WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:) Hallo to everybody in the Russian watches forum. There come numerous questions and remarks concerning Poljot, Volmax, some “unknown “Russian” watch brands”, some internet dealers, etc.
I would like to help clear up things a bit.
1. Poljot and Volmax
Poljot is the name of perhaps the most known watch and watch movement factory in Russia. It has a very rich history and the watch brand it produced (is still producing) –“Poljot”- is one of the most famous watch brands in Russia. A couple of years ago the owner of the factory sold the machinery for watch movement production to other Russian companies (3133 – to McTime, 26.. to Vostok, …) but the name “Poljot” has not been sold. Approximately at the same time production of Poljot watches was nearly stopped. At the beginning of the century , as it got clear that Poljot decline is inevitable some employees of the Poljot factory founded a new company “Volmax” – pure Russian company that started production of three watch brands “Aviator”, “Buran” and “Sturmanskie”. These brands officially belong to Volmax and are produced in Moscow in the Poljot building. By the way, best designers and watch makers of the former Poljot factory work at Volmax company. So one could say they are a successor of Poljot. On the other hand, Ivan Ksenofontov (Poljot´s owner´s son) has not buried the idea to go on with production of Poljot watches, so he is about to release a small collection of Poljot watches this year. Time will show if it will work.
Conclusion: Both “Poljot” www.poljot.com and “Volmax” www.aviatorwatch.ru are well known officially registered watch manufacturers in Russia. Neither Poljot nor Volmax has ever tried to bring watches to the market without indication to the manufacturer. It means: all the watches produced by Poljot or Volmax have the registered logos on the dials or the back cover. Poljot has the “Poljot” logo and Volmax uses “Aviator, Buran and Sturmanskie” logos on their watches. Additionaly, Volmax has just released a watch line called “Patriot” with the logo “РЧЗ“ on the dial (special edition, as a separate project). These watches belong to Volmax.
2. Juri Levenberg. A lot has been written about this watch dealer in the WUSF. J. Levenberg is a Russian who moved to Germany quite a few years ago and started to sell Russian watches through Internet. As there was no distribution policy at that time the business bloomed. Juri Levenberg sold watches to other internet dealers for Russian watches like Ruwatch, Poljot24, etc. Some years ago the Russian watch manufacturers came to the conclusion that working on the world market is not possible without reasonable distribution strategy and so, the rights to sell some official Russian watch brands were given to companies that were able to work not only with Internet shops but what is more important, with normal retail shops, to represent the watch brands on the decent level at watch trade fairs, etc. Levenberg company never got the right from any Russian watch manufacturer for any exclusive representation at the German market, moreover, some of the Russian watch manufacturers refuse to deliver any watches to this company. Thus it led to the situation that has been known for a certain time: Levenberg company suddenly offers watches in E-bay that are supposed to be Russian but give no indication to their manufacturer, additionaly they are sold by his company to some of their Internet dealers. A warning signal for all people who like Russian watches: is it a real Russian watch if there is no official Russian watch manufacturer behind it or is it an UFO? What are the reasons that make such "watch producers" hide the origin of their watches?
Please do not mix all those “new Russian brands” – Moscow classic, Sturmovik, Pilot, etc with Poljot and Volmax watches – they have nothing to do with these well known official watch manufacturers.
3. One more thing: Vostok http://vostok-inc.com and Vostok-Europe www.vostok-europe.com . These two watch brands are still being mixed up although these are two different watch brands. Vostok or Восток (Russian way) is a typical Russian watch brand produced in Chistopol (Russia/Tartarstan) at the Vostok factory and Vostok- Europe is a brand made by the Lithuanian company Koliz Vostok in cooperation with the Vostok factory.
  • Watches produced by Vostok in Chistopol can be divided into 2 groups: those produced for the domestic market (cheaper and with much lower quality) and export watches – the same watch lines made with better movements and better quality. The former are to get through all Russian companies via Internet or in retail shops in Russia and also by inofficial Internet dealers who buy these watches just somewhere to sell all over the world, the latter (export quality) can only be bought through official Vostok dealers (distributors and authorized dealers) outside Russia.
  • Watches Vostok Europe produced in Lithuania have very high quality that is the same all over the world because Vostok Europe started the watch production with the only aim – to provide the market with inexpensive high quality automatic watches officially distributed all over the world. As we see it works very well!
So, to cut the long story short – If you are not looking for “a real single piece” from the 70-eth / 80-eth that is difficult to get from a regular official dealer but if you would like to buy a currently produced good quality Russian watch, please look at the Manufacturers´ websites to find out which company is responsible for your country and has official dealers (maybe even in your town), which Internet dealers are official dealers and offer good quality, warranty and after-sales service – this will save you a lot of trouble with all possible further matters when you buy a watch. Sometimes saving 5 dollars leads to much more money investment in the following reparation and unneccessary telephone costs or it even leads to buying a watch made from old watch parts in a home basement.

