There are hundreds of companies in China that manufacture watches; they are not particularly rare. What is unusual, however, are Chinese watches that are distinctive.
This is not to criticize the Chinese watch industry, however. The industry is relatively new and the Chinese have not been making watches for nearly as long as the Japanese, the Americans, or the Swiss. Because of this, one should not be surprised to see that many Chinese watch manufacturers are simply copying the work of other companies. That’s usually how any new industry in any country gets its start.
Not all companies in China are doing this, however. FIYTA watches, for example, are surprisingly advanced for the product of a relatively new company. FIYTA was founded in 1987, which is relatively recently for a watch company, especially one that manufactures mechanical watches.
They specialize in high quality mechanical watches, many of which have elaborate designs and complications. Their most famous watch is likely their Space Watch, which has actually flown in space. Their latest series to attract attention is their “extreme” series, which was highlighted in the 2009 and 2010 Dakar motorcycle rally.
FIYTA watches are now so well known that the company was not only allowed to exhibit their watches at the annual Baselworld watch fair, but they were actually located in the main exhibition hall, rather than one of the smaller, secondary halls.
FIYTA has worked constantly to come up with new and innovative styles and materials for their watches. Their patented ATiC (Advanced Titanium Carbide) material is used in some of their watch cases. It is harder and lighter than either steel or titanium.
Like many Chinese watch companies, FIYTA makes models with a tourbillon, though in this case, the tourbillon is made and designed in-house, rather than being sourced from another manufacturer. Perhaps their most famous watch model is the People’s Republic of China 65th Birthday limited edition tourbillon model.
This model, which was limited in production to only 65 pieces, was created to celebrate China’s 65th anniversary. The watch featured an 18k gold case and the tourbillon itself was surrounded by a ring featuring 40 diamonds.
The face of the watch had a large 65 on it to signify the anniversary, and the bezel itself was surrounded by 86 additional diamonds.
While this watch made use of cutting-edge 21st century manufacturing techniques and materials, there is no mistaking the design for one that is uniquely Chinese in origin. That’s one of the things that FIYTA works to do – make watches that are unique and which have styling that no one will confuse for the work of any other company.
While the company does make watches that are very expensive (the gold anniversary watch mentioned above retailed for U.S. $17,000) they also make watches that are very affordable, with many models priced to sell at under U.S. $100.
They also make watches that have more traditional styling. While FIYTA wants you to remember their unique designs, they also know that many buyers would like a more traditional style for their watches.
With FIYTA watches, you can have cutting edge styling or traditional. It is up to you.