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Recently, I have gained access to the archived copies of GDR (East German) newspapers (thanks to emoscambio) and this week, I came across the following article from Berliner Zeitung which I have translated from German for your interest.

Sekondtime

Berliner Zeitung, Fr. 5. März 1971, Jahrgang 27 / Ausgabe 64 / Seite 9 (ZEFYS/DDR-Presse)


From 50 Pocket watches to production of 2 million

Report from Moscow by our correspondent Ralf Rudiger

Large reconstruction programme of the 1st Moscow Watch Factory in the 9th Five-Year Plan


For four years I have worn a “Poljot 8” and it has not stopped ticking once day or night, its fine cogs working without need of adjustment.

The first thing I really liked is the shape – and the price: about 100 marks for an automatic which is not expensive. Later, I read that Yuri Gagarin flew to the cosmos with Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev with Poljot watches. That’s how it probably got its name Poljot meaning flight.

The 1[SUP]st[/SUP] Moscow Watch Factory, producer of this watch, exports to 80 countries. Furthermore, the forthcoming Leipzig Spring Fair will not lack in quality watches from the Soviet Union. Although the watch industry in this country is still very young – the first fifty pocket watches were produced in Moscow in 1930 –experts explain that although not the oldest watch company in the world, they are not inferior. Its main features are: accuracy, reliability and elegance.

A novelty is the “Amphibian” – a watch for divers and underwater sports, with which you can swim in both fresh water and sea water. It is characterised by a smooth automatic winding, central seconds hand and a coloured dial.

Production rates have increase steeply to more than two million watches in January produced solely at the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] Moscow Watch Factory. The demand is growing, both at home and abroad. In the weeks before the XXIV Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and in fulfilment of the Ninth Five Year Plan, the works will be under reconstruction. Ten automatic assembly lines have been working in 13 halls combining the work of 290 work benches.


Today, watches are not just made in the capital. Recently, I read in the press that “Raketa” men’s watches from the Petrodvorets factory in Leningrad, the elegant ladies watch “Zarya” from Penza and the Orlovsky (Yantar) wall clock have received the highest accolade. The pretty little pendant watches from the Uglich Factory, which produces the well know ladies Chaika (Seagull) watches – were honoured by the USSR Watch Industry Artistic Council of the Scientific Research Institute with a first class award.

Each new type of watch must pass tough tests carried out by the previously mentioned Research Institute. The seemingly delicate and fragile mechanisms are shaken like an earthquake. Then in different positions, diagonally, horizontally and vertically – and then checked for accuracy at different temperatures. On such a tested watch you can rely at all times.


From 50 Pocket Watches BZ 05031971 image.JPG
Women represent the major part of the workforce in the Soviet Watch Industry. Vera Martschkova (pictured above) works in the emergent Minsk Watch Factory where 100 different watches are made particularly women’s watches. Petrodvorets (pictured right) is where the brand “Raketa” is made. Due to the improvement of resilience, the warranty period for these watches has been extended from one year to one and a half years.

Photos: ZB-TASS/Ronneburger
 

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Interesting reading, thanks! Although not completely accurate - as far as I know, amphibias were produced before 1971, and first ones (non-authomatic) were as waterproof as the authomatic ones.
 
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