Please excuse my mistakes in English ;-)
Irina
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Many thanks Irina ! This clarifies a lot. This is an excellent and unbiased piece of information.
Moderators please post it in the Article and Links section here above.

regards,

Tammo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Great details. I'm clearer too as a newbie to Russian watches.
Thanks Irina.:-!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Great information Irina - thanks very much. The only problem for us now is how to recognise the OFFICIAL (internet?) distributors, particularly for the Chistopol manufactured Vostoks! :-S :-S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Regarding Vostok (Chistopol) - just send an e-mail to the factory with the question about official dealer(s) in your country [email protected] , they will certainly answer it. It could take a while till they react but I am sure they will.
:)
Irina


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,445 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Thynk you Irina! :-!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

This could explain the missing Jewels in some 3133s seen coming from JL
(in the journey was it?) and also why some of his models look similar but not quite 100% to the original ones. Thats not counting the obvious JL limited editions...
 

·
Affordables Moderator
Joined
·
17,574 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

BrianS said:
I guess that clears up some of the mystery! Thanks! :)

When I first read the thread title I thought there was a watch sale... :-D
Me too Brian, I got all excited, LOL :-D

Thank you very much for the information Irina!

Cheers,
Griff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,195 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Thank you very much, Irina. The mystery about several recent watches is resolved. Hovewer, i still wonder who is the producer of those watches. I'm thinking to buy an Aeronavgator (not from Levenberg though) and i wonder who is the producer.
Also, is this an official Poljot watch?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,826 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Irina - Вы!

I'd love to know how you came to know so much about the Russian watch industry and the behind the scenes details of distribution and such regarding Russian watches? Your English is certainly much better than my Deutsch or my non-existant Русско.:-!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,083 Posts
Thanks, Irina. This post clarifies many questions...

Finally, I have a big picture of what is happening.
Many thanks.
-- Mark
 

·
Mod. Russian, China Mech.
Joined
·
18,197 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Thanks for that detailed summary, Irina. I particularly appreciate the background info on Juri Levenberg.

I'm very glad that you could find the time in your very busy schedule to visit us here :) I guess you're taking a moment to catch your breath after Inhorgenta? I look forward to your report if you have time. How was the response to the Red Square?

Are you ready for Basel?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Thanks a lot to everybody for the feedbacks!!! :)
I will try to answer newly appeared questions and give some more additional information tonight (European time).
Irina
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Hello, again

As promised – here is a short summary on some comments, questions, etc.
I am writing just in the sequence the questions appeared in the thread


michele
Thank you very much, Irina. The mystery about several recent watches is resolved. Hovewer, i still wonder who is the producer of those watches. I'm thinking to buy an Aeronavgator (not from Levenberg though) and i wonder who is the producer.
Also, is this an official Poljot watch?


<The mystery about the producer(s) of some recent watches cannot be officially resolved as I can´t make any official statement about it. There is/are no official producer/s and any inofficial information must be handled very carefully. In any case in some of those watches old / not regulated / partly used /,etc. movements are used and definitely not all watch parts are of good quality. However I offer some more information that might help.
First: Aeronavigator is not an official Poljot watch.
Second: here is the list of the most known watches that have nothing to do with Poljot or Volmax production (there are certainly not all watches listed)
---------
Pilot
Avia Classic
Kirov with the case other than 650 (Example of the 650 case see:http://www.aviator-buran.com/Buran/2614.html)
Poljarnik
Moscow Classic
Sturmovik
Amfibia (Molnija movement)
Aeronavigator>
……………………………………………….
Docrwm


I'd love to know how you came to know so much about the Russian watch industry and the behind the scenes details of distribution and such regarding Russian watches? Your English is certainly much better than my Deutsch or my non-existant Русско.


<I wish I really knew so much! The process of learning is never-ending. One can never know much enough. I was born in Estonia (the former Soviet Union) and my native language is Russian. My English used to be much better but when I married my husband and moved to Germany it gradually became worse and worse.
The idea to work with Russian watches came to my husband and me some years ago. As I originally come from “big Russia” , speak the language and know Russian mentality very well it made it easier for us to start the business. We learnt a lot! It´s only important to be eager to learn, to respect other people, their interests and way of thinking, the rest is achievable. But if you knew how much there is to learn still!!!
Regarding background information. It is very simple – watch business is a wide circle like in any other sphere. You meet new people, communicate with a lot of people, know quite a lot of them personally and, you know how it is, if people can rely on you, they share information.
My husband leads the business (he is German)n and I try to help him as much as I can by keeping good business and human contacts with the Russian side (this is my direct task that I like very much) and by supporting him in all business matters, so it works very well.
By the way, Russian is not that difficult, Robert, I think German is much worse with all those "der, die, das, dem, den, etc". It is never late to start.>
…………………………………………………..
Chascomm


Thanks for that detailed summary, Irina. I particularly appreciate the background info on Juri Levenberg.
I'm very glad that you could find the time in your very busy schedule to visit us here. I guess you're taking a moment to catch your breath after Inhorgenta? I look forward to your report if you have time. How was the response to the Red Square?
Are you ready for Basel?

