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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just won this on eBay. Seller's photos. He states, "This is a newer vintage WW2 styled Pilot's watch. It features a 3 piece all SS case that measures approximately 52mm long and 42mm across. It's a big watch. The metal dial is multicolored and very busy with yellow hour markers,white minute and hour markers and an inner red second track. The gold colored hands have luminous and it has the second hand at 9:00. The hand winding movement is an homage to a high grade swiss movement and it is an excellent running movement. It keeps excellent time and winds and sets smoothly. I added a very nice 22 mm lizard grain leather band." Anyone know who makes this and what kind of movement it contains?



 

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Movement might be a Molnija of some kind, 3602 would be my guess, open it up and we are in the know. Ask on our Russian Watches Forum for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Movement might be a Molnija of some kind, 3602 would be my guess, open it up and we are in the know. Ask on our Russian Watches Forum for more info.
Can you please transfer this post to the Russian Watch Forum? Thank you.
 

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I'm sorry to say, but I believe this is a fantasy/Franken watch. The dial is certainly not Soviet. Maybe there's a Molnija movement inside. I'm guessing the case is Chinese.


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I'm sorry to say, but I believe this is a fantasy/Franken watch. The dial is certainly not Soviet. Maybe there's a Molnija movement inside. I'm guessing the case is Chinese.
+1, I bet you will find a Russian/Soviet Molnija inside (these tourist watches often contain a Molnija 3602 or 3603 movement, although we had a recent thread where some of them had Chinese 9011 or SeaGull movements).

If you take a pic of movement we will know for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm sorry to say, but I believe this is a fantasy/Franken watch. The dial is certainly not Soviet. Maybe there's a Molnija movement inside. I'm guessing the case is Chinese.


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Yes, I am sure the watch is a Franken/fake/whatever. However, I bought this watch for re sale, and it was cheap. I have customers for large "Russian-style" watches. I am reluctant to open the case to check out the movement. I am not good at opening press down cases and may damage it. Additionally, whenever I manage to open this type of case I am usually unable to snap it back.
 

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I agree that this is a fantasy watch and the movement inside is probably a Molnija 3602. I disagree about the case being Chinese. It could just as easily be Russian, possibly a modified vintage piece. The inscription on the back was made using a modern etching technique.
 

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I tend to agree with Chascomm: not all dodgy parts are invariably from China, especially when there is a relatively small scale demand. Do bear in mind that the Chinese industries are more geared towards large-scale manufacture, so it would not be realistic to think there are lots of factories all over China, each churning out thousands of such cases for re-casing Molnija movements every day.

Another issue is that, among the less-informed public, there are certain assumptions of what "Russian watches" are supposed to look like, much like the assumptions of what WWII-era German watches are supposed to look like; reality has nothing to do with these assumptions. Take another watch - the Zlatoust diver - as example. The myriad of supposedly "genuine" ones ramped up the expected "Russian-ness" to 11, and those products by a certain firm in Florida go even further for they have the claim of being the original, and Zlatoust being the copy. This same situation applies to the "Flieger" style watches, even though there's no such thing as WWII Russian flieger. This does not stop people wishing to get them and unscrupulous types are certainly glad to comply.

Looking at this particular example, "newer vintage WW2-style pilot's watch" can only be in jest. Even if one knows nothing about pilots watch design he could easily reject it as one, as the prime requisite for a pilot's watch - at-a-glance legibility - is totally absent; this is due to the factor called connoisseurship where one can tell the difference accurately without concrete supporting evidence. This is an issue I talked about in the past, so I feel no need to elaborate here.

Like for instance the paintings attributed to Georges de la Tour, one might vigorously reject the suspect ones as his real work, and what's left would be a body of work that truly shows him as a painter of formidable artistry. Unfortunately, builders of these fantasy pieces are doing the exact opposite, feeding the public with false information, and that result in a distorted expectation of what Russian watches are like, thus increasing the demand for fraudulent pieces. I do not think there is a simple solution to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I tend to agree with Chascomm: not all dodgy parts are invariably from China, especially when there is a relatively small scale demand. Do bear in mind that the Chinese industries are more geared towards large-scale manufacture, so it would not be realistic to think there are lots of factories all over China, each churning out thousands of such cases for re-casing Molnija movements every day.

