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Discussion Starter #1
I have been collecting Vostok 2809 for two years and the more I learn about it, the more puzzled I am. A few things seem relatively established – e.g. the movements with „ЧЧЗ” logo are older than the ones with „В” logo; the cases with 18 mm lugs are newer than the ones with 16 mm lugs and should be with “B”-logo movements (but there are many legitimate watches with 16 mm lugs and “B” logo movement, because the logo changed before the cases); 2809A was reserved for Volna and Vostok simple (because at some point all Chistopol watches were rebranded as “Vostok” and the former Volna became 22 jewels "Vostok" without "Precision"), while Vostok Precision should have 2809 movement. The 18-jewels 2809B is typical for Almaz watches, never Vostok, and could be seen with both “ЧЧЗ” and “B” logo, which means that the production of Almaz stopped somewhere after the introduction of a new factory logo, but before the brands reorganization. The earlier 2809 with ЧЧЗ logo have larger jewels. The movements from 1957 - 1960 have year and quarter of production stamped on the bridge, while these from 1961 - 69 are not dated. Some movements after 1961 are gold plated; the ones found in VP watches are usually gold-plated, but there are some non-precision movements which also are gold-plated. So if you find a VP without production year stamp, which is not gold-plated, there is a good chance that it is franken, but a gold plating is not a sufficient proof of precision movement.

But maybe the collective forum wisdom will help finding some answers to two puzzles:

1. When the production of 2809 began and what logic did it follow? It seems that 2809 was inspired by Zenith 135 with sub-second hand (https://www.watchuseek.com/f54/soviet-volna-wolna-cosc-watch-infinitime-13860.html). A Vostok with precision movement with sub-second hand is presented in a catalog from 1960

%u0025D0%92%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BA+I.jpg

and there are a couple of movements – let us call them 2802 and 2803, sub-second, with and without shockproof devices, despite the fact that the system of unified movement numbers didn’t exist in 1950s.

The problem is that the earliest 22 jewels 2809, the Soviet-remade movement, is from 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] quarter of 1957, a.jpg
and belongs to Newguest from watch.ru (http://forum.watch.ru/showthread.php?t=68681&page=2)

while the earliest sub-second hand 21 jewels 2802 / 3 which is closer to the presumed prototype Zenith 135, is from 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] quarter of 1958

1a918154f248.jpg (again Newguest is the lucky owner and photographer).

and the latest 21 jewels 2802 is from 4[SUP]th[/SUP] quarter of 1958.


So how is it possible the movements which are presumably closer to Zenith prototype, be latter than the modified version? And why was it necessary to produce 2809 with center hand and 2802 / 3 with sub-second hand in parallel for the whole of 1958?

2. What is the difference between precision and non-precision movements, if any? The standards from 1960s – starting from the catalog from 1960 – clearly indicate the 2809A (Volna) had daily accuracy of + / - 30 seconds, while 2809 (Vostok) of + 5 / - 10 sec. (see the also a table from 1967 attached). Was it because of different production processes or different balances / hairsprings inside, or simply some movements performed better on quality tests?
The Mashpribor catalog for spare parts presents both 2809 and 2809A as a single movement, with the same spare parts, including springs and balances (see the pages attached). So it should be the quality tests, as the majority on watch.ru seems to agree.

But there are several movements marked respectively 2809 (on Vostok Precision) or 2809A (on simple Vostok). Even I, with my modest collection, have 4 such movements (see the photos attached).
DSCN5174.jpg


DSCN5178.jpg

DSCN5180.jpg

DSCN5183.jpg

Of course, it is possible to have a watch first pass the chronometry tests, mandatory for each 2809 precision movement, then disassemble it, mark the mainplate and reassemble – everything is possible in theory. But not very probable. A more plausible hypothesis is that separate production lines existed and movements were marked before the final assembly and tests.
On the other hand, I have some 15 2809 / A in working order, serviced by the same watchmaker, and they have approximately the same power reserve and accuracy – which indicates that after 50 years of regular use the initial differences (if any) and adjustments faded. My watchmaker claims that there are no differences between 2809 and 2809A.
Thus we have the evdence of Mashpriborintorg catalog and watchmakers experience (one movement with the same spare parts) vs. movement stamps (two production lines?). Any ideas, theories?
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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This might help. It's an image of the Zenith 135:

movt-zenith.jpg

You will notice the obvious difference from the Vostok. In the Vostok movement, the 3rd wheel has been relocated to position it within reach of the centre seconds pinion. Because the 4th wheel remains in its usual position at 6 o'clock, it is still able to drive a subsidiary second hand if required. In the '2802/2803', the 3rd wheel is the same as in the 2809, but the centre second pinion has not been installed.

