Blog Image

Vintage wristwatches

Welcome to my collection of Russian or Soviet era wristwatches.

The giant stones.

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, July 11 2020 11:30:56

Do you remember the giant stones that were in the way of my future foundation under my Barack?
I drilled some holes in them and prepared them with expanding cement the last time that I was here. It’s a good thing that I covered the stones. It’s been some heavy raining since then. Anyway. This is what happened.

cracking heavy rocks

They split but didn’t split exactly the way I wanted. Maybe I can lift them anyway?

They’re up, out of the hole. Just the right size for me to lift.

Heavy rock

The “Stingray” works just fine.

Vostok Amfibia, type 350 20 ATM

Changing the watch to wear

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, July 11 2020 04:16:57

The Poljot diver was fine to wear this week. Thought that it was time to change to another watch from the collection.
I’m going out to my minimal cabin and continue to dig out the hole for my foundation. The watch must be able to manage some tough wear. On the other hand, do I need a watch when I dig?

A big part of the collection.

This is a big part of my collection.

This watch might give a kind of fragile and weak impression but this watch is tough:

Vostok Amfibia, type 350.

It’s a Vostok Amphibian, type 350, with a 2209 movement. This is a 50 years old diver watch. It’s a stainless steel case that’s waterproof down to 200 m. I wouldn’t swim with it today. I’m not sure that the rubber gasket is fresh after 50 years.
The watch is one of the first Amphibians that Vostok did but I’ve replaced some parts of the watch. The bezel looks very much like the old black aluminum bezel but it’s a new component that I found on the net. I’ve added some color on the secondhand. The band is from a stingray.

What makes this watch special is really the caseback. It’s marked “Amfibia” instead of “Amphibian” that we usually see on these watches. Some of the oldest Amphibians had these ( Amfibia ) casebacks.

Poljot Amphibian

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, July 09 2020 02:40:41

A slow day at work with very shifting weather.

Poljot Amphibian

Poljot Diver

Visited an old hometown.

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, July 08 2020 03:55:49

Visited an old “hometown” last night. Uppsala. A lot has happened here since the last time I was here. The area around the train station has changed to the better I must say.



Ending the weekend

Wristwatches Posted on %AM, July 07 2020 04:24:19

Spent the weekend in my very small ( minimalistic) cabin in the countryside outside Stockholm.
The plan is to build a small foundation to place my small cabin on. The foundation is supposed to keep the Barack as dry as possible underneath and to keep the cabin or Barack stable.
The plan is to digg a hole in the ground with a little bigger dimensions than the Barack. Not too deep but a few decimeters. Then fill the hole with small rocks or gravel to level the ground out under the Barack.
It’s a lot of digging but I think it will pay off to do this properly. The rocks that I can’t lift out of there, I will split with expanding cement until they’re small enough to lift.


This is a hobby for me just as the watch collection is. Its fun and good exercise.
This weekend didn’t offer too many hours to be digging because of the rain. The best I could do was to drill those holes in the rocks and then try to split them with the cement. The thing is that it takes a few days for the cement to expand the maximum. This weekend I will go back to check if I managed to split the rocks in half.
The sky was turning grey so I thought it was best to end the weekend and go home. I covered the rocks from rain to keep the mixture of the cement intact.

Good thing I did because the rain and thunder poured down soon after.

Poljot Amphibian

Daily use watches Posted on %PM, July 05 2020 20:26:21

The sky gave an open space among the clouds up after a rainy day and gave me at least a chance to go for a walk along a small lake.

Poljot Amphibian

Poljot Amphibian

Raketa Polar

Wristwatches Posted on %PM, July 04 2020 19:53:29

Raketa Polar ( reissue )

A rainy Saturday turned in to a pretty nice evening. The only disturbance is the screaming seagulls far away in the distance. Everything else is silent. The days are very long in Stockholm around midsummer so there is no dark evenings.
I’m going to try to write about one of the best watches in my collection. The beautiful Raketa Polar. Be patient. Stay tuned. I’m looking for background material to the text. I want this to be good.

