A small collection of Russian mechanical watches!
A friend got me interested in Russian watches a few years back. Basically, during the Cold War era, the Russians got hold of a bunch of Swiss and other high-end watches, modified the designs to make them more robust against Russian users and Russian manufacturing attitudes, and started cranking them out with a Russian price tag. Not cheap for the Russians themselves, but amazingly cheap when compared against anything mechanical with a Swiss, or even Japanese label on it.
I bought a Vostok Amphibia new (delivered from Moscow for less than $100... for a 31 jewel self-winding mechanical watch!), wore it for a few years, but the inherent tinkerer in me tried a bit too hard to tweak the accuracy even better than the few seconds a day it was keeping, pushed the wrong lever, and bent a very delicate spring. Now it doesn't keep time very well, when it works at all. Oops.
These "new" ones are all second-handers off Ebay, via a seller in Bulgaria. A Slava, a Vostok, a Pobeda, a Raketa, and a Luch (somethin' small for the missus). When you're paying for shipping, you may as well stick a few extras in the box. I think they averaged about $17 each. All manual winding except for the Luch, which is an auto. All fairly well beat up, but who's complaining?
I wound them and set them all at 1:00, and took this photo at about 3:47. Looks like the Vostok is keeping the best time, and the Raketa needs some serious
attention. Pity, it's a lovely looking piece. I'll have a go at adjusting their regulation over the coming days, weeks and months. And I'll see if I can't get that Raketa to tick again. It's not like I have anything to lose by pulling it to bits .
 well, actually, I'm sure I have lots of tiny gears and springs to lose, but that's all part of the fun...