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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have just recently come across vintage Sekonda dress watches from the 60's and 70's:

Collecting Sekonda Watches - Russian & Chinese Watches - The Watch Forum

I am really struck by their elegant, funky, very Russian/Soviet/Constructivist designs, particularly on the black dial with gold hand & indices, and blue dial with silver hands and indices models.

The impression I have from a quick cruise of online sales sites is that:
-the model I am interested in is fairly cheap (typically under $100).
-the black dial and blue dial versions are less common.
-most of them (black & blue dials) seem fairly beat up.
-largest size seems to be about 35 mm. On the small end for me, but i notice they have a thin bezel so presumably they wear larger.
-what I have been able to find on the mechanism indicates that it is more than solid for the price point.
-the models don't seem to be in current production.

My questions:
-Is the above accurate?
-Am I likely to be able to find a black/gold or blue/silver vintage watch in good shape?
-Does anyone do refurbished versions of these watches? I would have no problem with a redial or new crystal. I'm less interested in period authenticity that the design.
-Any good articles on these models?
-Why haven't I known about these until recently? They seem to my eye to be among the most distinctive and striking designs of their era and price point.
 

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Have just recently come across vintage Sekonda dress watches from the 60's and 70's:

Collecting Sekonda Watches - Russian & Chinese Watches - The Watch Forum

I am really struck by their elegant, funky, very Russian/Soviet/Constructivist designs, particularly on the black dial with gold hand & indices, and blue dial with silver hands and indices models.

The impression I have from a quick cruise of online sales sites is that:
-the model I am interested in is fairly cheap (typically under $100).
-the black dial and blue dial versions are less common.
-most of them (black & blue dials) seem fairly beat up.
-largest size seems to be about 35 mm. On the small end for me, but i notice they have a thin bezel so presumably they wear larger.
-what I have been able to find on the mechanism indicates that it is more than solid for the price point.
-the models don't seem to be in current production.

My questions:
-Is the above accurate?
-Am I likely to be able to find a black/gold or blue/silver vintage watch in good shape?
-Does anyone do refurbished versions of these watches? I would have no problem with a redial or new crystal. I'm less interested in period authenticity that the design.
-Any good articles on these models?
-Why haven't I known about these until recently? They seem to my eye to be among the most distinctive and striking designs of their era and price point.
There's a lot to be said on your chosen topic but I'll just say that Sekonda was a re-brand of several soviet watch manufacturers for sale in the UK. The watch you appear to be describing was originally made by the First Moscow Watch Factory (later Poljot) and then by Luch at their Minsk factory. These are generally referred to as "ultra-thins". They are 35mm dia. and with their original low-profile crystals 7mm thick. The colorful dials you are describing were made for Sekonda by Luch. They all have the 23 jewel 2209 shockproof hand wind movement, gold-plated.

These "ultra-thins" are well-known to collectors of Russian watches, very popular and sought-after. They can be found in all conditions, including New Old Stock, with some patience.

Get ready for an avalanche of information from others!
 

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Let's see what we can do here.

The impression I have from a quick cruise of online sales sites is that:
-the model I am interested in is fairly cheap (typically under $100).
Typically, yes. They can vary from ~$10 for a beat-up non-runner to well over $100 for NOS examples with original box and strap.
-the black dial and blue dial versions are less common.
In my experience, the black dial is no more or less common than the others silver/gold. But the blue dial does seem a bit harder to come by. I suspect this is not because they were produced in lower numbers, but rather that they are more desirable to the collector and have been readily snatched up and coveted over the years. This is just a guess.
-most of them (black & blue dials) seem fairly beat up.
Yes, most watches of any brand that are 40+ years old are pretty beat up.
-largest size seems to be about 35 mm. On the small end for me, but i notice they have a thin bezel so presumably they wear larger.
If you are talking about the 2209-powered "ultra-thins", then they are all the same size: just a hair under 35mm in diameter. Sekonda made dress watches of all shapes and styles, but you won't find many that are much larger than this.
-what I have been able to find on the mechanism indicates that it is more than solid for the price point.
Almost all Soviet watches will match this description. Vintage mechanical watches can command incredible prices with the collector interest nowadays, so yes, under $100 for a reliable vintage piece is a great deal in my book. The 1MWF 2209 movement itself was awarded a Gold Medal at an international fair in Leipzig in 1963 and is prized for its thinness. It's also a gold-plated movement -- not very common, in my experience.
-the models don't seem to be in current production.
Correct. The exact movement to which you refer, the Luch/1MWF 23-jewel caliber 2209, is discontinued. After the fall of the USSR, Sekonda began using cheap Chinese quartz movements to power most watches.

