genuine Seagull 1963 will house the hand-wound ST19 column wheel chronograph movement. Key identifiers include:
- “SEAGULL” engraved on the top plate in crisp lettering
- 19 or 21 jewels specified
- Column wheel situated vertically under the balance
- Blued screws used for decoration
- Geneva stripes on the winding rotor
- Smooth seconds hand sweep when running
- Windingstem should screw down securely
Lower grade Asian clone movements may resemble the ST19 upon first glance but lack crisper hallmarks like the blue screws or skip finer decoration. An authentic ST19 always appears well-finished.
Evaluate the case Design
Seagull has produced many case variations for the 1963 but certain traits remain constant:
- 38mm diameter exclusion chronograph pushers
- Drilled lugs for easier strap changes
- Polished beveled edges on lugs
- Signed winding crown matching brand of movement
- Chrono pushers screw down securely
- No gap between bezel and acrylic crystal
- Crisp engraving on stainless back for model info
Fakes tend to feature cruder finishing on details like the lugs or engravings. The polished bevel accent is a subtle signature of genuine cases.
Scrutinize Dial Components
The panda dial configuration offers more opportunities for scrutiny:
- Applied steel hour markers with beveled edges
- Properly centered bi-compax subdial layout
- Seagull “Tianjin Watch Factory” Heritage logo
- ST19 D304 designation on dial near 6 o’clock
- Red star tip on central chrono seconds hand
- Evenly printed white minute track on outer edge
- Aligned date window frame at 6 o’clock
- Chrono minute counter jumps precisely
Shoddy replicas will omit finer points like the red star tip, heritage logo or ST19 D304 text. The crisp black on white panda contrasts should also stand out on real examples.
Assess Chronograph Function
Of course, a true Seagull 1963 must have properly working chronograph functions:
- Column wheel engagement gives crisp pusher feel
- Instant reset to zero when pusher activated
- Central seconds hand aligns precisely with indexes
- No jittery ticking or sticking on subdials
- Timekeeping remains consistent while running chrono
If the chronograph seems sticky, jumpy or inaccurate, the watch should be rejected. A perfectly tuned ST19 movement will operate flawlessly.
Purchase From a Trusted Seller
The most certain way to guarantee authenticity is to only buy from reputable retailers who source directly from Seagull. Pay the premium for peace of mind. Watch out for eBay or Amazon sellers with prices that seem too good to be true.
While high-quality fakes do exist, patience and careful inspection of a Seagull 1963’s finer details will help affirm legitimacy. Let your eyes confirm the stellar reputation surrounding this iconic chronograph.