From this we can deduce that the 'base model' is actually the 2809. In other words the major architectural changes from the Zenith original were made prior to the introduction of any of the vostok variants. The sub-second version was a late addition not an earlier, closer copy of the Zenith.
 

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Interesting thread. Saved for future reference. After all, when one has collected a few Strelas, Poljot and Luch Ultrathins, Fibbies, Dirskies, the occasional Sputnik, Rodina auto, a Vostok 2809 or two should not be absent ... ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2809 is the only chronometer-class movement ever produced in Russia. More accurate than anything else. As robust and dependable as Pobeda or Raketa 26xxHA, but unlike them - extremely accurate even after years of poor or no servicing. Different classes of watches, I guess - iconic dial for Sputnik, sturdiest case for Amphibia, and the best handwind movement - for 2809.

Chascomm input was precious, because the theory so far was - Zenith 135 as prototype, then 2802/3 as first Russian version with sub-second hand, closer to Zenith, and last 2809. While he changed it to Zenith 135 - Vostok 2809 - and some obscure modifications of it in the first years of production, like 2802, 2803 , and 2810 (antimagnetic) and 2814 (with date) mentioned in Kharitonchuk book, but never seen in any collection.

The problem with 2809 is that a stellar movement was married to mediocre cases and poor dials, so there were many - well, not exactly frankens, because nobody really cared then, I would call them 'rebuilds' around the movement even during the Soviet era.
The best strategy, I think, would be to take a look at 1960 catalog and to see the oldest dials there, and to remember that they should be matched with ЧЧЗ-logo movement. The catalogs from late 60s and 1970s show other 2809 which normally should go with В-(as in Восток) logo movement. If you want the highest class Vostok Precision movement (even if the use and service history matter now more than the initial charactersics of the movement), then you should look for a watch with Восток Прецизионные / Vostok precision written on the dial and a yellow movement (preferably with 2809 marking on the mainplate) or - if it is an early dial presented in catalog from 1960 - a white movement with year / quarter of production marked on the bridge.

Again - 2809 has different type of fascination, it is the first choice for people interested mostly in movements. Imagine - a gold-plated chronometer class movement (tested under higher temperature variations than Swiss COSC) under a plain case and matter-of-fact dial.
 

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By the way, the lug size of some Volnas seems to be 17 mm rather than 16 mm. Mine certainly does have 17 mm lugs and it's not rare to see in the 'bay Volnas with what looks like too narrow a band. I think they're fitted with a 16 mm band and the lugs simply are a tad wide for it.

Topi
 

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There were other chronometers made in USSR, but not for the "open market" if such thoing actually existed in USSR back then ;) Im talking aboit the 1MChZ naval chronometers, of course :)

Images for ID: 0084
 

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892301.gif Many thanks... This topic should be "sticked".
I have six 2809 (22 jewels) : 3 volna, 2 vostok, and 1 vostok "precision".
I just finished to read the russian topic Vostok-Volna Precision: myth or reality?, translated in english

:-d I must admit after reading the 22 pages, my brain seems like "compote" (french expression)

Page 11, the author, Egern, wrote these kinds of "rules" :

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1. All arrangements in 2809 from 1957 to 1960 have a date stamp on the form of a "quarter-year" near the logo "= ЧЧЗ =".
To be "precise" mechanisms 2809 should be removed from Vostok with an inscription on the face of "precision" and enjoy the features of 2-3.

2. All precision mechanisms after 1960 must be gilded

3. If the mechanism is not gold-plated and has a date stamp on the form of a "quarter-year", then the stigma of "22 stone" and the serial number must be neneseny certain types of fonts. In this case, the chance that the engine is removed from the "precision" of vostok dostatono high.

