WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As the title of the thread reads, I would like to introduce you, which was the first wristwatch to carry a box with fixed handles and logo on the dial of the Chistopol factory, which, as we all know, was the germ of our beloved Bostok.

s-l1600 (1).jpg

As you may have guessed, it is the original model that inspires the current "Bostok Retro" so in vogue and that celebrate the creation of the company's 75th anniversary. Although I will present the clock as usual (description of technical features, etc) I will try to do something that I have not seen in a report on a watch, something unprecedented, namely: Make a small tribute to people that made its attainment possible; that is to say: to put face and name to the workers who with their effort and their many vicissitudes, managed to make reality something that a priori seemed impossible. As a collector and disseminator of Soviet watchmaking, having had the good fortune to approach the history of these thousands of anonymous heroes, makes this watch acquire extra value in my subconscious every time I put it on my wrist. And that will be the main intention of my thread, try to share this experience with all of you.

Operation Barbarossa


On June 22, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union with its troops (1), ending unilaterally the treaty of mutual non-aggression, known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty (2), signed by the two powers the year 1939. The German advance was practically unstoppable in the first months of offensive and strife, and part of its army was located only 25 km from Moscow, on an open front with more than 1600km in length and with a harsh winter ahead with temperatures that reached almost 50 degrees below zero. The so-called Battle of Moscow (3), was the first turning point (defeat) of the German armies in the world war.



The Evacuation

s-l1600 (2).jpg


We know by evacuation (4), the enormous displacement of people and companies that took place in the zone of the war front, to the continental zones of the East of the country. This evacuation to the rear areas, was governed and controlled by the "evacuation council" created two days after the German invasion. This council, promulgated laws and orders to the different administrations that ran the industries and civil society. It made regrouping measures in the host areas, to provide housing and food to the displaced civilian population. It is estimated that in total there were almost 16 million people and more than 2,500 factories of all kinds. This preventive measure, to prevent the looting by the Germans of strategic industries for war, goods of art and trained civilian population (artists, scientists, specialists ...) lasted practically until 1942. Seen this way and for what I could read in some media, it seems that this evacuation was almost a humanitarian act, effective and fast, to protect the population; Nothing is further from reality. If sources are sought and compared, we can also observe and analyze this phenomenon as something disorganized and chaotic and in a sense quite cruel, towards a large part of the population. In this article on the Russian page (5) we can find clear examples of this, such as desertions, looting, executions, deportations, poor conditions of hygiene and food in the host cities, etc.




I literally extract some paragraph from reports that refer specifically to the evacuation process to the Chelyabinsk area:

"06/30/41 in secret

To all district attorneys of the city of the Chelyabinsk region. Regional Committee of the CPSU (b) and the Executive Committee of the region. On June 27, 1941, the Council of Workers' Deputies instructed all the GK and RKVP (b) and the district councils to prepare the housing stock for the resettlement of people from the western regions, whose arrival is expected soon . The resettlement of people will take place both in a free housing fund, and mainly due to the compaction of the residents in the city and rural areas (four square meters per person - Ed.) "

However, the reality was fundamental different, due to the overflow and collapse that occurred

"The regional prosecutor's office established a series of important deficiencies in the operation of the evacuation center, namely:

1. The steps that reach the evacuees do not have an adequate meeting, so the evacuees, especially children, spend a lot of time looking for evacuation centers.

2. Because lunch is only at 6 o'clock in the afternoon, all those who arrive in the morning or after 6 o'clock in the afternoon are left without food. There's nothing in the buffet either.

3. The situation is particularly unfavorable with the provision of medical care to patients ...

4. In the rooms of the evacuation center, especially in the check-in room, dirt is uncomfortable, stinking. There are no basic rules of service, such as: instead of drinking glasses: cans of canned food, evacuated, disinfected, do not get beds and are forced to wallow in the corridors of banks. All these circumstances make the nervous evacuees cause discontent. "

Even so, the evacuation in practical terms was a success (6); the evacuated factories were transformed into factories of war material, people got work again thanks to the same war effort (not without a martial law, which forced them to do so) and in 1942, the Soviet Union was reindustrialized and it is estimated that it was already doubling in all kinds of weapons to the Germany of the Third Reich, which gave him guarantees of success to face the enemy (7)

7 ??????? ?????????????? ???? ? 1941-1945 ??. | ??????? ??????? | ??????? ???????

View attachment 14090839

Watch Factories

As is evident, the Moscow watch factories were also moved to the eastern regions, where the rear areas were located. In the case of the First Moscow watch factory there is accurate and documented information about this event and it can serve as an example for us to get an idea of this event and how the Chistopol factory was subsequently created. For this I will cite the work of Ms Inna Gusalova of the museum of the Moscow Polytechnic Institute (8), where she cites the order of December 104, 1941, for the evacuation of the plant, to the city of Zlatoust, dictated by the NKMV (9 ) that would become the body responsible for the existing watch factories and the reorganization of them and their transformation for the war effort.



