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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings, watchfans --

Okay. Let's talk 2209.

This is the first movement that truly attracted me to Soviet watches, and has continually perplexed me as I've attempted to gather information over the years. One area of that I've found particularly difficult to track is the overall timeline of movement stamps and dial logos. My past attempts at organizing this history have been proven wrong time and time again, so I will take a new stab at it (surely to be later corrected).

THE EARLY DAYS

To begin, it seems the 2209 did not debut in 1961 as originally believed, but actually 1962 or even 1963. Where did the 1961 date come from? I have no idea. This date is consistently repeated in forum posts (including my own) and unsubstantiated websites, but I cannot find any hard evidence of this date. On the other hand, the Minsk Watch Factory Wikipedia page (which is very well-documented) states that caliber 2209 development began July 1, 1962. The official Luch website seems to confirm this:

"1962: The Ministry of Industry, together with the [Minsk Watch] Plant, have decided to manufacture particularly flat men watch "Vympel", produced by the 1st Moscow Watch Plant, which give the technical documentation for it. This watch has received the trademark Luch-2209."

Organism


Also of interest is that development of the caliber 2209 appears to have been a collaborative effort between Moscow and Minsk, not a 1MWF-only enterprise. Further information from the Minsk Wikipedia page supports this:

"The first Vympel watches were assembled using the ChN-961K case obtained from 1MWF: a round, gold-plated case with diamond-machined rim and bezel, stainless-steel back, a silver dial with printed indices. Complete mastery of the Vympel was finished in August, 1963. By this time, more than a thousand hours had been delivered to the finished goods warehouse."

From the above sources, I believe we can infer that the caliber 2209 movement was mastered in 1962, but that full production did not ramp up until August, 1963. There are lots of rumors about a 1963 International Watch Fair in Leipzig (maybe the Leipzig Trade Fair?), during which the caliber 2209 supposedly received a gold medal and diploma, but I'm scouring the net and finding no reference information to back up this claim. I did find the following photos, along with a description:

1963 Press Photo Leipzig Fair 1963: Technical Fair - Soviet Pavilion - KSB45017
This is an original press photo. Leipzig Fair 1963: Technical Fair - Soviet Pavilion: Out picture shows the Soviet Union is showing in pavilion a thermoplast-automat TP - 250 for producing of thermo plastics. Photo measures 8.25 x 6inches. Photo is dated 3--1963.

Text Font

Machine Toolroom Machine tool


I was also able to locate three other photos from the 1963 Leipzig Spring Fair which show the Soviet Pavillion (1, 2, 3), as well as a video. So it does seem at least plausible that the 2209 movement could have been showcased at the Spring 1963 Leipzig Trade Fair.

So, how long was the Vympel produced? Well, if we are to believe this delicious NOS specimen (photos below), at least until July, 1965. Notice in particular that the paperwork is printed with "POLJOT" on the outside, and Vympel stamped inside. Yes, a Poljot Vympel.

Material property Paper


Wallet Material property Leather Fashion accessory Coin purse


Now, if we are to believe this invaluable chart (as well as the common knowledge around here), 1MWF was renamed "Poljot" in 1964. New dial logos were then manufactured to reflect this change. Therefore, the first Poljot-branded 2209s probably didn't leave the factory until late 1964 or early 1965. Once the Vympel was completely phased out, Poljot-branded 2209s continued to be produced until ~1975, when 1MWF stopped 2209 production entirely. The only noticeable change would have been a slight font update around ~1970, when the standard Poljot font was undergoing a transformation from serif to sans-serif.

LUCH DIALS

So what on earth was going on at Minsk?

Good question, glad you asked.

The first Luch logo, which elegantly depicts the brand name in an arc shape, lasted for a long time. In 1970 and 1972, we still see this brand name exclusively featured on dials. It is not until 1977 that we see a catalog featuring the two logo styles side-by-side:

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Quartz clock


On the left, you can see the old-style "arc" logo, while on the right, you can see the new-era "scribble" logo. Without further documentation, it's impossible to say exactly when these logos were retired and introduced, respectively. But I think it's helpful to understand that from around 1962-1977, Luch watches featured the arc logo, while post-1977 watches featured the scribble logo.

Other dial logos exist, such as the cursive logo and the arial font logo, but I suspect these were export variants produced in the 1980s, and I'm not even going to attempt to classify them.

MOVEMENT LOGOS

So how do the movement logos fit into all this? Well, we need to go back to the beginning.

The first movement logo is generally agreed to be the quadrilateral (aka diamond) logo:



Based on our history above, we can presume this logo was very short lived. My best guess is that 1962 saw limited quantities of this caliber produced, most if not all destined for solid gold watches (more on this in a sec). I suspect full production of 2209s with the quadrilateral logo occurred in 1963 and the first half of 1964 only.

