Sunday, May 21, 2017

Watches Celebrating Russian Achievements in Space

Comrade watch collectors this week will once again be dedicated to Russia-themed watches.  I haven't been hacked.  It's just that Russia has been on the news very much lately.  Naturally, there are watches out there to celebrate Russia's "Yuge" achievements.  On October 4,  1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik.  It was the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth.  It was a major technological achievement and it ignited the space race between the U.S. and Soviet Union.  If you want to get all multimedia, here is what NASA believes transmissions from Sputnik sounded like and the picture below is a mockup of Sputnik.

With the 60th anniversary of the launch coming up, it's interesting to look at some of the watches used in the Soviet space program and some of the watches that commemorate Russian and Soviet achievements in space. The company that made the watches worn by cosmonauts still exists and still makes fine mechanical watches.  Many watches celebrate Yuri Gagarin the first man in space.

Sturmanskie 40th Anniversary of first man in space watch - photo by Jason vom Anger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Amazingly, there are also now watches made in China that pay homage to old Soviet watch styles and watch companies.  In searching on Amazon, I'm not quite sure if these are created by actual Russian designers, Russian companies who have outsourced production, or Chinese companies pretending to be Russian.  Nevertheless, some of the watches that I've seen from a company called CCCP Time that look really good.

One of the most affordable Russian-style watches is a Sturmanskie watch assembled in China using a Japanese Miyota quartz movement.  It closely mimics the style of the original Sturmanskie watch worn by Yuri Gagarin.

Of course, if you want to go old school, simply check out Sturmanski mechanical watches on Amazon.  The mechanical watches are actually made in Russia and some are direct descendants of the watches worn by cosmonauts.

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