Another issue is that, among the less-informed public, there are certain assumptions of what "Russian watches" are supposed to look like, much like the assumptions of what WWII-era German watches are supposed to look like; reality has nothing to do with these assumptions. Take another watch - the Zlatoust diver - as example. The myriad of supposedly "genuine" ones ramped up the expected "Russian-ness" to 11, and those products by a certain firm in Florida go even further for they have the claim of being the original, and Zlatoust being the copy. This same situation applies to the "Flieger" style watches, even though there's no such thing as WWII Russian flieger. This does not stop people wishing to get them and unscrupulous types are certainly glad to comply.

Looking at this particular example, "newer vintage WW2-style pilot's watch" can only be in jest. Even if one knows nothing about pilots watch design he could easily reject it as one, as the prime requisite for a pilot's watch - at-a-glance legibility - is totally absent; this is due to the factor called connoisseurship where one can tell the difference accurately without concrete supporting evidence. This is an issue I talked about in the past, so I feel no need to elaborate here.

Like for instance the paintings attributed to Georges de la Tour, one might vigorously reject the suspect ones as his real work, and what's left would be a body of work that truly shows him as a painter of formidable artistry. Unfortunately, builders of these fantasy pieces are doing the exact opposite, feeding the public with false information, and that result in a distorted expectation of what Russian watches are like, thus increasing the demand for fraudulent pieces. I do not think there is a simple solution to that.
Seele:
Your well written, well thought out critique almost makes me feel guilty to own this watch and try to sell it! Perhaps I should just donate it to a charity!
 

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Seele:
Your well written, well thought out critique almost makes me feel guilty to own this watch and try to sell it! Perhaps I should just donate it to a charity!
Errrmmmm…… I wouldn’t go that far Comrade Art1118!!! I think we are all allowed the occasional faux pas in vintage watch collecting. Comrade Seele makes some very good and interesting points, however, I think his excellent critique unfortunately fails to include a caveat which allows for those who are inexperienced in certain areas of Russian and other watch collecting to gain experience by their mistakes, and you know what, these mistakes can often lead to something really good. I made a mistake with a Sturmanskie once, and it has led me to an extremely meaningful collection – IMHO – and also to having the privilege of owning the real thing. I would like to introduce you to my fake sir…


And now I would like to introduce you to the real thing, on the same wrist – without me owning the fake, I would probably never have owned this beauty…


For me watch collecting is not a competition, or a matter of prowess, it is collecting for enjoyment, most importantly learning, and sometimes celebration. I still use my fake as a beater, and I still enjoy wearing it occasionally – especially when my OCD dictates that I give the originals in my collection a rest.

I hope you gain as much enjoyment with wearing your fake as I do wearing mine – and I hope you do so in good health, good sir!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Errrmmmm…… I wouldn’t go that far Comrade Art1118!!! I think we are all allowed the occasional faux pas in vintage watch collecting. Comrade Seele makes some very good and interesting points, however, I think his excellent critique unfortunately fails to include a caveat which allows for those who are inexperienced in certain areas of Russian and other watch collecting to gain experience by their mistakes, and you know what, these mistakes can often lead to something really good. I made a mistake with a Sturmanskie once, and it has led me to an extremely meaningful collection – IMHO – and also to having the privilege of owning the real thing. I would like to introduce you to my fake sir…


And now I would like to introduce you to the real thing, on the same wrist – without me owning the fake, I would probably never have owned this beauty…


For me watch collecting is not a competition, or a matter of prowess, it is collecting for enjoyment, most importantly learning, and sometimes celebration. I still use my fake as a beater, and I still enjoy wearing it occasionally – especially when my OCD dictates that I give the originals in my collection a rest.