Later, the 1MWF pentagon logo was introduced. This logo was used from ~1964-1975. After 1975, Poljot no longer produced the caliber 2209 movement.

Font


And that's the story for 1MWF. Short and sweet.

Meanwhile....

Minsk was hard at work producing their own 2209s, first using this triangle logo I have only found on a few solid-gold watches:

Macro photography Close-up Eye Circle Photography


This leads me to a theory: I suspect that, like the Poljot 2200, the very first caliber 2209 movements were destined for solid-gold pieces only. From the time of mastering the movement in 1962 until mass production began in August, 1963, I believe limited quantities of the caliber 2209 were introduced in these solid-gold watches. Once production expanded and costs decreased in late 1963, these movements found their way into more affordable watches.

Support for my theory? Well, there's that incredibly rare triangular Minsk logo above, which I've only seen twice (both times in solid-gold watches). And below, you can see two solid-gold watches -- a Luch and a Vympel of striking resemblance. One can infer that they were contemporaries. Elite siblings from 1962, perhaps?

Analog watch Watch Fashion accessory Metal Jewellery


I digress.

As Mink expanded production to gold-plated watches, the pentagon logo was introduced (below). This probably took place around 1964, the same time the pentagon Poljot logo was introduced. You'll notice their design similarities right away, so to me it makes sense that they would be manufactured concurrently.

Drawing Sketch Font Illustration Artwork


Around 1975, when Poljot ceased production of the caliber 2209 and Minsk assumed full responsibility of the fate of the movement, the Luch logo changed again to the "beam" movement logo:

Circle Drawing Artwork Art


To my knowledge, this is the final domestic movement logo which continued on throughout the 1980s until the fall of the USSR.

Of course, there were other movement logos as well, such as the "SU" and "twenty three jewels" logos. But like the rare-ish dial logos, I believe these are export movements produced in the 1980s, and I'm not going to include them here.

THE TIMELINE

Using all of the above information, I will attempt to create one simple timeline, knowing full well that this is all subject to change. All dates are approximate.

1962: Caliber 2209 mastered; limited production for solid gold watches from 1MWF and Luch
1963: The Vympel begins mass production
1964: 1MWF is officially renamed "Poljot"; Poljot begins producing 2209s with the pentagon "1MWF" movement logo; Luch begins producing 2209s with the pentagon "Minsk" movement logo
1965: Overlap year, when both Poljot and Vympel-branded 2209s are produced, both with pentagon "1MWF" movement logo
1966: The Vympel is extinct; Luch and Poljot production continue
1968: Sans-serif Poljot dial logo introduced
1975: 1MWF ceases 2209 production; Luch changes the pentagon "Minsk" movement logo to the "beam" movement logo
1977: Luch arc dial logo is phased out

Said another way...

MOVEMENTS
Luch triangle logo: 1962-1963
1MWF quadrilateral logo: 1962-1964
1MWF pentagon logo: 1964-1975
Luch pentagon logo: 1964-1975
Luch beam logo: 1975-1990

DIALS
Vympel-branded dial: 1962-1965
Text Font Logo Brand Calligraphy


Luch arc dial: 1962-1977
Text Font Brand Logo Trademark


Serif Poljot dial: 1964-1970
Text Font


Arial Poljot dial: 1968-1975
Text Font Brand Logo


Luch scribble dial: 1977-1990
Text Font Line Brand


I hope this thread will drive the emergence of some period documentation or NOS examples which can support or refute the timeline(s) above. I will update as necessary.

Thanks!
 

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I have some supporting evidence, in the form of my just-acquired Luch 2209. Those who frequent the WRUW thread will recognize it:

Watch Analog watch Wrist Watch accessory Fashion accessory


This watch has the arc dial logo, but the "beam" movement brand. This would seem to be an unusual combination - I suspected that there was at some point a movement swap. However, as you can see, the case is in absolutely pristine condition, and appears to have rarely opened, and the watch has absolutely no sign of abuse. Furthermore, the catalog shown above validates the "arc" logo through at least 1977.

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Strap Fashion accessory


Furthermore, upon opening the case myself, I was quite surprised to find an inscription on the INSIDE of the case.

Coin Currency Money Wood Metal


I asked a Polish comrade for a translation, and was told:

The Senior Commander Grzegorz Marszczuk
On the 50th Anniversary of Birth
Dowodca J-N 1924
1976

If we assume this watch is fully original, we have a great example of a very transitional time at Minsk. This was made near the end of the "arc" logo dials, but just as the "beam"-stamped movements were being introduced. The date of the inscription absolutely fits the evidence that the rest of the watch is original, and completely validates comrade mroatman's timeline.