<The Inhorgenta was a good success for us. It was a very intensive and interesting period of time. It is always good to see that the work we do is appreciated by people and a lot of positive feedback is coming. We organized participation at the fair and our producers and also the distributor from Poland worked all together at the Fair. Very good working atmosphere in our booth and success on the business side.
Red Squary – a very very positive response. My first reaction when I took the ready watch in the hand was a real astonishment. It is solid stainless steel, it is very big, heavy, but anyway elegant and really unusual. Everybody liked it.
Inhorgenta as trade fair attracted more visitors this year as compared to 2005 but with fewer participants (not considerably). There will be an official report released soon – the trade fair general results, as exhibitor we got it already, so it should soon appear on the Inhorgenta website for everybody. www.inhorgenta.com
Basel is being prepared by our manufacturers. For us, as distributor, this trade fair is of minor importance. Last year we were present in Basel the whole time not only to make new contacts, but also to help the producers. This year no real help is needed, the experiences made by our producers at different trade fairs are rich now. We will certainly come to visit, to stay for a couple of days and quite for sure to help if necessary. It is always great to meet people you gladly work with. >
………………………………
woodman

from another source, it said Vostok Europe is cooperate with Vostok and Leschot
eg.
http://www.tdctrade.com/mne/time/time011102.htm

<That is a very old source and it is out-of-date. There was kind of cooperation between the Vostok factory and the company Leschot but it was not long lasting and had nothing to do with VE. Koliz Vostok (Vostok-Europe) was founded later and there was absolutely no connection between VE and Leschot. >
……………………………………
jofla

Do you know something about Raketa watches ? Are there Chinese made movements in a recent production ? How to recognize Chinese if there they are/
Or, how to recognize newer Russian movements from the older Soviet movement models. and what are differences ?


<Here you got me! I had to ask for help using a very reliable source (top secret :-X ;-) ), so I am just pasting the information that came in the afternoon by e-mail. >.....
The Raketa factory (located in Petrodvoretz city near St. Petersburg)) stopped production of movements about 10 years ago. The factory was sold out to one of new-Russian financial groups who were mostly interested in buildings of the factory than in production of something. Nevertheless, there was thousands of movements in the stock of the factory and they used these movements for making cheap watches with Chinese cases and dials. Now they just order complete watches from China with Raketa brand.
To be honest Raketa calibers were most reliable wrist-winding movements from all Soviet movements 20 years ago (including Poljot 2614)...
By the way, there are at least 5 "Russian" brands like SOYUZ who use 100% made in China watches for own "brand" - most of Romanoff watches (they have big quartz collection), Nesterov, Raketa, Record ( another name of Soyuz) and some others... There are hundreds of such local brands in EACH country who follow the same way, but they never say that “we are "made in Finland"” for example...>

…………………………………………………..

I hope I could give some additional useful information to the Forum members.

With my best regards

Irina :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,195 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

irina_maier said:
<The mystery about the producer(s) of some recent watches cannot be officially resolved as I can´t make any official statement about it. There is/are no official producer/s and any inofficial information must be handled very carefully. In any case in some of those watches old / not regulated / partly used /,etc. movements are used and definitely not all watch parts are of good quality. However I offer some more information that might help.
First: Aeronavigator is not an official Poljot watch.
Second: here is the list of the most known watches that have nothing to do with Poljot or Volmax production (there are certainly not all watches listed)
---------
Pilot
Avia Classic
Kirov with the case other than 650 (Example of the 650 case see:http://www.aviator-buran.com/Buran/2614.html)
Poljarnik
Moscow Classic
Sturmovik
Amfibia (Molnija movement)
Aeronavigator>



This is a bad new, because i have ordered an Aeronavigator just yesterday :-( Anyway, it seems a quite nice watch, and that Molnija caliber seems of good quality - all in all, it is a Russian watch at least for 60%, justy like an Hamilton (that produces the cases in China).
The problem is that there are new watches with Poljot brand (like the one that i have posted) but i'm not sure that they effectively comes from the First Moscow Watch Factory :-S But the production of consumer goods in the world is now so fragmented that you can have a Chinese case, a Swiss or Russian movement, an Italian strap , and it's very hard to understand what is around us. :-S