I hope you gain as much enjoyment with wearing your fake as I do wearing mine – and I hope you do so in good health, good sir!
Thanks for the comments. I am not sure I made a mistake as much as pay little for a watch that,when I sell it, can double or triple my initial outlay. I have a collection of over 80 Russian watches and have posted photos of most of them in the over three years in which I have been a member of this great Forum. I need to have 12 to 15 watches for sale at every antique show and often will put five or more on eBay. The watches I put on eBay tend to be rather common, and they tend to be purchased by novice collectors.
 

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Geoff,

Thanks for your thoughts, and that's a rather nice Sturmanskie there too!

I can understand your point about buyer of a fantasy - or fraudulent piece - can learn from his mistakes. However, it's entirely up to the individual, where he could just hurry into an acquisition mode without feeling a need to spend time to acquire the knowledge. From my own experiences, over the decades I have known countless collectors who have no interest in getting knowledge, so much so that their collections of reference books remain unread and became yet another collection! If a person has the inclination to learn, he could have done so prior to his first purchase anyway, so I hardly think my short piece has missed that caveat.

Art1118,

Somehow I feel the original seller of that piece played with words somewhat, to give the impression that at least this example is stylistically identical to a genuine piece, but of course there's no such original. If I had it and wanted to sell it, I would say something like, "a modern custom watch built with newly-made case and dial, around a vintage Molnija movement, which incorporates some styling elements of old pilots watch". That's probably the most realistic description, I suppose.
 

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Thanks for the comments. I am not sure I made a mistake as much as pay little for a watch that,when I sell it, can double or triple my initial outlay. I have a collection of over 80 Russian watches and have posted photos of most of them in the over three years in which I have been a member of this great Forum. I need to have 12 to 15 watches for sale at every antique show and often will put five or more on eBay. The watches I put on eBay tend to be rather common, and they tend to be purchased by novice collectors.
For me, my fake is now unsellable – as I feel any buyer would simply think they were buying into the real thing, or at least a piece of it, otherwise why would they want it. This means I would be passing my problem on to them. My personal ethical stance does not allow for this. So it will stay with me with the rest of my collection, and is my responsibility. One day, if someone admires it, I might give it away, but they will know the history. However, I will probably just keep it in the knowledge that the movement and case are old, so have significance in their own way. However, I speak as an amateur collector, and not through the prism of business, so it may be unfair of me to draw this comparison.
 

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i agree with seele and geoff adams, if i sold it, i would have to state clearly that it is a creation to have the military pilot styling. i could not feel good selling a watch with a knowingly false description just to make a buck with some unknowledgeable buyer. i really feel lousy after dealing with someone that i know is trying to scam me, so i really try to know my stuff before i start to look.

i am glad that with the help of WUS i am a much smarter shopper for the watches i buy, and i can say i spend a lot of time learning about all of the franken and fantasy watches out there. i look at every post to see if i can see teh issues the experts here see.
 

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Thank you Comrade Seele for your kind words about my Gagarin – it is presently with Mr Ellis in Porthmadog having a movement retaining ring donated to it by a Sportivnie to make it whole once again. And also a really good service and oiling to the movement. Once that is complete, I’m going to put another thread up citing it as a perfect example for those who find us through google wishing to learn – with a small caveat regarding the crown, but even that I think might just be correct – I’ll let others be the judge of that.

I think Comrade Tylehman makes some very good points, which I would like to build on!

