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Self-Taught Chinese Watchmaker Sells Watches For $80,000 Each

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  • Lin Yong Hua is an independent watchmaker from China.
  • He learned through self-study and started working in the industry at the age of 18.
  • Today, his pieces sell around $10,000 to $80,000.

Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex are just some of the world’s top luxury watch brands but have you ever heard of independent watchmakers?

Yes, there are actually a lot out there and you’d be surprised: some of their works can match those sold by big companies in terms of design, quality, and price.

Meet 48-year-old Lin Yong Hua

Case in point, Lin Yong Hua is one of the three independent watchmakers in China who are accredited by Swiss organization Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI, or the Academy of Independent Creators in Watchmaking).

Considering that it usually takes months of work for an independent maker to finish a piece, another remarkable thing about Lin is the fact that he only learned the skill through a combination of curiosity and self-study.

Born in Shenzen, China, Lin started making watches at the age of 18.

“I was fascinated by the ticking sound,” reflected Lin, sharing his experiences as a teen. “I wanted to know how a watch was built, but when I put the components back together, it wasn’t as accurate as before.”

Lin’s LYH watches now sell for around $10,000 to $80,000 each.

So far, his most well-known creation is a watch from 2019 with “a complex spider web chassis that resembled a time zone map,” a report said.

“This design was an innovation in the watchmaking industry at the time,” he remarked

To this day, he remains passionate and dedicated to his craft.

“It might sound repetitive and boring to others,” he shared, “but this is the most peaceful time for me. I can concentrate and translate my vision into reality.”

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