***************************************************

There is also this piece of evidence regarding the movement stamp transition date for 1MWF. This confirms comrade mroatman's point about the pentagon logo not being introduced until at least 1Q 1964 or later.
Keychain Pendant Fashion accessory Locket Jewellery
 

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There is already a timeline of the 2209 watch movement here which may give some extra information. It states that there was very limited early production prior to 1963.

As for the 2209 being exhibited at the Leipzig Spring Fair in the GDR, this was highly likely. Indeed the order form the state planners to produce the extra flat movement was probably planned in advance of the the trade fair specifically to get the movement designed and ready for the fair. The Leipzig trade fair was a very well known and long standing fair (some 800+ years!) and the Soviets would have wanted to exploit contact with western companies and agents who attended the fair.

There is also a small snippet of information in the following brochure on the Soviet Horological Industry from 1964.

Analog watch Clock Wall clock Clock tower Watch
Text Font Line
 

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Further searching in Russian has highlighted the following which may provide an explanation about the dates etc.

The following text is a translation of a paragraph from the website: https://watchalfavit.ru/articles/sovetskie-chasy/

It explains that the in 1963 the Ministry of Intrument Engineering of the USSR announced the production of 2209s was to start at Minsk. From 1961 2209s had been produced by 1MWF. So production was transferred in 1963 to Minsk. This was probably to provide production of both women's and men's watches at Minsk which until that point had only produced women's movements.

"In 1953, it was decided to build a watch factory in Minsk. The first ten years the enterprise produced only women's watches "Dawn" and "Minsk". In 1963, the Ministry of Instrument Engineering of the USSR announced the production of flat men's watches "Vympel", produced earlier by the First Moscow Watch Factory, which transferred technical documentation to the Minsk plant. These watches were called "Luch-2209" and became the achievement of the eighth five-year plan. The diameter of the mechanism on 23 stones was 22 mm, height - 2.9 mm, there was a central second hand and anti-shock protection."

The 2209 was not the only Soviet watch movement to gain a gold medal at Leipzig International Fair.

From: http://mk.by/2015/05/15/122721/

Luch-1816 In 1969, the company produced watches with a calendar "Luch-1814". A year later, for the first time in the USSR, the designers of the plant created a ladies watch with a self-winding "Luch-1815". The mechanism was triggered by the movement of the hand, for example when walking. Two of these useful functions have been incorporated into the Luch-1816 model. In 1974, at the Leipzig Fair, where these chronometers were displayed, the Minsk Watch Factory received a gold medal and a worldwide recognition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is already a timeline of the 2209 watch movement here which may give some extra information. It states that there was very limited early production prior to 1963.
Thanks. I authored most of that page myself, but relied heavily on hearsay from the forums. Only recently have I begun trying to back up all claims with physical evidence, which is proving much more difficult than "But Tammo said so!"

Further searching in Russian has highlighted the following which may provide an explanation about the dates etc.
The following text is a translation of a paragraph from the website: https://watchalfavit.ru/articles/sovetskie-chasy/
This is interesting, but leaves me wondering who to believe -- this nice factory overview (that is conspicuously lacking any further links/documentation/support), or direct evidence from the Luch website itself :think:
 

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Thanks. I authored most of that page myself, but relied heavily on hearsay from the forums. Only recently have I begun trying to back up all claims with physical evidence, which is proving much more difficult than "But Tammo said so!"

This is interesting, but leaves me wondering who to believe -- this nice factory overview (that is conspicuously lacking any further links/documentation/support), or direct evidence from the Luch website itself :think:
How did you end up authoring on someone else's website? Did you agree usage of the text?

I think the key to this might be the instruction from the Ministry. Is there an archive of ministry documentation? Maybe the Luch factory itself can assist?

Another avenue that I could check out is if there was any mention in the DDR press. It is possible it was reported as a new innovation in the 1963 fair. They certainly reported on new developments at Ruhla.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How did you end up authoring on someone else's website? Did you agree usage of the text?
Yes. Coupeborgward was new to 2209s and asking me many questions, so we were discussing at length via email. He had the technological knowledge to put something like that together quite easily. Took him just one day! Sadly, I think a lot of the information is already outdated...

Maybe the Luch factory itself can assist?
This is a great idea. I'll try to write to them later about the triangular movement logo in particular.
 

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Well, I had a delve into the DDR Press archive and found some articles from Berliner Zeitung and Neues Deutschalnd. Basically the first mention of the Vympel is in 1963 at the USSR Trade Fair in Moscow. There is a further mention of Vympel in 1964 at a Moscow City Consumer Goods fair and then in 1967 at the Leipzig International Trade Fair in the GDR. The Luch 2209 does not get a mention until 1972 by a Berliner Zeitung reporter visiting Minsk. So no real detail for the timeline but I hope they are interesting anyway.

The translations are not 100% but you should get the meaning. This is one of the limitations of mass scanned documents!

