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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

This is my first post on the forum. I've found lots of useful information here while researching my watch, and I'm posting this partly to give some information back, and partly in the hope of learning some more from the experts on the site.

A few years ago, my wife's Grandmother gave me a watch. It used to belong to her late husband, who was a colonel in the Russian army.

The watch had a very scratched crystal and was not working. It went in a drawer.

A few months ago I sent the watch off to be fixed, which gave me a look at the movement.

Here are some photos, courtesy of Christian Dannerman (Watchguy.co.uk) who fixed it:
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Fashion accessory Watch Jewellery Brass Metal


There are more pictures available on his blog.

From knowing next to nothing about it, I now think I know this...

- It is made of 14k gold, based on the hallmark on the back of the case. Solid gold Vimpel watches seem to be rare (based on reading this website, and ebay).
- It should date from between 1961-1963. This is because the factory opened in 1961 and in 1963 the diamond shaped mark on the movement changed. Soon enough the Vimpel name was abandoned.
- The movement is the Vimpel 2209.

Some things that I don't know, but would be interested to know are:

- Just how rare are these watches? Are they rare in the west, but common in Russia? Although I know it belonged to my wife's grandfather, I don't know how he got it. I presume he owned it from new.
- I haven't seen any pictures of similar gold metal linked straps. I'm almost sure the strap would be original..?

Thanks for the help I already got from older posts!
 

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I'm a newbie here so can't give you an expert opinion, but I think this is a) very beuatiful, b) very rare watch. Not only in west, but also in SSSR. You can assume that ratio of "ordinary" vs. solid gold watches was in SSSR the same as in the west, but more likely smaller. Vimpel watches are rare; I just checked ebay; 8000+ "soviet" watches turn up, but only 9 Vimpels, hence 0,1 % of available soviet watches are vimpel (there are many Luch and other watches advertized with word vimpel, but not bearing this mark, I didn't count these, of course). Vimpel is considered a premium/luxury soviet brand by many, so that makes them more desirable and hence they are scarcer than many other brands that were made for peasant and worker's masses. The short time of production adds to it's rarity and desirability among collectors (and desirability increases rarity on the market). It's simple and elegant design is very attractive. Other members can say about their mechanical quality, but I think that movement is used in other watches too, i.e. Luch and Poljot premium models.
 

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You are mostly right on your assumptions except the First Moscow Watch Factory, the source of this watch, was manufacturing watches well before 1961 and the movement, First Moscow Watch Factory 2209, picked up its nickname "Vimpel" by making its first appearance in the Vimpel branded watch like yours and several other dial designs. From that time on many people referred to this movement as a "Vimpel" no matter what it was in. Certainly one of the most successful watch movements in Russian watchmaking history.


I would say rare all over the world in that condition although it looks like the crown may have been replaced, and generally I would suspect that all Russian watches are less rare in Russia.

As to the band, perhaps someone will provide some provenance, as these are not pictured in any catalogs I have seen. What does the Grandmother-in-law say? Somehow doesn't look like a Russian colonel's band.

Nice watch and welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. Unfortunately my Grandmother-in-law has since died, and there is no-one left in the family who would know the history. The band seems to fit the watch perfectly, but like you I haven't seen a similar one. But I'm not at all expert.

Of course, as you say, all Russian watches must be more common in Russia!
 

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I've seen some other bracelets very similar to that, if not identical.
I think it's a design that is somehow "classic" for soviet high-end (very high-end, I'd say) gold watches...the following are 2 examples that can currently be found on eBay:

on a Poljot

Watch accessory Fashion accessory Watch Jewellery Metal


on a Raketa

Games Mahjong Fashion accessory


A wonderful piece indeed. |>
 

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What a beauty !
Congratulations.
I agree with schnurrp about the crown and everything.
I've also crossed similar bands on solid gold soviet watches.
To finish, I can tell you that all the solid gold Vimpel wristwatches I've seen for sale last 2 years were sold between 700 an 1500$ (but unfortunately I've missed the one at 700$...).
 

