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Thoughts on this Signal alarm watch?

2516 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  wolf3d
Hello dear forum members, I need your help once again. This time I have a chance to buy a watch, which design is probably the most appealing for me from all Russian watches- Signal alarm watch. Still, its not that cheap (somewhere around 90$, not Sturmanskie, but still quite much :-d ) Here is a picture:
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

Any thoughts about actual pricing (I can actually discuss that with a seller) and the watch itself?
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Looks good except some of the red alarm numbers on the perimeter appear faded (may be the photo) and the alarm crown is a replacement. On the other hand A gold case in decent condition is hard to find and a dial with that center recess is different. So some good and some bad but all-in-all I could see this watch coming directly from the owner in this condition and while not perfect, not that bad, either. I'd try to get the price down a little mostly because of the crown but it's in the ballpark.

That's my opinion.
It's been my experience that most marks seen on watch dials that appear to be dirt, dust, etc. are actually discoloration caused by moisture or mold, etc. in the varnish applied to the dial and cannot, therefor, be removed without removing the varnish and the numbers, etc.! Yes, I learned the hard way! The dial can be washed with warm water and a mild soap using a very soft brush to remove whatever surface dirt is there but that's about all.

The watch is from the '60s and that's about as exact as you can get unless someone has that dial with the recessed center in a dated catalog.

Since you didn't supply a picture of the back I forgot to mention an important detail of the alarm watches of this era. They usually had "double" backs as shown below:


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Good comments olie4. The Vostok is an example of the 2809 movement watch that won intenational awards and in certain configurations is considered the only "chronometer grade" wrist watch ever produced by the Russian watch industry. Unfortunately it is also one of the top most difficult watches to find in authentic form. It's often frankened, faked, and fooled with and an authentic one is pretty rare.

Here is a link to a recent thread posted by Storyteller one of the most knowledgeable collectors of 2809s on the forum. Good general information:

You would have to see the movement on the one you are considering before it could be authenticated. The case, dial, hands, and crown appear fine. For me, if the two watches were in similar condition and both were authentic I would choose the Vostok over the Signal. I like to wear my vintage watches and I rarely use an alarm watch so that function is a useless complication. They're both about the same age.

The value of the ZIM would depend entirely on condition and what movement is present. Not a very rare or valuable watch, though.
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Thanks schnurp for the excellent lead to the article by Storyteller on the Vostok Precisions/ Volnas (are they the same?) Guess armed with this new knowledge, I will start the process to determine whether my Volnas are frankens or not. What to do if they are? I love wearing them both, and like their appearances a lot. They are also excellent runners. So I guess if they are frankens , I will keep enjoying them and use my newly found knowledge on future purchases. I always give frankens the slight benefit of the doubt: maybe they were not "frankenised" simply to con the buyer, but was an honest attempt, maybe years ago, by some watchmaker to keep a great old watch alive... Anyway guys, "HI", as you all can see I am new, have been lurking in the shadows for long, but only recently decided to join. Dont have much technical knowledge to offer, but is a fast learner.
Welcome, olie4! I have a handful of "non-authentic" Vostok 2809 watches from my early days of collecting and I like to wear them too. I just refer to the various Vostok Volnas, etc. by the one thing they all have in common, the 2809 movement.

Yes, I enjoy making up stories to explain the appearance of non-authentic watches. I can see an owner taking his 2809 watch in for a repair and asking his watchmaker if he could just put in one of those new gold-colored movements with the blue stars. "I'd also like to have a red second hand so I can see it better..." and so on.
Good for you, wolf3d and thanks for the pictures! You now own 2 highly-collectible Russsian watches in decent original condition. They both look to be just as they were when they left the factory except for a little wear-and-tear and a replacement crown on the Signal. A Vostok like that with everything apparently original is very hard to find. While the 2809A movement is considered "non-precision" the total authentic package is very desirable and leaves room in your collection for future acquisitions (you don't want it to be completely downhill from here).
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Thanks! Yeah, I guess you are right, I feel really bad then I don't wear every one of my watches at least once a week, no matter if it's my cheap Amphibia or really valuable Sturmanskie
Let's see a picture of your other two, particularly the valuable Sturmanskie.
Thank you very much serdal23!

Schnurrp, I'm talking about my Sturmanskie I bought after getting help in this thread, you should remeber it:
Sorry, wolf3d. My memory's not what it used to be but I remember you very well now.

You're the guy with one of the highest quality Russian watch collection around...a little small but you can work on that!
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