Sekondtime


Berliner Zeitung, March 16, 1963
Volume 19 / Issue 223 / Page 4


USSR Trade Fair


Exhibition in 15 houses on 1000 square meters

Moscow (ADN-Korr./BZ). The Soviet Union will be present at the autumn fair in Leipzig

Moscow (ADN-Korr./BZ). The Soviet Union will be exhibiting its products on a total area of 1,000 square meters at the autumn fair in Leipzig, more than in the previous year. Like the deputy head of the department for Soviet exhibitions abroad the Chamber of Commerce of the USSR. W. I. Wlassov in an ADN interview, the Soviet foreign trade organizations started earlier than usual with the preparations for Leipzig and sent their employees to the Messestadt at the beginning of August.

The Soviet Union will be exhibiting in 15 exhibition halls. All seven Soviet trade organizations which are eligible for the Autumn Fair will be represented, among them "Soyuzpuschnina", the foreign trade associations for grain and for foodstuffs as well as "Meshdunarodnaja Kniga". Intourist, too, is taking part, which is the growing need in all countries to visit the USSR is taken into account.

The rich Soviet offer is, a. Electric household appliances. Television and radio apparatus, magnetic resonance apparatus. Record players and film projectors, optical devices. Watches. Textiles and industrial products. Furs as well as food and books. New are the "Stalmas", "Belorus 6 2" and "R igonda C", various textiles and woven felts as well as the washing machines "Riga 7" and "T u 1 a 7", as well as hunting and sports weapons , Vlasov especially pointed out the excellent quality of the men's wristwatches "Vympel", "Wostok" and "Cosmos," as well as some women's wristwatches, which are exhibited in Leipzig and have hardly any competitors with regard to their accuracy and favorable price Are very much in demand.

The fashion will not be too short. The House of Models in Tallinn, already introduced in Leipzig, will present its latest creations this year as well.

London. Numerous British companies are located in Leipzig, a. Textiles, agricultural products, fish products, toys and books. The well-known chemical group ICI is represented with a large range of dyes. Exhibitors from Great Britain will occupy a larger stand at this year's autumn fair than last year.

The director of the Nordic weaving company Walker & Calddon Ltd. Robertsen recently emphasized that the Leipziger Messe offered good opportunities for British trade.

Info: 2,717 characters, 358 words, 180 lines

Neues Deutschland, Di. 15. September 1964
Jahrgang 19 / Ausgabe 255 / Seite 7

Extract


Thought at the sight of refrigerators

In the late-summerly charming Gorky Park for Culture and Recreation, an exhibition was held for several weeks and was attended by hundreds of thousands of Muscovites. Consumer goods were produced here, produced by the companies of the Moscow City Council. Even for those who have an idea of the importance of the Moscow Industrial Center, the abundance and diversity of consumer goods exhibited were surprising. The exhibits are well known to the Moscow from the offer of the shops. But who knew that all these goods were produced in their own city?
Tendency: World level

As a mere man, more attention was paid to the technical use of goods. Here the tendency to constant further perfection and equalization of the world level was also unmistakable. Mention is made of the powerful Moscow Watch Factory, which by their model "Wympel" are by far the most elegant and shallowest mass-produced men's wristwatch in the world at the price of 50 rubles: the electrical industry, which has produced modern and stylish lighting fixtures and devices, Refrigerator of the Moscow Sil-factory at the price of 310 rubles, the dream of every housewife who has to look after a large family, but this dream can only be realized by way of a war list in the electrical shops Is rapidly coming to an end.

Info: 9.374 Zeichen, 1.260 Wörter, 527 Zeile

Neues Deutschland, September 3, 1967
Volume 22 / Edition 242 / Page 3

Impressive offer of the USSR

Press conference on the Soviet collective show For 41 top products entered for Messe gold prize.

"One can see better than a hundred times" - with this v Russian proverb the director / the Soviet exhibition had invited the domestic and foreign journalists to visit the Municipal Department Store at the press conference on Friday, which we have already reported briefly , In the domicile of the radio and television equipment industry, the Soviet Union is showing a collective exhibition for the first time at a consumer goods fair in Leipzig in the anniversary year of the Red October.

"It has been since the first days of its existence that the soviet state declared concern for man and his welfare to his ultimate goal "There are modern combinations of furniture, and we learn that in the Soviet Union, four apartments are built every minute." Director Zaporozhez mentioned that ten to eleven million people move into new apartments every year.

The foreign trade company Maschpriborintorg, which attracted attention at the spring fair with a large number of scientific devices, shows products that offer cultural excitement in leisure time: television sets, combined stereoscopic radios and sound-emitting devices, transistor radios of all sizes, the smallest in the world A new camera camera and more developed models of the well-known cameras "Kiev", "Gorky" and "Zenit", the world-famous Soviet watch industry, which again offers a very extensive range of products: the flat men's wristwatch "Poljot" , Which is exported to all continents with great success and is to be seen in Leipzig in twelve variants, is one of the 41 top products with which the Soviet Union participates in the competition for Messe gold prize.