9 The NKMV can be translated as "Popular Commissariat of Mortar Weapons" of the USSR. Created during October 1941, at the end of the war, it became the "Popular Commissariat of mechanical engineering and instrumentation"

The watch factory (835) of Chistopol

Let's see now how was the creation of the factory where our watch came out protagonist. Establishing a timeline is not easy, more because of the dance of dates and the lack of original documentation, but we will try to delimit something concrete. We will start with the work (10) of Mrs. Tatiana Fokina, researcher of the Museum of the Polytechnic Institute of Moscow, previously mentioned where she writes textually: (in approximate English translation)


"The team of the Second Moscow Clock Factory in 1941 was evacuated to the city of Chistopol from the Tatar SSR." Decree No. 103 was issued on December 26, 1941: "on the basis of the equipment evacuated from the 2nd Factory of Clocks and the Moscow DOZ factory, will organize in Chistopol a plant for the production of watches and surveillance mechanisms, giving it the name of Chistopol State Watch Factory GKVMV "."

Indeed, we already have an important fact: Our factory was created from the evacuation process of the Second Moscow watch factory, better known now as "Slava". From Decree 103 I could not find any digitized copy (11).

(11) I have contacted them to see if they can provide me with a copy, since it seems strange to me that the order is prior to the one issued for the evacuation of the first Moscow watch factory and that it designates the factory by his name and not by digits as was usual in this period of war; specifically No. 835. If I get it, I'll update it.

The second important source of accessible information, I found on the page of Slava (12) and in particular in the book of Mr. Vladimir Georgievich Bogdanov "О книге" Om часов - ходиков до приборов времени орбитальных космических станций »"


Where we found that on October 20, 1941, the evacuation to Chistopol, previous stopover in Kazan, began. That in December 1941 facilities belonging to a distillery were installed in Chistopol to rearm the factory, which in those early days was dedicated to building war material and that it was not until 1942 when, already at full capacity, they began to produce again the Type 1. There is a transcript of a document, which certifies this information. Needless to say, the second Moscow watch factory was not completely dismantled (like the first one) and that with its few resources they made war material in the respective factories:

Capture+_2019-01-07-13-17-54 orden evacuacion chistopol 1942.png


Commissioner of the people of mortars of the USSR.
Moscow N 27 January 27, 1942

In accordance with the Government's decision to locate the second watch factory in Chistopol and return part of the equipment of the second watch factory for the production of consumer goods (pocket watches, alarm clocks and combat watches) to Moscow . ORDER:

1. To the Director of the 2nd T. Lukyanov Watches Factory:

a) immediately implement the decision of the State Defense Committee to provide premises for the second watch factory in Chistopol: 2 secondary schools, a teachers' institute with a shelter, an agricultural technical school and a library with a total area of ​​15,400 square meter;

b) to elaborate within three days and personally approve the plan for the placement of the equipment and the individual production facilities of the plant; c) organize the transfer of the remaining part of the team from Kazan to Chistopol within two weeks;

d) Upon arrival of the equipment to Chistopol, make the necessary repairs, install it and start operating within 15 days.
Commissioner of the people of the mortar armament of the USSR [38] "

The author designates the plant of Chistopol as 835 and Zlatoust as 853. This issue is important for collectors, as it serves to identify and catalog the types of movements that were made in each factory. On this subject, you can consult (13) as well as (14)

14 ?? ??????? 1-? ??????????????? ??????? ????? ????? ?. ?. ??????


On Bostok's official website we find a time line for the creation of the company itself (15), We find the same order of evacuation no. 180 of October 1941 and designates July 1, 1942 as the official start date of activity of the plant at full capacity (date remote in time, according to the order of January 27, 1942 cited above) A date that seems important to me is that of May 29, 1947, which is when the plant was officially named " Chistopol watch factory "If we pay attention to the Bostok website, the resumption of manufacturing of the Type 1 did not occur until 1943, which contradicts the information gathered in the Slava company history book, more so if you have account that in 1942 both Chistopol 835 and Zlatoust 845 sent plans and equipment (fornitura) for the 1 plant of watches of Moscow manufactured watches for airplanes (16).

15 ????????????? ??????? ????? ?????? - ??????????? ????. ???????


After this "dance" of figures and dates, designations, orders, etc ... cumbersome, but necessary after all, we will try to get an idea of what the evacuation towards Chistopol really was like and try to make a small tribute to those anonymous people who suffered in their own flesh...

