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Jet Jetski

My [Updated!] Russian Watches - From Chernushka The Dog to The Longest Space Flight Ever

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 A bit about my watches.
 
Given the focus on speed of production, the taxonomy of Soviet watches must be 'interesting',  and I have read several threads on what exact year watches were made with these exact hands, movements, cases etc, several ending in despair.  I work with pharmaceutical companies and know what it takes to control every product to conform to a precise specification (and control your suppliers' products upstream), and so I have decided to content myself with what are undoubtedly, to use a pedigree analogy, like 'wee broon dugs' at Crufts. There are many like them, but these watches are mine!
 
Pobeda: And I start with a watch similar to the one worn by a small black dog and allegedly the first watch in space.  I have seen a photo of the supposed watch, it may be a couple of mm smaller and /or have a screw back, but this is the closest I found (so far) made in the Petrodvoretz Watch Factory (as mentioned here  https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/actual-very-first-watch-space-4680659-8.html),  as opposed to the 1st Moscow Watch Factory.  It has a 'dustproof' 2-piece back, claims to be shock proof, and has the vaunted 5-star engraving on an otherwise identical movement.
 
image.thumb.png.c0d94b7c94e9a70c8a8286584de2e496.png
 
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a)  Made in Petrodvorets Watch Factory. Watch Factory. Mvmt Designation 2602. S/N Stamped 45130.  It has a 2-part back, and appears to have some rudimentary shock / water protection for the case, but no S/P on the balance staff.
 
b) Interesting fact:  A '2602' Pobeda movement was, possibly, the first watch sent into space, worn by Chernushka on Sputnik 4 [1].
 
The numbering of Russian space missions is confusing, e.g. Sputnik 4 was also known as Sputnik 9, so read the references if you feel exercised at all by anything I've apparently got wrong, and let me know if they are discredited.
 
c) Donor technology: French Lip R26 [2 i] Sometimes documented as R-25 [2 ii]
 
Sturmanskie: I bought it because it has a hacking 17 jewel movement, and Gagarin may have worn one - or a 15 jewel non-hacking.  Or a 15 jewel hacking.  But definitely not a Rodina, depending which website you check! I read the watch he wore is in a museum, but he didn't answer the phone, when I called him to check if it really was his. I like my 'insect' hands, my crown, and the winding / setting is ultra smooth.  My Velcro straps are made by a guy in Brighton - 'hook and loop' materials are very 'space race'! (and may have contributed to the Apollo 1 disaster)
 
IMG_20190815_065017632(1).jpg
 
Other Cosmonauts wore them too :
valentina-tereshkova-klein.jpg
 
 
a)  Made in 1st Moscow Watch Factory,   Mvmt Designation 2609[3]S/N Stamped 011564. Mine has the patent Russian 'Popoff'[4] back.
 
b) Interesting fact:  Originally, 3.3 metric tonnes [citation needed] of Radium was used to make each luminous Pobeda watch --  I can't find the first article I read where where a chap claimed his Sturmanskie was the 'worst' of his collection of Radium lumed watches, but I dug out more: "My Geiger counter has never screamed so loud" (Dougiedude, 2016) [5 (i)], and that is why original dials are scarce, and the survivors look wrecked.  The activated (phosphor) pigment does not glow any more, but the radioactivity of the radium mixed with it has hardly decreased. [6]
Photo showing effects of radium on a watch crystal:
Screenshot_20190420-214830(1).thumb.png.331fe9e40a234ffeba4c4354d90539ed.png
 
c) Donor technology: Pobeda K26 [7]
 
Poljot Chrono 'Strela': 
I bought it because: I used to be fascinated by slide-rules: this is like having one on your wrist.  I am a sucker for blued steel hands, and I also wanted a watch about my age / date of the first spacewalk.  The type of case and the serial number and the script on the dial & movement etc. all tie up too IMHO.
 
Just serviced by Greg at Woodland Technical and sweet as a nut.
 
