Likes Likes:  1
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Russian randomly: my watch journey

  1. #1
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949

    Russian randomly: my watch journey

    Inspired by Iyonkís suggestion, Iím going to share some of my watch journey with you

    Be gentle - Iím no Samanator or tribe, and Iíve escaped doing a proper SOTC up to now, just a few snaps of my watch box on the other place :-)

    (For those interested, I did a 3 thread series there on This Pilotís Watches, and started a Show off your Smiths! thread)

    Iím starting in an odd place, with the 30 watches Iím currently selling off to bring my collection down to itís well-worn core of 5 or so. But itís what Iyonk suggested, and whatís to hand, so..

    Some of these will come as a surprise: thereís 9 here Iíve never actually worn, for a start :-)

    Here are the group pics
    Iíll share the stories of the interesting ones in the next few posts, and then look at my core.

    Do feel free to comment, interject, ask questions, and be your general brilliant IWL selves

    Enjoy!



    Junkers European Flieger chronograph with Poljot 3133 engine (early 2000s)

    Ollech & Wajs Flieger chronograph with 70s Valjoux 7733

    White Strela chronograph with Poljot 3017

    Landeron chronograph with 70s Valjoux 7734




    Citizen 67-9119 flyback auto chrono day date, from June 1976

    Junghans J33 civvie pilot chronograph from 1950. Same gorgeous gilded movement as their issue Bund chrono

    Seiko 6138-3002 auto chrono day date from July 1976

    Poljot Aviator chronograph with Poljot 3133. NOS from 90s




    Seiko Pepsi midsize Scuba Diver 4205-0158 from Sept 1990

    Swatch YGS744 Charcoal Suit

    MWC Evo dual time PVD chrono

    Eurastyle 24hr with uncannily accurate pinwheel movement and fabulous sunburst




    Bit of a forum faves section here!

    The 2013 WUS Chinese forum watch in blue, with vintage (and striped) ST5 movement

    Aevig Corvid I quartz field watch with Ronda 703

    Zeno Explorer ĎZexí with 70s AS 5206 auto movement

    WUS HMT White Pilot Limited Edition




    Volna with Vostok 2809 precision movement and unusual (and v Russian) flowered dial

    Sekonda Alarm with Poljot 2612.1 mechanical alarm movement

    Timex 1970s homage to the Deville

    Prim TV dial watch (prob 80s) from Czech auction site Aukro




    Gagarin Shturmanskie homage with Sportivnie movement and case. A good looker for the watch Gagarin wore in space

    French Elgť from the 60s in a great pilot style

    Zim with blued hands - bought this for one of those Ďgreat watch for less doshí threads :-)

    Vostok wrist compass in a 60s Chistopol case


    Phew!
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  2. #2
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949


    And hereís where it all started, back in 1999, with an Agat stopwatch

    During flying training I needed a stopwatch to time navigation legs. Iíve never been good at quickly reading digital displays, but (Swiss) mechanical stopwatches on sale at the pilot shops were beyond my reach. What to do?

    Browsing eBay I realised there was an affordable alternative - Russian tech. With the USSR having collapsed only 8 years before there were lots of Soviet stopwatches to choose from

    £16? A bargain!
    It worked great

    Little did I know what seeds were being sown..
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  3. #3
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    Steady now folks!
    Donít forget the Chinese goddess hologram in Ďgoldí case



    Not to mention these others















    Actually, one of the joys to me of inexpensive, mostly Russian watches (as well as the lovely stamps on the parcels) has been the sheer bonkers variety of watches made. Youíd imagine a dull uniformity.

    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  4. #4
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    (Whatís slightly scary, as Iím doing image searches to find the best pictures of each watch, is that I keep finding watches Iíd completely forgotten I owned :-)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  5. #5
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    Thanks guys!

    Let’s take a wander through my first steps to WISdom..

    In 90s flying magazines, there’d been ads for a Russian watch called the Poljot Aviator. It had looked cool, and now in late 2012 I had cash. I returned to the web and woohoo! bought one for £40 from a confused UK seller who didn’t realise it had a screw down crown & thought it was broken


    Poljot Aviator I, early 90s

    It is clearly based on the Fortis Flieger (itself based on WW2 German B-Uhrs). The Fortis was a more faithful copy - larger and with straight lugs, and so mine didn’t last


    Fortis Pilot Pro (I went for this over the Flieger because of the minute markings, recommended by another pilot on Pil/Mil: they didn't add anything for me)

    I’d discovered a helpful forum called Watchuseek. Quickly tiring of the Pilot/Military nerds I found a home at f71 Affordables and the f10 Russian forums, where people kept posting beauties like


    Raketa Jet, 60s


    Vostok Komandirskie, 60s (known as a Zakaz or Chistopol Dirskie - after the markings and factory)


    HMT Janata, modern

    So I had to, didn't I

    (The HMTs from India were fascinating: vintage style but still being manufactured by a state corporation (then) and so affordable!)