The offer of the Soviet food and confectionery industry ranges from fish preserves to wines, spirits specialties and chocolate products. For the third time, the Tallinn "Hauder Modelle" participates in the Leipzig Autumn Fair and the international fashion show, this time with models that are based on historical models of the Russian fashion of earlier centuries and are shown at the Moscow clothing exhibition "Odeshda 67 "Were presented to the international audience with great success. The world-famous Soviet smoky goods, which have been a permanent place in the export market since the first exhibition of the Soviet Union in Leipzig in 1922, are represented by over 300 selected pieces. The foreign trade company Sojuspuschnina also offers modern mink fur in different pastel colors.

In the trade fair Am Markt, Meshdunarodnaja Knißa, a. Editions of classic works of Marxism, which appear on the occasion of the Revolutionary Jubilee, and belletristic literature as well as documentary works on the October Revolution, as well as works of German classics and contemporary writers. Director Zaporozhez said at the press conference that in the years of Soviet power in the USSR over 3000 books of German authors were published in 58 languages of the peoples of the Soviet Union. Each year, about 76,000 books and brochures with a circulation of 1.3 billion copies are published in the Soviet Union, which is the reason why the USSR contests a quarter of the world's production of books

"The Leipzig Trade Fair is constantly contributing to the strengthening of trade relations between the GDR and the USSR," said Director Zaporozhez. * The great importance attached to the participation of the Soviet Union in Leipzig also arises from the fact that these trade fairs are the turnover of the Soviet Union With other countries, for example, at the spring fair of the year, Soviet contracts were valued at 472 million rubles with companies from many countries.

Info: 4.201 characters, 531 words, 254 lines

Berliner Zeitung, July 2, 1972
Volume 28 / Issue 181 / Page 3


In the realm of light and silence

Minsk million rays


One of the most elegant and elegant wristwatches in the world, hardly more than a one - master piece, was presented to me in Minsk, designed and manufactured in the "Luch" watchmaker's factory, where a stream of three million fashionable and reliable watches a year of high quality Belorussian precision articles.

I weighed the "Luch 2209", a very flat men's wristwatch, in the spacious, fully-air-conditioned assembly hall, the realm of light and sience. What would have happened a few decades ago in the Swiss Jura, La Chaux-de-Fonds, or In Le Locle, the battalions of the Swiss watchmaker, for a reply to the prophecy, "are you building something in Minsk in 1972?" A peasant country, where the soil had been worked on with the wood-plow, and had been traversed by life on horse-drawn-shoes, was scarcely due to the prognostic considerations of the industry of fine mechanics.

Alexei w Kazantsev, Director of the Minsk watch factory, listened amused to my historical reminiscences. "Around the turn of the century it seemed as if the far of the clocks had been given away for us and unattainable, he says. In the big cities, there were workshops, which consisted of Swiss individual pieces. Today, you will find machine tools from the USSR in Swiss watchmakers.

By the way, the Minskers came to their elegant timepieces about a completely contrary production: Work had to be found for the women and daughters of the automobile builders. At that time, watch making was the most natural thing in the world,

Today, the visitors of the watch factory "Luch" show highly modern production facilities, the workers work in dust-free air, their white coats look like medical personnel.

The atmosphere is relaxed, although it is very concentrated. This is probably due to the modern conveyor belts, which allow every worker to be active at her own pace. After two hours each, there is a ten-minute break.

The watches of "Luch" reflect the concern of socialist production. They are not refined luxury items, for which Omega or Longines are worthy, but there are no chronometers for 30,000 marks offered, but also no cheap dollar watches which have a deafening tick. "Luch" watches are reliable. They work with an accuracy of minus 30 seconds in 24 hours. This is world-class, to have for an affordable price.

Minsk watches have only been built for 15 years. They are already well-known in the world, are sought after in more than 17 countries in England, Sweden and Egypt. Above all, they serve to pacify the buyer's wishes in the USSR. The watch is like me Alexei w Kasanzev assured us now a fashionable article. A piece of jewellery. "So we are forced to adapt quickly to the changing tastes with imagination. At the moment the trend is also sporty with the ladies watches. Chromium wrist watches are in demand. We are bringing out an electronic watch at the end of the year. Duration of the button cell battery about one year. We have calculated a final consumer price of 60 rubles. "

The watchmaker of Minsk has the motto "the epitome of beauty, elegance and reliability" in its program. I would like to pass this on as a compliment to the Chief Constructor and the 5000 employees.

Info: 3,938 characters, 541 words, 244 lines
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I had a delve into the DDR Press archive and found some articles from Berliner Zeitung and Neues Deutschalnd.
Precious, precious details. Thank you for taking the time to find, translate, and upload these excerpts.

