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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

Can you please help me with some details on the below 2 watches? They are on sale at Amazon but don't have much information as to the reference no. type etc

1) Are these genuine Poljot models? If so does anyone know they model no?
2) They are marked as brand new. I am very new to Russian watches, can anyone please confirm if these models are still in production and can be brand new?
3) Would you say they are good watches to buy if I was looking for a Poljot?

Thanks in advance!!

P.S Sorry about the double images. I am not sure how to make it go away!

NEW POLJOT Aviato Russian Military Mechanical Rare 24hours
71PMYB3pTQL._SL1189_.jpg

POLJOT STURMANSKIE AVIATOR Men's WRISTWATCH USSR Military Mechanical Rare
71c+I5xJMVL._SL1500_.jpg
 

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1. NO. I dont know about the second one but the first is definitely Ukrainian franken watch, most likely the second one too. The 24 H. Aviator uses Raketa movement, While Surmanskie uses Poljot 2614 2H movement.
2. They do use new (chinese) cases, dials and hands. The movements are usually NOS Russian movement.
3. NO, if you are looking for Genuine Russian Poljot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. NO. I dont know about the second one but the first is definitely Ukrainian franken watch, most likely the second one too. The 24 H. Aviator uses Raketa movement, While Surmanskie uses Poljot 2614 2H movement.
2. They do use new (chinese) cases, dials and hands. The movements are usually NOS Russian movement.
3. NO, if you are looking for Genuine Russian Poljot.
Hi Thanks for the reply

So basically these could be Chinese movements with Poljot name on the dial then? That would make it less appealing.

Well yes I was looking for a Russian Poljot but the few I found were quite expensive. Then I found these and thought will have a check

Also can you please tell me what's a Ukrainian franken watch?
 

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Buying a legitimate modern descendant of a Poljot is rather complicated and a bit of a minefield. As Dimy points out, both your examples are not quite the full picnic, although the Sturmanskie may just have been made under license in China depending on what's inside! Normally I would expect the dials to be marked Russia in some form, and while there may be exceptions, for me, this raises a red flag.

The demise of Poljot seems to date to 2000 - 2005. In 2000 a group of Poljot employees left to form Volmax and in 2002 they acquired the trademarks for Aviator, Buran and Sturmanskie assembling watches for these brands using Poljot movements. Parallel to this was the emergence of MakTime. Owner Alexander Makarov had founded the company to make watchcases in 1995 but from about 2000 bought interests in several older watch manufacturers. In 2005 Poljot sold off much of their movement-making machinery, some went to Vostok and the 3133 equipment was bought by Makarov and most of the Poljot workers in this area moved across to MakTime. P
ost 2005 MakTime supplied movements to Volmax.

Thus 2005 appears to mark the effective end of Poljot's production of watches - however the name of the company was not sold and neither Volmax or Maktime were able to legally use the Poljot brand name. However, other sellers who may have assembled their watches in total or in part from genuine Poljot old stock or bought new movements from MakTime did apparently infringe significantly on the Poljot/Aviator/Buran/Sturmanskie brand names. In 2006 Volmax issued a warning against unauthorised versions and tightened its system of official retailers.

In particular, Volmax's frustration may have been directed towards Poljot International. This is a German company first established by Alexander Shorokhov in 1992 as an official distributor of Russian Poljot watches. In 1994, however, Shorokhov began to assemble modified Poljot designs in the Bavarian city of Adenau. Poljot International made (and continue to make) high quality watches, although for some it may be uncomfortable to reconcile a Russian watch made in Germany!

A further complication in the history of Poljot's successors is the source of movements. MakTime finally went bankrupt in December 2011, but there may have been supply problems before the final fall. Volmax began to use Swiss ETA movements in some of their brands and eventually moved production of their Aviator and Buran lines to Switzerland. Swiss production of Burans may have begun as early as 2007. Other movements may come from Vostok (remember that Vostok bought manufacturing equipment from Poljot in 2005). Volmax has also licensed some of its economy lines (including I believe Stumanskie quartz) to China!

