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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Comrades, I am confused (nothing strange so far about that). We know that during the war the Soviets moved many factories to the east, out of the range of enemy bombers. One of the temporary factories marked Type -1 movements with the logo shown in the 1st attachment.

When I see that, I see the number 53. Of course it has been pointed out that the second symbol could be the Cyrillic letter ze (Latin Z), hence the mysterious factory is often called Factory 5, or 5th factory, the 3 being the initial for the word завод, meaning factory. The designation 5th factory is reminiscent of the 1st and 2nd State Watch Factories. According to Comrade Mark Gordon there was a 3rd (Clock) Facotry but I have never seen a reference to a 4th factory anywhere.

My issue with this is the following:

The number 3 is printed or engraved in 2 ways, both shown in the 2nd attachment. The ROUNDED form is two semicircles one on top of the other. The ANGULAR form is an angle on top of a semicircle. I have never seen the letter ze in the angular form, but in all Cyrillic fonts I invariably find the rounded form. This is also true of the 1GChZ and 1MChZ logos. I may be wrong and I don't know Russian but I did asked Russian Comrades and they agree.

In fact, the angular form is reserved for the letter /dze/ in the Abkhazian and the Karellian versions of the Cyrlillic alphabet

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abkhaz_language#Writing_system

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karelian_alphabet

In Abkhazian the two forms coexist but are distinct. The rounded form stands for ze and the angular for dze.

I consider this as substantial (though not decisive) evidence in favor of the stamp meaning the number 53 and not 5Z for 5th factory. Of course, this does not explain what 53 actually means, but is "5th factory" much better in the absence of a 4th factory?

For the various movement stamps with "zavod" see Comrade ill-phill's excellent

russian_logos

Here the abbreviation for zavod is inthe curved form in the vast majority ofcases. There are very few exceptions: ChChZ for example, but these are all cruder engravings where no curves are used, just straight lines for ease of engraving. Still this means that my theory is not bulletproof

Comments, Comrades?
 

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Whoa whoa whoa, comrade, what exactly do you think you're doing? Until now, we've had a perfectly irrational system for understanding this factory (and much of the rest of Soviet watchmaking), and here you come to muddy the waters with your "logic" and "reason" and "sanity". I won't stand for it.
 

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In all honestly, this is an extremely interesting post. I do find it curious that the only real exception to the curved "З" is Chistopol, which most agree is what became of "Factory 53". So perhaps whatever stylistic choice for the letter "З" was carried over from Factory 53 to what later became known as Chistopol Watch Factory? The missing watch factories, not to mention why an angular "З" was chosen for this factory stamp and no others, remains a mystery to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Comrade! Are you out of your mind? Where did you see logic and reason in my post? I mean look at it. It is concerned with the UPPER HALF of the number 3, not even the whole blasted number! and its implications on Soviet Horological history in wartime? You call this sanity? How dare you call this sanity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is an interesting idea, Comrade Lol965

According to Mark Gordon " The 3rd Moscow Watch Factory was in operation for only a few short years in the early 1950s. Technology was then transferred to the Orlovski Watch Factory in Orel."

(from ussrtime.com) Hence it was not a player in the early 40's.

Why did they stop at number 5 though if it is 5th factory?

(The 3rd referred to Moscow watch factory, after State 1 and 2 were renamed Moscow 1 and 2).

Perhaps they gave up the factory numbers after the war and only kept them for ones in Moscow


 

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Keep in mind that Marks website also contains mistakes. For example his info about Gostrest watches is not complete and even wrong concerning Gostrest Mockba info. So why should his info about the 3th factory be a fact?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Comrade slls, I am aware of that, but it does not mean it's wrong. Also it is the only information available to me regarding the 3d factory at this time so I have to cite it. If any Comrade has additional or conflicting information it is welcome.

Also do you have a reference concerning better info on Gostrest/Tochmekh Moskva?
 

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There is a thread from a couple of months ago about Gostrest. I believe it was ocram who found info. They (don't remember who) digged into the USSR archives where they found info about Gostrest and the names and years it operated (if I remember well from 1920-1933). I had this info on my blog but since I sold most watches I removed my blog cause the watches I showed where not longer mine.
 

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If I recall correctly, early watches from Penza are marked "3rd State Watch Factory, Penza", so there's your 3rd factory. No idea about a 4th, but I agree that 53 is more logical than 5 for the reasons already stated and also simple logic. If you place a numeric and an alpha character alongside each other and the alpha is identical to a numeric, then you would naturally want to mark them in a way that differentiates.
 
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Just to make the this a bit more complicated - according to this book, Chistopol should be factory 35, and 2MWF - factory 53, and it produced watches in 1943. Maybe we should look again at some Type 1 watches.
Все для фронта все для победы | История часового завода Слава

Apparently, when the factories were moved under the direct control of the War ministry, it associated them a number - probably by the order it took control of them.
So it is 35, 53, and probably by the next year some inquiring mind will find 5/3 and we will start again.
 

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You are most welcome.
A rough translations for those who don't read Russian (I am not a native speaker in Russian, nor in English, so I could make a mistake in my translation, too)
В этом же году завод переходит в подчинение Министерства миномётного вооружения СССР и становится заводом № 853 (завод в Чистополе имел к этому времени № 835).
К 1943 году завод № 853 полностью формируется как объект оборонного значения. Директором завода назначается Бочаров Иван Иванович.

Основные цеха и отделы полностью укомплектованы. Численность приближается к 2000 человек (почти как в довоенный период). Наряду с производством оборонной техники, начинается восстановление гражданской продукции. По решению Наркомата миномётного вооружения от 15.02.43г на завод возвращается часть оборудования, а также специалисты из Чистополя для производства часов калибра 36 и 43 мм, танковых часов, будильников и часов маятниковых.

