Mechanical movements of the Cold War: how the Soviets revolutionized wristwatches


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/13/mechanical-movements-of-the-co.html


#2

In Soviet Union, watch watches you.


#3

A Czech staggers into police station in 1968 during the Fraternal Assistance.

Czech: Hey, a few minutes ago a Swiss soldier knocked me out and took my Russian watch.

Desk Sergeant: You must still be rattled - you mean a Russian soldier knocked you out and took your Swiss watch.

Czech: Well, maybe, but you said it, not me.


#4

I humbly suggest

“In Soviet Russia, wrist watches YOU.”


#5

More likely they will crate a model demonstrating conclusively that trade deals coincide with oxidation. After all, economists aren’t supposed to count things, that’s a job for someone else.

/s


#6

At least they bought the watch factory.


#7

The same rumour holds true for FSU camera equipment: the export versions are considered by some to have a higher degree of quality control than the domestic models. Though in my opinion/experience, export vs. domestic doesn’t make that much of a difference; the date of manufacture is often more important than what alphabet is on them, at least when it comes to photographic equipment.


#8

I have a 17-jewel Poljot watch (they also made watches marketed as Sekonda in the West, but no longer own that trademark) that I picked up for €20 in a junk market in Leipzig. It runs really accurately when I can be bothered to keep it wound!

I really like the Soviet tendency to produce commemorative watches. Really interesting historical artefacts, now - the uber-commie-looking watches proclaiming ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroika’ containing a particular irony…


#9

Very old Soviet Joke on watches:

Three men are in prison, they chat:

I got to work thirty minutes late due to lousy Soviet watch. Was accused of treason against the People.

And I got to work thirty minutes early due to lousy Soviet watch and was accused of spying.

Me? I got to work on time and was accused of owning an American watch.


#10

To be fair, we have mathematicians already, who handle arithmetic with less fantasy elements.


#11

You sure this isn’t an American joke?


#12

So literally the day after I wrote this post, I was leaving the house and as I wound my watch, the winder sheared off leaving the crown in my hand. A confirmation of the low opinion some have of Soviet horology, perhaps? Well, read on. I checked and the threaded part is all still in the crown, and I can’t see any way to fix it. I go to ebay to see whether I can get replacement parts (it’s a cheap watch and I can’t really fuck it up worse than it is now, I guess, probably wrongly). I find Poljot winders for sale, NOS, and would you believe that they bought this part in from Ronda, Switzerland?


#13

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