Shanghai 8120 Review

Affordable and covetable watches from China
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jbglock
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Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by jbglock »

I am not a professional writer so forgive any mistakes or if I ramble on slightly. If you don't want to read what follows then the summary is if you don't have unrealistic expectations you simply can't go wrong for the price. Just expect possible issues.

I have two of these.
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Both came from the same source. I won't post a link but if you Google "Times International Shanghai 8120" you will find them. If anyone knows of another source please share with me. The price has been holding steady at $49.25 usd with free shipping to me in North Carolina. The one I just bought was paid for on May 10 and was on my front door delivered on May 27. The first one I ordered arrived just as fast. Not bad for free shipping imo.

Both came on relatively nice thin leather straps with signed buckles. I don't generally wear my watches on leather though so they are both replaced. They come in a red box with a watch pillow. Nothing fancy but definitely nice enough if you are wanting that to present them as gifts.

Stainless steel case which is nicely polished, acrylic crystal, push pull signed crown, screw on caseback, and a 17 jewel hand wound movement.

Here is what I wrote about my first one on November 17 of last year.

Mine is the white dial version.
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I love how it looks. The strap it comes with is actually very nice imo. Supple leather with a signed buckle. I just don't wear leather so I put it on a nato then a milanese. The spring bars it came with were pure junk. No big deal as I have plenty of 18mm bars laying around.
Mine is averaging 7 seconds fast a day. No complaints as that is very accurate for a 50 dollar hand wind imo. As you can see the movement is adjustable.
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Issue 1. As you can see...
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Their is a gasket on the case back. No gasket on the crown or stem so I wouldn't expect any water resistance. This is what I expected. The reason I had the case back off was I had two small specs of what I suspect are blue paint sticking to the underside of the crystal that were driving me insane. I didn't mind removing them (q tip did the trick) but I know some might not want to deal with that on a brand new watch.
Issue 2. The crown had a sharp edge that irritated my hand. I fixed this easily with a dremel but once again some might not want to deal with that on a brand new watch.
Issue 3. I had read reviews that criticized the finish of the dial. Finish issues I am guessing will vary watch to watch. On mine the most noticeable is at the 12 marker.
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With all that said I will probably buy the black version later on. The watch is a pleasure to look at, I love the acrylic crystal, and it is very accurate imo.

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk


Last edited by jbglock on May 28th, 2020, 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by jbglock »

Well not long after writing that about my first Shanghai something very bad happened to it. My fiance took notice of it and "hinted" she wanted it. So it became hers. I still get the honor of winding it, setting the time if needed, and polishing the crystal if she scratches it.

At this point I am sure most reading this know it is a homage of a vintage Eterna KonTiki. After reading my fiance an article about the famous scientific expedition and explaining the lines in the center actually represent a typographic map af the atoll where it the Kon Tiki landed....
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki_expedition
she was definitely hooked. It is her most worn watch.

In the months that have followed the watch has remained consistent in accuracy and although it is obviously not something I would take into a pool it has survived the occasional rain storm without any signs of moisture inside it.

That said I really missed it so I recently ordered a replacement.

Before I go much further a few measurements. With my calipers I get 35.4mm diameter, 38.3mm including the crown, and 44.3mm lug to lug.

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk

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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by Tanukjaju »

Lovely review... $50 is an amazing throw away project. Can I trouble you for a side profile pic?

I love this style of dials. Very retro 50s diver but haven’t gotten a vintage one because many are radium....

So tempting.
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by jbglock »

So this time I decided to order the black dial variation. Of course upon arrival I immediately put it on a tropic strap.
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I love tropic straps and own quite a few in various sizes. I recently picked up some cheap 18mm jubilee bracelets so I decided to try it on one.
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The crystal I would describe as boxed and slightly domed. Forgive me if my terms are incorrect. A side view of the crystal and signed crown.
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Finally the caseback. Obviously not alot of fine finish to it but it's comfortable enough on the wrist.
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The lume is about what you would expect for the price. It is bright enough for about 5 minutes maybe. :)

I don't know if this time I got lucky, if quality control has improved, or if the chances of getting a watch with no issues is better for the black color variation but no issues this time. No sharp edge around the crown. No paint issues with the dial. No paint flecks inside the crystal.

Even if it had the same issues as my previous Shanghai I would say it is worth 49 bucks. This is less than the cost of eating a meal at a decent restaurant for my fiance and me. The potential issues are within my skill range. I love the dial and the vintage aesthetic.

I remember one commenter from another forum saying these are a rip off as the parts can be bought and the watch assembled for about 10 to 15 dollars. If anyone knows where I can get all of the parts to build this watch for 15 dollars please share. Personally I am pretty happy right now. :)

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk

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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by hako »

The black one is even better.
Excellent value!
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by Emilio »

Thanks for the review :ugeek:
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by Ncrich »

Nice review. I have almost bought this watch a dozen times. Now I'm back looking at it.
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by tafari »

nice review and good looking watches for a good price. the black dial one is more my taste
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by charmquark »

Did you have trouble getting the case back off? I have a similar watch and my usual opener wouldn't turn it.
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Re: Shanghai 8120 Review

Post by Emilio »

charmquark wrote:Did you have trouble getting the case back off? I have a similar watch and my usual opener wouldn't turn it.
Is it smooth without indentations? If so, use a ball of really sticky scotch tape.

If that fails, apply some drops of CA glue to that sticky ball before making contact with the case back. Let it rest on the case back until it's dry. Then, try again.

After that, it's just a matter of removing the residue.
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