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This little gem dropped in my inbox this morning via some heritage zealot (no i’m just kidding, you are heritage).
It’s not that I take issues with the idea of hipster white girls running all over Williamsburg, Brooklyn wearing Chinese heritage, either. And it’s not that I’m upset that some European or American (I’m sure) decide to reinstated these watches in a foreign market for 10x what it was worth (before the marketing). But equivocating it as heritage just does not sit well with me.
As much as I am averse to American heritage “revival”, it’s mostly for 1. the pseudoness, 2. exploitation and unoriginality, 3. lack of aesthetics in so-called “designs”. But this is cultural. These watches were first launched and produced in 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, a period that my family only remember with bitterness and smug distance. I just don’t see how it could be “heritage” when Chinese people aren’t trying to claim ownership. Furthermore, and maybe I’m overanalyzing the issue here, it almost glorifies this ascetic proletariat lifestyle which is especially heinous when you’re charging SUCH a margin on it. I’m sure the quality is better now than it was 40 years ago when Mao was all anti-capitalist glitz, which makes the crystal backed jawn freaking absurd. I mean, I get that it’s a revival, but whose heritage are you declaring when you say “heritage”? My mother certainly does not look back upon her gear as a teenager with any sort of longing fondness. It was a product of Communist uniformity and an imposition of power, not culture, you feel me? Secondly, and this point is unfortunate, but, Chinese people don’t look at items made on home turf with the same pride as Americans or Europeans whose HERITAGE created luxury do. Like, Chinese people have as much disdain for “Made in China” as any American, and it’s due to China’s status as a manufacturing exporting country. If you think exported goods are poorly made, the factories sell the products, that didn’t make the cut for overseas markets, to the Chinese (at a lower price, sure). And would it only be heritage on a Chinese person? Because, I reassure you, given $325, there is scant chance a Chinese person would buy this watch.
Applying the word heritage to an unknown country/culture whose heritage you clearly know nothing about is just like the faux-relating that get “wannabe” white boys who drop n-bombs beat up. Ya know? You understand my parallel?
Or, at the very least, this is bizarre.