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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've found this book on Russian wristwatches by Juri Levenberg. It was printed in the 90s sometime. Does anyone own this book and know if it is a good buy? Does it have info about the watches or just pictures? What watches does it cover? old Soviet ones as well as newer ones (up to the time of printing I guess).

I've found it on a local website for a decent price so it would be nice to have if gives a good database of watches.

Thanks!
 

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Your guess is correct - it covers both USSR and post-soviet watches. The database is mostly filled with mass-available pieces, and models like Orbita, Kosmos, Moskva, Rodina, Kirovskie, De luxe are completely missing. Nevertheless it's one of the few books available on the market and maybe the only one in English. I think it's worth having as many people still refer to that book (especially when some weird Apmhibia dial from 90-ties appears on the bay) :)
 

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It is actually Mr. Levenberg's own large collection photographed, with each watch identified/dated plus some little text about watches. At the time it came out, it was quite interesting, before the Internet.
I had Part 1 and Part 2 in my hands, borrowed from the public library.

In a way comparable to Mark Gordon's collection site, Welcome to USSR Time!
 

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I always wanted something printed so i bought it from Amazon for around 17 euros. It has a brief description of the watches inside(CCCP&post soviet), their dials mainly, i'd say that it's a book printed with the goal to present the Russian horology to the general public! I personally find it nice to have since it gathers many different dials, and i would buy more books if i could find any, as for further inquiries that one might seek i believe this forum offers a great knowledge on almost everything.
 

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I bought this book - in the early days of my collecting endeavors. When I didn't know much - it was valuable.

If you know everything there is to know about Russian watches, you don't need to bother.
 

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I owned a copy of this book for a few years before passing it onto another collector on this forum. As a visual reference for a new collector I found it was fantastic.

However even as a novice I found the errors in the text were plainly evident. And I'm not just talking about the German to English translation. The many errors in the descriptions are of the sort that would be present in the original German text also. I get the feeling that Levenberg understood relatively little about these watches at the time of publishing, and whoever proof-read it was only checking for grammatical errors rather than logical inconsistencies between descriptions accompanying photos of related items. There are also a few frankenwatches, particularly Raketas whose combination of dial and bezel make no logical sense (e.g. 'perpetual calendar' bezel without the accompanying dial markings). Levenberg attempts to explain such pieces as if they were meant to be like that, rather than admitting that they were put together from spare parts.

So be warned that there are errors, but most such errors will become evident through careful reading even without expert knowledge.
 

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I have it, and it's neat to look at because there are some kind of rare watches in there, but I didn't find it to be a "must have". There are other sources, particularly Mark Gordon's awesome site, that are more useful. I'm glad I own it, but I got it as a gift, and wouldn't have bought it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great thanks for all the info. and opinions everyone. It would be nice if there were other alternatives out there. A book full of high quality colour photographs of Russian Watches would be an awesome thing to have I think. Hopefully more books will come out in the future.
 

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I tried, Stoffa. But I couldn't find a company willing to lay out the money to publish it and I don' have the personal funds to finance it, myself.
--Mark
 

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I tried, Stoffa. But I couldn't find a company willing to lay out the money to publish it and I don' have the personal funds to finance it, myself.
--Mark
Could you publish on Amazon or Lulu.com - pretty sure its free, other than a little time. I for one would buy a copy.
 

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I did publish on the net.

Visit Welcome to USSR Time!.

Complete descriptions and high quality photographs of more than 1500 Soviet watches and clocks. Also, it is completely searchable by custom keyword and predefined search terms.

Funny thing is, in the best circumstances a publisher might print and distribute 5,000 copies of a book on this subject (actually, the number would probably closer to 1500). My site has had more than 100,000 unique visitors since it went live about 4 years ago. And it is free!

I'm still trying to find a publisher, but in this economy it isn't going to happen soon.

-- Mark

P.S. Ill-phill's site is also a great resource <http://www.netgrafik.ch/russiantimes.htm> I strongly urge you to take a look over there, too.
 

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Mark, fantastic job!

BTW Did you think of eBook version? It might not be so difficult/expensive to convert the web into downloadable format, or even printable
 

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I did publish on the net.

Visit Welcome to USSR Time!.

Complete descriptions and high quality photographs of more than 1500 Soviet watches and clocks. Also, it is completely searchable by custom keyword and predefined search terms.

Funny thing is, in the best circumstances a publisher might print and distribute 5,000 copies of a book on this subject (actually, the number would probably closer to 1500). My site has had more than 100,000 unique visitors since it went live about 4 years ago. And it is free!

I'm still trying to find a publisher, but in this economy it isn't going to happen soon.

-- Mark

P.S. Ill-phill's site is also a great resource <http://www.netgrafik.ch/russiantimes.htm> I strongly urge you to take a look over there, too.
I have an idea on how to self-finance your book, we could just start a list on your site or in this forum of members that wish to have a copy,after that we could pay in advance a small amount, say 5$, this way we would have pre-ordered the book without paying the whole sum at least not until it gets published anyway, meanwhile you will have gathered a starters amount, not too much but maybe enough to start proceedings.
If your site has just 2.000 regular visitors out of 100.000 willing to jump-start the publishing of your book, i think it could work even if it takes months!
 

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I think the dawn of the internet pretty much rendered books on this subject (along with others) redundant. The vast amount of information out there simply means certain books won't sell in great enough quantity for a publisher to back it. Mark Gordon your site, for example, is very comprehensive and so easily referenced while sitting at the screen (which importantly is also where most purchases are made) and all this info comes free of charge thanks to those who are good enough to share. Hats off to those people!
 
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