Raketa Polar

Original Polar print

This is a watercolor print from 1969, signed by one of the managers of the polarexpeditions. V.M. Rogachev.
I would say that from this print comes two watches. The Raketa Polar and the Raketa Antarktida. Two similar watches with different dials. They are technically the same. The same case. The same “Baltica” ( Raketa 2623 ) movement. The only difference is the dial.
The editions of the watches were limited and given to the members of the polarexpeditions and some other people related to the expeditions in the beginning of the 1970’s. I don’t know if they were given the watch before, during or after the expedition. I take it that the Raketa Polar was given to members of the expeditions to the North pole and the Antarktida was given to the members of the expedition to the South Pole.

The Raketa Polar is considered to be more rare than the Raketa Antarktida. Both of the editions are very rare today since relatives like to keep the watches within the family. Nobody knows how many of these watches were made. Probably a few hundred?

This is a photo of the Raketa Antarktida:
Raketa Antarktida

This is the Raketa Polar:
Raketa Polar

This case was used for only two watches. The Raketa Polar and the Raketa Antarktida.
The case is unusual for Raketa watches. The case is actually water resistant. Even more unusual is that inside the case, the movement is encapsulated in an antimagnetic steel barrel. The crystal attaches to the rim of the inner barrel which results in a very slim bezel. From the front, it looks almost like it has no frame.

Raketa Polar case Raketa Polar case

The Raketa Polar and the Raketa Antarktida is powered by an early, hand wound, 21 jewel movement 2623. Beats with a frequency of 18,000 bph. The movement is designed for the polar 24 hour watches. Sometimes you can see older 2609 movements modified to a 24 hour watch and it’s still ok but 2623 was designed for the original polar watches. The 24 hour watches were practical for the explorers because the light is very different in the polar environment. During the summer the sun never goes down which gives daylight the whole day and the winter is the opposite. The sun never rises which makes it difficult to know if it’s morning or night.

Raketa 2623 movement

Here comes the good part

The Raketa watch factory in St Petersburg is still making fine watches today, using “old school” methods. It’s got all of the old machines working. Some of the old staff is still working in the factory today. Ludmilla Y. Voynik was part of the Soviet team of engineers that developed the 24 hour movement in 1968-69 for the Raketa Polar watch. 50 years later, she is still working at the Raketa Watch Factory, heading the construction bureau. As such she spearheaded the limited re-edition of the manual Soviet Polar model.

Ludmilla, Raketa
Ludmilla Y. Voynik

Blue print, Raketa Polar

Raketa decided to make a small reissue of their legendary Raketa Polar last year. Thanks to their long tradition they have all blue prints saved. ( I think they have saved a lot of blue prints from their old watches. ) Some of the old staff ( Ludmilla is one of them ) is there to keep an eye on the process. The old machines is there – in working order – so the watch components is made “in house” just like the original. Small improvements has been made to this reissue but maybe one could say that this reissue is an extended batch of the original edition? The improvements that comes to my mind is the more modern 2623 movement and the stainless steel case.

Raketa movement 2623

Raketa Polar

If I bought a Raketa Polar?

Of course I did! I’ve been looking for this watch for several years. I’ve got a small fragment of Soviet history now. Even if I have a reissue of this watch the search for an original continues.
My watch arrived a few weeks ago.

Package from Raketa

Package from Raketa.

Raketa Polar watches

Signed by Ludmilla

Raketa Polar

Raketa Polar dial

Polar watches.

Vostok Amphibian 30 ATM, Type 350

Daily use watches Posted on %AM, July 03 2020 08:35:35

I’ve got some really cool watches in my collection. Some of them are pretty rare and I don’t like to wear them all the time but what’s the point in having a watch if you can’t use it? This is my favorite Soviet era watch. I like it so much that I’ve got several of them in my collection. A few of them I don’t use because I don’t want to damage them but this is a watch that I wear from time to time. Last week offered extremely good conditions for taking good photos in Stockholm so I wore the watch and took some really good snapshots during the night. A few parts on this watch has been changed by previous owners and later, by me.
The NVCh-30 is a military issued watch. It was part of the diving equipment onboard submarines.

« PreviousNext »