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For a long time searching for a collection of these watches and finally found something! I'm happy!!!

Watches Lip T18, the prototype of the Soviet watches "Zvezda"("Star").



Figures slightly slimmer, neater... Compare with the Soviet.



Inner cover-duster on a slate, no in Zvezda.



French caliber



And now all the historical line of this model in the Collection!
Lip, Besancon, France (1933-1939) ----- (a former bicycle) Plant Frunze (ЗиФ), Penza, USSR (end 1938-beginning 1940) ----- 3rd GChZ (3ГЧЗ), Penza, USSR (1940) ----- "Zvezda" ("Star") (1940-1960-e).



An interesting evolution of the caliber's finishing.

 

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For a long time searching for a collection of these watches and finally found something! I'm happy!!! Watches Lip T18, the prototype of the Soviet watches "Zvezda"("Star").
Thanks, Rastafar for this post. It is a wonderful series that tells an important story about the birth of the post-war Soviet watch industry.

The Soviet 1802, as the T-18 was known in Russia, came into being as a result of a joint venture with LIP. As a result, there are many early Zvesda 'trial' pieces around with imported LIP movements.

This movement was revolutionary in many ways, but most importantly it was the first mechanical watch movement ever produced on a modern assembly line. The Soviet's -- with the help of LIP -- pioneered the mass production of watch movements several years before the Swiss did!

At various times from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, this movement was produced and cased at Petrodworzowy, Pensa, and Uglich, and assembled into finished watches with movements from other factories at the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory.

Quite a bit of history in one little movement...

-- Mark

P.S. I have more than 60 Zvesdas and Zvesda-related pieces in my collection, including several with LIP movements similar to the ones posted by Rastafar. You can view them by visiting my website -- WWW.USSRTIME.COM -- and hitting the pre-defined search term 'Zvesda' under 'Dial IDs' on the search page.
 

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Thanks Rastafar80 for this lesson in Russian watch making :-!
 

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Here's mine I bought today :) A nice 1959 Uglich example. And another nice one from my collection - older type (1951) with earlier finish. Also another one with a star on it's dial and 2 Pensa movements. Note thet one of them has black signs on the winding wheel - I'm not sure if they just wash up so easily or if only some of them had it. And note the screw-down dial - tou wont break any feet in this one :)

Talking about the movenet itself - it's a really fine machine, well designed, fine quality. The only problem I see is the bloody hairspring. It is very very soft and can be bent easily, and there is very little tolerance - very little space under the balance cock. Very often it turns outr thet the hairspring isn't flat and hits something, which is not easy to correct in a Zvesda...

I've sort of resurrected this thread, because Zvesda watches are a really interesting topic - if you have some - share :)
 

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To hark back to Mark Gordon's comment, above: "At various times from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, this movement was produced and cased at Petrodworzowy, "

I think this is incorrect (it came up on some other thread, and I think I remember Mark agreeing). There are some examples which were cased at Petrodovoretz, but using movements made by Penza, and with the Penza logo stamped on the movements. I think the fact that the two factories (Penza, Petrodvoretz) have the same initials (one in a triangular mark, the other in a diamond) may have added to the confusion.

That aside, it is nice to see this line-up of very pretty little watches!
Paul
 

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Hello, I have been reading everything I can on these Zvezda watches on this forum, as they seem to be an economical way to get a vintage watch.

I have a few questions though:
Somebody posted a catalogue image of the curved case Zvezda that tightly frames the movement where it is marketed as a ladies watch.
Now I see the original Lip is almost identical - but do I understand correctly that this has been confirmed to be originally designed for men?
How about the larger case rectangular Soviet version. Is this a men's watch?

Not that it really matters -I would wear them either way- The basic design doesn't look particularly feminine to me, but it would be interesting to know who they were originally intended for.
 

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Hello, I have been reading everything I can on these Zvezda watches on this forum, as they seem to be an economical way to get a vintage watch.