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The history of these watches began in 1961. When Soviet Ministry of Industry ordered in 1MWF super flat watch with a thickness of movement less than 3mm.. Factory in Moscow meet this challenge and on first of july 1962 presented watch- Wimpel model CZN -961 K , in which movement market 2209 was 22mm width , height 2.9 mm with 23 jewels..Until April 1963 was made sample batch of watches, in quantities about a thousand pieces..These watches were stamped with the logo in the shape of a diamond,,and today are highly desired by collectors.From April 1963 Wimpel watches were produced in Moscow until 1970 in several versions, but with pentagonal logo , about 1966, the watch face faded inscription " 1MCzZ jm.Kirowa " .. in 1964, the Moscow factory started producing a Poljot De Luxe 23 jewels watch, which are not very different from Wimpel. In 1970 the Moscow factory sold technology 2209 23 jewels to Minsk , where started production of watches with this movement under the name Luch....From 1970 to 1975, in Moscow were produced small amounts of watches Poliot DeLuxe, and in 1975 production was finally discontinued..Watch Wimpel 2209 was awarded at the fair in Leipzig,he recived the Golden Medal for the best technology in 1963,
 

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Hi

This is my first post on the forum. I've found lots of useful information here while researching my watch, and I'm posting this partly to give some information back, and partly in the hope of learning some more from the experts on the site.

A few years ago, my wife's Grandmother gave me a watch. It used to belong to her late husband, who was a colonel in the Russian army.

The watch had a very scratched crystal and was not working. It went in a drawer.

A few months ago I sent the watch off to be fixed, which gave me a look at the movement.

Here are some photos, courtesy of Christian Dannerman (Watchguy.co.uk) who fixed it:
View attachment 1453100 View attachment 1453101 View attachment 1453103

There are more pictures available on his blog.

From knowing next to nothing about it, I now think I know this...

- It is made of 14k gold, based on the hallmark on the back of the case. Solid gold Vimpel watches seem to be rare (based on reading this website, and ebay).
- It should date from between 1961-1963. This is because the factory opened in 1961 and in 1963 the diamond shaped mark on the movement changed. Soon enough the Vimpel name was abandoned.
- The movement is the Vimpel 2209.

Some things that I don't know, but would be interested to know are:

- Just how rare are these watches? Are they rare in the west, but common in Russia? Although I know it belonged to my wife's grandfather, I don't know how he got it. I presume he owned it from new.
- I haven't seen any pictures of similar gold metal linked straps. I'm almost sure the strap would be original..?

Thanks for the help I already got from older posts!
thats one hell of a score what a beautiful watch!
 

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Beautiful Watch. I collect the Luch 2209 slims and a few other varient models ( Sekonda, etc) but only in chrome. The first thing i noticed in your post was that Band! Beautiful E.Europe Design. Reminds me of Jugenstil design of the 1900s. What I wouldnt give to find that band in steel..but it seems unlikely. Enjoy your wonderful watch and band.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone - as I expected I have learnt a bit extra from your replies. And I'm glad you like the watch!

It seems most of the information I had gathered was correct. Although the factory opened before 1961, this movement only started then, so my dates are correct even if my reasons were not. If only 1000 were made before the diagonal mark on the movement changed then it must be a very rare survivor.

I'm curious to know why people think the crown is a replacement. I have no way of knowing what was done to the watch in its early history, so it may be a replacement.

Since my original post I've studied the band in more detail, and I've seen it is also stamped with a 14K hallmark. I think it must be original to the watch. I suppose the watch may have been available with either metal or leather bands, like Swiss watches of the period.
 

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The gold-plated version of this watch, as a bow to design, had a small acorn shaped crown that fit the slim shape of the watch perfectly, but, due to its petite size wore out fairly quickly and was often replaced. A gold version of this same crown would have worn out even more quickly. That's my reasoning but I don't know for sure. It would be interesting to know if the crown tests as solid gold.

From Antonov's collection:

 

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The only examples I can see on Ebay (current or previous sales) that are solid gold have a similar crown to mine.

e.g.
Vympel Vimpel LUCH POLJOT 23 J 14k Gold 583 Vintage Russian USSR Soviet Watch | eBay

Vintage Vimpe
Yes, and looking at ill-phil's collection of gold watches here: golden_watches, they all seem to have crowns different from their gold-plated brothers so maybe different crowns were the rule when it came to these watches and yours is authentic. It would be interesting to know if it tested gold, it certainly appears to have the same exterior finish as the rest of the watch.
 

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Hello All,

I am an expert in Vympel watches and I have all versions of this type of watch both gold and plated.

- I can confirm 100% that the crown is fully original;
- You watch was made in the first half of 1963 according to the mark on it and because of the dial (МДМФ3);
- This is the earliest type of Vympel - in the second half of 1963 the dials were changed a bit (the example you have shown from eBay)

This watch was used by the CPSU to award Heroes of the Soviet Union in 1965 (20th Victory Day Anniversary) with special engravings on it's back.
 
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