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Vintage wristwatches

Welcome to my collection of Russian or Soviet era wristwatches.

Vostok Amphibian 300 m.

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, January 07 2020 04:13:32

NVCh-30

My wristwatch collection is for wearing. It’s like a wardrobe but with wristwatches instead of clothes for me.
Finding my way to the Russian wristwatches made me realize how much more wristwatches I could have in the wardrobe for the same money as a few Swiss wristwatches. Ok, the quality isn’t the same but the charm is.

I saw how much history and mystery there is around the Russian wristwatches. Doing the research has been half the pleasure. I don’t know everything about the wristwatches and might have misunderstood some things. Please feel free to comment the wristwatches. Add information about the watches or just say hello.

Best regards,

/Johan K.



Poljot Okeah

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, November 21 2020 13:15:03

I thought that I should write something about the Poljot Okeah that recently came into my collection. I did some research about the wristwatch before I bought it of course but my intention is to gather some of the information here. Don’t know if it’s possible but I’ll try. Consider this a “living document”. Here is a guide with very detailed information about the 3133 movement for those that want to study the evolution of the Poljot 3133 chronographs closer. Guide to Poljot 3133 chronograph watches
The Okeah wristwatch came in late in my collection. I’ve been trying to keep a straight line with marine watches only and I know, the Okeah is a marine watch. It was originally given to officers in the Soviet Union Navy but it was a bit too Swiss for my collection. Don’t get me wrong. The Swiss watches are fantastic! The best in the world but my collection is about Soviet era wristwatches.
The Okeah is developed from the Swiss Valjoux 7734 movement. Very much in this wristwatch is Swiss. The machinery and patents was bought from the Swiss Valjoux factory in the mid 70s since it was outdated there. Poljot then modified the movement so that it runs with the frequency 3 Hz ( 21 600 vph ) instead of the original 18 000 vph from the Valjoux 7734. Poljot added 6 more jewels to 23 jewels compared to the original movements 17 jewels.
The first Poljot Okeah was made 1975. The first chronograph “Okean” (caliber 3133) was produced for the space station “Sojuz-23.”

Poljot Okeah

I bought the Okeah with a very comfortable leather strap. It looked good but found an original Okeah metal bracelet to match with this iconic watch.

Okean

Poljot

Changing the bracelet was easy. No surprises.
My wrist isn’t very small. It’s not very big either but it’s not that small. The bracelet was gigantic! I regulated the bracelets clasp or lock almost to the bottom of the scale and the bracelet would sit just loose. The clasp was – in some positions – sticking out from the bracelets links in a way that it could get stuck in my clothes or something else. I don’t like to change things on these rare wristwatches. Regulate watches is one thing but changing or modifying is another. If I keeped the bracelet like it came, I would risk loosing the whole wristwatch. The bracelet might open by it self and fall off. Better to remove a link so that the bracelet fits properly. Pretty easy done and I’m saving the link of course.

Okeah bracelet

The original crystal is a flat acrylic glass. Not domed like for instance Vostok Amphibians. I wouldn’t call this a diving watch like the Amphibians anyway.

Okean crystal

The caseback on these early, military issued, Okeah:s are supposed to have this caseback. Poljot later produced Okeah chronograph also for the civilian market but those didn’t have this caseback. The cases on those civilian Okeah was chromed brass. The cases for the military issued Okeahs was made in stainless steel.

Poljot Okeah caseback

Judging by the guide that I mentioned above I would say that this watch is from about 1981.

Poljot Okeah 3133 movement

I don’t know if this photo show so much but on some watches you can see traces of a human hand polishing the watch before going out to the first owner. I take it that there was some craftmanship in making these watches. These small traces is one of the things that I like with the Russian watches. It’s not just machines all the way to a finished watch.

Poljot Okean lugs

Okeah



A project for a cold, dark winter night.

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, October 21 2020 21:44:11

Raketa Record
Raketa is one of my favorite Russian watchbrands. While Vostok and other Russian watchbrands are making tough watches, Raketa’s watches can be more elegant.
This is a franken watch. The dial is pretty rare and beautiful. The dial should sit in a watch called Raketa Record together with a case that’s as unusual as the dial. This case is good looking but it doesn’t belong together with the dial. The case could work fine with some other Raketa dial. The hands in the watch are also wrong but I’ve got no plans for those.
My plan is to find a case for the Record dial and to move the dial and movement to that case. The empty case will be saved while I hunt for a dial and a Raketa 26xx-movement to place in it.
Raketa wristwatch
When I found the Raketa Record dial in the wrong case I found the Raketa Record case with the wrong dial at the same time. Not a perfect match but a pretty good match. Since one case is already empty – where the Raketa Record dial used to sit – I bought a Raketa dial with movement for that case.

Raketa casebacks
The watch with the Record case didn’t work that well but it was the case and hands that I was after.
Inside the watch was a Pobeda 2603 movement in pretty bad shape.

2603 Pobeda?

The watch with the Record dial worked pretty good and had an original Raketa movement. It didn’t have a second hand but I thought it was just lost.

2603 Raketa

Raketa Record case

I made the watchcase for the Record watch free.

Raketa Record

Inserted the movement and dial into the watch case. The hands were a bit tricky to get in place and the second hand was just impossible to get right. I remembered that the second hand was missing from the beginning.

Raketa record

Raketa Record

Raketa Record

Now I’ve got two of these beautiful Raketas in my collection. One as a collectible piece and one that I might use as a daily beater.

How I did with the other watch? I just used the spareparts. The hands are not my favorite but I’m pretty satisfied with the rest and the best of all is that it works fine. The ticking is strong.

Raketa wristwatch Raketa wristwatch Raketa wristwatch Vintage Raketas



Raketa “Zero”?

