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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have recently purchased this rather original Russian 24 hours dive watch. This is the only 24 hours dive watch I have ever seen, and I love it. Of course, it is ridiculously big and heavy - unwearable, really - but it is also quite beautiful.

I had read a
warning on ebay about fake Russian dive watches aka fake Zlatoust watches, but I did not care that it was not the type of watch actually used by Soviet divers in the 1970s and that this was only a recent Zlatoust copy.

After getting this watch, I got intreaged and I wrote to the "Agat" factory which makes the Zlatoust watches to ask them about my model. I got a reply from their deputy director, Sergei Ivanovich Fedotov, who told me that Zlatoust had stopped making any diving watches 30 years ago and that "somebody" had "covertly" issued a series of Zlatoust fake watches. I was rather puzzled. So not only was this not an original Soviet dive watch (which I knew), but it was not even a Zlatoust :think:

I then noticed on various sites on the Internet that very similar watches were sold under the brand name Moscow Classic (see here or here). I emailed Craig at Russia2all who replied that he had never seen my model in the Moscow Classic brand. So that does not appear to be a Moscow Classic either o|

The guy who had written the "Beware of fake Zlatoust dive watches" on ebay had written this after opening this watch: "What I found was the same cheap wind up movement that the Russians put in those Harley Davidson Pocket watches that they sell for about $30.00 USD."

Yeah, but mine has a 24 hour mechanism, and it seems to be very accurate, at that. :-s

The guy who sold me the watch, via ebay, shipped in from Finland and only told me "I bought it in Russia". Nothing more.

So, can anyone help me identify this watch? Who is the manufacturer? What is this model? What kind of mechanism does it have inside?

Lastly, do you think I can take it diving if I don't go too deep (say 90 feet)?

Many thanks in advance for your pointers!

Andrei

PS: I don't think that this watch is chrome plated, it sure looks like stainless steel to me. On the back there is a print of an old fashioned diving helmet and the number 4574
 

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I have no info on this specific watch, but a whole slew of watches with Russian names are made in China. Слава Созвездие (Slava Constellation) is one example. I'm almost sure that your watch is another. Slava people claim that they wanted to prosecute, but Chinese laws make it pretty much impossible.

I find it slightly ironic in historical sense. Soviets were widely known to "borrow" the whole designs of things, starting with watches and cameras and extending to things like space shuttle. But at least they did not put the original's name on them, carefully avoiding trademark infringements.

Just "moi dve kopejki"
 

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For what it is worth, the 'cheap' movement that the ebay writer refers to is the Molnija 3603.
There is nothing at all wrong with the Molnija 3603, in fact it is more or less the same as a Unitas 6497. It is also known for its rock solid reliability (often called the Soviet Tractor).

Sadly I can shed on light on you watch.
All hope is not lost however, as there are many people in this forum who can identify both Russian and Chinese movements on sight (Chascomm and Janne, I'm looking at you). If you show us the movement, I am sure somebody will be able to tell you what you've got!
 

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Andrei,

If you can open the watch up, you should post a picture of the movement. That can often times tell the members more than even the case or the dial.

thanks,
Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Andrei,

If you can open the watch up, you should post a picture of the movement. That can often times tell the members more than even the case or the dial.

thanks,
Craig
The only thing I can open and close back again without breaking it all is a computer ;-)

Besides, it appears that this watch needs to be somehow opened from the front as the back has no opening panel at all.

Cheers!
 

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Hmm, it is likely that you need to unscrew the bezel. Underneath there will be a rubber grommit and the crystal, which both simply lift out.

Unfortunately the movement and dial are held in by screws, which are hidden beneath the surface of the dial (so would require scraping), so this may not be so good an option as I thought.
 

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yeah... well, don't break the damn thing. Whatever it's worth now it won't be worth much of anything then.

