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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I was packing most of my collection for long-term storage, it dawned on me that I had not yet shown this piece here.

I have written about the Sturmanskie "Gagarin" before, but that was before I had found this particularly nice example. (To read about the background of this watch, please see my prior thread or Google.) When I bought this watch about a year ago, I wasn't really "in the market" for another Sturmanskie. But at just over $200 for one of the nicest examples I had ever seen, I had trouble saying no. I don't know why there weren't more bidders on the auction. I have to assume most buyers though the watch was fake. I disagree.


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The lume has a greenish hue and is a fairly close match to the hands. Over the past decades, the lume has become quite dry and brittle; you can see cracks under magnification, especially on the number 8.



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The once-red star on the bomber logo is all but faded away. Red pigment tends to go very quickly on early Soviet watches.



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The crown is well worn. I'm hopeful it's original, but really, who knows.



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Inside, we have a hacking 2634 movement with 17 jewels. This is the same movement found in the far-more-common Sportivnie. I can find no functional or aesthetic differences between the Sturmanskie and Sportivnie movements.

If anyone knows why the designation "2634" is used for this hacking caliber, I'd be most interested to hear. As I understand, an xx34 movement generally denotes a shockproofed manual-wind caliber with date complication. Not so on the Sturmanskie. According to traditional movement designations, I would expect this Sturmanskie/Sportivnie caliber to be a 2618 (manual, hacking, sweep second, no date). So, what gives?

Anyway, here it is:



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The barrel bridge is marked Q2-1957 -- right in the middle of the 17-jewel Sturmanskie production (~1954-1960).

Aside from the worn crown and a very light track mark on the dial from 3 to 5 o'clock, this watch is in excellent condition.



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Spasibo!



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No xx34 is usually a shockproof date caliber with hacking. Shockproof + date would be xx14.
There is a Vostok 2234, which is hacking, shockproof and has date indicator.

Is this 2634 - I don't know.
Does not have a date.

Normally this is called 2608 if it's not shockproof, and 2609 if it is. Unless I got it all messed up again ;)
 

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BTW - yes, nice watch of course ;)
I always wanted a Sturmanskie when I was collecting Russian watches, but I never found a 1949 piece I was looking for. So I never bought one...
 

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As I was packing most of my collection for long-term storage, it dawned on me that I had not yet shown this piece here.

I have written about the Sturmanskie "Gagarin" before, but that was before I had found this particularly nice example. (To read about the background of this watch, please see my prior thread or Google.) When I bought this watch about a year ago, I wasn't really "in the market" for another Sturmanskie. But at just over $200 for one of the nicest examples I had ever seen, I had trouble saying no. I don't know why there weren't more bidders on the auction. I have to assume most buyers though the watch was fake. I disagree.


View attachment 10434802

View attachment 10434762

View attachment 10434770



The lume has a greenish hue and is a fairly close match to the hands. Over the past decades, the lume has become quite dry and brittle; you can see cracks under magnification, especially on the number 8.



View attachment 10434778



The once-red star on the bomber logo is all but faded away. Red pigment tends to go very quickly on early Soviet watches.



View attachment 10434786



The crown is well worn. I'm hopeful it's original, but really, who knows.



View attachment 10434810



Inside, we have a hacking 2634 movement with 17 jewels. This is the same movement found in the far-more-common Sportivnie. I can find no functional or aesthetic differences between the Sturmanskie and Sportivnie movements.

If anyone knows why the designation "2634" is used for this hacking caliber, I'd be most interested to hear. As I understand, an xx34 movement generally denotes a shockproofed manual-wind caliber with date complication. Not so on the Sturmanskie. According to traditional movement designations, I would expect this Sturmanskie/Sportivnie caliber to be a 2618 (manual, hacking, sweep second, no date). So, what gives?

Anyway, here it is:



View attachment 10434818

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View attachment 10434866

View attachment 10434850



The barrel bridge is marked Q2-1957 -- right in the middle of the 17-jewel Sturmanskie production (~1954-1960).

Aside from the worn crown and a very light track mark on the dial from 3 to 5 o'clock, this watch is in excellent condition.



View attachment 10434794



Spasibo!



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Very nice consistent wear, Dash, just the way I like my watches these days. Surprising that the crown would be as worn as it is in comparison to the rest of the watch. Perhaps the original owner was assigned to be a "desk pilot" shortly after graduation (although the faded star indicates some outdoor time) or he just took great care of a heavily used machine.

Glad you "dicsovered" that one to share with us. That was quite a bargain, by the way (the icing on the cake).
 