I have a few questions though:
Somebody posted a catalogue image of the curved case Zvezda that tightly frames the movement where it is marketed as a ladies watch.
Now I see the original Lip is almost identical - but do I understand correctly that this has been confirmed to be originally designed for men?
How about the larger case rectangular Soviet version. Is this a men's watch?

Not that it really matters -I would wear them either way- The basic design doesn't look particularly feminine to me, but it would be interesting to know who they were originally intended for.
I don't know about the Lip but the Zvezda rectangular model is clearly labeled a men's watch in this 1953 catalog:

Capture.JPG Capture1.JPG
 

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My wife tells me that she would not wear such a masculine-looking watch (seriously!), and I also think it looks good on my own wrist, so no fights over this one:





Note the open-ended strap; a necessity with the fixed lugs.
 

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Just looking at some images of vintage Lips online, I found this:
https://auction.catawiki.com/kavels/5498693-lip-t18-men-s-watch-1940s
It seems likely then that the Russians copied both the female and male Lip models.
Copied is not the right word, as the designs and parts were purchased lawfully:

"In 1936, Fred Lipmann signed a deal which allowed Russia to buy movements and watch parts, and then to buy Lip’s technology. Russia got modern, reliable watch technology, and Lip got the cash it needed to get over the financial problems caused by its rapid expansion. Lip engineers and technicians supervised the installation of a factory at Penza near Moscow, and trained Russian engineers. They also sold a large quantity of T18 (tonneau) and R43 (pocket watch) movements to feed the factories while they were getting up to speed. All told, Russia produced some 10 million Lip-designed movements in the pre- and post-WWII periods. The Russian-produced T18 was called the Zvevda, the R43 was called the Zim and the R26 was called the Pobjeda. The watches Salyut and Molnija used the R36 movement, which was also part of a deal between Lip and Russia."​

More here: Birth of Soviet Watchmaking
 

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Copied is not the right word, as the designs and parts were purchased lawfully:
"In 1936, Fred Lipmann signed a deal which allowed Russia to buy movements and watch parts, and then to buy Lip’s technology. Russia got modern, reliable watch technology, and Lip got the cash it needed to get over the financial problems caused by its rapid expansion. Lip engineers and technicians supervised the installation of a factory at Penza near Moscow, and trained Russian engineers. They also sold a large quantity of T18 (tonneau) and R43 (pocket watch) movements to feed the factories while they were getting up to speed. All told, Russia produced some 10 million Lip-designed movements in the pre- and post-WWII periods. The Russian-produced T18 was called the Zvevda, the R43 was called the Zim and the R26 was called the Pobjeda. The watches Salyut and Molnija used the R36 movement, which was also part of a deal between Lip and Russia."​

More here: Birth of Soviet Watchmaking
I don't know about the women's design but the "tank" design has been around for a long time from numerous companies. I don't think the Zvezda tank watch would ever be mistaken for a Lip tank watch of the same year.

Might as well say all the soviet round watches were copies because they're round.
 

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Upon closer inspection that particular watch is not identical to the Zvezda tank, but seeing as the women's models (assuming the Lip is a ladies watch) have an almost identical case, I assumed there might be an original Lip tank that inspired the Russian version.
I don't mean 'copy' in a derogatory way, it's just that they are part of the same lineage.
Interesting information on the transfer of watchmaking knowledge to Russia, thanks. I understand after World War Two german watchmaking had a influence as well.
 

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Upon closer inspection that particular watch is not identical to the Zvezda tank, but seeing as the women's models (assuming the Lip is a ladies watch) have an almost identical case, I assumed there might be an original Lip tank that inspired the Russian version.
I don't mean 'copy' in a derogatory way, it's just that they are part of the same lineage.
Interesting information on the transfer of watchmaking knowledge to Russia, thanks. I understand after World War Two german watchmaking had a influence as well.
I guess my point is Lip did not "invent" the tank watch as far as I know.
 
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