The long way to Chistopol


As we have seen in broad strokes, at the beginning of our journey, the evacuation was not a pleasant solution for thousands of workers and their families, who had to leave their homes to "migrate" forcibly to places of which many of them, not even they did not even know of its existence. I extract a literal paragraph from an interesting article (17)


... According to Lydia Ivanovna Surinova, people evacuated from Moscow drove for more than two weeks.

"While we were on the road, everyone thought:" And where are we going to take this? What kind of city is this Chistopol, because you've never heard of it before. Chistopolsy received us warmly.
We arrived with light clothing, and the fierce frosts were that winter. They gave us cotton pants, sweatshirts and we started working. "

However: In the memoirs of Sergeevich Lukyanov, director of the second Moscow plant:

"There were severe frosts. The last step came with equipment. Kazan November 27, when due to lack of transport there was no possibility of sending machines in Chistopol. The workers evacuated from Moscow, after arriving in Kazan, lived in poorly heated barracks, which were barely adapted to live.

But as if nobody noticed these difficulties. "

We continue with your memories:

"170 cars of equipment and goods were evacuated, 488 people, of which 128 engineers and technicians.

The road from Moscow was not easy. Although the first cars arrived in Kazan on November 1 (with chief engineer Parshinov KN), only 28 cars were sent to Chistopol.

Navigation on the Kama was closed, and machines, materials and other equipment were left for winter on the dock in Kazan outdoors.
Subsequently, two laboratory farms were assigned, where the ownership of the plant that remained in Kazan was transferred. Immediately it turned out that the spring sheds were melting and it was necessary to look for a new place already.

It was especially difficult for the workers who were the first to arrive in Kazan. After the cold freight cars, in which they traveled with their families from Moscow for weeks, "in Kazan, they were placed in the school building near the pier, which also turned out unheated.

The few workers who managed to reach Chistopol at their own risk and risk also sought work on their own. Someone hired to harvest firewood, someone to work on a collective farm. Someone was out of work at all ... "

There were no instructions on the deployment of the clock factory of the Town Hall of Chistopol (18)

These images show how they crossed the frozen Kama river with part of the necessary machinery to reactivate the factory



I quote the poem by Mikhail Isakosvki (19) (saying that Chistopol was the place chosen to evacuate the literary celebrities of Moscow) and that they present a vivid testimony of the calamities suffered, yet not comparable with the bulk of the plain civilian population ( twenty)

How hard to drag on the sled?
Iron, heavy luggage, -
Dragged and fell themselves.
And stand up, dragging again.
And yet, at least it was difficult for us,
Saved, defended the plant.
And here he is, with all his strength.
Work, breathe, live.

19 ?????. ??????? ????? ? ?????????


Indeed, the evacuees found themselves with difficult difficulties to rebuild their lives, forced to work shifts of 14h in an extremely cold winter and poorly fed.

Patriotic breath under the slogan "Все для фронта все для победы? That translated into English, I saw to say "everything for the front, everything for the victory"


Look on the wrist of the worker...

I do not doubt that in some cases this was not the case, but I think the case of this worker (agronomist engineer) who joined the watch factory of Chistopol in 1942 as we can see in her work file (21) seems more feasible.


??????? ????? ?????????? | ??????????? ????? ??????? ????????????? ????? ?????????? ?????????

Where it is clearly indicated that failure to comply with the notification of work, commit the crime of "offense to the state" (treason) and would be tried in a court martial. Under these conditions, the thousands of workers who were mostly women and children in the relocated factories, such as Chistopol, worked with all their effort. As the case of Rosa Rahmatullina, who started working at 16 in the factory (22) Or the case of Anastasia Mikhailovna (23), which was even awarded for "courageous work in the great patriotic war 1941-1945"



22 ? ?????? ???? ????????????, ???????????? ?????? ????????? ????? ? ????? ?????????????? ???????? ??????, ???????? ???? 80-?????? ??????. | ??????????? ????? ??????? ????????????? ????? ?????????? ?????????

23 ????????? (????????) ????????? ?????????? | ??????????? ????? ??????? ????????????? ????? ?????????? ?????????

On the website of the Virtual Museum of the Great Patriotic War of the Republic of Tatarstan (24), we can find hundreds of examples of courageous anonymous people who, thanks to their titanic efforts, achieved to a certain extent that this watch can now shine. Go my most heartfelt tribute and thanks to them.


