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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

After having spent a little time looking at some of the better Russian watch sites and doing a little research I am ready to take the plunge. I am after a classic 1950s-1970s chronograph or diver. I would much prefer one of the higher end brands with a classic look. This would be a 2-3 times a week wearer so would need to be able to stand up to the rigors of modern office life ;-);-)
Any recommendations...?

Thanks

Arb
 

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Pre 1975 pretty much your only real option is a Sekonda/Poljot Strela with a 3017 movement. With the introduction of the Poljot 3133 around 1976 your choice gets a lot larger. Have a look here: Polmax3133
 

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For 3-4 times a week I would prefer a new production watch. With stainless steel case and some degree of WR (even against splash). What about a classic 3133 reissue of STRELA chronograph. It is for example my office beater:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Lamoc

Well I never seem those Polmax 3133's before. That looks awesome. It sounds like these seldom come up for sale or when they do are seldom original / or working. Also how is the servicing on this type of model as avoiding crazy expensive services is a must for me. Any advice on this appreciated?

Thanks

Arb
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This looks great but i would prefer this time to find something vintage. But thanks for sharing.

- Arb
 

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Most likely you want some variant of the 3017 powered Strela. Be aware that they are rare, pricey, and hard to get parts for, but they were the main Russian chronograph of the period. A good, running, recently serviced one will run you over $1000.

If you want something even more rare and exotic (not that I recommend this for frequent wear), you can consider something like the original 1MChZ Kirova chronograph. Most of these were black dialed, but some even rarer variants (like the one I linked) were white dialed. These are collector's grail items and near impossible to get parts for if ever damaged.

If you are willing to look at watches that are somewhat newer, you can look into the classic Poljot 3133 models from the 1970s and 1980s. They are much less expensive, easier to get parts for, and probably a bit more robust. However, to be honest, I personally don't find them as pretty as the older 3017s. The column wheel pusher feel of the earlier models is also a bit nicer than the cam-driven feel of the 3133. Not that there's anything wrong with the 3133, but column wheels are a bit nicer.

If you like the look of the Strela are willing to go with a modern watch, the 3133-powered Strela reissues mentioned by others above are good.
 

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I am after a classic 1950s-1970s chronograph or diver
plenty of choice, but if you want that you will have to dive into these things in order to find and pick one that has not been botched up.

this is an old strela with a black sekonda dial, fairly common, should be able to pick on up in the $4-600 range. They are lovely, but feel light and flimsy. A drop on the floor can cause a $300 repair bill.



same thing but beige dial, a bit rarer due to its cyrillic dial. Price will be a bit higher but no need to go as high as the poster mentioning $1000 stated if you don't object to a bit of patina,



A rare old 300m amphibian diver, military only, good luck finding one.



A more common amphibian diver, looks quite dressy, desirable. Can still be had in the $100-150 neighbourhood if one looks carefully





A solid diver from the 1980s, the 'ministry' case. You can find these with a bit of looking around. i would be prepared to pay $120 for a nice one, they are often priced higher but doubt they sell for that.




a chrono from the 1980s, this production run started in the mid-70s. Check out polmax3133.com for the entire repertoire. From rare military only to common civilian late USSR and after USSR priduction runs. Many frankens.




Along the same vein, an early 80s chrono military issue for airforce graduates.




one might be better off simply going with a new watch like this amphibian, which is very close to the original but is new, not frankened, will take a beating and keeps excellent time. Retais for about $70.





Another recent amphibian, paired with a modern 3133 powered hommage to the black strela above. Bigger and more substantial, you can drop it on the floor, and it will not be a franken. Priced around $500 from poljot24.de and other sellers. A no-regret choice.



A reissue of the beige dialed Strela from the 1950s above. The same considerations apply.




another re-issue of an old classic, unlike the modern Strela which is bigger, powered by a different movement, and really a totally different watch than its predecessor, yours for around $600, for the time being, almost extinct.



it depends on how much you want to delve into the hobby. If you want a nice watch that you can wear a couple of days a week, not worry if it is a Franken, not worry if you can drop it on the floor and if it will keep going, or if it will quit on its own, lose its glass cover, and incur a signficant repair/service bill, get one of the new production lines. If you like trawling ebay, checking out the many options, come back here on this forum and read threats and chit chat an old one may be the way to go. I started with a new one, 3 years ago, in fact the beige dialed 3133 strela was the first watch I bought. But i got bitten by the bug, and, let's just say, a few more have been added to the collection ;-)
 
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