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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a long time since I visited here, but I thought perhaps the latest addition to my collection would interest some forum members:

A Molnija YK28 "Kapitanski" wristwatch, the pocketwatch with this chrono movement (based on the YK-6) is fairly common, but as a wristwatch it is very rare, and I have to thank my good friend Iwan for finding me one!

A wristwatch wih the 3017 "Strela" movement has been in the collection for a several years:

So now I have a full quartet of the Molnija chronographs, a pocket- and wristwatch version each with the YK-28 and with te 3017movement :



Cheers,
Paul
 

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I own the same ones as your watches number one, three and four. Not number two unfortunately.
Did you notice any issue with the button of number four rubbing against the bore in the casing, hence disturbing its action? The angle between crown stem axis and button stem axis is not the same in the casing as in the movement...
 

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Paul K said:
It's been a long time since I visited here, but I thought perhaps the latest addition to my collection would interest some forum members:

A Molnija YK28 "Kapitanski" wristwatch, the pocketwatch with this chrono movement (based on the YK-6) is fairly common, but as a wristwatch it is very rare, and I have to thank my good friend Iwan for finding me one!

A wristwatch wih the 3017 "Strela" movement has been in the collection for a several years:

So now I have a full quartet of the Molnija chronographs, a pocket- and wristwatch version each with the YK-28 and with te 3017movement
Forgive me for asking, but... are there evidences of any kind that those wristwatches were actually made by the factory, and are no "aftermarket" productions (although of very high quality)?

I like them all very much, but to my eye there are too many details that make me doubt of their origin...

1) specifically about the 3017:
- I could understand the will/need for a ChK-28 wristwatch, but why on earth would have Molnija managed to create or anyway source a wristwatch case for a 3017 movement, given that its own pocket watch was a conversion of an already existing wristwatch? They would have entered a loop...

2) specifically about the ChK-28:
- assuming that the passport shown in the picture is related to that actual watch (do S/Ns match?) why does it refer to a "Карманные" (= pocket) watch?
Even in case of a very limited batch, it wouldn't have been difficult for Molnija to have a few passport correctly printed... that one was supposed to be a watch for professional use only, such a mismatch makes me very suspicious:

3) in common with both the ChK-28 and the 3017:
- while the original (pocket) watches appear on several catalogs of the time, none of the "alternate version" seem to have been documented -and this is a big question mark;
- the crowns clearly look the very same ones used for the pocket versions (possibly only the stem has been shortened to fit), and their respective size and shape seem a little "out of place" for a wristwatch, especially the ChK-28;
- as already expressed in another thread about Type-1s, why would a factory able to develop a wholly new case do nothing to print the dials with their correct orientation, making both watches very uneasy to read?

Does anybody else have the same feelings? :-s

PS: in any case, as said before they all look gorgeous :-!
 

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Yes, I knew that article; but despite what is written in the text ("The Molnija-Queen had also been produced with a modified case as a wristwatch"), the pictures don't come out of a catalog or any official publication and show a used and rather worn example instead, very likely found on the market at a later time (see the significant loss of paint between 5 and 6 o'clock): so basically they don't add anything about the actual provenance, IMHO.
 

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Its not my field of expertise but two pushers = molnija and one pusher = slava right?
Thats what i learnt here and in other forums plus the oonternet research, the slava is older that the molnija and as far as i know the mechanism of the slava doesnt have to do anything with the 3017. As well I dont think they came from the same factory as slava were in moscow and Molnija in cheblianisk (or meteor city XD)
 

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Sorry guys but i dont get it, the watch show is the "slava" asimetric, and is clearly made by slava not by molnija, as the other 2 pusher watches shown.... I missing something? Even the dial says 2 moscow factory!
Yes, you are obviously right. Apart from the thread title, the mistake is in the original Altmeppen text which alas I plainly translated without paying enough attention to correct it. o|
 

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Does anybody else have the same feelings? :-s
Some excellent points, as usual. I'm not used to using so much logic in this field.

While I agree completely with your reasoning, it does beg the question: why do these cases exist at all? I agree the wristwatch variants don't make too much sense, but the existence of multiple examples suggests someone, somewhere, for some reason, was producing these cases. I'd love to know the story of their origins.
 