With the standard caveat that I could be (and often am) mistaken, I don't think there is a 24-hour version of the 3603, which is what would be in that Harley pocketwatch. (Of which we have WAY too many of in stock!) Or the 3602, which is the same pocketwatch movement without the shock protector on the balance staff.

If it's a Russian engine in there, it is most likely the 2623 or some version thereof. If it's Asian, who knows...

But I know how much you like 24 hour watches Andrei... if it's keeping good time and you like the look of it, enjoy! (But, I would say don't dive in it... even the newer Moscow Classic models in this styling I wouldn't suggest more than just swimming or snorkeling. For real diving, stick with the 200 meter or more models that are rated for that kind of thing... just MHO).

Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yes, I will probably not expose it to water anytime soon...

But I find it unbelievable that an externally very nice looking watch, with what looks to be a good 24 hour mechanism (do the Chinese ever make those?) could be designed, built, assembled and sold without anybody - even on this expert forum - knowing who is doing this!

Say its a 'Zlatoust-inspired-copy' made by 'factory X' in Russia. Would they not be more than happy to take credit for a rather original (and well made) timepiece?!

Not even Zlatoust knows who copies there watch. That's just bizarre, no?

I suspect a very dark, devious and mysterious KGB plot here...
 

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I thought Moscow Classic made remakes of those watches.
 

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Moscow Classic does make reproductions of the bell diver watches. But I've never seen this one before and the only movements I know of them using for those are the Molnija or the 3133 and 31681 (well, and now the 2824). I've just never seen a 24-hour version.

We've been dealing with them for about two years now and I'm pretty familiar with their line up. But, maybe something new has come out I'm not aware of. I just don't consider it likely since they haven't made any 24-hour models in the past.

thanks... Craig
 

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Yeah, I just looked at their website and saw nothing. I also took a look a fleabay. There was nothing there either under the keywords "Zlatoust" and "Russian Dive watch"

It brought up plenty of Zlatoust reproductions but no 24 hour models. :-s
 

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Here's the same model\ http://cgi.ebay.com.my/RUSSIAN-MILITARY-24-HOUR-DIVER-WATCH-SOVIET-DIVING-USSR_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQitemZ190282447845

i am old and sceptical. I do not believe in Santa Clause. Nor Ded Moroz either. You can email the seller (I did about another watch) and he'll cheerfully feed you the standard BS about this being a NOS Soviet watch, blah, blah, blah. Once pressed a bit, he'll claim not to know anything about it but, of course, will continue to list on eBay and, notice, get feedback that should, in theory, be reserved for honest people. And not those who lie about the watch origin. "Одесская артель Московские Баранки", if you know what I mean. Look at the quality of stamping on that anchor on the back. What material, do you think, is used for that back? Would factory stamping ever look like that? Nevertheless someone paid $270 for this example.

Here's another one from the same crook: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RUSSIAN-MILITARY-DIVER-24-HOUR-SOVIET-DIVING-WATCH-USSR_W0QQitemZ190287361518QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090216?IMSfp=TL090216114001r34961

he also has it on Canadian and German ebay, etc.

the bottom like is - as long as you like the watch - that's all that matters. I just hate slimy scammers.

BTW, if you read the mother tongue, i can send a link to a my little blurb on the subject of Soviet franken-watches from Ukraine. I could translate it, of course, but it'll loose half the venom :)
 

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Hi,

I have recently purchased this rather original Russian 24 hours dive watch. This is the only 24 hours dive watch I have ever seen, and I love it. Of course, it is ridiculously big and heavy - unwearable, really - but it is also quite beautiful.

I had read a
warning on ebay about fake Russian dive watches aka fake Zlatoust watches, but I did not care that it was not the type of watch actually used by Soviet divers in the 1970s and that this was only a recent Zlatoust copy.

