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A book on the history of 2nd MWF was uploaded on the web site of its successor (История часового завода Слава). See also the announce in watch.ru (http://forum.watch.ru/showthread.php?p=887504#post887504). The book was published in 2002 and covers the whole history of the factory from its beginning. Its author, Vladimir Georgievitch Bogdanov, started his carreer as apprentice in chrometer department of 2MWF in 1966 and finished in 2000 as head engeneer of 2MWF. To read the book, go to the end of the web page and click the chapters 1-12.
 

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Re: book on 2 MWF

extracts from the book:

In 1919 the whole watch industry was under the control of “Watch Agency” (Агентство часов), part of the ministry of economy (lit. Supreme council of people’s economy,ВСНХ). In 1920 was established a Committee on Precise Mechanics and the agency was moved to it. The agency controlled the First state watch factory Nov’ ( Новь) which stopped functioning in 1918, the state clockwork factory in Sharapov, the repair shops of Moser and Boure, and 149 artisan shops.
In 1922 the Aviapribor (Авиаприбор) factory began producing cuckoo and alarm clocks and a total of 20 700 cuckoo and 37 300 alarm clocks were made from imported parts for two years. In 1924 Avaipribor and Nov’ merged in one factory.
In 1924 was established Moscow Electromechanical Factory, where merged Moscow Radiotelegraph factory, electromechanical and watch repair shops, with a total of 125 workers. This is the precursor of 2MWF. Its first director, since 11/29/1924, was Alexej Petrovich Butuzov. The factory produced radio equipment and repaired the electrical clocks of Moscow tramways. In 1927 the factory began producing alarm clocks from imported parts, bought from the German Junghans .
In October 1928 a special commission visited several European countries in order to buy tools for a future Soviet watch factory. They were refused entry visas for Switzerland. Latter the commission moved to the USA and in 1929 reported that the watch industry in the USA was “significantly superior to the European one” (mostly for its automated production lines) and recommended to buy tooling from the US. In May 1929 the Council on Labor and Defense passed a resolution that the newly acquired American Duben-Hampton factory should be moved to the building of ‘Geophisika” factory (to become 1MWF), while the ‘Ansonia’ factory was moved to Moscow Electromechanical Factory buildings. The factory produced 1. cuckoo clocks, 2. cheap alarm clocks without jewels (three types initially – Б1 based on German Junghans design, Б2 based on French ‘Bravo’ designs, Б3 based on Ansonia’s ‘Pirat’ design, and since 1931 a Б4 alarm clock which was a ‘compromise between the three initial designs’), and 3. Electrical clocks.
In 1925 the constructors from Moscow Electromechanical Factory designed an electric clock (inspired by Siemens designs) and started individual production using locally made and imported parts. In 1930 2MWF began producing ‘primary’ electrical ЭПЧМ and ЭПМГ clocks, and some years latter – electrical car clocks. This is the reason why the 2MWF was a pioneer in electric, tuning fork and quartz watches after the 2WW.
In 1937 2MWF began assembling pocket watches using parts from 1[SUP]st[/SUP] MWF, and produced its first balance springs (hairspings). Since 1939, the synthetic jewels for all Soviet watches were produced in Tchernorechensk chemical plant (as primary material) and shaped in Petergoff and Uglich.
There are some data that in 1937-1938 2MWF experimented with wrist watches based on pocket calibers, but on the whole the factory was oriented from the very beginning towards larger calibers.

There are several details in the book which I – being quasi illiterate in watch terminology - cannot understand. It seems that 2MWF produced ‘primary’ electric clocks like ЭПМЧ and ЭПМГ – primary being clocks which somehow controlled other clocks, up to 50 of them, and ‘secondary’ electric clocks, e.g. street ones. The author discusses also problems with materials, e.g. quality steel and brass, the new and old tooling, etc. in a professional language beyond my understanding. For example, the process used by German Junghans for making balance wheels could not be transplanted directly to Russia (the Germans used something ‘thermal’ which required specific tooling), but the problem was solved using machine oil. The special tooling is discussed at length. I hope a more competent translator will take a look at this book or I can provide a literary translation and more knowledgeable forum members could try to re-interpret and explain it.
Especially interesting is the information about the workers in the new factory. The old watchmakers were considered too conservative, the young workers who poured to Moscow from the countryside (usually lacking any education, sometimes illiterate) were impossible to train, so the new worforce was recruited amongst the former street children, re-formed in state establishments. In 1920s Russia had enormous problems with street children, millions of them (remember that the Revolution tried to dismantle the family in its first years) and re-forming them and retraining as elite workforce was a brilliant solution. Those who read Makarenko memories might recall that his street children, reformed young criminals, produced Leica- inspired cameras.
More to follow.
 