4. Mechanisms of 2809, taken out of Volna or Vostok, without the inscription on the face of "precision", regardless of symptoms 1-3, precision are not considered.

5. All other mechanisms such as 2809 - 2809A and 2809B are not precision. Nor are not gold-plated precision mechanisms with no inscriptions on the basis of 3.

6. If the mechanism of gold-plated and is in Volna or Vostok, without the inscription on the face of "precision", the most likely mechanism is culled from a series of precision.

7. The only watches Vostok precision without any inscription on the dial are the mechanisms within the 2802/03, which are easily distinguished by the appearance of stamps (see illustration).

None of your arrangements are not gilded, does not have these fonts on the stamps, and therefore can not be "precise" in accordance with paragraph 5.

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:think: Storyteller, what do you think about these rules ? Could you improve, or explain the parts in blue ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Egern knows a lot about 2809 and has a very sharp eye for tiny details.
Basically there are three generations of mass-produced 2809 - an earliest one from 57 - 1960 with white movements and year / quarter of production marked on the bridge; a second generation with white and yellow (gold-plated) movements with large jewels and ЧЧЗ logo; a third generation with white and yellow movements, smaller jewels, and B logo.
At some point the lower-quality movements received the designation 2809A (or "Volna"), and a 18-jewels version without micro-regulator became 2809Б (or 'Almaz"). But very few movements - mostly from the last generation with small jewels and B logo - have 2809 or 2809A marked on the mainplate, thus the difficulties to tell which is which. And there is a strong school of thought claiming that the only difference between 2809 and 2809A, was their performance on final tests (i'm not convinced, because of these marks on mainplates - they obviously were engraved before the final assembly and tests).

Now the rules systematized by egern in my translation (comments in italics):

1. Все механизмы 2809 с 1957 по 1960 год имеют клеймо даты по форме "квартал-год" возле логотипа "=ЧЧЗ=". Чтобы считаться "прецизионным" механизмы 2809 должны быть вынуты из Востока с надписью на циферблате "прецизионные" и обладать признаками 2-3.
All movements 2809 from 1957 to 1960 have engraved quarter and year of production near "=ЧЧЗ=" logo. In order to be 'precision class' 2809 movements should come from a watch with Vostok Preciosion dial and be eligible under rules 2 or 3.

2. Все прецизионные механизмы после 1960 года должны быть позолочены
All precision class movements after 1960 should be gold-plated (but there are quite a few gold-plated 2809 movements which are not gold-plated)

3. Если механизм не позолочен и имеет клеймо даты по форме "квартал-год", то и клеймо "22 камня" и серийный номер должен быть ненесены определенными видами шрифтов. В этом случае шанс, что механизм вынут из "прецизионного" Востока достатоно высок.
If the movement is not gold-plated and has quarter and year of production marked on the bridge, the 22 jewels and serial number should be in sharper, more angular font (I have some doubts, because such movements are extremely rare, much rarer than VP dials - and usually VP dials are more fragile than movements). In this case there is a fair chance to have a movement taken from VP watch.

4. Механизмы 2809, вынутые из Волны или Востока без надписи на циферблате "прецизионные", вне зависимости от признаков 1-3, прецизионными не считаются.
2809 movements taken from Volna or Vostok watches without Precision adjective, regardless of above mentioned rules 1-3, are not precision.

5. Все остальные механизмы типа 2809 - 2809А и 2809Б не являются прецизионными. Также не являются прецизионными не позолоченные механизмы без надписей по признаку 3.

All movements 2809A or 2809Б are not precision class. Gold-plated movements which don't fall under rule 3, are not precision class.

6. Если механизм позолочен и находится в Волне или Восток без надписи на циферблате "прецизионные", то, скорее всего, это выбракованный механизм из серии прецизионных.
If the movement is gold-plated and is found in Volna or Vostok without Precision adjective, this probably is a movement which didn't pass the tests for precision class movements.

7. Единственные модели часов Восток прецизионные без надписи на циферблате имеют внутри механизмы 2802/03, которые легко отличить по внешнему виду клейм (см. иллюстрации).

The one and only model of Vostok Precision without 'Precision' adjective indicated on the dial, is with movement 2802 / 03 (sub-second hand), which are easy to identify.
 