Volmax, MakTime and Poljot International all have legitimate claims to be continuers of the original Poljot tradition. Another problem, however, is the large number of imitation Poljots especialy at the cheaper end of the market. From at least the 1990s there are watches branded "Pilot", in Cyrillic very close to Poljot - to my knowledge they have nothing to do with genuine Poljots. There is also a large quantity of new watches that use apparently old movements which are marked SU (Soviet Union) so either there are a lot of these old movements in circulation or just perhaps these are being made in China. These used to be sold mainly to tourists in Russia, but now with the Internet their distribution is much wider. Again these are not genuine Poljots although who made/makes them is a grey area. Frankens or Frankensteins are watches assembled mainly from genuine parts of older watches with the result being a fantasy easily sold to the unsuspecting - in the case of Poljot personally I would go a bit further and say most are out and out fakes.

I hope this little bit of history may help you to sort out the wheat from the chaff. As you may begin to see there are a lot of options; a genuine Russian watch with a Swiss movement, a genuine Russian watch made in Germany, a Russian watch legally licensed to China as well as complete fakes. Perhaps the easiest option to buy a genuine Russian Poljot successor would be to go with MakTime which also seem to usually be a little cheaper than the Volmax or Poljot International lines.

 

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Also can you please tell me what's a Ukrainian franken watch?
Here is a great description. All I can ad is that most of them originate, or are being made; or sold from Ukraine.
Frankens or Frankensteins are watches assembled mainly from genuine parts of older watches with the result being a fantasy easily sold to the unsuspecting - in the case of Poljot personally I would go a bit further and say most are out and out fakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Neruda,

Wow thanks! That really helps. I guess the ones I posted are, considering the price, not genuine products. It's too bad though, I was quite interested in the 2nd model!

I guess I should stick to Vostoks because it's definitely impossible for me to tell if the Poljots being sold are genuine and worth buying!

Do Raketa watches also share the same fate as Poljots?
 

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A few years ago Raketa got taken over by a French aristocrat who is pushing the brand towards luxury status importing several ex-employees from Rolex - many of their current line of watches cost over US$1,000. By all account, very good, and perhaps even quite reasonable compared to Swiss, but certainly a big change in direction.

Back in the Soviet days and the 1990s, however, Raketa made some very iconic watches. These include the Big Zero, 24 hour models, and the Copernicus among others. But, yes sadly, all have been extensively frankened or faked. As a rough guess, I reckon over 90% of the Raketa 24 hour watches on ebay aren't genuine, and perhaps a good 80% of the Big Zeros likewise - so it's a nightmare!
 

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I reckon over 90% of the Raketa 24 hour watches on ebay aren't genuine, and perhaps a good 80% of the Big Zeros likewise - so it's a nightmare!
We in Russia still have a large number of these watches in excellent condition and they are not in great demand.
 

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A few years ago Raketa got taken over by a French aristocrat who is pushing the brand towards luxury status importing several ex-employees from Rolex - many of their current line of watches cost over US$1,000. By all account, very good, and perhaps even quite reasonable compared to Swiss, but certainly a big change in direction.

Back in the Soviet days and the 1990s, however, Raketa made some very iconic watches. These include the Big Zero, 24 hour models, and the Copernicus among others. But, yes sadly, all have been extensively frankened or faked. As a rough guess, I reckon over 90% of the Raketa 24 hour watches on ebay aren't genuine, and perhaps a good 80% of the Big Zeros likewise - so it's a nightmare!
If you restrict yourself to soviet era Raketa 24 hour watches pictured in a catalog there were only five different authentic designs, if memory serves, not counting different finishes, that are usually available on ebay. There are a couple others but they are so rare they may as well not be considered. So really not many authentic designs at all, compared to what you see on ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Neruda, $1000 is way beyond my budget. :( I guess I am better off sticking to Vostok!


Schnurrp- wow! Amazing pics! Love the first one!!
 
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