    Not to mention the Chinese forum :-)

    DongFeng ST5, 70s

    I pored over blurry photographs, and picked up lovely vintage watches from across the globe, for an average of £25 each


    Smiths Jewelled, 1970


    Elgť, France, 60s, bought from China

    These last two were my daily wearers (the Aviator was a bit chunky for everyday, I felt)

    Then, I plunged in and bought my first chrono, a Seiko 6138-3002 ‘Jumbo’ came winging my way from the Philippines


    Seiko 6138-3002, 1976

    Here’s the post which inspired me to get the 6138
    http://www.thewatchsite.com/15-vinta...l#/topics/4088

    And more on chronos soon..
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  6. #6
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949

    Russian randomly: my watch journey

    Hanging around the Russian forum at the old place, Iíd fallen in love with Soviet chronos - particularly the black version of the fabled Poljot 3017 Strela

    The trouble was, there were a lot of dodgy ones about, redials, brutal frankenizations. How could a newbie like me find one that was legit?

    I chickened out, and looked at British and German issue pilot watches instead: the RAF Seikos (which had led me to the 6138), the German Bunds: Heuer, Junghans. But they were so expensive!

    But then I found a civvie Junghans J88* via a German watch dealer - great history, lovely gilded movement, and a fraction of the cost of a Junghans Bund. Done!
    *donít know why Iíve put Ď33í in my listing!


    Junghans J88 pilot chronograph, 1950

    Lots of info here from a guy who restored one: http://www.dirkfassbender.de/j88.html

    A lovely watch, but I found it a bit dressy for day to day. Also it looks quite like a.. (ssh, later!)

    Then, I treated myself to my first watchy Christmas present, a Sea Gull 1963 re-issue, the Watchunique version. 37.5 and acrylic crystal


    Sea Gull 1963 re-issue, Watchunique version, on a vintage Times of Plenty strap

    Aaargh! Why canít white watches actually be white! Loved this one, had lots of fun timing engine rundowns with this gaudy Chinese anachronism. But. Silver.

    So now, armed with a bit more experience of judging eBay listings and sellers, and with Polmaxís invaluable guide to picking out lemons http://www.polmax3133.com/guide.html I decided to dip my toes in the Strela waters and buy the later model, Poljot 3133.

    Laying aside the temptation of homages to the iconic OKEAH, I decided to go for an 80s civvie version


    Poljot 3133, 80s

    And here it is. Quite an ingot. Amazing power reserve, great character
    The internal bezel, like all internal bezels, turned out to be too slow to use for time-marking things at work. And the crystal was just too tall :-(

    And there I was, loving all the parcels coming in from the former Eastern bloc, picking out straps, doing eBay searches in Czech and Polish..



    ..And this happened!






    Poljot 3017 Strela, from 1979, the last year of production

    Ironically, with all my lurking on exotic corners of eBay, this came via the UK version, a poorly worded ad with blurry photos, from someoneís attic in the Isle of Wight



    But, wait a minute!
    Havenít *other* watches been into space?!

    I may have heard one mentioned around the forums..
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  7. #7
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    Thanks CFR!

    One weird thing about collecting vintage watches in an era when the past is being mined for inspiration is that re-issues of at least two have come out since I got my originals :-)

    The Sea-Gull Dong Feng re-issue
    Attachment 71444


    And the Junghans Meister Telemeter for the J88:
    Attachment 71443
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  8. #8
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    So what is it about the Strela?
    Attachment 71460

    5 months into my collecting, in early 2013, suddenly I've got one watch parked on my wrist.

    Firstly, despite the amount of things going on on the dial, it is very readable, thanks to the contrast of the silver and red-tipped hands against the black dial. (And yes, I have used the tachy and the tele, to time groundspeed, and to work out how far away lightning was, just because I could :-)

    Secondly, it is an interesting dial. The way the light catches the subdials from different angles is endlessly eyecatching. And I like the way it manages to be clean and functional but also well harmonised. Not Bauhaus, but a similar 'just enough' aesthetic.

    Thirdly, it dresses up and down very smoothly. Small enough to slide beneath a formal shirt cuff, and the whole look changed in a second by swapping from its usual Rios Springfield cordovan onto a black leather for formal, or grey nylon for summer casual

    Fouthly, the history. Used by the Russians in space*. Which quashes all those 'But are Russian watches accurate?' questions. If it was good enough for cosmonauts to hang their hats on, it is certainly going to work for bimbling about a bit of lower airspace

    And finally, because it is 'my' Strela, surprizing in 2 ways. When I got the watch, the green dot that should be in the loop at the tip of the chrono seconds hand was wedged in a corner of the dial. When I got it serviced, I asked my watch guy to leave it out, because I'd got used to the look.
    Someone on the Russian forum also commented that he'd 'never seen a dial like that before.' Which I thought was odd, as it is the commonest Strela variant (some of the guys over there have a Strela *drawer* in their vast collections!)

