Sunday, 23 November 2014


 15J original Sturmanskie,as used by Gagarin 3rd Q 52. I have said before how these are my favourite Russian watches.And one of the only Russian watches,that can be guaranteed "issued".In my opinion,they are still undervalued,and can be picked up cheaply.I bought this of a new seller,to me, from Ukraine.Thank you Natalia.The watch needed reluming,so i thought i would show the reluming process,in my own rather chaotic fashion! SOLD.
 Here is the watch with crystal removed,showing its original dial,in beautiful condition.
 Here hands have been removed,and are located upside down,on a tooth pick,already having had the lume applied,using a watch oiler.[always apply the lume on the hands underside]. SOLD
 I know it looks a bit like a car crash,thought i would show the lume,during the mixing process,it takes a bit of patience to achieve the correct "antique shade". SOLD
 Hands re lumed,and remounted,crystal still off.A quite satisfactory result.
 The job completed.Keeping excellent time.A treasured addition to the collection SOLD.
Picture of the Hacking movement,courtesy of Natalie. SOLD

Because of my limited budget now,i thought i would never be able to afford an original 15j Sturmanskie again,and in such good condition.It just goes to show with a little patience,bargains,are still out there.Very pleased.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Siegfried Sasoon. Christ And The Soldier. 1916. Rememberence Week.

 Siegfried Loraine Sassoon. CBE. MC.

Christ And The Soldier. 1916.

The straggled soldier halted -- stared at Him -- Then clumsily dumped down upon his knees, Gasping
"O blessed crucifix, I'm beat !"

And Christ, still sentried by the seraphim, Near the front-line, between two splintered trees, Spoke him:

"My son, behold these hands and feet."

The soldier eyed him upward, limb by limb, Paused at the Face, then muttered,

"Wounds like these Would shift a bloke to Blighty just a treat !"

Christ, gazing downward, grieving and ungrim, Whispered,

"I made for you the mysteries, Beyond all battles moves the Paraclete."
The soldier chucked his rifle in the dust, And slipped his pack, and wiped his neck, and said --
"O Christ Almighty, stop this bleeding fight !"

Above that hill the sky was stained like rust With smoke. In sullen daybreak flaring red The guns were thundering bombardment's blight. The soldier cried,

"I was born full of lust, With hunger, thirst, and wishfulness to wed. Who cares today if I done wrong or right?"

Christ asked all pitying,

"Can you put no trust In my known word that shrives each faithful head ? Am I not resurrection, life and light ?"

Machine-guns rattled from below the hill; High bullets flicked and whistled through the leaves; And smoke came drifting from exploding shells.

Christ said

"Believe; and I can cleanse your ill. I have not died in vain between two thieves; Nor made a fruitless gift of miracles."

The soldier answered,

"Heal me if you will, Maybe there's comfort when a soul believes In mercy, and we need it in these hells. But be you for both sides ? I'm paid to kill And if I shoot a man his mother grieves. Does that come into what your teaching tells ?"

A bird lit on the Christ and twittered gay; Then a breeze passed and shook the ripening corn. A Red Cross waggon bumped along the track. Forsaken Jesus dreamed in the desolate day -- Uplifted Jesus, Prince of Peace forsworn -- An observation post for the attack.

"Lord Jesus, ain't you got no more to say ?"

Bowed hung that head below the crown of thorns. The soldier shifted, and picked up his pack, And slung his gun, and stumbled on his way.

"O God," he groaned,"why ever was I born ?"

The battle boomed, and no reply came back.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


I have been trying to get the remaining collection,in some sort of order.Thought i would take a picture of my Russian Divers,i find i am wearing these watches more and more,the main reason being,as i have mentioned before,there ease of sight. The Raketa Diver,always was,and is a particular favourite.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Extremely Rare Slava Amphibian. An Ongoing Restoration. SOLD.

As well as a core of 50 watches in my collection,i still have several restorations on the go. Mainly because the watches themselves are rare,and parts are hard to come by.
I bought this extremely rare Slava Amphibian,many years ago,the dial had been replaced with a more modern Slava Dial.The original dials on these Slava Divers,do seem to suffer from premature ageing,a bit like the Poljot 30j diver  still in my collection.
Since i got the Slava Amphibian,i have been looking for an original dial,i have tried all of my contacts,and drawn a blank.
Recently,i have been thinking of putting the Franken dial,back on,so that i can at least use the watch,it is a large watch with some presence.I shall have a think about it.

Saturday, 11 October 2014


As i have said before,i have not been collecting Russian watches recently,but i do still go to second hand markets when i have the time.

I recently bought this Trench watch at one such market,i am not an expert on these,but it felt right,and i was very taken with the very sad story that emerged when i read the accompanying paperwork.
The box, with the watch,had just been thrown in another larger box,as if it had just been discarded.

 At this point,i would like to thank David at[link on the right hand side of this blog],for his freely given time and knowledge regarding the basic pin pallet movement,and watch itself,when asked later via e.mail.

