Ancient timekeeper

Updated: 2015-01-13 08:25

By Wang Kaihao(China Daily)

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Ancient timekeeper

Porcelain watch dials are one of the most eye-catching features in Zhang Shuyang's design, which will be shown at this year's Baselworld. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"You have to have your independent thoughts to make sure you don't follow fads," says Zhang, who is proud of his collection. He'd rather pay a higher price to get "something worthy" than play in a market where speculative buying is in fashion.

Among his porcelain collection, "7501 Mao Ceramics", commonly considered to be the best since the founding of New China in 1949, is a highlight.

In 1975, the country's most renowned ceramic hub of Jingdezhen, in Jiangxi province, was asked to make porcelain articles of daily use for Chairman Mao Zedong. Only about 4,000 pieces were produced and some inventories were also later destroyed, making it rare to find "Mao Ceramics" in today's market.

In 2003, Zhang bought 92 such pieces, raising his profile as a collector remarkably.

"As a collector, it's only one side of my interest to gather fine pieces, and the other side is to promote culture," says Zhang while explaining why he took on the new role of a watchmaker. "Chinese artists didn't join in watchmaking for a long time in history, but today's major market is China. I wish to win a seat in something unique."