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, October 14 2020 18:51:07

My collection of vintage watches is pretty full but I still scroll down the list of Russian watches for sale out of old habit, just in case something really unusual turns up. I’m in some different projects to get a copy of watches that are impossible to find but the collection is pretty full. Some of the watches that I have two of might leave my collection eventually.
This summer this watch turned up in the list of watches. It looks like a Raketa “Big Zero” but I doubt it’s from Raketa. I don’t know why I doubt, I just do. Anyway, it looked too good to just let it pass. I bought it. It arrived last week. It’s a Raketa case in chromed brass. The movement is probably the old 2623 movement. I haven’t opened it yet. It says Raketa on the dial but I think that it’s just a very, very nice remake by some hobby watchmaker or if it’s Raketa that’s playing around with their own designs.

I sometimes get comments from friends about my watches since they know that I’m a collector. This watch gets a lot of comments. Many of my friends like it. It’s pretty cool.

Raketa Zero ?

Raketa caseback

Raketa ?

Raketa wristshot



The moose family

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, September 08 2020 01:16:50

I know that this blog is supposed to be about vintage wristwatches but I have to let you see what passed by my little yard out in the countryside outside Stockholm last night.
That’s a cow with a pretty young calf. I’ve heard that walking between the cow and the calf would make the cow furious. The mother would attack with a guaranteed lethal outcome for me. It’s a good idea not to disturb them so I stayed cool.

Moose

Moose

And just because the blog is about wristwatches I have to show what wristwatch that I was wearing at the time. It’s a Vostok 2209, type 350. I’ve put a watchband from a Stingray on it and the wristwatch has grown to be one of my favorite vintage watches to wear on daily basis.

Vintage watch Vostok 2209 type 350



Slava Amphibian

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, August 20 2020 10:51:11

The last few days has offered some really nice weather with a clear blue sky and temperatures well over 25 degrees Celsius. I took the time to get out of Stockholm to visit my parents for a few days. My father likes to play golf so there was a visit to the golfcourt as well.
The watch on my arm is one of the best looking wristwatches in my collection. The Slava Amphibian.
The wristwatch is powered by a twin barrel 2414 movement made by the Second Moscow Watch Factory. The two mainspring barrels drive the minute wheel simultaneously. The case is in stainless steel with 20 mm lugs. The dial of the watch is very much inspired by the legendary diving watch Zodiac Super Seawolf.
The Slava diver is a very rare watch that was produced for a short time sometimes in the mid 1980’s. There is speculations that the watch was never shipped by the factory at all. This scenario is made credible by the fact that there seems to be a big variation in the kinds of hands seen on the few pieces that are out there. There are also different case backs. This supports the idea that employees were sneaking unfinished pieces out of the factory and completing them with whatever hands they could get a hold of.
It can be seen in Slavas catalogue so it must have been officially released by the factory.
Here are some photos:
Slava Amphibian
Wristwatches
Amphibian watch
Diving watch
Slava Amphibian



Vostok Amphibian Zissou

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, August 17 2020 09:59:57

Vostok Amphibian Zissou

Giving my Zissou some air. This is a wristwatch that I bought early in my collection. A wristwatch with an automatic 2416b movement in a 420 case in stainless steel. The dial is the Zissou. It’s called Zissou because Bill Murray wore a watch like this when starring in the movie “Life Aquatic” where the main character is called Zissou.
The odd thing about this dial is that it doesn’t say anywhere on the dial where the watch is made. I guess it makes the watch a “transitional” watch? That’s what watches – that was made in the short period after the collapse of the Soviet Union but before the period when Russia was established as a country – are called.
The second hand used to “jump around” in a nervous way when rotating around the dial but now it’s calmed down and moves pretty smooth.
As a small collector of wristwatches I like to see the watches in the condition where they are as near their original configuration as possible but I see no harm in changing bezels and other stuff that are easy to change back to the original state. Just as long as the watch isn’t damaged.
What do you think?
I’ve changed the bezel on my Zissou to give it a more summer look.

Wristwatch



Reshaped Vostok Amphibian

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, August 01 2020 05:24:57

Y’all remember the rock that was in my way from last week?

granite rock

Well, it’s not anymore.

splitted rock

Found this strange shaped Vostok a few years ago. I liked the shape so I bought it. Maybe it’s some kind of prototype that’s come outside the factory walls, I remember thinking. I asked some good friends but this is some kind of private project. A factory worker that’s done something during a coffee break. The seller claimed that it’s made by Vostok. I liked the shape anyway and the unique look.

Reshaped Vostok Amphibian barrel

Vostok Amphibian 2209 ( barrel)

Vostok Amphibian

The 18 mm band is the only detail that I didn’t like. I’m liking the 22 mm bands more.

Vintage wristwatch

Never thought that I would buy a Russian metal bracelet but now I tried one on the reshaped Amphibian and it’s quite comfortable. Looks better than with the leather strap.

Vintage Vostok Amphibian

Wristshot

Vostok Amphibian wristshot



Domed crown for Vostok Amphibian 2209

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, July 30 2020 23:54:16

A few years of collecting Russian watches has left me with a small stock of spareparts. It’s not organized in any way but I try to be careful with the spareparts. They might come in handy some day or I might even be able to help another collector improve their watch. As a collector, almost nothing gets thrown away at my place.
Some of my watches has come to me in a pretty poor condition. The charm with the Russian watches is that even if the watch looks in a poor condition the watches often works. Replacing a bezel or replacing a crown can radically change the look of the watch. Giving them many more years in use.
I found this little lot among my spareparts tonight. The cromed brass crown for Vostok 2209 is often pretty damaged after many years of daily use.

Vostok 2209 domed crown



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