In my experience, there is another category of person/collector, who learns while pursuing their passion – on the job so to speak – who will make mistakes along the way and learn from them, slowly cutting the mistakes down so that they can build their collections to the status of meaningful. And in Russian watch collecting I think there is a lot of room to make these mistakes, because of the huge amount of fakery and misinformation that goes on. When I was a boy, I built a very nice military cap badge collection, which I still have – there was no issue with fakery, every time you bought something you knew it was real. Collectors of Russian and other watches do not have that luxury, and some will find it difficult to read reams of books and other literature to become expert prior to making a first purchase. These are IMHO the people the fakers leech off most. And it is these who I think deserve consideration in this type of discussion, and who need much considerate and kind guidance from those who possess knowledge and are willing to give of it. I see a lot of that going on in this forum, which is one of the reasons I like to visit so often. I very much continue to enjoy learning from others on this forum, and I love to pass on to others the occasional scrap of knowledge I might have picked up along the way if that is possible. That is one of the real strengths of this community, and it surely serves well those who are learning by their mistakes as they go along.
 

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Much of great wisdom here, guys!
Regarding fake/franken watches, even a fake or fantasy watch has some value - as a time measuring device. So, if anyone bought (cheap) fake watch, it's not all lost. Some people just want to wear a watch that looks cool in this or that way (and that's most of watch wearers IMHO) so they aren't really bothered if it's "original" or "period". But when re-selling such a piece, its necessary to explicitly state it's not a real piece.If I would have such a beautiful original Gagarin as Geoff's (and I will one day!!!!! my precious!!! ;-) I'd be reluctant to wear it daily, so a fake/hommage piece (if priced accordingly) is an option for frequent wear.
 

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Much of great wisdom here, guys!
Regarding fake/franken watches, even a fake or fantasy watch has some value - as a time measuring device. So, if anyone bought (cheap) fake watch, it's not all lost. Some people just want to wear a watch that looks cool in this or that way (and that's most of watch wearers IMHO) so they aren't really bothered if it's "original" or "period". But when re-selling such a piece, its necessary to explicitly state it's not a real piece.If I would have such a beautiful original Gagarin as Geoff's (and I will one day!!!!! my precious!!! ;-) I'd be reluctant to wear it daily, so a fake/hommage piece (if priced accordingly) is an option for frequent wear.
Thank you for your extremely kind words Comrade Valter-g!

I’ve never actually thought about my fake as an homage watch before , I’ve been too busy beating myself up for being tricked by the seller into buying it. But you are quite correct – I will not be wearing my Sturmanskie Gagarin often – once a month or every couple of months tops – only when an occasion calls for it, to preserve it. And yes, I will wear my ‘homage’ watch instead now, when the feeling takes me, knowing I’ve got the real thing tucked away – why not! :) So I thank you for breathing new life into it for me - and good luck sir, in your search for your original Sturmanskie Gagarin. I hope you find it soon my friend!
 

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Hello Geoff, that's exactly what I meant about having this new "gagarin" for daily wear. If anyone asks you can always say: "Yeah, it's a modern replica, but I DO have the real piece at home!" The original piece is too worthy IMHO (historically, not only monetary) to be worn every day, and such old watches are porbably not as resistant as newer komandirskies and amphibias. Only for special occasions.

I'm not sure what exactly a definition of "hommage" watch should be - but I think this one is so obviously new, and with inscription flaws, that it can't decieve any at least moderately aware and conscious collector. In militaria collecting, "fake" is usually referred to the piece that is made to decieve even experienced guys - and that can include (above the fact it should repeat every smallest detail of the original), artificial againg, wear, even damages - man cannot believe how convincingly "old" some of these pieces are made. The pieces that are obviously newly made and cannot decieve an average experienced guys are "replicas". In militaria, we don't use word "hommage", as it would be inappropriate to make a "hommage" SS uniform or "hommage" medals with swastikas. ;-) In watch world, I didn't notice such a degree of faker's perfection as in militaria - but that's obviously as these watches and some faked uniforms or decorations are completely different price range. And even a 50€ medal or belt buckle is much easier to fake from the scratch than a 50€ watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Movement might be a Molnija of some kind, 3602 would be my guess, open it up and we are in the know. Ask on our Russian Watches Forum for more info.
Yes, you are correct. It is a Molnija movement. I was unable to open it up, but I saw the exact same watch on eBay with a movement photo. Of course the seller in in The Ukraine!
 
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