SEA-GULL D813.581 Chinese Military Watch/PLA Type-99 Tank Commander (Review)

I wanted to review one of the Sea-Gull watches for quite some time. As I heard they are pretty good quality, despite the fact they are made in China. Not that China made watches are bad, you just hear the phrase “Made in China” and you think of bad/average quality product. But not in this case, Sea-Gull is a very respectable watchmaking company, with a history of more than 50 years. I especially like their military-themed watches.

Today we are gonna look at Sea-Gull D813.581 Chinese Military watch/PLA Type-99 Tank Commander. Quite a long name 😀 The watch was kindly provided by the They have very good prices and all watches are authentic and aren’t copycats.

It comes in this watch box that almost every china made a watch (Rider, GT-FQ, Rodina) comes. The box isn’t anything special but will do for storing the watch.

So the watch is military themed. I guess it has something to do with the PLA Type-99 tank. The case is 316L stainless steel. It is 44mm wide, with crown it is 47mm, 13mm thick, 51mm lug to lug and 24mm lug width. It has interesting looking crown guards and a nice polished pull-push crown with Sea-Gull logo. On the other side of the case, there is an inscription that says: “Chinese Military #1 Watch”. The thing that surprised me the most after inspecting the case closer, was the finishing! It has polished edges on the lugs and small polished line around the bezel. It really gives it a bit higher end feel! And the brushed finishing all around the case is smooth and very good too!

Back of the case is polished and has a screw down case back with engraved PLA Type-99 Tank and a star with some Chinese text I don’t know the meaning of, reference and water resistance. Around the case back you will find the same finishing as the case, small polished line around the case back. Water resistance is only 50m, which is quite odd to me, as most military watches are 100m and higher. But I guess these watches mostly aren’t going this deep underwater, so 50m is enough.

The dial is classic military green. It has a retro Sea-Gull logo on top part of the dial, in this kind of vintage/beige colour. On the underside of the dial you will find writing like: “Automatic, Chinese Military watch since 1964” and under that, there’s “China Made”. The hour and minutes hands are sword-shaped, and also are in this vintage/beige colour. The second’s hand is simple line with a red arrow on the end and a star-shaped counterweight. The hour numerals are 3d raised, so it gives a very good depth to the dial. Around the hour numerals, you will find minutes and hour markers. All the markers are sharp and easy to read. On 3 o’clock there is a date window. The hour, minute hands, hour markers and numerals are applied with lume and light up beautifully. The lume isn’t the strongest, but it does its job well. When I tested it, it was lit throughout all night (around 9-10hours).

Crystal is sapphire, and is a great addition to already impressive watch! Of course, it would be better if it had an anti-reflective coating, but that’s too much to ask for. The strap is nicely padded, lined, tapered, green canvas. It has a solid 22mm buckle with retro Sea-Gull logo in brushed finishing. The strap at first will be very stiff, but it will wear in after 5-10 times. But better put it on some cool brown leather strap, it suits the watch more.

Movement is Sea-Gull automatic ST2553 with hacking seconds. You can also hand-wind it with the crown, and it winds smoothly. The rotor is very noisy and feels that it’s a bit lose. But that’s how it needs to be, as it is a big movement. The finishing on the movement is beyond everything. I never seen a watch in this price category finished so good! And the movement is veery precise for the price too. Only +5 to +7 seconds a day.

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Quite surprising timepiece this is, for such a low price. The finishing on the case, the dial and overall looks are very appealing, at least to me. Would I recommend it? YES! Buy it while it’s out there as they are getting more and more rare!

Price – 180$ @

Model: D813.581
Movement: Sea-Gull Automatic ST2553
Case: Premium 316L Stainless Steel
Dimension: 44 x 13 mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Water Resistence: 5ATM(50M)
Band: Green Canvass
Feature: Automatic , Date
Warranty: 1 Year


7 thoughts on “SEA-GULL D813.581 Chinese Military Watch/PLA Type-99 Tank Commander (Review)

  1. i should say that after i give my watch 30 winds then wear it day and night it will stop after approx 3 weeks, so then i have to wined it up again shouldn’t it keep going if its worn all the time.


  2. i took my watch to good repairer ex rolex he just told me how crap chinese watches were and said he could do nothing with it, i felt quite insulted and lefty still wear my watch and wind it every week, it keeps good time, never mind.


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