On the Case back is a dedication,to an officer in the RFC, Lt.G.J.Hatch [Royal Flying Corps,precursor to the RAF], with a very old hand written note giving the history of the young man,who tragically was killed in action 6/4/17.

Lt. G. J. Hatch. was attached to No, 8 sgn,He had the misfortune to have to fly an aircraft called the Be2c, two seater, [The Be2c was responsible for the slang term Fokker Fodder]. An aircraft designed by the Royal Aircraft Factory and was obsolete before  it was introduced years earlier. He was shot down,along with his observer  Cpl. E.Langridge, by  D.R Frankel, who was C/O of  Jagdstaffel 4, [and an "Ace"].Saddly. D.R Frankel, was killed in action,just two days later on  8/4/17, [Bristol Fighters], flying an Albatross D111. [D.R Frankel, who was Jewish,also suffered from anti Semitesm,mainly,at the hands of a certain H .Goering,future head of the Luftwaffe].

 As well as 1st ww poetry, i have always had an interest in 1st ww aircraft types, and the Be2c, was a particularly poor design. I do wonder how an aircraft such as the Be2c, which was obsolete during the Fokker scourge, [Fokker Eindekker,1916], was still flying in 1917 and facing an Albatross D111, which technically was light years ahead.The increasingly unfashionable term, Lions led by Donkeys does come to mind.

The men who had to go up in them,were to say the  least,very,very brave,with incredibly high casualty rates.

I will be sending the watch to Steve Burrage,who hopefully can work another miracle,the watch is running,but is galloping.

Whatever the out come i will treasure it.

Saturday, 4 October 2014


I was extremely sad to learn that,My friend Mischa recently had his watch collection stolen.
The collection itself was quite breathtaking,with some extremely rare and definitive watches.It took Mischa many years of hard work and great knowledge to aquire.The only good news is, the fact that, neither he or any family were injured during the act of theft.
Please follow the link Mischa has provided,to see the watches involved.

The watches are extremely rare and distinctive,so should be easy to spot if and when they come up for sale, either privately,by e.mail,or on any of the popular auction sites.
Thank You.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

300m amphibia [An ongoing story]

The joys of owning Vintage  watches. I have tried to auction this 300m vostok 3 times so far,each time i have had to withdraw it due to maintenance issues.I would never sell a watch,in a condition that would disappoint me,if i were the buyer.So have decided to keep it,i will eventually send to Steve's,and have repaired.
My apologies for any inconvenience to those bidding.

Sunday, 29 June 2014


I have had many requests to reinstate the blog again.Although i still have 40 odd Russian watches,i will not be collecting anymore.I will try to keep in touch via the blog with any questions,[favourite blog updates]etc,but please bare with me if ,i only drop in from time to time.
Thank You.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Re;Selling Watches.

Over the coming weeks,i will be selling most of my collection,[apart from the watches,that have been given to me as gifts or mementos].
Mainly for personal reasons,but,also because,i have realised,due to my limited budget,most of the watches that i would like to acquire are now out of my price range,by several multiples.
When i eventually close the blog down,the one thing i will miss,is all the very pleasant people i have met from around the world,through there love of watch collecting.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Favourite watch links Update.Andrew`s Great site.

Just updated my favourite watch links section with Andrew`s great site at
He has some beatiful and rare Russian watches,with great back ground information on Russian watch Industry.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Early Volna Precision Cal;2809 [Illustrated Dial].

Just received this lovely Early Volna Cal;2809 precision.I have been looking for one of these "rose" illustrated precisions for a long time.The problem has always been condition.These dials tend to deteriorate badly,so the ones for sale are either chronic redials or in hardly legible condition.

I realised i am never going to be able to either,find or afford one in exemplary condition,so picked this one,its in good condition,[though with obvious patina],has a nice correct, early movement which keeps excellent time.And,it was extremely affordable,something that,i am afraid,is becoming increasingly important to me.

The Trusted seller from Ukraine,was fast and efficient and managed to get it to my door in a hand full of days,which once again,is extraordinary,considering the sad and worrying events going on in that country.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Luch Cal;2209 Ultra Thin Received

These watches are criminally under priced.Just received this one from a very efficient seller from Ukraine.This is a late era Luch,possibly late 80`s,going by the funky font on the dial.
These watches never cease to fascinate me,the thin movements look so delicate,and yet seem to survive in large numbers.
They really do look great on the wrist,very understated.
One of the more common problems,is rough winding,but this one is sweet and smooth.
Where could you get a swiss calibre ultra thin watch for around £20.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Military "issued" Poljot, [1st MWF] Sturmanskie Cal;31659 Hacking Received.

I have just received this Military Poljot Stainless Steel "issued"[1-88] watch,it has the correct Cal;31659 Hacking Cal` movement installed.

I originally bought the watch from a seller on e.bay under the "offer" process.The watch was in poor condition,lume had fallen off and the hands were badly stained,The price of these Military Sturmanskies,would normally have been well out of my price range.But because of the damage,this one was cheap.