My questions:
-Is the above accurate?
See above.
-Am I likely to be able to find a black/gold or blue/silver vintage watch in good shape?
Absolutely. Time and budget are really the only constraints here. If you are patient, you can find a nice example of each for an affordable price. Set up an eBay alert, start trawling Etsy, pour through Lionseek, check your local listings... Patience and diligence will pay off handsomely.
-Does anyone do refurbished versions of these watches? I would have no problem with a redial or new crystal. I'm less interested in period authenticity that the design.
Yes, there is a reissue. Based on everything you've said, I recommend you go for the modern quartz remake, the Sekonda 3270. It will be more reliable, more affordable, shiny new, and a bit larger at 37mm in diameter, all while retaining (arguably) the same classic styling. It seems to be discontinued most places, but might be available here or here.
-Any good articles on these models?
You bet.
-Why haven't I known about these until recently? They seem to my eye to be among the most distinctive and striking designs of their era and price point.
Can't blame us for your living under a rock :)

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When I read the thread, I thought to reply and then realized Dash would be along soon to blow any info my 3 or 4 Sekonda's could provide out of the water. I was right. Fabulous information and pics as always.
Regarding the blue ones, I missed out on one recently which sold for £70. It was in great condition so they can be found within the $100 price point if you persist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, thanks Dash:
-Rarely have I gotten so much smarter on a new WIS topic from one post response.
-Sekonda a sleeper to me, deceptively simple, easy to overlook at first internet glance. The combination of elegant, classic, design, slightly idiosyncratic detailing, and distinctive color way execution makes for a tasty stew though.
-I hadn't looked past Strela, which I was familiar with from some NASA involvement. A Strela chrono and Sekonda ultra thin may turn out to be my two watch solution to the Soviet challenge. Think I may grab the 37mm reissue to tide me over while settling in for a vintage search.
-To be able to get one of the most distinctive, beautiful, and important vintage references from a major country for about $100 is mind boggling though.
-Re: living under a rock. In my defense it is a tasteful, well appointed, rock with premium cable and a view of Catalina Island on the rare clear day. You're right, I should probably get out more though. Does getting on ebay count?
Let's see what we can do here.

The impression I have from a quick cruise of online sales sites is that:
-the model I am interested in is fairly cheap (typically under $100).
Typically, yes. They can vary from ~$10 for a beat-up non-runner to well over $100 for NOS examples with original box and strap.
-the black dial and blue dial versions are less common.
In my experience, the black dial is no more or less common than the others silver/gold. But the blue dial does seem a bit harder to come by. I suspect this is not because they were produced in lower numbers, but rather that they are more desirable to the collector and have been readily snatched up and coveted over the years. This is just a guess.
-most of them (black & blue dials) seem fairly beat up.
Yes, most watches of any brand that are 40+ years old are pretty beat up.
-largest size seems to be about 35 mm. On the small end for me, but i notice they have a thin bezel so presumably they wear larger.
If you are talking about the 2209-powered "ultra-thins", then they are all the same size: just a hair under 35mm in diameter. Sekonda made dress watches of all shapes and styles, but you won't find many that are much larger than this.
-what I have been able to find on the mechanism indicates that it is more than solid for the price point.
Almost all Soviet watches will match this description. Vintage mechanical watches can command incredible prices with the collector interest nowadays, so yes, under $100 for a reliable vintage piece is a great deal in my book. The 1MWF 2209 movement itself was awarded a Gold Medal at an international fair in Leipzig in 1963 and is prized for its thinness. It's also a gold-plated movement -- not very common, in my experience.
-the models don't seem to be in current production.
Correct. The exact movement to which you refer, the Luch/1MWF 23-jewel caliber 2209, is discontinued. After the fall of the USSR, Sekonda began using cheap Chinese quartz movements to power most watches.