Once the factory is established

18758_900 interior fábrica.jpg

During the war years, and consolidation of the factory, Chistopol produced, apart from mechanical pump detonators. type 1 without logo on the factory dial, pocket watches and watches for military equipment. As we have seen previously, it was not named "Chistopol State Watch Factory" until May 1947, when the war was over, it was exclusively dedicated to the manufacture of watches. Before incorporating the production of Salut and Molnija and later the Pobeda. The clocks that were mainly produced in Chistopol already with the factory name printed on the logo and the dial were these two:


In this image, taken from the exhibition held in Moscow (25) we can already see type 1 with fixed handles. This kind of special box was only made in Chistopol. (In the catalog of the exhibition, the clock is dated 1948). And this is where my unit comes into play, after more than a month of searching in all the right places I know (Russian forum, watchuseek, private collections) I have not been able to find any unit older than the one I have in my hands. Only one pocket unit already with logo and with the movement dated (3-47) that a kind companion of WUS, was kind enough to show me some photos (26).



This is the movement of my watch, dated 1-48

20190128_120453 1.jpg

A small note. We all know the movement k-43, but it is important to say that among the different factories that produced them, there were subtle differences in their construction and design of different parts, such as the ratchet wheel, the rocker bridge support, the regulator ... All this I will not teach here (needless to say it would be very extensive) but it is essential to be very clear when purchasing a Type 1, all these differences (27) as they are closely linked to the entire process of evacuation and reordering of the same (factories). The box is large, measures 43mm without crown, exactly like the new retro and in its back cover is wearing lace temples to provide a perfect .



Its fixed handles measure 16mm. From the dial, three important features. The logo: If we want to acquire a Chistopol, we have to be careful, not to confuse it with one of the Zlatoust factory, since the spelling is exactly the same (28).


The hands (black) are long, are widened to the end to end with a very sharp point, in this case at the factory Chistopol, only built of this type, so it does not give rise to confusion. And last but not least, if we look closely at the train of the second hand, decimals are always preceded by a small black triangle.


It is a large watch, with a lot of presence on the wrist, but more moderate than the Type 1 with mobile handles. In short, a special watch, for its dating, the oldest of its generation (until another appears), but special for all the people who got the impossible to make it possible and as I said at the beginning I prefer you direct more attention towards them, not the watch itself.


Hope you like Comrades

PD It is possible that there is some error. If you detect it, please, say it

1,350 Posts
Nice job, thanks for taking the time to write it!

Just a couple of minor corrections, if you don't mind:

The author designates the plant of Chistopol as 835 and Zlatoust as 853. This issue is important for collectors, as it serves to identify and catalog the types of movements that were made in each factory. On this subject, you can consult (13) as well as (14)
Zlatoust is 845 (only a typo here, as in other parts of your article it's correct)

As we have seen previously, it was not named "Chistopol State Watch Factory" until May 1947, when the war was over, it was exclusively dedicated to the manufacture of watches. Before incorporating the production of Salut and Molnija and later the Pobeda.
I think you might have mixed the two factories: Chistopol never produced Saluts and Molnijas, which were made in Chelyabinsk instead.

547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice job, thanks for taking the time to write it!

Just a couple of minor corrections, if you don't mind:

Zlatoust is 845 (only a typo here, as in other parts of your article it's correct)

I think you might have mixed the two factories: Chistopol never produced Saluts and Molnijas, which were made in Chelyabinsk instead.
Thank you so much, the first was an error writing. Correct Zlatoust is the 845 but from the second puntualitation if I need to believe the vostok web page... I have serious dudes about too, because always I believe that Salut and Molnija only was in Chelyabinsk.

look at 8 september 1945

????????????? ??????? ????? ?????? - ??????????? ????. ???????

1,350 Posts
Thank you so much, the first was an error writing. Correct Zlatoust is the 845 but from the second puntualitation if I need to believe the vostok web page... I have serious dudes about too, because always I believe that Salut and Molnija only was in Chelyabinsk.

look at 8 september 1945

????????????? ??????? ????? ?????? - ??????????? ????. ???????
I understand where your doubts come from, but I'm still convinced it might be an inaccuracy in Vostok's site... (by the way, I must correct myself too: AFAIK the Salut brand was a 2nd Moscow Watch Factory-only, never shared with Chelyabinsk's one).

76 Posts
I like the way you introduce this watch by telling us how the soviet governement managed the creation of the Chistopol factory due to the WII and as a result citizens suffered . There is a big effort of collecting datas, thanks for do it and sharing with all of us.

109 Posts
Great work!
There is a bit missing, however and this is not an accusation, but more of a cry for help from my side.

This is a Chistopol made watch.
From what I've gathered (no hard knowledge, just gossip) it was made at the beginning of production in Chistopol for snipers and tankists.
The movement is slightly modified. It doesn't have collar that place it inside the case. The dial is held be 3 screws.
Any info,

4,982 Posts
1 - 20 of 26 Posts