Tag Archives: USSR

Cosmos 2416

In Soviet Russia a wide range of movements were produced over the years. The first soviet attempts were based on existing designs, bought and locally produced. But contrary to a popular belief, they did not only copy western technology or produce only low-grade movements, they also developed original designs.

A page from a 1960s Soviet watch catalog

The 1MChZ (the 1st Moscow Watch Factory, later named Poljot) 2416, a slim (3,9mm) automatic with pointer date and central second appeared in 1963, one year after the much more common variant with a conventional date window. To build such a thin movement while keeping a traditional rotor the designers found some unusual solutions:

  • usually an autowind module is added to a base caliber, this is not the case here. We can see that the autowind geartrain is on the same level as the rest of the watch.
  • the pallet fork is not straight to also gain a little height.
  • there is an offset cannon pinion, the timing gear train is not at the usual place

  • Rotor post (center), autowind gear train (top right), timing gear train (bottom left)

    Rotor post (center), autowind gear train (top right), timing gear train (bottom left)

    The offset cannon pinion

    The coupling between mainspring, autowind gears and handwind gears is also nicely done, allowing the watch to be winded by hand: a two-stage ratchet wheel is mounted atop the mainspring barrel.

    The ratchet wheel, and what hides inside

    The thinness of the movement allowed it to be found in the slim dresswatches of the era, mostly in the Poljot “De Luxe”. The “Kocmoc” (cosmos) model is probably the only pointer date watch of the Soviet production. It is often found in gold plated cases but this one is made from stainless steel (probably a case replacement). Such cases were mostly made for the export market, however the case back bears a cyrillic dedication from 1972.

    A Cosmos from the 1st Moscow Watch Factory, with a restored dial

    The production of the 2416 family ended in the beginning of the 1970s, after only one decade.

    Parts list for the Poljot 2416 (same caliber but with date window)


    Chronograph cal. 31659

    I already made a quick presentation about those soviet military chronographs (click to read). This one was bought in Moscow in 1991 or 1992 by its previous German owner, who wore it and stored it away when it stopped ticking. When it arrived on my desk, it looked good but was completely frozen. The movement is quite tough, it does have a shock protection device so what did go wrong? Balace staff OK, the chronograph did not block the watch, I had to dismantle all the chrono parts to find …

    A toothless gear!

    The ratchet wheel somehow lost 12 teeth, of course some of them found their way into the gear train and blocked the watch. A very uncommon mishap! The steel used to make the wheel may have been too hardened? Anyway, this is impossible to repair, so I had to find a replacement.

    Let’s look at the insides of this chronograph; in particular, this a hacking version of the regular 3133, meaning that a lever stops the balance when the crown is pulled to adjust the hands:

    What makes the 31659 a hacking 3133

    Alongside a 0.6mm screwdriver for size:

    A closer view of the hacking lever

    Gear train and chronograph parts

    The bare movement in a chronograph can be quite simple, this is the case : a 21600 bph watch, big diameter, small seconds. All good for simplicity and accuracy.

    The bare movement

    We can see from left to right : driving wheel and coupling clutch, chronograph bridge with seconds and minute counter, sliding gear and the command levers (start/stop and reset). Lots of screws, do not mistake a simple screw for an eccentric.

    All chronograph parts minus the cam and reset hammer

    Each function (seconds counting, minutes counting, resetting, coupling the chrono with the watch…) is triggered by the cam, which is itself rotated by the command levers (i.e. the pushers). The cam is just behind the reset hammers:

    The heart of a cam-operated chronograph

    More parts on the dial side!

    The Soviets did not use a Western shockproof device, but designed their own. This one looks like an Incabloc from a distance, but the “lyre” has no hinges, it must be carefully (!!!) removed to access the jewels:

    Soviet shockproof device, Incabloc-like but more difficult to handle

    All is put back together, this one is now good to go:

    Back together, and running

    A late soviet-made 31659 ‘Sturmanskie’ military chronograph

    Note: This chronograph does look like a Valjoux 7734, but it is different: small balance and higher bph, different jewel count, and I did not try to mix parts but I bet that most are not interchangeable. The Soviet obviously based their design on the 7734 but this is not a carbon copy!


    Soviet airforce Sturmanskie cal. 31659

    The “Sturmanskie” (Штурманские, Russian for navigator) was a Soviet Airforce issued watch, never available to the general public. The movement was made in the 1st Moscow Watch Factory, named “Kirov” after the famous prewar soviet Party member, and after the 1960s well knowed as the Poljot (Russian for flight) factory. At first, in the 1950s it was a simple watch with a hacking function. The name was reused in the early 1980s to name an all steel chronograph using the well known caliber Poljot 3133. Many civilian versions were made with different dials, always in plated cases.

    In 1987 the last version was introduced. New dial (no telemeter scales), modified case (still all steel), specific blued hands and a movement seldom found in civilian watches, the Poljot 31659, a hacking 3133. Between 1987 and 1991, a few variations of the dial can be seen. Here are three of them:

    Three Sturmanskie cal. 31659 from the Soviet airforce

    Three Sturmanskie cal. 31659 from the Soviet airforce

    The light grey dial is the most common, made from 1987 to 1991. Civilian versions were made using this dial and plated cases. The all grey dial was made only in 1987, the movement having a date stamp. The light blue/turquoise dial is even less common, made around 1989.

    The all-grey 1987 Sturmanskie

    The all-grey 1987 Sturmanskie

    A late model light grey Sturmanskie

    A late model light grey Sturmanskie