My questions:
-Is the above accurate?
See above.
-Am I likely to be able to find a black/gold or blue/silver vintage watch in good shape?
Absolutely. Time and budget are really the only constraints here. If you are patient, you can find a nice example of each for an affordable price. Set up an eBay alert, start trawling Etsy, pour through Lionseek, check your local listings... Patience and diligence will pay off handsomely.
-Does anyone do refurbished versions of these watches? I would have no problem with a redial or new crystal. I'm less interested in period authenticity that the design.
Yes, there is a reissue. Based on everything you've said, I recommend you go for the modern quartz remake, the Sekonda 3270. It will be more reliable, more affordable, shiny new, and a bit larger at 37mm in diameter, all while retaining (arguably) the same classic styling. It seems to be discontinued most places, but might be available here or here.
-Any good articles on these models?
You bet.
-Why haven't I known about these until recently? They seem to my eye to be among the most distinctive and striking designs of their era and price point.
Can't blame us for your living under a rock :)

View attachment 8750650
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. The Luch dials seem very high quality and lustrous for the price point in photos.
There's a lot to be said on your chosen topic but I'll just say that Sekonda was a re-brand of several soviet watch manufacturers for sale in the UK. The watch you appear to be describing was originally made by the First Moscow Watch Factory (later Poljot) and then by Luch at their Minsk factory. These are generally referred to as "ultra-thins". They are 35mm dia. and with their original low-profile crystals 7mm thick. The colorful dials you are describing were made for Sekonda by Luch. They all have the 23 jewel 2209 shockproof hand wind movement, gold-plated.

These "ultra-thins" are well-known to collectors of Russian watches, very popular and sought-after. They can be found in all conditions, including New Old Stock, with some patience.

Get ready for an avalanche of information from others!
 

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The brightly colored Luch dials do attract attention but if you ever get a hankering for something a little more understated and elegant they are out there too.

Here's a thread on my two most recently acquired 2209s. The green dial one was manufactured by Luch, that's their early logo, and the white dial version with Cyrillic "Poljot" is from First Moscow. Both, to me, appear authentic and original in every detail right down to the original crystals and wind, set, and keep time very well.

https://www.watchuseek.com/f10/ultra-slim-pickins-3293922.html

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These 2209s were probably made prior to the creation of the UK watch marketing company, Sekonda.

Sekonda rebranded watches made for them for the UK market, by all four of the major soviet watch factories: First Moscow (Poljot), Minsk (Luch), Second Moscow (Slava), and Chistopol (Vostok).
 

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Wow, thanks Dash:
-Rarely have I gotten so much smarter on a new WIS topic from one post response.
-Sekonda a sleeper to me, deceptively simple, easy to overlook at first internet glance. The combination of elegant, classic, design, slightly idiosyncratic detailing, and distinctive color way execution makes for a tasty stew though.
-I hadn't looked past Strela, which I was familiar with from some NASA involvement. A Strela chrono and Sekonda ultra thin may turn out to be my two watch solution to the Soviet challenge. Think I may grab the 37mm reissue to tide me over while settling in for a vintage search.
-To be able to get one of the most distinctive, beautiful, and important vintage references from a major country for about $100 is mind boggling though.
-Re: living under a rock. In my defense it is a tasteful, well appointed, rock with premium cable and a view of Catalina Island on the rare clear day. You're right, I should probably get out more though. Does getting on ebay count?
Haha. I was only ribbin' you, of course. One of the many beautiful things about Soviet watches is that they are still relatively undiscovered and/or not prized by collectors the way, say, vintage Swiss or German timepieces are. I wouldn't blame you for not having known about these before.

I think the one-two punch of Strela + Sekonda/Luch/1MWF 2209 would be a very nice, iconic pair. If you are ready to spring for the former, I highly recommend you consider this all-original Strela for an excellent price -- mainly because it will prevent me from buying it. I have watched the price steadily fall these past four weeks and am astonished it hasn't been sold yet. I have no relation to the seller, but with the amount I've advertised it around here, I should get a commission(!).

In my recent foray into this hobby, I've found the world of Soviet watches to be completely bizarre and incredibly fun. Keep us posted on how you fare!
 

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If you are ready to spring for the former, I highly recommend you consider this all-original Strela for an excellent price -- mainly because it will prevent me from buying it. I have watched the price steadily fall these past four weeks and am astonished it hasn't been sold yet. I have no relation to the seller, but with the amount I've advertised it around here, I should get a commission(!).
I agree that this would be a great buy, and save me at the same time. Thanks Dashiell been trying to forget about it :)
 

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More Sekonda's here https://sekondtime.wordpress.com/watch-brands/sekonda/

Sekonda have also preduced replicas of the earlier Russian examples for sale here in the UK. This link will take you to a comparison of the original and the modren homage. These modern watches have been so popular you can't get hold of them very easily if at all now. They were offered in gold and blue.
Golden Sekondas

Sekondtime
 

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More Sekonda's here https://sekondtime.wordpress.com/watch-brands/sekonda/

Sekonda have also preduced replicas of the earlier Russian examples for sale here in the UK. This link will take you to a comparison of the original and the modren homage. These modern watches have been so popular you can't get hold of them very easily if at all now. They were offered in gold and blue.
Golden Sekondas

Sekondtime
Comrade Sekondtime, would you please explain the relationship between the modern Sekonda company and the Sekonda of soviet days, if you can.
 

