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Discussion Starter #1
Hello - I recently acquired the below watch with a curious Russian engraving on the back. It seemed like a very cool piece of history - the American watch which helped the Allies win the war with a Russian engraving. I have heard rumors of American watches being given to Russian soldiers as some how affiliated with the FDR Lend-Lease program....anyone have further insight? Anyone offer a translation?

case.JPG face.JPG
 

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My folks are asleep. Their eye-sight is less than perfect. Will ask one of them to take a look at your pic. in a few hours when they wake up.
 

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YOu post the caseback and the dial, but no movement? You tease!

The dial doesn't conform to any US military specifications and the original ordinance watches were all subdial, not sweep, so I doubt it was purchased by the military directly. THe "USA" on the dial makes me think this was an export watch; you often saw that on watches sent to England. The serial number on the movement will tell us loads more, and a picture of the inside of the caseback might help too.
 

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Answered by Tim on Vintage Watch Forums
QUOTE
the translation is: "Геройскому народу СССР Рошен Уор Релиф США" - "To the heroic people of the USSR Russian War Relief USA".

Nice addition to your collection. The watches provided to Russia as part of the Lend Lease Act really are an interesting piece of history.
Here's an example from a Hamilton War-Time production bulletin.

UNQUOTE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - TIM -VWF
Vintage Watch Forums • View topic - New Waltham World War II watch with Russian Engraving
 

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I'm a cynic by nature, and it's easy to engrave a caseback. Without a movement photo, I wouldn't be willing to accept that it was part of that program. I have difficulty believing the US would give Russia better watches then they were giving their own troops.
 

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I'm a cynic by nature, and it's easy to engrave a caseback. Without a movement photo, I wouldn't be willing to accept that it was part of that program. I have difficulty believing the US would give Russia better watches then they were giving their own troops.
You'd be amazed what the U.S. gave to its allies as part of the Lend Lease program. And I don't just mean Russia and the U.S. government. To help with defending the British home-front, American citizens were urged by the U.S. government to donate any old but in working condition firearms to the cause. Americans gave generously. Very generously. Guns of all calibers, especially handguns were issued to British civilians who volunteered for the Home Guard. After the war was over, instead of collecting the firearms and putting them away in storage, in case they might be needed again someday, they were all destroyed. What a waste.

Watches, guns, even food supplies in many cases were given away through Lend Lease.
 

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I'm a cynic by nature, and it's easy to engrave a caseback. Without a movement photo, I wouldn't be willing to accept that it was part of that program. I have difficulty believing the US would give Russia better watches then they were giving their own troops.
Truly, I hope in time you can change from a "cynic" to some one who can watch, wait and see.

This watch in my NON 'cynic' feeling is correct
A
 

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You'd be amazed what the U.S. gave to its allies as part of the Lend Lease program. And I don't just mean Russia and the U.S. government. To help with defending the British home-front, American citizens were urged by the U.S. government to donate any old but in working condition firearms to the cause. Americans gave generously. Very generously. Guns of all calibers, especially handguns were issued to British civilians who volunteered for the Home Guard. After the war was over, instead of collecting the firearms and putting them away in storage, in case they might be needed again someday, they were all destroyed. What a waste.

Watches, guns, even food supplies in many cases were given away through Lend Lease.
Gave??
Still give
This watch is real
 

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Adam, what do you base your "feeling" on, other then an engraving? I've already given a very good reason why I don't think it's legit.
I go on the belief that everyone is INNOCENT until proven GUILTY
That said, in my experience this timepiece is biased to innocent (correct)
You on the other hand are biased to guilty (IN correct)

I think this watch is 100% correct, you think NOT (with no reason but gut feel)

So lets see who is correct
A
 

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Gut feel? Sigh. It's not gut feel Adam, that's a "this style of watch doesn't match up with it's purported story".

To the best of my knowledge, the only sweep second model 1942 watches produced prior to the 6/0 C (which came out in 1945) was the A-11 Hack navigation watch; which was only issued to the military in appropriate cases with appropriate dials. Since the lendlease program ended in 1945, that makes the odds of it including such a watch somewhat unlikely. Not impossible, but then that's why I'm willing to reserve judgement until I see the movement and serial number.
 

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Gut feel? Sigh. It's not gut feel Adam, that's a "this style of watch doesn't match up with it's purported story".

To the best of my knowledge, the only sweep second model 1942 watches produced prior to the 6/0 C (which came out in 1945) was the A-11 Hack navigation watch; which was only issued to the military in appropriate cases with appropriate dials. Since the lendlease program ended in 1945, that makes the odds of it including such a watch somewhat unlikely. Not impossible, but then that's why I'm willing to reserve judgement until I see the movement and serial number.
Seems to me you like the last statement in any discussion

Me I make my opinion (with translation( and wait for OP to post a picture of the movement

Maybe you could do the same?
I have MY opinion, you have your (opinion - NOT sigh)

Lets wait and see.