    Attachment 71461
    Strela dial variants

    But he said 'its like a starry sky.' Which, if you look carefully, it is. Lots of little silvery dots, which I guess are very light corrosion. Maybe that attic in the Isle of Wight was a bit damp? But kind of appropriate - a starry space watch :-)

    * http://www.netgrafik.ch/russian_space_watches.htm
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  9. #9
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    Wandering through a shopping centre, I saw a familiar looking watch in a battered red Omega box.
    Soon I was the proud owner of an Omega Speedmaster

    Attachment 71462
    Reduced.
    https://www.fratellowatches.com/spee...nal-moonwatch/

    I could see what everyone meant about the bracelet. I'm not normally a fan, but this was comfortable, and looked stylish without being too bling. OK, the Reduced has an auto movement, with the piggyback Dubois-Dťpraz 2020chrono module atop an Omega 3220 giving 46 jewels, but the 38mm was period authentic and in my ballpark.

    So now I owned *both* moon watches
    http://wristwatchreview.com/2011/08/...-moon-watches/

    Attachment 71463

    And now I had three inadvertent grails!
    The Aviator, because I didn't know what a grail *even was* when I drooled over it in my pre-WIS days, the Strela which I kinda liked then locked itself to my wrist, and the Speedy - every WIS's favourite grail, or so it seemed.

    This aspect now started to annoy me on the forums, as people treated me as if I had suddenly *got* watches with this new purchase.
    I also fretted about having that much money on my wrist.
    It couldn't be denied that it looked the part at work

    Attachment 71464

    but ultimately it just didn't feel like me. It wasn't *my* grail
    And I never seemed to make it 'sing' in photos, like Raza's wruw yesterday. It seemed flat. It wasn't speaking to me, so I let it go.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

  10. #10
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,949
    Continuing to audition for the vacant role of second chrono to the black Strela, I was fascinated to come across the 70s Citizen 8100/8110A auto chronos: https://sweep-hand.org/citizens-vintage-chronographs/
    Colourful and pioneering, many people know the bullheads

    Attachment 71466
    This model spoke to me, the 8110A powered 67-9119
    38mm, and packed with functions: auto chrono day-date
    But, fantastically, a *flyback* chrono!

    When flying over a turning point - a navigation beacon, say - you need to re-start your stopwatch to time the new leg
    (And yes, of course the aircraft has one. But - backups!)
    You're probably also changing heading, talking to air traffic and starting a climb/descent.
    Mnenomic: 'Time - Turn - Talk - Torque'

    And to do that with a conventional stopwatch, you need 3 button presses:
    Stop - the chrono (button 1)
    Reset - the chrono (button 2)
    Restart - the chrono (button 1 again)

    The beauty of the flyback chrono is that you just need one button push to 'stop-reset-restart,' saving stress at a busy time. Joy!
    Like the French Type XX chronos, but *lots* cheaper :-)

    *And* I just notice, looking at the pics, it has a countdown internal bezel (I still hadn't twigged about the slow gearing, but what the hey)
    This got regular use. It is a feature-packed little marvel


    Talking of Type XXs, I find a company on French ebay who make decent homages powered by 70s Valjoux 7734 (non flyback) movements.
    And then I spot that they do a sportier variant with an *external* CD bezel

    Attachment 71468
    Voila! Nice, n'est-ce pas?


    But ultimately, I'd like a second pilot watch (after the Aviator) with decent lume
    I've had too bright:

    Attachment 71469
    Momentum Atlas (an otherwise fab Ti field watch)

    and too dim, the tritium MWC G10:

    Attachment 71470

    Attachment 71471
    tritium tubes: always on, but quite low key

    The difficulty is, its got to work in this sort of environment:

    Attachment 71472
    so it mustn't destroy night vision, but not be overwhelmed by other light sources nearby

    Attachment 71473
    The answer is an Ollech & Wajs Flieger chrono, seen here with a Gloster Javelin in the background

    Another modern watch powered by a 70s Valjoux - this time the undated 7733 version.
    And lovely longlasting lume :-)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About Us
We are an independent and wide-ranging forum for watch enthusiasts. From mainspring to microchip, from Europe to Asia, from micro-brand to boutique - we cover it all. Novice or expert, we want you to feel at home. Whether it's asking a simple question or contributing to the fund of horological knowledge, it's all the same hobby. Or, if you like, you can just show us a picture of your new watch. We'll provide the welcoming and courteous environment, the rest is up to you!
Join us