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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" and "Volmax" 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 and Vostok-Europe . 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 ;-)

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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.


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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).

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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

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)
Avia Classic
Kirov with the case other than 650 (Example of the 650 case see:
Moscow Classic
Amfibia (Molnija movement)

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.>

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.
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. >

from another source, it said Vostok Europe is cooperate with Vostok and Leschot

<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. >

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 :)

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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&#8230;.

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 :)
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