So no real detail for the timeline but I hope they are interesting anyway.
Actually, I disagree. Two things stand out to me as critically important.

First, the mention of a "Wympel" (not Poljot) in autumn, 1964, confirms that our updated timeline is more accurate, and that Vympels continued to be produced later than originally thought. All prior timelines stated that Vympel production spanned 1961-1963, but as I outlined initially, new evidence is pointing to an actual production period of ~1962-1965. Your translations corroborate my argument that Vympels were produced later, and for longer, than originally believed.

Second, notice the spellings. In the first instance, 1963, the watch is spelled "Vympel". In the second instance, 1964, it is spelled "Wympel". Why the inconsistency? Could we have accidentally found the destination market for this one? And a rationale to justify why that watch has the pentagon movement logo rather than the diamond movement logo? It seems likely to me, at least.

Thanks again for all your help -- tremendous work!
 

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In trying to date more precisely a 2209, I've found something that seems to contradict your information: a watch with the arc Luch logo, stainless steel case (as far as I can tell-I've scored the caseback with a knife, as deeply as I dare, and seen no base metal), and the triangular logo on the movement you've only found in solid gold watches. Of course, it's possible the watch is a franken, a movement that didn't originally belong in this case.
Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Analog watch Strap


Rim Watch Spoke Wheel Pocket watch

There some Cyrillic text on the caseback, but it's scratched and faded and I can't read it accurately enough to submit for translation.

Apologies for the blurry movement shot, I have a hard time holding the camera steady.

What I think most puzzling is that the dial and movement are both consistent with an early production watch, but afaik the steel case would be later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
In trying to date more precisely a 2209, I've found something that seems to contradict your information: a watch with the arc Luch logo, stainless steel case (as far as I can tell-I've scored the caseback with a knife, as deeply as I dare, and seen no base metal), and the triangular logo on the movement you've only found in solid gold watches. Of course, it's possible the watch is a franken, a movement that didn't originally belong in this case.
Congratulations on such a rare movement! That marks the third I've seen, I think.

Unfortunately, scratching the case-back won't tell us much. Regardless of case material, 99% of case-backs are stainless steel to resist corrosion from body oils and sweat. (The only exceptions that come to mind are solid gold watches and some rare cases produced in Poland.) You would need to scratch part of the case itself to know anything for sure -- a popular location is the back of the lugs. But maybe we can save you that step...

Could you take one more photo of your watch from a bit further away? I'd like to see the case in its entirety.

It's quite strange that there is so much space between the case and the movement. I'd expect the two parts to fit snugly together, like so:

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


You're right that a stainless steel case would be too early for this watch. The Soviets weren't able to make their own steel cases until the debut of the Amphibia in 1969, and such cases didn't come to dress watches until years later. Some early steel cases are found on export watches (1, 2, 3), but these were non-domestic watches with English dials. So I would be very suspicious of an early Cyrillic Luch dial in anything except a gold-plated or solid gold watch. According to catalogs, chrome cases for Luch 2209s did not arrive until the 1980s.....
 

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Precious, precious details. Thank you for taking the time to find, translate, and upload these excerpts.

Actually, I disagree. Two things stand out to me as critically important.

First, the mention of a "Wympel" (not Poljot) in autumn, 1964, confirms that our updated timeline is more accurate, and that Vympels continued to be produced later than originally thought. All prior timelines stated that Vympel production spanned 1961-1963, but as I outlined initially, new evidence is pointing to an actual production period of ~1962-1965. Your translations corroborate my argument that Vympels were produced later, and for longer, than originally believed.

Second, notice the spellings. In the first instance, 1963, the watch is spelled "Vympel". In the second instance, 1964, it is spelled "Wympel". Why the inconsistency? Could we have accidentally found the destination market for this one? And a rationale to justify why that watch has the pentagon movement logo rather than the diamond movement logo? It seems likely to me, at least.

Thanks again for all your help -- tremendous work!
You're welcome. I am pleased it was of some use.

However, before you get too excited about the spellings. Don't forget these translations have come via scanned text from printed documents form the 1960s. Through the OCR process odd words can be mis-spelled and or sometimes changes words in to gibberish. Plus there is then the transliteration of names in the translation process.

I will have to check the original images of the scanned newspaper articles in the archive to check the spellings used. However, even that is no guarantee since the journalist writing the article would have been German, he will have used a W for a V anyway.

I will report back in due course.
 

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You're right that a stainless steel case would be too early for this watch. The Soviets weren't able to make their own steel cases until the debut of the Amphibia in 1969, and such cases didn't come to dress watches until years later.
Are we really sure of this?