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Re: book on 2 MWF

more from the book:

During the WW2 the factory switched to military equipment. The production of cuckoo and alarm clocks stopped, some 200 workers joined the national guard, and were replaced by women and youth at the production lines. 10/20/41 the 2mWF began its evacuation to Chistopol and on 10/23/1941 the last parties of workers and factory administration left Moscow – a total of 488 people. It was a very cold winter, since there was no heating in the new dormitories and production facilities. The local authorities in Tatarstan were not informed about the decision and it took some time to start a new production – magnetic devices for mines (?), automatic devices for opening of parachutes, 43mm wristwatches for army officers, boat watches. Soon the tooling was moved to the buildings of Chistopol vodka factory and an old tractor engine was reworked as electro-generator. The new factory in Chistopol was named ‘835’, while the old 2MWF was ‘853’.
In Moscow, the 2MWF (853) was re-launched in 1942, qualified workers came back from Tatarstan, and in 1943 the factory produced 36 and 43 mm wristwatches, tank clocks, and alarm clocks. The cuckoo clock lines were moved to Serdobsk, Pensa region.
02/14/1943 the NII5 institute was oriented exclusively towards research and design of timepieces and in May 1944 it was called NII Chasprom, with a staff of 110 people in departments of watchmaking, technology, standards, and tooling.
In 1945 2MWF began producing 36mm ‘Saljut’ (Салют) pocket watches, 3,5mm high. Their prototypes were the Swiss ‘Kartebor’ watches (Cortebert?), which caught the eye of Lavrentii Beria. However, this movement was difficult to produce given the high requirements towards the movement height (I am not sure to understand this). In 1946 started the production of ЗЧП radio-signal watches, size 260х520х530 mm, 144 hours of power reserve, 7,5 seconds of daily rate, with a special impulse stabilizer (I wonder what is this). In 1947 2MWF began assembling Zvezda watches with parts from Penza watch factory. In 1950 2MWF began producing precise pocket watches with 15 sec. daily rate and foolproof movement, 36mm caliber.
IN 1950 NII Chassprom designed a simple stopwatch, caliber 54mm, 15 jewels, and a two-hand stopwatch with 22 jewels. The former one (called 1CO) evolved to a stopwatch with 0.01 seconds scale, while the latter one (called 1СД) had an improved version in 1957, called 51СД. In 1951, 2MWF began assembling Pobeda watches with parts from 1MWF on a new assembly line of ‘pulse’ type (two times faster than the conventional assembly lines). In 1954 the venerable Б6 alarm clock was replaced by a modern caliber with 11 jewels, 56x15,2 mm. A total of 100 000 000 (one hundred millions) alarm clocks were produced by 2MWF during its existence. The assembly lines for Б6 were moved to Orlovski clock factory. From 1957 to 1990 2MWF was producing a special device for the army called 572П and I wish I was able to understand what it was doing. It was 62x54x62 mm and was able to work in temperatures from – 300 to + 400 degrees Celsius and withstand up to 2G and high vibrations. In 1958 2MWF began producing its own small caliber for women watches – 16mm diameter, 3,6mm high – instead of using parts from Penza. In 1966 the production of a new 24mm caliber began. The auto-winding and calendar modules were designed by NII Chasprom. In the 1970s new tooling was acquired from Swiss firms like Tornos, Vali ?, Zumbach.
In the 1960s the factory – together with NII Chasprom – began experiments with autonomous (i.e. with batteries) electric watches. The first ones were designed by NII Chasprom in 1960, but they never went into mass production. Between 1962 and 1965 experimental batches of electro-mechanical balance watches were produced, based on NII Chasprom design. (I can hear some collectors crying). In 1963 a mass production of tuning-fork watches began and the tuning-fork movements caliber 2937 were produced for 15 years.
The first quartz watches caliber 3050 were produced in 1976, to be replaced in 1983 by 3056A and the smaller 2356 (since 1984) and 2360 (since 1985). The 3056A was produced till 1994, and 23xx – till 1997. In 1989 the even smaller 1356 (with second hand) and 1358 (without second hand) were introduced, both designed by NII Chasprom. Finally, in 1991 began production of 1656 quartz movement – till 1998. Many improvements were suggested by 2MWF engeneers, for example a Mr. Nazarov introduced kind of scotch tape as isolation of the step motor (remember the strange tar in old Slava).
This is only a tiny part of the book. There are many technical descriptions (tooling, materials, production processes, movements – especially space equipment, electric, quartz, and stopwatches) there which I am unable to understand in any language, let alone to translate. If some more competent forum member fluent in watch terminology is interested, I can send a verbatim translation in a PM and he could try to make sense of it and post in this forum. This book is a treasure. Many, many thanks to GrAnd and Slava people.
 
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