Adam
 

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Answered by Tim on Vintage Watch Forums
QUOTE
the translation is: "Геройскому народу СССР Рошен Уор Релиф США" - "To the heroic people of the USSR Russian War Relief USA".
...
This is typical Russian patriotic phrasing. I suspect it was engraved in the USSR. Americans would not use this phrasing, IMHO.

Pics from the inside would tell more, but I suspect not enough to assure authenticity.
 

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I don't need the last word, I just don't like it when the person I'm talking to ignores the valid facts I've presented while dismissing my "opinion" as baseless. You haven't even tried to explain how this watch could have been in a lendlease program that ended before the watch was likely built? Some more facts for you to ignore: the first 6/0C was Serial# 32234001, which the grey book lists as being produced starting in September 1945. The U.S. terminated all lendlease programs on September 20th, 1945.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Apologies for the absence - I do not have a great picture of the movement or serial number as I have not yet received the purchase. When I get it, I'll post a more detailed shot(s) if people are interested.

Thank you for the translation assistance as well - my one year of Russian in college did not pay off! My parents would be disappointed.

What I have been able to pull from the photo I have of the movement is that it is serial number 31441755 (I think) and movement area is grainy but it looks like 6/0 '42.

To me what appeals is the story - an American made watch given to a Russian soldier during World War II...that's a cool little piece of history and that's why I bought it. That said - I sure as .... hope its authentic!
 

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It's the first few numbers that are key, and that serial would be consistent with a A-11 spec movement made in 1943; if so, you'll find that it "hacks" as well (meaning the second hand will stop if you pull out the crown). There aren't a lot of records I can find around Waltham's as part of the lendlease; there were a bunch of hamilton's with 987a movements (which were the lower-quality Hamilton WWII watches) in cases very similar to yours though. The one shown over on the Vintage Watch forum (which is the same watch you'll find shown in a couple of other forums as well, and is somewhat of a rebuild) is the only other Waltham I've seen associated with this program, and notably it has a similar case and crown to the hamiltons. Yours has a similar case, but slightly different crown, but either could have been a replacement over the years. Same deal with the hands; yours and the one at VW have the same hands, but neither set matches the ones used on the A-11 or ord. watches, and the hands on yours are obviously either a replacement or at the least have been relumed. That's not uncommon; the original lume tends to flake off after a while, and you don't want little pieces of radioactive dust getting in to the movement. Lume on the dial tends to be more 'stable', so again not unreasonable for it to still be there. The dial looks like it has a fairly thick layer of nicotine on it.

If nothing else, the case is probably legit, and if the serial number is as you say, the weight of evidence swings towards the positive; details of the movement, inner caseback and mounting method will help. Probably asking too much, but if you get it serviced (which I hope you do), try to get a picture of the back of the dial; that sometimes has info (like dates or manufacturer marks) on it. It would be nice to build up some data on these, since I'd suspect that (like the Hamilton's) it would have been a one-off production run, and all the movements should have a consistent serial number.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's the first few numbers that are key, and that serial would be consistent with a A-11 spec movement made in 1943; if so, you'll find that it "hacks" as well (meaning the second hand will stop if you pull out the crown). There aren't a lot of records I can find around Waltham's as part of the lendlease; there were a bunch of hamilton's with 987a movements (which were the lower-quality Hamilton WWII watches) in cases very similar to yours though. The one shown over on the Vintage Watch forum (which is the same watch you'll find shown in a couple of other forums as well, and is somewhat of a rebuild) is the only other Waltham I've seen associated with this program, and notably it has a similar case and crown to the hamiltons. Yours has a similar case, but slightly different crown, but either could have been a replacement over the years. Same deal with the hands; yours and the one at VW have the same hands, but neither set matches the ones used on the A-11 or ord. watches, and the hands on yours are obviously either a replacement or at the least have been relumed. That's not uncommon; the original lume tends to flake off after a while, and you don't want little pieces of radioactive dust getting in to the movement. Lume on the dial tends to be more 'stable', so again not unreasonable for it to still be there. The dial looks like it has a fairly thick layer of nicotine on it.

If nothing else, the case is probably legit, and if the serial number is as you say, the weight of evidence swings towards the positive; details of the movement, inner caseback and mounting method will help. Probably asking too much, but if you get it serviced (which I hope you do), try to get a picture of the back of the dial; that sometimes has info (like dates or manufacturer marks) on it. It would be nice to build up some data on these, since I'd suspect that (like the Hamilton's) it would have been a one-off production run, and all the movements should have a consistent serial number.
Thank you for that great insight! It is supposed to have been fully serviced prior to my purchase, but I fully intend to have the movement checked out when I recieve it. I would also love to try to restore it to the orginial as much as possible - so based on your comments it looks like I would need to find an original crown and hands? I'm assuming that is the most prudent course of action - I should have noted before that this is the first time I've purchased a watch such as this.

Thanks.
 
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