I bought another soviet watch, and this one's a bit of a 'monster'

As in, a potential Frankenstein

This is my first Poljot, although there are clear indicators that this watch may have been bastardized, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you know what you're buying.

Poljot is one the most popular Soviet/post-Soviet watch brands - along with Raketa, Pobeda, Slava, Luch and Vostok. The acronym on the dial reads '1 МЧЗ', short (in Cyrillic script) for 'Moskovskiy Chasovoy Zavod', 'The First Moscow Watch Factory'. The brand can trace its roots back to the original 'First State Watch Factory', launched in 1930 under orders from Stalin.

The company was revamped in the early 1960s to celebrate the Soviet space programme and Yuri Gagarin himself, the first man in space, was gifted a manual-winding Poljot watch when he graduated from the Soviet air force flight school in the 1950s.

This particular piece is powered by a 17-jewel movement that may or may not be entirely original, but it's certainly been polished because there's no way a movement in a watch that dates back to the 1950s ('4-57' on the rotor, built in the fourth quarter of 1957) can look this good and crisp. It keeps good time and I've been able to determine that it holds a power reserve of about 40 hours.

The hands are new, no doubt about that, as is the crystal, but the biggest giveaway is the transparent case back because the Soviets wouldn't have built a case back out of glass back then, not in a million years. The strap is brand new, and boring, which means it's going to have to go at some point.

Total damage? Well, I got it from a flea market and the guy that sold it to me knew a lot about watches and even more about selling. Many of the watches he had were actually recased pocket watches, I noticed that and told him. And I also told him his €140 asking price was unrealistic and eventually got it for €50. I'm not 100% convinced the watch is worth it, but it is what I was willing to pay for it so I guess I'm happy.

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Comments (28)

  • I'm seeing alot of "I" and "My", but not enough "Our" . It's "Our" watch.

      1 month ago
  • I (sorry, we) actually have two Vostok Komandirskies and a CCCP/Slava in my (sorry, our) watchbox, Comrade.

      1 month ago
  • There is a certain charm to Soviet-era watches, I'm just a bit concerned about.....well, Soviet-era build quality. How accurate and reliable are these Russian-made watches anyway?

      1 month ago
    • in my experience, pretty reliable, not super accurate (if they're powered by manual movements, which they often are)

        1 month ago
  • That looks very nice

      1 month ago
  • It's beautiful

      1 month ago