I have a pair of mechanical Soviet wristwatches – a very boring Pobeda I wrote about last year, as well as a rather nicer Raketa with a 2623H movement – yes, it’s a 24-hour watch (that is, the hour hand only goes around once a day, as opposed to twice, like a normal mechanical watch). With a chrome case and a grey band, it’s my “dress” watch, for when the black-on-black Pobeda is a bit too, um, tactical, and a pocket watch just isn’t practical.
One of the big annoyances with owning any mechanical timepiece is that it’s fairly difficult – and usually horribly expensive – to have the damned things serviced. It’s bad enough trying to find someone around here to work on, say, a 1970s Seiko, or a 1960s Bulova, but try to get someone to service a Soviet or Russian timepiece? On a good day, they’ll just laugh at you. You can’t get parts, there are no service instructions available… and why bother, they’ll ask, when the watch is only worth maybe fifty bucks and most watchmakers these days won’t even open a watch for less than a hundred?
I knew this when I bought my watches, and I figure I’d just have to deal with it if and when the time came that either of my wristwatches stopped working.
A while back, my “shockproof” Raketa got whacked, and stopped running. Doh.
Read the rest of this entry »