IMG_20190813_071228598(2).thumb.jpg.b59895b37e9792c3ad6d49c30cb0d13a.jpg
 
 
 
a)  Made in Moscow Factory #1. Mvmt designated 3017. S/N stamped  23375 (stamp for 'jewels' is Cyrillic )
 
b) Interesting fact: The guts of the watch appear to have been made 1964/65 [8], making it (mostly) contemporaneous with Leonev's famous spacewalk. 
 
c) Donor technology: Swiss Venus 150 [9]
 
Vostok Amphibian : I bought my first one  because it had a lume pip on the bezel (and a picture of a submarine, obvs). But then I found a 'Wostok' with swing lugs, and the rest is (space) history!
 
IMG_20190828_091439827(1).thumb.jpg.18d0173621650b7e0e2ca0d5ac73c4da.jpg
 
9eec57952f4fece830dc0575d9df5338.thumb.jpg.30a98890d21dd62ca2b321df5fed7435.jpg
 
a) Made in Chistopol Watch Factory.  Case-back stamped 2209 and 20 atmMvmt  2209 (my other is a 2409A (Junior?[10]);
 
b) Interesting fact:  Georgy Grechko is said to have worn an Amfibian in 1975, on the 'Soyuz 17'  29-day mission (a record at the time) to Salyut 4 [11].
 
c) Novel technology: screw down crown, later copied by Rolex [12] This is just a tease, see sources below.  But the 'stem wobble' was novel [13].
 
Raketa 24H: I bought it because I had a blue and yellow strap, but no blue and yellow watch to put on it.  The patina on this one makes the typically deep cream dial a bit yellower.  Quod Erat Factotum!
 
No photo description available.
 
Although it's now on  Poljot bracelet.
 
a) Made in Petrodvorets Watch Factory. Mvmt designated 2623, stamped SU - the customary 'H', if it is there, is super faint - I imagine I can see the horizontal stroke perpendicular to the brushing pattern of the steel, but it might be a plain old 2623.
 
b) Interesting fact: Although models of this 'polar' watch were supposedly developed for people for whom day/night references were unavailable or irrelevant - including submariners and cosmonauts [14] - I have found no evidence that a Raketa 24H actually went into space.  However Pavel Belyayev piloting the craft from which Leonev made his spacewalk apparently wore an experimental 24 hr watch which is super rare https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/has-any-homage-ever-been-made-super-rare-russian-space-watch-2510986.html.  There is a good looking homage to that watch by Sturmanskie - I like my 'space rocket'.
 
c) Novel technology: "The factory was the first in Russia to move to automated production line assembly of timepieces and exported to more than 38 countries." [15]
 
Sturmanskie Chrono : I bought it to round off with another Sturmanskie hacking movement - also the chunkier hands look good, and the lume also starts farther down the hands than other examples I have seen, so it does not get obscured by the second-hand balance. However most have more slender and silvery (less industrial) hands, I put that down to ChasProm sleeking up the design for the export market!  The lume on the dial and hands is consistent in colour, glow (hardly!) and texture, so I'm happy - there are lots of obvious re-lumes and re-dials out there.
 
IMG_20190619_223434495(1).thumb.jpg.9e254b228729e8e1de8a2c8438e8b9f2.jpg
 
a) Made in 1st Moscow Watch Factory. Mvmt designated 31659 
 
b) Interesting fact : Worn in open space by Alexander Polyakov -  "3 watches worn by board engineer Soyuz TM-16/MIR-13 expedition Alexander Poleshuk during his 179 days flight in 1993.All mechanical.Russian `Shturmanskiye` watch worn by him during EVA.Russian `Polyot` and French watches worn on board of MIR station only." [16]
 
c) Donor technology: Poljot 3133 (hacking seconds complication added) [17]
 
'Strela' chrono re-issue:  I bought this because I wanted a 3133, but didn't want a Poljot with yet more dodgy lume, or another a gaudy motif on the dial (one submarine and one flying bomb is plenty).   My leather one-piece RAF style NATOs come from David Boettcher at vintagewatchstraps.  This is light chestnut - the tan leather bund is direct from Italy.
 
