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Old times not forgotten by watch fans

People are queuing up to buy old Shanghai brand watches after recent stories in the media.

Dozens of people have been queuing in front of a counter at the entrance to Shanghai No. 2 Watch Factory on Jiaozhou Road, Putuo District.

Three sales assistants were busy serving the customers, mostly elderly citizens. The watches are priced at 40 yuan (US$5.5) to 200 yuan, quite reasonable compared to market prices. But what attracted the elderly citizens most was not the price but the old brand "Baoshihua."

Every customer bought at least two watches and there were some who bought as many as six.

"I came all the way from Pudong to buy the watches after watching the report on TV," said a woman surnamed Ye in her 60s. Ye bought six watches and was going to keep one herself and send the rest to her friends.

"The report reminded me of the famous old brand of our time."

A TV program reported on the old brands of watches and bicycles two of necessary articles a family should have for a marriage. "Baoshihua" is one of the most famous watch brands.

Most buyers had the same idea as Ye. They said the watch was a collector's item and a piece of nostalgia.

Zhang, a director of the sales department at the factory, said before the program was screened, few people visited their salesroom. But in recent days people were lining up to buy watches.

"About 500 people queued in front of the salesroom last Sunday," Zhang said.

"Baoshihua" was famous in the 1970s and 1980s. A "Baoshihua" watch cost about 100 yuan, or almost three times the average salary in those days.

There were few young people in the queue.

Zhang said there was one other shop on Changhua Road that sold "Baoshihua" watches.