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Yes, my bad. All this talk about Luch pushed Raketa right out of the "big four" (probably should be "big five") in my hurried thinking.
No, I agree, I usually consider the "Big Four" as well, but tend to ignore Luch instead -- though I'm not sure why. Maybe because the Belarus factory is not in present-day Russia, or because the brand offered relatively few popular movements beyond the 2209 and ladies watches -- a weakness of the factory in my opinion.

Comrade Sekondtime, would you please explain the relationship between the modern Sekonda company and the Sekonda of soviet days, if you can.
Sekondtime, I would be interested to hear your thoughts as well.

According to the "Our History" page of the Sekonda Website and the (unverified) stub on Wikipedia, Sekonda had lost all ties to Russia by 1993. During the quartz revolution, manufacturing was apparently moved to Hong Kong to produce "more fashionable styles". (Interestingly, the same page then turns to scorn these "fashion brands" for depleting market share.)

To me, it sounds like the exact same brand/company, but a complete shift in their product.
 

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No, I agree, I usually consider the "Big Four" as well, but tend to ignore Luch instead -- though I'm not sure why. Maybe because the Belarus factory is not in present-day Russia, or because the brand offered relatively few popular movements beyond the 2209 and ladies watches -- a weakness of the factory in my opinion.

Sekondtime, I would be interested to hear your thoughts as well.

According to the "Our History" page of the Sekonda Website and the (unverified) stub on Wikipedia, Sekonda had lost all ties to Russia by 1993. During the quartz revolution, manufacturing was apparently moved to Hong Kong to produce "more fashionable styles". (Interestingly, the same page then turns to scorn these "fashion brands" for depleting market share.)

To me, it sounds like the exact same brand/company, but a complete shift in their product.
It is the same company. It has "evolved" as companies do over the course of 50 years.

This matter was discussed on the forum 3 years ago and I together with Chascomm and others pieced together what we knew of Sekonda's background. If you work your way through the thread link below, you can read all about it and Sekonda UK itself actually chimes in at the end to corroborate our statements.

What I will add for those of you unfortunate enough not to be British, Sekonda is so well known here in the UK that almost everyone has had a Sekonda watch of some description at some point in their lifetime. They are sold on every high street and have been the number one watch brand for most of their existence. All hail Sekonda!

Here is the link: https://www.watchuseek.com/f10/sekonda-brand-used-two-companies-649514.html-

Although Sekonda is now based in Leicester (central England), the company formerly had offices in London at 81-89 Farringdon Road. The building still exists although slightly altered. Here is a modern photo of the rear of the building:

Property Building Residential area Architecture Apartment


And here is it (centre top) in the early 1970s. A railway line and tube line pass in front of it in a cutting.

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Sekondtime
 

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And here is a Sekonda watch display used in any high street jeweller's window. There is the main brand, the Seksy brand for women and the Party Time brand for young people. The main picture at the top of the display shows the "flagship" watch, the chronograph which is also a homage watch to the earlier Sekonda Chronographs by Poljot. I have posted a photo of my modern Sekonda Chronograph below.

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It is the same company. It has "evolved" as companies do over the course of 50 years.

This matter was discussed on the forum 3 years ago and I together with Chascomm and others pieced together what we knew of Sekonda's background. If you work your way through the thread link below, you can read all about it and Sekonda UK itself actually chimes in at the end to corroborate our statements.

What I will add for those of you unfortunate enough not to be British, Sekonda is so well known here in the UK that almost everyone has had a Sekonda watch of some description at some point in their lifetime. They are sold on every high street and have been the number one watch brand for most of their existence. All hail Sekonda!

Here is the link: https://www.watchuseek.com/f10/sekonda-brand-used-two-companies-649514.html-

Although Sekonda is now based in Leicester (central England), the company formerly had offices in London at 81-89 Farringdon Road. The building still exists although slightly altered. Here is a modern photo of the rear of the building:

View attachment 8761810

And here is it (centre top) in the early 1970s. A railway line and tube line pass in front of it in a cutting.

View attachment 8761842

Sekondtime
Thanks, Sekondtime! Fascinating reading, particularly the post by Sekonda.

A small detail, I believe Sekonda sold, at one time, a quartz analog watch with "USSR" at "6" and a soviet movement. Seele used to be an active collector of these if I'm not mistaken. One sold on ebay a month or so ago. Similar to yours:

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
 
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