The Fiyta Turnover Tourbillon – Watch out Switzerland, China is coming!
We recently ran an article about Changing the perception of Chinese made watches. The article focused on the excellent efforts of Adrien Choux and his company, The Chinese Timekeeper in promoting Asian watch manufacturing and more specifically watches made in China. Adrien and his products are a prime example of how timepieces manufactured in Asia are rapidly closing the gap on the historic powerhouses of the watchmaking industry matching many of the better known Western watch brands for quality and, more often than not, at much lower prices.
The aforementioned article garnered a fair amount of attention, and this reception has prompted us to delve a little more into the world of Chinese made watches. For this article, we are concentrating on the most prominent of the Chinese watch brands, Fiyta. We were unsure as to what the origin of the brand name was and after a little research we have discovered that the literal meaning of Fiyta in Chinese is Flying in the sky of the world.
The watch we have chosen to focus on for this article is the Fiyta Turnover Tourbillon model (ref: GA8058WLB). The watch is a limited edition of just 20 pieces with a Fiyta tourbillon movement. The case is stainless steel and can be lifted via a hatch mechanism with gemstones embedded in the outer bezel, our best guess on the type of gemstone would be sapphires. The dial is an attractive blue mother-of-pearl with diamonds and the final touch is the choice of either an alligator or a shark skin strap. The watch is aesthetically pleasing in design and, borrowing an English phrase, is not in your face, the only slight negative for such a high-end watch to our eyes is the use of the logo. In our opinion the black on white logo set onto the dial did not quite work as well as it could have. Perhaps continuing the mother of pearl coloring or having the brand name without a background would be more pleasing to the eye, after all, this is a watch costing $20,810 USD.
Although we have alluded to the price differential between the Eastern and Western high-end watch manufacturers, this is not always the case. For example Torsten Nagengast is a renowned and respected watchmaker based in Pforzheim, Germany. His success has come about from cutting out the middle man thus resulting in exceptional bespoke timepieces at a price that would in turn challenge the Chinese manufacturers.
Brand longevity is often a factor that potential buyers looking to purchase a high-end watch consider, although this is not always the case, the fact that many of the worlds most renowned brands are among the oldest should not be overlooked. Fiyta does have some history, it is not some small boutique watchmaker producing a few pieces each week, the company is a major player, founded back in 1987, and is the only public listed company within the Chinese horological industry. The company was even chosen as the watch brand to be taken aboard Chinas manned space program Shenzhou V and VI. Within China the company has proven its quality garnering various awards including ones for quality, but to expand onto the global scene it needs to convince the wider marketplace. For those who want to look more into the brand and the range of watches they produce, they have resale outlets located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Vietnam, the US and Spain.
Whether the Fiyta Limited Edition Turnover Tourbillon is a good buy is not for us to say. It really needs a horological expert to examine the movement and do a comparison on a like for like basis, and as with any luxury product, if you can afford and want it, then no other opinion should matter.