Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Introducing

Chinese Indie Watchmaker Qin Gan Releases The Delectable Pastorale II

From the vibrant Chinese metropolis Chongqing comes a watch that can rival the Swiss.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

I’ve been saying it for years now; watchmaking is a universal trade. Gone are the days when it was for the Swiss only, or even Europe for that matter. These days, with virtually no boundaries thanks to the online world, there’s surprising and exciting watchmaking to be found all over the globe. Take China for instance, long perceived as inferior when it came to watch production. That stigma has been well and truly broken as several brands and (independent) watchmakers have made great strides to produce watches to the very best of their abilities, coming close to or even rivalling the main establishment. One such man is Qin Gan, the Chinese watchmaker known for his beautiful Pastorale. Now, three years after its commercial debut, Qin Gan is ready to launch the handsome Pastorale II.

Qin Gan (right) with industry veteran Dominique Renaud (left).

Residing in Chongqing, China, Qin Gan’s journey into watchmaking is quite remarkable. As the son of a well-respected watchmaker in his region, Qin Gan literally grew up with watches. From a young age, he would dismantle, fix and reassemble watches using his father’s tools. This all led to being appointed head watchmaker at Poly Hong Kong auction house, becoming a public figure in the Chinese watchmaking industry, and subsequently launching his eponymous watchmaking company. His earliest watches showcase a tremendous amount of creativity and originality, yet his later work is all about refinement. For more details about Qin Gan’s background, I invite you to read our first story about him.

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The Pastorale II that’s being released now is an evolution of the original Pastorale. This was a six-piece limited run of watches with classical proportions and a stainless steel case. The follow-up Pastorale II serves up more of the aesthetic presented by the previous watch, with yet more fitness and attention to detail. The case is delightfully compact at 38.5mm across and 9.5mm in height and comes in either 18k white or rose gold. Details such as a concave bezel, bevelled lugs with a subtle horn-like profile, and alternating finishing give it tons of appeal. Naturally, the dial and movement are sandwiched by two sapphire crystals.

Moving to the dial, there are two options to choose from, both dictated by the case material. The white gold case is paired with a champagne-coloured champlevé enamel dial, while the rose gold case is fitted with a silver dial produced with the same technique. The style is simple, yet superbly refined. The engraved Roman numerals and markings are filled with black vitreous enamel, and the numeral at 12 ‘breaks’ the barriers of the hour track. A nice touch, elevating the dial even more.

Compared to the first Pastorale, elements such as the small seconds subdial and the hands for the hours and minutes have been refined as well. The subdial is now larger so it can be read more easily. The central hour and minute hands are first mirror polished, then heat-blued by hand, and bevelled. This cuts back the blued surface on the edges for a discerning look. As a finishing touch, Qin Gan has deliberately chosen to imprint his logo in Chinese and not English, as he believes watchmaking goes beyond cultural trades and language barriers. You can’t argue with that logic, now can you?

On the side of the movement, there’s yet more progress to be found. The architecture of the Calibre 1810 is still based on the manually wound Longines 30L, although it’s produced and finished in-house for the most part. For instance, the mainplate and geartrain are entirely handmade, and the Côtes de Genève, chamfering, perlage and other finishing techniques are done by hand as well. It also features gold chatons, a new style click spring and a balance wheel with adjustable weight screws.

The Pastorale II is fitted to a leather strap with a simple pin buckle that matches the material of the case. Qin Gan is able to produce about 15 pieces per year, at a price of CNY 328,000, or USD 46,000, excluding taxes. That puts it up there with some of the most renowned independent watchmakers from Switzerland and other European countries. And, although we admittedly haven’t had the opportunity to go hands-on with it (yet), it looks like it can compete at that very level! So in essence, it feels justified given the refined craftsmanship on display!

For more information, please contact Qin Gan directly or check out his Instagram account.

https://monochrome-watches.com/introducing-chinese-independent-watchmaker-qin-gan-pastrola-ii-longines-30l-specs-price/

4 responses

  1. Chinese watch for usd 46000 (plus taxes). The best joke of the year, since now…

    1

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