Chinese Watchmaker Lin Yong Hua And His Quirky, Hand-Made Replica Watches

Based in Shenzhen, the Chinese city that borders Hong Kong, LYH Watches is named after founder Lin Yong Hua, who is also a newly minted candidate for entry into the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI), thanks to the No. 4 wristwatch (pictured above).

Now almost 10 years old, Lin’s solo venture making his own watches is the capstone of a 25-year career in the watch industry. Unlike many other independent watchmakers, Lin started his career in a quartz watch manufacturing company in 1991 at the tender age of 18, before turning to mechanical watchmaking. His early experiences helped develop his expertise in the use of precision machinery, which later influenced many of his creations.

Chinese watchmaker.

In 2009 Lin established his own repair and restoration workshop, all the while studying mechanical replica watches complications. It was only three years after the establishment of his workshop did Lin to set foot into the realm of independent watchmaking, with his first application to the AHCI in 2012, resulting in candidature in 2017.

Lin has exhibited his timepieces on several occasions in China and was amongst the exhibitors at the recent China Watch & Clock Fair (CWCF), a massive trade show that runs the gamut of the watchmaking business East and West, essentially the Chinese equivalent of Baselworld. But his 2017 showcase at Baselworld was his first

Lin has crafted several quirky watches featuring various watch complications. With the exception of springs, jewels, crystals and straps, every component is designed and crafted in-house by Lin in his workshop. One of which is the No. 3, featuring a “wandering hours” complication that features transparent hour discs that revolve to indicate the minutes, operating on principles similar to that of the Audemars Piguet Star Wheel and Urwerk UR-105. But unusually, the No. 3 also has the balance wheel on the dial – a feature of many of Lin’s watches – sitting right up against the wandering hours.

LYH and his watch.

Beyond watches, Lin Yong Hua has also built sculptural, mechanical art: the dragonfly tourbillon installation, an Eastern take of the robotic timekeepers made by avant-garde Swiss watchmakers.