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While I agree completely with your reasoning, it does beg the question: why do these cases exist at all? I agree the wristwatch variants don't make too much sense, but the existence of multiple examples suggests someone, somewhere, for some reason, was producing these cases. I'd love to know the story of their origins.
I put my whole team of experts at work on this and will keep you informed...



:-d

Now seriously; I could only make a few educated guesses based upon a little logic (that is, nothing at all.... :roll: ).

The only thing known for sure is that the Slava was the first -and for a few years the only one, too- post-WWII Soviet chronograph, and it had been said that it was never accessible to general public; this should mean that they had been somehow "assigned" (not necessarily to the military only, of course).

The first Molnija chronos appeared in the very early '60s already, as dials still marked with "ChChZ" and movements with diamond shaped 1MChZ logo and no 4-digit coding prove, and production went on possibly as long as their wrist counterparts -there is even a late export version branded "Molnija" in latin sans-serif font and with the "Made in USSR" writing.

So it would be fair to assume that people who needed/wanted a wrist chronograph could have easily had -well, more or less...- the chance to buy a Strela or a Poljot, leaving again the pocket version to those who were specifically interested in it, or maybe again (this is my guess) to those who were assigned one because of their job.

If this makes any sense, it would be also understandable that some of the assignees -during or maybe after their active duty- could have wished to convert the outdated pocket watch style into a more practical wristwatch.
The high quality of the cases, together with the fact that there seem to be only one style of them for each type of watch, actually speak for an industrial rather than artisanal production; but IMHO this isn't in conflict with my (poor) theory, as I only doubt that those wristwatch versions were "factory originals", not that any factory couldn't have been producing those cases as an aftermarket part.

I think it's worth noticing that there are also a lot of Molnija Type-6 pocket watches that underwent the same conversion, and the vast majority of them are to be found in one industrial-quality case style only.

(sample of a modern reproduction, I can't seem to find a vintage one with the classical 18mm. lugs)

So it looks to me like it was made available to the general public a method to obtain the best result with the minimum effort and at the lowest price possible; a simple case-swapping which doesn't even need a watchmaker to be done, and among all pros has the only con of the dial which becomes a little less easy to read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry guys but i dont get it, the watch show is the "slava" asimetric, and is clearly made by slava not by molnija, as the the other 2 pusher watches shown.... I missing something? Even the dial says 2 moscow factory!
Hi,
see the following chapter from Altmeppen, translated it says the Molnija YK28 is based on the Molnija YK6 (15 jewels - 3602) movement, these where made in the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory until the mid 50's, at which point the production was moved to Tscheljabinsk; the YK28 was always assembled in Moscow tho.

Text Font Document Paper


Text Font Document


A few pics of the movement (from my first pocket watch version), showing the chrono module build on top of the YK6 base-movement:

Watch Fashion accessory


Fashion accessory Jewellery Disc brake Silver Metal


Cheers,
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I own the same ones as your watches number one, three and four. Not number two unfortunately.
Did you notice any issue with the button of number four rubbing against the bore in the casing, hence disturbing its action? The angle between crown stem axis and button stem axis is not the same in the casing as in the movement...
Hi,
the action of the pusher isn't very smooth or direct, but that also applies to most of the pocketwatch versions I own, not sure if that is caused by a wrong angle of the bore (I'll have to check that later, never looked at it!) or simply because the fit of the pusher is rather sloppy.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Forgive me for asking, but... are there evidences of any kind that those wristwatches were actually made by the factory, and are no "aftermarket" productions (although of very high quality)?

I like them all very much, but to my eye there are too many details that make me doubt of their origin...
Interesting (and predictable) question; my answer: Don't know, how would one go about proving that?
Having them in hand I can say that they don't look like a homemade combo, also given that there are several identical examples of both versions known would seem to support the thought that they are a factory made batch.
Re your last thought: when someone (watchmaker or jeweler) takes all the trouble to fabricate a few of these cases, why wouldn't he make a new "normal" dial to match?
That way the watches would seem a lot easier to sell on the public market....
Considering that, the theory that these watches were made by the factory for a specific (military?) purpose could make sense.....
But, as I said, it is all guesswork and gut feeling.........no matter what, I'm really happy with the watch tho! :)
 
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