Blog Image

Vintage wristwatches

Welcome to my collection of Russian or Soviet era wristwatches.

Vostok Amphibian Zissou

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, July 30 2021 07:57:34

Transitional Zissou


I found this old Vostok Amphibian diver watch a few weeks ago. It’s an iconic Zissou with an old “transitional” dial. The dial looked pretty good but the movement had seen its better days. I bought it because of the rare dial. An automatic movement for this watch is easy to find.
After a few weeks I got around to working with the watch. The new movements had arrived.
First, removing the dial:
Zissou dial Back of the Zissou dial.
The dial was in pretty good shape. Now, to transplant the movement:
Vostok Amphibian 2416b
Now it’s all in place. Let’s hope the components work fine together. I’ll let the watch run on the arm over night. Vostok Amphibian
It has stood the test. The old watch works fine with the brand new, automatic, 2416b movement. I might have extended the life for this beautiful Zissou by 10 – 20 years? It will be a great summerwatch!
Automatic wristwatch



Modifying ( improving? ) a 627 titanium Vostok

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, April 11 2021 05:09:23

I’ve got two of these rare 627 titanium case Vostok in my collection. Both with very rare dials.
According to a Russian collector these 627 titanium cases are rare. Only a few thousand of them were made in the beginning of the 90’s. This period is also known as the transitional period. A time in the Vostok factory when watches were put together with whatever parts that were available. Most of them sold outside of the U.S.S.R.
I don’t know about you? I’m a collector and rare watches are interesting to me but I also like to wear the watches in my collection from time to time. The interesting thing with the titanium watches is the titanium case. A bit larger than an ordinary Vostok case. The dials are interesting because they are rare but not so good looking to me. This particular dial is a Komandirskie dial with Komandiskie hands. I’ve never thought that it matches the Amphibian case so well. The idea to switch the dial to a better looking Amphibian Scuba dude dial striked me earlier and after a few glasses of wine, I got around to it tonight.

Vostok 627 titanium case

This might sound like a complicated operation to some of you but it isn’t. It’s just opening the caseback. Removing the crown and the movement, with the dial, falls out. Pretty easy, when you know how to do it.
There were no surprises with this operation on these two watches.

Vostok titanium

Inserting the movements in the new case is just as easy as removing them.

Scuba dude 627 titanium

The caseback of the automatic Scuba dude, with the antimagnetic shield, follows the movement to the titanic 627 case. I like the serial number that begins with the tripple zero on the Scuba dude caseback.

Scuba dude caseback

I think the 627 titanium case looks better with the Scuba dude dial. The original Komandirskie dial, with the submarine is kept safely in the Neptune case if I want to change it back.

Scuba dude 627 titanium



Easter Vostok

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, April 06 2021 17:39:34

Worked during the Easter and thought that I should wear one of the coolest watches in my collection.

Vostok old 710 Ministry case:

Vostok Ministry



Vostok Amphibian, type 350

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, March 18 2021 04:45:16

The Vostok Amphibian in the 350 case wasn’t the first Russian or Soviet era watch that I bought but I fast came to like it.

The watch looks kind of fragile but it’s a tough watch that’s been used in as tough environments as open space and in the deep sea.

It’s a diving watch. The civilian edition of this watch is waterproof down to 200 meters. There is a small, modified, military edition of this watch and it’s waterproof down to 300 m. It might not sound so impressive today but back in the late 60’s or early 70’s, when this watch was designed, it was very good. Considering the tools the Vostok factory had access to at that time, it was very impressive.

The military edition of this watch looks a bit different than the civilian edition but they are similar in many ways. I’ve got the military edition in my collection as well and I’m going to write more about those at another time.
One special feature with this watch is that the design of the case is very special compared to many other diving watches. It uses a compressor techique that makes the watch more waterproof, the more pressure that’s being put on it. Vostok didn’t invent this techique but they are using it very well.

————————————————————————————-

Here are some photos of the 350’s in my collection:

Vostok Amphibian prototype?

Early Vostok Amphibian that might be a prototype before the earliest Amphibians from Vostok.
The seller said that it is a prototype because the case is in chromed brass as opposed to all the rest of the Amphibians that are made of stainless steel. The shape of the caseback is also different than the caseback seen on the regular Amphibians. The hands on this watch is different than on the early Amphibians. There are some Amphibians with brass cases in other collectors collections and they’ve got the same kind of hands. The difference between this Amphibian and the Amphibians that are called prototypes is the logo on the back of the case. The logo on this case has the same position as the logos on the regular, steel, Amphibians while the logo on the prototype Amphibians are turned a quarter of a turn compared to the regular Amphibians. I pointed this out to the seller and he agreed. This was the only time that he saw a brass Amphibian with the logo like that and that makes this watch even more unique, he said. *lol*

Vostok Amphibian 350

Vostok diving

Russian watch

I’m not sure if you can see it but the serial number on the movement is very low. It says 16813. I don’t know if Vostok’s serial numbers are in chronological order but it’s the lowest serial number that I’ve seen on a 2209 movement from Vostok.

Vintage watch

————————————————————————————-

Watch #2

This watch is probably put together with different parts but the parts are very interesting. It will be a nice project to restore it to its original configuration later. The dial has the unusual cyrillic logo. Original neck tie hands with the small lumedot second hand. The domed crown. The domed acrylic glass. The aluminum bezel. Looking at the movement you can see that the movement is younger than the watch. The movement probably comes from a Vostok Amphibian Tonneau. It works so the movement stays for now. Since the dial has the logo in cyrillic I guess the caseback should have the writings in cyrillic but the caseback has latin letters.

Anyway, this watch works fine.

Vostok Amphibian Cyrillic

Amphibian caseback

Domed acrylic crystal

Vostok 2209

————————————————————————————-

Watch #3

I bought this watch from the American collector Paul Schnurr a few years ago. I think that everything on this watch is original. The cyrillic logo on the dial goes fine with the cyrillic markings on the caseback. The nice necktie hands with the small lumedot second hand. The original bezel in good shape. The crown is a bit worn so that the brass is a bit visible but it only gives character to the watch.

Boctok Amphibian

Boctok caseback

Boctok bezel

Boctok 2209 movement

Vostok serial number

————————————————————————————-

Watch #4

This watch came to my collection in a terrible shape but I’m slowly collecting parts to get the watch back to its original configuration. It was the dial with the cyrillic dial that got me interested in the watch. The hands has been replaced with new, handmade, replaced parts. The bezel is a new bezel that I made together with some friends. The crown is new but an original part for this watch. A great, domed, acrylic crystal in good shape.

Vintage Boctok

Vostok 2209 caseback

Domed acrylic Vostok

Boctok movement

————————————————————————————-

Watch #5

This watch is nice to wear. I put a stingray watchband on it. Matches good with the watch don’t you think? It’s an excellent “beater”. The caseback is the unusual “Amfibia” caseback. The dial with the latin text goes nice with the latin text on the caseback.

Wostok Amphibian

Vostok Amfibia caseback

Wostok domed crystal

Wostok 2209



Slava Sadko

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, December 24 2020 15:11:11

Look what Santa Claus brought to me!

Ok, ok, I bought it myself. I’ll write more about this iconic watch in another post at another time.

Slava Sadko



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



Next »