A trusted seller i have used many times in the past,[thank you Slava],interceded on my behalf,at point of sale.When he received it from the seller,he realised it needed serious mechanical repair.He then went ahead,and organised a complete mechanical and cosmetic overhaul,including reluming of dial and hands,using his own watchmaker.This he did completely free of charge.

I was completely unawhere he had done this.imagine my surprise when i received this,now,beautifully restored watch,keeping excellent time and working perfectly,including the hacking complication,[a common fault on these].

I find all of this completely overwhelming,especially when you consider Slava and his family are going through all of the worrying upheavals in Ukraine and all of the personal uncertainties this entails.

I will treasure the watch.Thanks once again Slava.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Extremely Rare Military Vostok Precision Cal;2809A Received.


This watch is extremely rare.I have enclosed a period cat` page from 1968 showing the watch.
It has the Correct Vostok 2809 A movement installed.

I never actually thought i would ever add this rarest of the Vostok precisions,to my collection.
It was for sale on e.bay U.K,of all places,it went for a ridiculously low price,most undervalued.
The extremely honest seller/collector,had shown excellent pictures,i can only assume the other bidders out there had not done there homework and thought it was a Franken [Fake].

I have only seen this type a hand full of times on the Russian forum,[the best and most knowledgeable forum].

The seller advertised it as having military connections,and there is anecdotal evidence that it could have been military issue.
Great Result.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Another Restored Cal;2415 Poljot Automatic.

Another Classic Poljot Automatic Cal;2415 Restored from the depths of my parts bin.Although not one of more memorable dial types,it`s still a valued addition to the collection.The crown is a temporary replacement,,just to get the watch ticking again.Keeps exceptional time.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Franken Of The Week. 17j Sturmanskie Gagarin.

After a few requests,have decided to do a few more "Frankens Of The Week".
I have seen a few of these Imitation 17j Sturmanskies appearing on e.bay.
Biggest give away,Dial.look at the font used for Sturmanskie.The letters should follow an upright stance,and not curve round,as they do on this dial.
And of course the hands,although the correct shape,are not blued,they have been painted black.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Raketa Ultra Thin Cal;2209 in beautifull condition.

Just received this Raketa cal;2209 in beautifull conditionI have said many times before,how much i love these quirky Raketa`s.I will upload a picture of the movement when time permits.
Keps exceptional time.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

15j And 17j Shturmanskie [Gagarin] Comparison.

Just thought i would carry out a basic comparison,between the 15j and 17j Sturmanskies,though in no way a definitive exercise, just an attempt by me,to try to dispel,some of the more common,preconceptions.

In the first picture,the watches are at an odd angle,this is to try to capture the blued steel hands that should be present on both watches.Note the different style of hands,common to each example.Also note the length of the minute and seconds hands on both watches,they should both comfortably sit inside the outer seconds marker on the dial.In most Frankens i have seen,the minute and seconds hands always seem to be short[sign of a redial].Another common giveaway,is the font used on the fake dials,for the individual letters used in the word,Sturmanskie,curve around in an arc,instead of standing on an upright plane.[See picture below,marked FAKE].

All 17j versions have a flat painted dial. the 15j versions have a sparkly  type dial, when viewed under certain light. Difficult to photograph. Just to make it slightly more awkward.....the early 15j. [1949/50] Had flat non sparkly dials.


In the second picture you can see the 17j version,is very slightly thicker, [the case is common to Sportyvnie] note different crown,particularly pillow type on 15j. Although the case sizes are the same,note,the the movement on the 15j ,when dismounted,comes out through the top of the case.The 17j comes out through the bottom.

In the 3rd picture ,note the different case backs,the 15j,has a rounded snap on case back,the 17j has a screw on,[common to Sportyvnie].

The 4th picture shows the movements,both are hacking,[the large central seconds hand stops when you pull the crown out].The 17j is basically again a Sportyvnie movement,this type of dial and hand configuration,should never have a 15j version installed.
Note the 15j version,has plain spring ratchet wheel,there should be a date code on the movement,between 1-49 and 4-53.the serial number should consist of 5 digits.The jewel settings are recessed in top plate,as opposite to 15j Pobeda,[often used in Frankens].The 15j version should never have the 17j hand configuration

As i say,whilst this is not a definitive study,all of these basic points taken together,should help the novice collector decide between the more obvious fakes.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Restored Poljot Automatic Cal;2415 with inscription. Finished

Have just finished restoring this classic Poljot Cal;2415 Automatic,manufactured in the late 60`s.My favourite period,for Poljot dress watches.
I still have a few spares laying about,and ,indeed,this movement and dial have been laying ,forgotten,in my bureau,for some years,[it was only a request for spares from a fellow collector,that allowed me to find it again].
I was recently able to source some old crowns,enabling me to finish this lovely watch off.
As you would expect,from the underrated cal;2415,the watch keeps excellent time.
You will note the watch comes with a charming original inscription on the back,which is an added bonus.