<The Inhorgenta was a good success for us. It was a very intensive and interesting period of time. It is always good to see that the work we do is appreciated by people and a lot of positive feedback is coming. We organized participation at the fair and our producers and also the distributor from Poland worked all together at the Fair. Very good working atmosphere in our booth and success on the business side.
Red Squary – a very very positive response. My first reaction when I took the ready watch in the hand was a real astonishment. It is solid stainless steel, it is very big, heavy, but anyway elegant and really unusual. Everybody liked it.
I agree, it's a very nice watch. I like it a lot although i usually don't like square or rectangular cases.
I own a Vostok N1 Rocket (black case) since one month, and i think that it worthy of a great success, it's full of personality :-! The only thing that i don't like, is the lack of the quick setting for the date window, that is a feature that must be added to attract more customers.

The Raketa factory (located in Petrodvoretz city near St. Petersburg)) stopped production of movements about 10 years ago. The factory was sold out to one of new-Russian financial groups who were mostly interested in buildings of the factory than in production of something. Nevertheless, there was thousands of movements in the stock of the factory and they used these movements for making cheap watches with Chinese cases and dials. Now they just order complete watches from China with Raketa brand.
To be honest Raketa calibers were most reliable wrist-winding movements from all Soviet movements 20 years ago (including Poljot 2614)..


As far as i know, Raketa is still in activity, although i guess that now it's quite a small producer quite than a big factory. Their website http://pchz.narod.ru is online since three years , and my sensation (seeing several of their movements) is that they are mixing old-stock movements and new (but cheaper - no anti-shock on the escapement wheel) movements, although always of Russian project (caliber 2609 and derivatives).
The cases of those watches looks of Russian production/design to me (substantially the same of the USSR models, but with lower quality), also because they have still a section for the production of cases according to their website.
I have seen also Raketa-branded automatic watches, and they have totally different cases and movements, being definitely Chinese products.
Some news about Slava? Are they still producing Russian movements, are they definitely switching to Chinese movements, or have they definitely stopped the production?
I understand that it's a lot of questions :-D
 

·
Affordables Moderator
Joined
·
17,574 Posts
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

I have noticed that the Raketas that I have received recently have writing on the caseback as opposed to an older one that just had a number. The writing is in Cyrillic, and says "Made in Russia", not "Made in Soviet Union".

I don't mind Chinese watches, but if I buy something that says made in Russia I assume that is where it is made. When I buy a Timex I know it isn't made in the USA any more and that is fine, they don't represent their products as being made in the USA. The whole Swiss Made regulations that specify 51% of the value of a watch must be made in Switzerland, which could be one gear(!), and the rest of the parts come from China or wherever is a misrepresentation and I find it annoying, global economy or not (especially at those prices!). Same thing with the German watches that say made in Germany and have a Chinese movement (of which there are some very nice ones like Trias).

Personally I would love to buy a Seagull Chinese chronograph and know that it is made in China. I would be annoyed if that same watch was labeled Swiss or Russian or American etc. I guess what I am trying to say is that if it is Chinese, call it Chinese, if it is Russian, call it Russian, if it is made from a bunch of different parts from different countries, say it! Just like my Timex that says made in China, parts made in Phillipines or wherever, I don't care, I like my Timex watches for what they are, an inexpensive time keeper that I don't have to worry about bashing off my snare drum when I play. I like my Raketas for what they are too, the most inexpensive 24hr watch.

Sorry, rant off :-X Just a newbie's humble opinion...

Regards,
Griff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Re: Clearance on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs

Hello and sorry for just answering shortly the last posting, too much work….


Thank you for all of your comments, but are you sure about your 'infos' on Mr. Levenberg? Then why does his eBay shop say the following?:
official POLJOT & MOLNIJA selling in Germany



One should not mix “exclusive right” and “official dealer”.
-
Former Poljot had no distribution net abroad and so, each company that officially bought Poljot watches at least once, (at the factory or through another company) theoretically had the right to call itself “official dealer”. Poljot has not got the official list of its dealers yet. So, it is too early to comment on this topic.

- Regarding Molnija. It is true that Mr. Levenberg earlier bought Molnija watches directly fom the factory, however the Molnija factory did not give his company any right as a sole agency. In the nearest future our company is receiving the first delivery of Molnija watches from the factory as their official partner. (By the way, Molnija is working on its web presentation at present)
*****
It is not always easy to clear things from the past. The situation today is different. One by one Russian watch factories manage to develop a distribution system for their watch brands, they pay more attention to their web presentation and proudly present lists of their official partners -official dealers of today, as we understand it and accept – dealers, who promote the products they sell, who carry responsibility for their actions, dealers who can be relied upon by their customers und who still follow the motto: “ First my customers´ interests and wishes, then my own”.
Just keep a close eye on further development of the Russian watch industry, things are changing!

Irina :)
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top