After getting this watch, I got intreaged and I wrote to the "Agat" factory which makes the Zlatoust watches to ask them about my model. I got a reply from their deputy director, Sergei Ivanovich Fedotov, who told me that Zlatoust had stopped making any diving watches 30 years ago and that "somebody" had "covertly" issued a series of Zlatoust fake watches. I was rather puzzled. So not only was this not an original Soviet dive watch (which I knew), but it was not even a Zlatoust :think:

I then noticed on various sites on the Internet that very similar watches were sold under the brand name Moscow Classic (see here or here). I emailed Craig at Russia2all who replied that he had never seen my model in the Moscow Classic brand. So that does not appear to be a Moscow Classic either o|

The guy who had written the "Beware of fake Zlatoust dive watches" on ebay had written this after opening this watch: "What I found was the same cheap wind up movement that the Russians put in those Harley Davidson Pocket watches that they sell for about $30.00 USD."

Yeah, but mine has a 24 hour mechanism, and it seems to be very accurate, at that. :-s

The guy who sold me the watch, via ebay, shipped in from Finland and only told me "I bought it in Russia". Nothing more.

So, can anyone help me identify this watch? Who is the manufacturer? What is this model? What kind of mechanism does it have inside?

Lastly, do you think I can take it diving if I don't go too deep (say 90 feet)?

Many thanks in advance for your pointers!

Andrei

PS: I don't think that this watch is chrome plated, it sure looks like stainless steel to me. On the back there is a print of an old fashioned diving helmet and the number 4574
It seems externally the same as the many Tourist Divers that have appeared over the last few years.

Unfortunately the front-loading case makes movement identification somewhat difficult, so here's my idea: listen very carefully to the ticking of the watch. If it beats at 18000bph (5 beats per second), then it is a Raketa 2623. If it beats at 19300bph (5.5 beats per second), then it is a Vostok 2423. Either way, it has probably been assembled in Russia. If it beats at 21600bph (6 beats per second), then it is something Chinese. Shanghai make an automatic 24 hour, but it could easily be adapted to hand-winding. A Chinese movement may have been cased up either in China or Russia.

Now the only complication is that you need other watches to compare the sound of your watch. Some examples are:
18000bph Slava, Raketa, Poljot alarm
19300bph Vostok
21600bph most modern Poljots

I hope this is some help.
 

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I wish there were some way to fight back against these guys... other than just posting warnings. They hurt legit sellers like us when people find out they are scammed, feel duped, and then don't trust anyone. Unfortunately, unless you are the holder of a brand they are violating, there is not much you can do with E-Bay.

Maybe I should do a watchkomrade segment on these guys... just a thought. I would need a little help from the members to make 100% sure I only target the real offenders and not someone selling legit vintage Russians.

Andrei... if you haven't left feedback yet, you've got at least one method to expose the guy.

Just very frustrating... People are wasting money on illegitimate watches, when there are plenty of legit and very interesting real things out there from the Russian watch world to pick up. Don't beat yourself up too much Andrei... it happens to the best of us. These guys succeed because the know we want to believe them.

Hell, some of those frankens are really cool looking and can make you wish they were legit! But, as one I just looked at last night, I don't think anyone was announcing during the cold war with a watch engraving that they were a part of counterespionage! Might as well have a medic-alert type bracelet on that says "torture me please!" And, militarywatchdude confirmed my suspiscions last night when we were discussing something else that the watch is a franken mess.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=320349093682

But it has 15 bids already... so some poor guy is going to get this and think he's got something rare and real, when he doesn't.

Again though... if you like the watch and it keeps good time, enjoy it. Just know what it is... You can use it as an example of pretty well-done fakery for people to refer to!

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I tried that, but the casing of the watch is so think that I cannot hear any beats at all even though I took off the protective screen and used a stethoscope (on both sides of the watch). The watch was obviously running, but still not a sound... (maybe it has a quartz movement inside - just kidding).

Thanks for the tip though, I might use that for future cases (no pun intended)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Andrei... if you haven't left feedback yet, you've got at least one method to expose the guy.