The authors tells how part of the 2mWF staff remained in Moscow, others returned after the battle for Moscow, and began rebuilding the factory in 1942. Then the paragraphs interesting for us start:
"In the same year (1942) the factory was transferred under the control of the Ministry of mortar (миномет) weapons and became factory 853 (by that time the factory in Chistopol was number 835). By year 1943 the factory was fully established as part of the military industry. Its director became Ivan Ivanovich Bocharov. The main production units were fully functional. The staff approximated 2000 persons (almost as many as before the war). In parallel with the production of military stuff, it returned to civil production. By the decision of Ministry of mortar weapons from February 15, 1943, specialist and tooling returned from Chistopol in order to produce watches cal. 36 and 43 (i.e. Type 1), tank clocks, alarm clocks and pendulum clocks."

So if we are to believe the book, 2MWF produced Type 1 watches under the brand "53" from 1943 on.
Here is the link:
Все для фронта все для победы | История часового завода Слава

p.s. take a look at the biography of its author - from 1968 to 1975 he worked in GRU, the Soviet army intelligence, the main rival of KGB. Then he moved to Slava, where he quickly became chief engeneer. ??????? ???????? ?????? ?????
"Industrial espionage" comes somehow to my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
So this is at the moment the most plausible theory about the meaning of the number 53. There was a bunch of factories with number 8XX (853,835 and 834 are mentioned in the link). The last two digits had obvious meaning then and were enough for factory identification, given that they were on a watch; so the 8 was dropped for ease of stamping/engraving (kind of like dropping the 19 from 1943)

If this is true, then Factory 53 was the revived 2GChZ IN MOSCOW, not behind the Ural mountains, with indigenous workers and equipment but also an infusion of equipment and people from Chistopol, as is evident from the (automatic translation ) of the order in your link

In accordance with the decision of the Government to placethe 2nd watch factory in Chistopol and return of the equipment of the 2nd watch factory for the production of consumer goods - pocket watches, alarm clocks and hours of battle - to Moscow- (January 27 1942 order of
People's Commissar of mortar weapons)
 

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This thread is getting more and more interesting. If I put the pieces together we have:

1MWF evacuated to Zlatoust Watch Factory.
2MWF evacuated to Chistopol factory.
The restart of 2MWF marked their watches with 53 during the years 1943-1945/6 before they used the Ч2З logo.

So far we thought the Chistopol factory marked their Type-1 watches with 53, but now it looks like it was the 2MWF after their restart instead.
In fact this would make sense. I assume that the Chistopol factory produced Type-1 watches using existing parts from the evacuated 2MWF including the 2MWF logo and later probably without any logo at all (all speculation of course).
 

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This is another very interesting point you have.

I can't read Russian too, but translating other parts of the book you are referring to with Google, I think I found mention of some Factory 834 too (I can't seem to find the page now, but if I remember correctly it wasn't a watchmaking industry anyway).

If this completely new key of reading is correct, the question that should arise now is: why are the watches marked only with "53" and not "853"?

If I had to make an educated guess, I'd suppose that "8" could be some sort of prefix indicating a geographical (Urals???) or administrative (Chistopol District???) area; or maybe -more likely- the type of the industry (e.g. agricultural, textile, mechanical and so on).
This could be a possible answer to the previous question: on documents, the complete factory number would have given the reader an indication about the sector of activity; when put directly on a product (e.g. a watch), also the "shorter" marking would do.


Again, nothing more than my 2 cents...
 

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I can't read Russian too, but translating other parts of the book you are referring to with Google, I think I found mention of some Factory 834 too (I can't seem to find the page now, but if I remember correctly it wasn't a watchmaking industry anyway).

.
The reference to Factory 834 is in the biography of Ivan Ivanovich Bocharov - director of 2MWF from 1943 on. The author of the book claims that Mr. Bocharov was director of Factory 834 from year 1936 to 1943.
Бочаров И.И. родился в 1900г. в д.Ковалевка Климовского района Тульской обл. в семье крестьян. Окончил Промакадемию; 2-х годичный Свердловский университет по специальности инженер-конструктор-организатор. Воевал в Красной Армии с 1919 по 1923 год. С 1936 по 1943 год - директор завода № 834.

Here (https://www.watchuseek.com/f10/my-first-type-i-2685273-5.html) is attached a document from 1941 - an order by the Ministry of Mortar Armement addressed, among others, to a Ivan Ivanovich Bocharov, director of Zlatoust watch factory.

So maybe - just maybe - Zlatoust was Factory 834, and Mr. Bocharov was a manager specializing in crash evacuations and/or rebuilding of watch factories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
So maybe - just maybe - Zlatoust was Factory 834, ....
Interesting you should say that Comrade storyteller: Factory 834 is mentioned in the history of Zlatoust Factory:
(I don't speak Russian)

http://www.zlat-zchz.com/история-завода/

it is mentioned in this paragraph:

В соответствии с решением СНК СССР и на основании приказа Народного комиссара минометного вооружения СССР присвоенное заводу наименование "1-й Государственный часовой завод имени С. М. Кирова" отменено и впредь завод именуется "Завод N 834 НКМВ"

This is a google robot translation of the relevant passage:

August 2. In accordance with the decision of SNK of the USSR and by the order of People's Commissar of the USSR, mortar armament factory assigned name "1st State Watch Factory Kirov" continue revoked plant named "Plant N 834 NKMV."
 
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