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Yes, this would look like a 1952 piece, quite probable.
The very best Sturmanskie (IMO) are once from 1949, maybe 1950 (but the magic of 1949 date works here), with plain plates (bare nickel, no stripes). They look pretty much the same.
Nice, original crown as well - your watch is absolutely remarkabie!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No xx34 is usually a shockproof date caliber with hacking. Shockproof + date would be xx14.
There is a Vostok 2234, which is hacking, shockproof and has date indicator.
Sorry, this is what I meant. And yes, it was the Vostok/Komandirskie 2234 is what got me thinking about this in the first place. There is no date on the Sturmanskie, so why do we classify it as such?


Normally this is called 2608 if it's not shockproof, and 2609 if it is.
Yes, but that would be for a non-hacking caliber. Otherwise, the 15-jewel Sturmanskie would be just like any other Pobeda.

According to the data on this page, a shockproof mechanism with center second hand and hacking (and no date) would be xx18, but I've never seen this movement referred to as a 2618. Weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Dashiell. As far as I know a 17 jewel version has no date stamp. Maybe a Sportivnie has it?
I wrote this article a while ago: Everything you need to know about the Sturmanskie (Штурманские) 15 jewel and 17 jewel version
I had wondered about that. Of course, I have read your excellent article on the matter, but I cannot find where you sourced the information about the date stamp? I read through your references and didn't see it mentioned anywhere.

I can say that one of the most accomplished Soviet collectors I know about, kinead aka [k], has also written a nice article on the Sturmanskie "brand": Штурманские: A Milestone in Russian Horology - BDWF Forum Index Page. There, he shows his own 17-jewel example which includes the date stamp. Kinead's knowledge is vast, and he is typically extremely unforgiving about minor details on his pieces, so I tend to believe his example is authentic. But I suppose everyone makes mistakes.

In regard to this being a Sportivnie movement instead, well, that's surely a possibility. I have about 20 Sportivnie examples, and they seem to vary andomly between carrying the date stamp and having a blank barrel bridge. This is actually what I had alluded to in my original post: "This is the same movement found in the far-more-common Sportivnie. I can find no functional or aesthetic differences between the Sturmanskie and Sportivnie movements." If these are actually the exact same movement, I find it hard to believe 1MWF would set up an entirely separate manufacturing line solely to supply Sturmanskies with no date, or make specific efforts to select only those movements without date marking for the Sturmanskie. At least, I struggle to understand the motivation there.

Of course, there might be some minor differences between Sturmanskie and Sportivnie movements, which would then ruin my theory. But I can't find any.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Great watch Dashiell! I really love the original old lume on the dial. Here's mine 15J..stil working fabulous and a great watch to have on the wrist.
Fantastic condition, Lex, congratulations! The lume on yours is just gorgeous.

Now I guess you "need" a 17-jewel brother to keep him company if you don't have one already. Knowing you, you'll do this in no time :) They make for a lovely pair.


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I've also got the 17-jewel example below. Despite the condition -- or perhaps because of it -- it's actually my favorite of the three. This watch has stories to tell (and no date stamp on the movement ;-)).

The strap was Paul's idea and is a perfect fit.



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Thanks for your comments, everyone!
 

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As to the date stamp, Dash, opinions abound but no real proof one way or the other, it seems. Perhaps early on a collector received an example with papers or from an impeccable source establishing authenticity and that one had no date stamp on the movement and a characteristic was attached in the minds of collectors. In my opinion, the existence of sportivnies with no date stamp blows the exclusivity of that movement for sturmanskies out of the water (or the sky). I don't think many collectors/sellers would be swapping movements from a sturmanskie parts watch to restore a sportivnie.

Enjoy!
 

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Dash, that is a truly excellent and gorgeous example of the 17j Sturmanskie Gagarin. I think this is the most sought after and collectable of all Sturmanskie watches for all the obvious and much discussed reasons. Yours is in such good condition for the price you paid - many congratulations.

On the date stamp, having read the discussion on this thread I agree with Paul, in that if you have several examples of Sportivnie watches with movements without the date stamp, then all bets are off regarding the theory that original 17j Sturmanskie movements must not have one. It may well be that Hans' article needs to be updated to reflect this, and my belief is that the chances that your piece is wholly original are high.

My Sturmanskie Gagarin 17j - with no date stamp on the movement but with a possible/probable replaced crown and a definitely replaced movement holder thingy with claws surrounding the movement (I know because I replaced it from my Sportivnie donor movement
), but I believe otherwise wholly original example - says hi...





 
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