Altough I admit I don't have a very deep knowledge on this matter, can't help noticing that the Mashpriborintorg Catalog from 1965-1967 (that is, several years earlier than assumed above) already lists 2 Poljot-branded models,

- 2409/140038 on pages 21 (picture) and 22 (description), and

- 2209/300070 (yes, it's a 2209) on pages 47 and 48,

which are both dress watches and have, as the 6-digits code states and the written text openly confirms, 100% stainless steel cases.

Now ok, a Mashpriborintorg catalog is by nature made for export, but looking at the watches shown there it's easy to see that most of them don't seem to have a cyrillic-branded counterpart: thus suggesting that those same models were also produced for the inner market.

Also interesting is this excerpt from the Mashpriborintorg presentation catalog from 1964, whose highlighted parts seem to imply that by then the Soviets were already able to master stainless steel production techniques:

Text Font Yellow Line Organism


So the question is: do we have proof that 1MWF case models 14 and 30 were made abroad and imported to the USSR, or should we maybe revise this specific timeline?
(or else, am I missing anything :-s )
 

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Congratulations on such a rare movement! That marks the third I've seen, I think.

Unfortunately, scratching the case-back won't tell us much. Regardless of case material, 99% of case-backs are stainless steel to resist corrosion from body oils and sweat. (The only exceptions that come to mind are solid gold watches and some rare cases produced in Poland.) You would need to scratch part of the case itself to know anything for sure -- a popular location is the back of the lugs. But maybe we can save you that step...

Could you take one more photo of your watch from a bit further away? I'd like to see the case in its entirety.

It's quite strange that there is so much space between the case and the movement. I'd expect the two parts to fit snugly together, like so:

View attachment 12164482

You're right that a stainless steel case would be too early for this watch. The Soviets weren't able to make their own steel cases until the debut of the Amphibia in 1969, and such cases didn't come to dress watches until years later. Some early steel cases are found on export watches (1, 2, 3), but these were non-domestic watches with English dials. So I would be very suspicious of an early Cyrillic Luch dial in anything except a gold-plated or solid gold watch. According to catalogs, chrome cases for Luch 2209s did not arrive until the 1980s.....
Here are some additional photos:
Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Strap Fashion accessory

Watch Watch accessory Strap Photography Wrist


I scored it more deeply along the underside of a lug-and if it is not stainless steel, then it is some white alloy with hardness intermediate between the brass case of a Pobeda and the hardened steel of a pocketknife's blade.

While I make no claim for the authenticity of the entire watch, I'd be surprised if the movement in a watch that cost me in the neighbourhood of £20 delivered had been scavenged from a solid gold watch. It seems like that would make no sense for the frankenmeister.

P.S. apologies again for the handshake blurr.
 

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I think that the date 1961 could be traced back to classical Andrej Babanin's articles (Soviet movements (Part 1)). I haven't checked the main Russian language watch forum, but he was still active there till a few years ago. Maybe somebody could ask him directly?
Regarding the steel cases - there are some Poljots with really old movements, Pobeda-type with central second hand without shockproof (Москва or 2608). Isn't it logical to put the best movement available at the time in those rare and difficult to produce steel cases? And of course there was the old Zlatoust monster in steel, but i'm not sure if it qualifies as wristwatch. There are smaller desk clocks than Zlatoust.
I have a couple of old and used steel Poljots (2409, 2609, 2209, automatics etc.) and all of them seem to be different shades of gray. As if the batches were so small, that there was no GOST standard for steel cases (unlike the clear GOST requirements for movements). But maybe this is just a result from long use. Do the NOS poljot steel cases look the same, if we have a happy owner of multiple ones here? And was there a GOST for steel cases?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here are some additional photos:
I scored it more deeply along the underside of a lug-and if it is not stainless steel, then it is some white alloy with hardness intermediate between the brass case of a Pobeda and the hardened steel of a pocketknife's blade.
While I make no claim for the authenticity of the entire watch, I'd be surprised if the movement in a watch that cost me in the neighbourhood of £20 delivered had been scavenged from a solid gold watch. It seems like that would make no sense for the frankenmeister.
P.S. apologies again for the handshake blurr.
Thanks for the additional photos. Now I can see. What you have there is a chromed Raketa case made for a 26xx movement. That's why the 2209 movement doesn't fit well; there is an addition 4mm of empty space as this movement was not designed for this case. Here's how an original movement fit into that case: 1, 2.

I can't pretend to know how your watch got to the way it is today, but I do know that many gold watch cases were/are melted down for quick cash. So probably the original Luch case suffered the same fate. Whether it was solid gold or gold-plated, I don't know. That would leave a stranded movement to be thrown into a pile like this until pieced together with other on-hand parts to create the watch you own now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think that the date 1961 could be traced back to classical Andrej Babanin's articles (Soviet movements (Part 1)). I haven't checked the main Russian language watch forum, but he was still active there till a few years ago. Maybe somebody could ask him directly?
My suspicion, as with much of this hobby, is that this could be a misnomer that has been repeated and circulated for many, many years. Andrej does not cite any period documents or reliable reference material to support the claims made in that article.