But expose him for what exactly? He sold it to me for 270 bucks, not cheap for sure, but the Moscow Classics dive watches are at least that expensive, if not far more. Also, it is a 24 hours dive watch, and I am 99% sure that it is Russian. The guy *never* claimed it was a Zlatoust or a Moscow Classic. So what can I expose him for?

I would add here that for me, a collector of 24 hour watches, to have a 24 hour dive watch is really cool in itself (I have never heard of any other dive watch with 24 hours, not Russian, not any other). Besides, I find the watch very pretty, by the way. It runs well too.

If I knew what is inside the watch or, better, if I knew for a fact that this watch is not Russian, then I would have a reason to complain, but I don't.

Finally, I cannot imagine why that some small company would bother faking such a watch. Most watches have relatively similar parts, at least externally. But this one is really unique, why bother with such an odd creature?!

While you can find them here and there on ebay, this is not a big series. The guy who sold it to me has a permanent address in Saint Petersburg, a city closely connected to the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet. Would a deliberate faker not claim some Moscow origin?

There are FAR more pseudo-Zlatousts out there in 12 hours, including the Moscow Classics who look *exactly* the same, except for the mechanism.

So could that not be a Moscow Classic watch, released in 24 hours in a small test series to see if there is a demand?

Alternatively, could that not be a realease from a military factory from the Leningrad Military District during the (in-) famous years of "conversion" from military to civilian goods?

Either way - I see nothing implausible so far in the fact that this might well be a (nameless) military 24 hours diving watch, or at least something produced by a military factory in Russia.

All this is kind of neat, I think. So can I really complain?

Cheers,

Andrei
 

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if you are happy with it, then, of course, you have nothing to complain about. I thought this was the same guy in Finland that was posted about. If the guy made no false claims and you "got what you paid for" then no harm, no foul.

A couple of thoughts on the Moscow Classic. One clear difference between them and the fakers is that MC doesn't claim in any way these are originals. They offer them as faithful reproductions and actually have a full brochure dedicated to the story of the "originals" and that theirs are intended to honor those... if MC did build this 24 hour one as a test balloon, that's an awful lot of work (as you mentioned about the fakers) for something they didn't brand. That would be very unusual and not something I've seen done before. But, hey, I've seen horses throw up!

It is possible, however, that MC or any number of other completely legit Russian watch makers built a 200 to 500 pieces or so of this. Most any manufacturer, if you have the money and want it, will build a spec watch for you if you buy a certain minimum. They don't put their logo on them and actually prefer the manufacturer of origin is not advertised in most cases... your getting a custom watch to sell as you see fit. If someone is unscrupulous and claims it is something it isn't, there is not much the manufacturer can do about that except not sell another run to them should they choose to.

It's been an interesting exchange about this for sure!
 

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I sure do. Please do send me the link to your blurb.:-!
Andrei, it's here: http://forum.watch.ru/showthread.php?t=14388 I really tried to be politically correct.

For those of us who read Russian, that is a really good resource, actually, for learning about Soviet and Russian watches, getting some older stuff acquired and generally waste the remaining time that we do not manage to waste here on WUS :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just emailed the seller, mentioning this entire thread, and begged him for more info. We shall see what he replies, if anything :)

But yes, so far, and after reading all the comments here, I lean towards the theory that some legit watchmaker in Russia did a limited series of these for whatever reason.

Remember how during the "Perestroika" and after, under Yeltsin's conversion, some of the top military-industrial factories ended up trying to survive making refrigerators, radios, irons or God knows what else?

And then, maybe some Moscow Classic or other employees decided to make a small, private, series "on the left" as you say in Russian - on their own and for themselves.

I just cannot imagine anybody going through the trouble of creating a fabrication line for these from scratch and then selling such a small series UNLESS the fabrication line was already there in the first place.

Make a special dial, put in a 24 hour mechanism - even a Raketa - use the case and strap from, say, Moscow Classic et voila - done.

But from scratch, somewhere in China?!

I don't think so.
 
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