Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
I’m a predictable man. I eat what I like... as long as it can be shoved into a microwave or crammed between two slices of bread. And, while I have access to everything available on television or the Internet, I stick to silly comedies, British detective shows, and science fiction.
I can be identified from a mile away. My closet is full of jeans and plaid shirts, and my display boxes are bursting with big, heavy watches connected to thick leather straps.
Change, however, is well underway. A few weeks back, I bought a pair of brown pants and a red shirt. I don’t think I’ll actually ever pull on the trousers, but the shirt is really nice. I think next week, I might pick up a gray one.
Amid the rows of round-faced watches that comprise my collection is a replica Franck Muller Casablanca. I don’t wear it often, but the sight of this overly gaudy timepiece never fails to bring a smile to my lips. With this in mind, I decided to break tradition and purchase a second rectangular-shaped watch.
After checking out my favorite e-commerce stores, I settled on the sixteen-dollar Chenxi I found on DHgate.
The Chenxi businessman’s watch is quite light, weighing in at only 52 grams (1.86 ounces). This rectangular-shaped timepiece is 35 millimeters across and 11 millimeters thick.
Gold-colored plating is applied to a stainless-steel case. A well-textured, white dial is offset by black Roman numerals. This watch includes a date indicator at the three o’clock position, and a second-hand subdial is located at the bottom.
A Hattori PC21S quartz movement is fitted to this timepiece. Its crocodile-patterned strap is composed of PU leather and equipped with a gold-colored buckle.
Chenxi is a common name among Chinese manufacturers. Perhaps it is because if Chenxi is converted to Chinese symbols and then translated into English, the result is "Dawn." That’s a good name for a company.
There are two watch producers using this name. One began operation in 1994. The other, the manufacturer of this timepiece, was started in 2009.
Chenxi was trademarked in 2017 by Hou Junhua. His offices are located at Room 604, No. 27 Hao Jin St., Hai Zhu District, Guangzhou.
Place of Origin: Guangzhou, China
Movement: Hattori (Seiko) PC21S quartz
Features: Date indicator and second-hand subdial
Band material: PU leather
Band color: Brown, crocodile patterned
Band width: 24 millimeters
Clasp type: Gold colored buckle
Dial color: White
Dial window material: Hardened mineral glass
Case material: Stainless steel
Case diameter: 35 millimeters
Case thickness: 11 millimeters
Weight: 52 grams (1.86 ounces)
Water resistance: 3 ATM (splash resistant only)
An exquisitely designed dial and shiny, gold-plated case suggest this Chenxi is a far more expensive timepiece that it actually is. I especially like the tiny, gold-rimmed subdial, which displays the passing seconds.
The crocodile-patterned strap fits well with the overall design and Chenxi equipped it with a gold buckle, which matches the timepiece’s overall design.
Sixteen dollars is an important price point for Chinese manufacturers. In this range, factories can provide more than just a basic watch. Their timepieces might include a stainless-steel band, extra functions, or a genuine Japanese quartz movement. Brands such as Jaragar or Winner might even be fitted with a low-grade mechanical movement.
When I adjusted the date mechanism, a reassuring series of clicks suggested that I was handling a Seiko product. The Chenxi 063G is, in fact, powered by a Hattori PC21S quartz movement. This is an excellent choice for this price range and should provide long-term, trouble-free operation. The PC21S is actually an upgraded version of the movement fitted to the Maurice Eberle Gambrel.
The stainless-steel case is electroplated with what one vendor describes as rose gold. I’d take that with a grain of salt, but, for sure, it looks really good. Be aware that over time, wear and tear will eventually degrade the coating, and the silver stainless steel beneath will be revealed.
Chenxi equipped this watch with a strap composed of PU leather. PU leather is formed from inner splits of hide that have been covered with polyurethane. While this material looks very leather-like, it is not as durable. If you wear this watch on a daily basis, plan to replace the strap within a few months.
I really like this timepiece. It looks great on my wrist and arrived fitted with a decent quartz movement. When the attached strap fails, I’ll replace the band rather than throw the watch into my junk drawer. The Chenxi 063G is recommended.
This review recommends the Chenxi 063G despite its low-quality strap. In the following poll, I am attempting to determine how potential customers feel about the construction and quality of watchbands.
© 2018 Walter Shillington