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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's one you don't see every day. A nice watch from the late 1950s branded Yantar (Янтарь, meaning "Amber"). This watch was produced at Chistopol before the brand consolidation in the early 1960s. Unlike other designs which were carried over with the "Vostok" brand after the factory name change, the Yantar seems to have met its end around 1964. I would love to believe this watch is 100% original, but I honestly don't know. The only catalog I have shows but two Yantar designs, neither of which are similar to the one pictured below.

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The case is quite unusual. Of all my Chistopol watches, none is like this one. The bezel consists of a massive lip into which the crystal fits, making the removal of the crystal difficult without pushing it out from behind with your thumbs. The result of this tall bezel is an illusion, making a hi-dome crystal look quite streamlined.


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Metal


The case-back is the traditional bayonet style found on many other Chistopol designs of the era.


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The movement is a 17-jewel 2604, I believe. Not the cleanest movement, but it works well. I'm not sure how this movement differs from that of the Kama, if at all. They look the same to me.


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There seems to be hardly any information available on Yantar watches, even on WUS and Mark Gordon's site. I welcome any further knowledge you have. And if anyone else has a Yantar, please share!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's my thread. And watch!

Glad you found it useful.

The consensus was that the watch was good but maybe not the crown. It's always the crown. :-(
Always!

But I wouldn't let it get to you. Yours is still a rare watch in unusually good condition.

I wonder why these are so uncommon? An unpopular model, perhaps? Manufacturing problems? I think the dial, hands, and case make for a very interesting and attractive design.
 

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Always!

But I wouldn't let it get to you. Yours is still a rare watch in unusually good condition.

I wonder why these are so uncommon? An unpopular model, perhaps? Manufacturing problems? I think the dial, hands, and case make for a very interesting and attractive design.
I'm OK. I got this Yantar years ago when you could still find interesting Russian watches on eBay - which is my only source for Russian watches.

Why are these uncommon? Probably because relatively few were produced - a long time ago. Which means that few have survived 55 years later in good condition.

I'm glad that there are amateur collectors around that will make sure that this legacy is preserved with no further deterioration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm OK. I got this Yantar years ago when you could still find interesting Russian watches on eBay - which is my only source for Russian watches.

Why are these uncommon? Probably because relatively few were produced - a long time ago. Which means that few have survived 55 years later in good condition.

I'm glad that there are amateur collectors around that will make sure that this legacy is preserved with no further deterioration.
Who are you calling an amateur? Clearly, any collector with an original Yantar in their collection is a pro b-)

What I meant by the uncommon nature of this watch is that Kama, Saturn, and Mir are also old Chistopol watches, but you can find dozens of these on eBay. Even less common types like Druzhba and Kolos are seen relatively often. Yantar are so rare by comparison, and I just don't understand why.

I think you are probably right that fewer were produced for whatever reason, which is probably what also explains the relative rarity of the Raduga.
 

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Wonder if it was the "Edsel" of the Chistopol line-up for a year or two, designed by the director's nephew or something then dropped due to lack of popularity. Not a bad looking design, though, in my opinion, except that recessed crystal would tend to invite puddling of water at a very critical point.

I am more familiar with the extensive lineup of Jantar clocks including tournament-grade (had to be very quiet, evidently) chess clocks. Many of these are available online. I don't think there's any connection beyond the names but I've always wondered where the Vostok submarine clock came from.

Did you know there was a Third Moscow Clock Factory? The Orel factory produced the Jantar clocks, according to Mark Gordon:

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wonder if it was the "Edsel" of the Chistopol line-up for a year or two, designed by the director's nephew or something then dropped due to lack of popularity. Not a bad looking design, though, in my opinion, except that recessed crystal would tend to invite puddling of water at a very critical point.
Ha, I love the "Edsel" analogy. It seems a reasonable possibility.

Did you know there was a Third Moscow Clock Factory? The Orel factory produced the Jantar clocks, according to Mark Gordon:
I only knew because of Mark's site. I don't own any of these clocks, but can't say I haven't been tempted. So far, I've been a good boy.
 

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Just found this thread...here is my Yantar. It is one of my favorite watches, and very reliable. I normally prefer ss watch cases, but I do like this gold-plated version. I can't help but think that the rarity is due to the name...the name "amber" hardly seems conductive to sales in context of the exciting times of space exploration in the late 1950's and it is not surprising that the Saturn and Sputnik watches would be much more popular among men. Just my opinion. Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
 

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That's a really beautiful looking vintage watch!
 
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