Are we really sure of this?
Well, no, of course not. But I cannot understand the trouble with designing the Amphibia lugs unless this was the Soviet's first foray into steel watches. From the man himself (and courtesy of Google Translate):

"But steel, which made housing "Amphibians", is much tougher than brass. And for a long time we could not knock the workpiece desired shape: break off the lugs, which is attached to the strap. Therefore, the first buildings were a "stumps" [swing lugs] instead of the usual lugs."

I understood swing lugs to be a stop-gap as the Soviets refined their steel case production technique. But I have no specific evidence of this aside from what Novikov says.

On the other hand, there is good evidence of this early-style steel case to which you allude, found on Poljot, Vympel, and Almaz. These had Cyrillic markings on the back, but I suppose that doesn't mean they had to be domestically-produced.

Tarasov's Technology of Watch Production makes no mention of steel cases, as far as I recall (note in particular page 37 and page 298). But this is a book from 1956, and a lot could have changed in the intervening decade.
 

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Maybe you are right re steel cases. I searched for GOST on steel cases in 1960s and found only a reference on steel case backs

"Корпусные крышки наручных часов, для предотвращения кор.розии от пота рук, изготовляют из нержавеющей стали. Напри.мер, из стали 1Х18Н9 с добавкой селена, что повышает обраба.тываемость ее по сравнению с обычной нержавеющей сталью в 2 - 2,5 раза." - that the case backs are made of a steel N. 1x... with added selenium which makes it 2-2.5 times easier to work with".

This is from И.С. Беляков, С.Е.Крепс, П.Д.Сурин "Ремонт часов. Практическое пособие". Госбытиздат, Ленинград, 1964 г (http://german242.com/books/books.htm). In the same book the authors say on page 34 that watch cases are produced of different materials, but explicitly add будильники (alarm clocks) when steel was mentioned.

"Корпусы часов изготовляют из латуни марки ЛС59-2, нейзиль.бера марки МНЦС63-17-18-2, мельхиора, «морокой» латуни (мор.ские хронометры), стали (будильники), пластмассы и т. п." p. 34
 

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Well, no, of course not. But I cannot understand the trouble with designing the Amphibia lugs unless this was the Soviet's first foray into steel watches. From the man himself (and courtesy of Google Translate):

"But steel, which made housing "Amphibians", is much tougher than brass. And for a long time we could not knock the workpiece desired shape: break off the lugs, which is attached to the strap. Therefore, the first buildings were a "stumps" [swing lugs] instead of the usual lugs."

I understood swing lugs to be a stop-gap as the Soviets refined their steel case production technique. But I have no specific evidence of this aside from what Novikov says.
My educated guess: couldn't it just be that the Poljots were simple dress watches, while the Amphibia was meant to be a 200m diver's tool watch, therefore having to meet much stricter requirements?

storyteller said:
In the same book the authors say on page 34 that watch cases are produced of different materials, but explicitly add будильники (alarm clocks) when steel was mentioned.
Oddly, though, the 1964 Mashpriborintorg booklet shown above (same year as the book you quote) explicitly links "wrist watches cases" with "stainless steel".

I wonder (but alas have no way to verify it...) if the book may had been originally written in an earlier year, because by logic a promotional catalog for export should have been the most up-to-date publication available at the time.
 

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Thanks for the additional photos. Now I can see. What you have there is a chromed Raketa case made for a 26xx movement. That's why the 2209 movement doesn't fit well; there is an addition 4mm of empty space as this movement was not designed for this case. Here's how an original movement fit into that case: 1, 2.

I can't pretend to know how your watch got to the way it is today, but I do know that many gold watch cases were/are melted down for quick cash. So probably the original Luch case suffered the same fate. Whether it was solid gold or gold-plated, I don't know. That would leave a stranded movement to be thrown into a pile like this until pieced together with other on-hand parts to create the watch you own now.
Upon comparison-the case is indeed the same diametre as that of my Raketa 2609 (which is an altogether less supicious watch), though it is a little slimmer. I am fairly certain it is all steel, though, and not chromed brass. There is simply no way to uncover brass underneath the surface.

If your previous post is accurate about the ammount and value of the gold plating, the gold is as valuable as the watch itself on many older gold-plated watches...it would be sad, yet darkly hilarious in a way, if these relics of the Soviet Union were thus melted down to satisfy capitalist greed.

In regards to my watch, the dial and 2209 movement came from early Luch watches, perhaps even the same watch, and were later frankenned into the current 26xx case then. Good to know. I believe the hands are also from a 2209 (perhaps again the same donour?).
 
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