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Hi storyteller,

it's been a while since I've written these "rules" :)
We have collected a lot more data and consensus at the Russian watch forum is that the main difference of "Precision Class" 2809 movement from the "plain" 2809 is the material of the balance spring and better assembly quality of the balance. The balances, meeting the more narrow margins of these quality requirements has been used for the "Precision Class" 2809 movements line while the rest went into "plain" Volna (Wave) line.

Thanks for all your good work!

Cheers, osmik (AKA egern)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great to have you here!

I have read three theories on watch.ru, and it doesn't seem to have a consensus there:
1. the difference between VP and the regular 2809 was established only at the final accuracy tests.
- pros for this theory - all the parts for 2809 are interchangeable, and there is no visible difference between VP and the rest as far as the gold-plated =ЧЧЗ= movements are concerned.
- cons - different engraving on bridges for 1st generation (you noticed this), 2809 engraved under the balance wheel for 3rd generation VP. It doesn't make any sense to assemble the movement, to test it, then to dismantle it, to make proper engraved, and then to reassemble.
2. The difference is in the balance and the balance spring.
- pros - some observations on balance springs, no photos
- cons - other observations on balance springs, many members claiming that there is no difference in power reserve.
I think AID from this forum was the first to write about this some 2 years ago, and one year ago I had enough 2809 to test his hypothesis. Well, I have some twenty 2809, half of them VP, and can't see any difference in the balance assembly. I'm an old man, and diletant, but my watchmaker also can't see any difference. The power reserve is basically the same. The shape of the spring and the balance is the same.
The problem with this theory is that the quality of the balance wheel cannot be tested by watch amateurs. Personally I'm unhappy with theories that cannot be verified.
3. there were different production lines for VP and regular 2809
- pro - the engraving of the mainplates / bridges for 1st and 3rd generation 2809; parallel use of gold-plated and white movements
- cons - gold-plated movements in regular Vostok 2809, catalogs of spare parts (e.g. Mashtorg) which offer the same spare parts for VP and regular 2809

Frankly, I think that we don't have enough data. And I suspect that different procedures could be used in 1950s and 1960s, for example different lines and - maybe, just maybe - different balance assemblies in 1950s, and unified in 1960s. Or there could have been mixed procedures, different lines for gold-plated and regular movements, and then additional tests for the premium gold-plated movements and further selection.

Any forum member living in Moscow or SPb, Kiev or Qazan, could easily check the TY in any good technical library, it is 5 minutes of work, and resolve many of our puzzles.
 

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Guilty as charged. I did start a tread or two on VP/ Volna a few years ago, I think it was in 2009 sometime. Having some fairly advanced (for a hobbyist) watchmaking skills I wanted to get to the bottom of the theory about VP chronometer-like accuracy. But unfortunately it did not get anywhere beyond some "urban legends". I serviced 3 or 4 Volna and VP, one VP was even in mint condition. I did not find that VP being any more accurate than any other VP or Volna. What does it mean? Nothing! Even in excellent visual condition the VP I serviced could of had a "tired" balance staff or a hair spring which would effect accuracy. It could also have a hairspring or the entire balance from another non-precision movement. It's impossible to verify.

Taking in consideration all these watches are 50-60 yeas old now, it is impossible to determine if VPs are actually more accurate than others. Especially since replacement main springs are unavailable and old main spring can greatly effect the accuracy of the watch.
 

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I dno't know if you've seen, but it seems like your 1957 puzzle has been solved. There is a... well... partial movement shown on the Russian forum, that is 21j 2802/3 from 2-57. So it seems lie 2802 was made for at least two years now... Just to refresh and update the thread :) Sorry I dodn't copy the link, I didn't think about it when I saw it and searching the whole 60 page thread is... well - you know :)
 

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The 18-jewels 2809B is typical for Almaz watches, never Vostok, and could be seen with both “ЧЧЗ” and “B” logo, which means that the production of Almaz stopped somewhere after the introduction of a new factory logo, but before the brands reorganization.
I have a Vostok branded 18 jewel 2809B, so it seems this movement was not exclusive for Almaz. Note the 18 Jewel label on the dial.
15373998
15374000
 
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