No photo description available.
 
a) Made in Sturmanskie Volmax Maktime factory somewhere [don't start me off]  Caseback engraved 147/999, I couldn't make out the serial number, it's obscured by printing on the display back, and now it's on a one piece strap.
 
b) Interesting fact: Valeri Polyakov wore a Poljot 3133 in 1994 while setting a record for the longest ever space-flight aboard Salyut 7. [18]
 
c) Donor technology: Swiss ETA 7734 [19]
 
REFERENCES:
 
   
3] Sturmanskie Sources (Always looking for better evidence): 
 
i) Picture of a 15 jewel 2608 non-shock protected movement with hacking centre seconds here http://watchguy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_6140.jpg 
 
ii) "Later it was upgraded to 17 jewels and shockproofing ... Those are the only hacking variants of the centre-second Pobeda-type movement." from https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/sturmanskie-16-jewel-303275.html 
 
iii) 2608= non-shockproof ; 2609 = shockproof. From https://www.netgrafik.ch/russian-codes.htm
 
4] Please credit me and cite this thread if you use the 'Popoff back' joke.
 
ii) https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/ural-radium-637809-2.html includes geiger counter video and frightening stats from a collector
   
 
 
9] https://strela-watch.de/company/strela-history/
 
 
 
12] i) I derived this joke from The Watch Forum : Wrench. 2019. Quoted from https://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?/topic/126787-steinhart-ocean-one-39/&tab=comments#comment-1364409 
 
ii) There are good papers by David Boettcher on Borgel waterproof watches, the British 'Submarine' watch, and Rolexes: 
respectively.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1 hour ago, Jet Jetski said:

Poljot Chrono 'Strela'

They're all interesting watches, but the Poljot Chrono is the one I would go for. Just love the look of it.

 

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2 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

the Poljot Chrono is the one I would go for

thanks - it is quite iconic, and I looked at loads before deciding on this one, but although I paid the upper end of prices at the time, I think it was worth it

the other watches are just to keep it company, although I wear the 3133 'Ctrela' a lot, with it being new, and having shock resistance unlike the old Poljot

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3 hours ago, Karrusel said:

a bit Russian

Yes, and usually a bit American or French, or German or Swiss too, apparently!

I have come across the opinion several times, and I think it is fostered by the factory too, that Raketa are the 'high-born' of Russian watch-makers, and that they make everything in-house including the hairspring; also came across this interesting tidbit on a TZ-UK forum, but not attempted to validate it:

"  Since I started this thread, I've actually bothered to do a bit more research and it turns out these watches are even more impressive than I first thought. Raketa have been employing a number of ex-Rolex personnel and have now made a brand new in-house 28800 bph COSC automatic movement (including manufacturing their own hairspring) which will be installed in these watches."

But the thread also said the company is now Swiss owned :sign_what:  - must start looking for a COSC certified Raketa!

And thanks for the thanks - I hope that I have learnt quite a bit since I started taking a deeper interest in watches (umm, about 9 months ago), but, of course, it is only thanks to forum members like you guys that a novice can get a scaffolding of history and craft on which to hang or formulate purposeful enquiries, to navigate one's chosen horological rabbit hole!

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What an absolutely fabulous article made My Sunday whilst watching the Old Firm derby thankyou for posting a truly enjoyable read.

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15 minutes ago, Boeing777 said:

What an absolutely fabulous article made My Sunday whilst watching the Old Firm derby thankyou for posting a truly enjoyable read.

Very much appreciated - your kind words made my Sunday!

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On ‎30‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 22:30, Jet Jetski said:

a chap claimed his Sturmanskie was the 'worst' of his collection of Radium lumed watches

He is brave to go near it, the factory workers who handled radium were still glowing in their graves when they went to examine them to work out why they died.

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Just putting this pic here of Leonev's space suit from the first space-walk, on which he either did or din't wear a Poljot 'Strela' ...   I think I see some velcro on his right sleeve to hold the fabric flap up!

Name:  012.jpg Views: 400 Size:  788.8 KB

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12 minutes ago, Jet Jetski said:

Just putting this pic here of Leonev's space suit from the first space-walk, on which he either did or din't wear a Poljot 'Strela' ...   I think I see some velcro on his right sleeve to hold the fabric flap up!

Name:  012.jpg Views: 400 Size:  788.8 KB

Gosh that looks pretty basic to the stuff the American Astronauts wear I watched a superb part film/part documentary on the legendary Sergei Korolev a true visionary but harshly treated by the Stalinist regime until they realized his potential.

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On 01/09/2019 at 14:28, Boeing777 said:

Gosh that looks pretty basic to the stuff the American Astronauts wear

I posted another thread about the Leonev mission with some amzing video.

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