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This one kind of qualifies for the 404. A seller I have done business with had this 1996 Kinectic and I was looking at it and couldn't get it to work. He said take it and open it and fi d out what's wrong and we will talk next month at the next meet. So I take it home and figure out it needs a new rechargeable kinetic battery. $24.50 later it is running beautifully. So it is free for the moment...the first Sunday of next month it might cost me $90 minus the $25 for the repair, but I am enjoying it20240216_1534432.thumb.jpg.435f784cc9159842071a3ad741e41609.jpg now. Might have been a very wise move for him to let me fix it and fall for it because it likely won't come out of my collection now.20240216_1513092.thumb.jpg.313b40829e68634140d6034f22f39816.jpg20240216_1514112.thumb.jpg.a83eb976e74b0656a7165fcb076569bc.jpg

Edited by Razz
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  • 2 weeks later...


A Chaika 1601A based "Dupont" USSR era with a deep blue dial joins the 404 club. It needs a new crystal, which I probably have in my stash, but other than that, it needed nothing other than a clean and a new strap.

The Chaika 1601A turns up regularly in Sekonda ladies watches from around the late seventies till the late eighties, although there seems to be some debate about when the Chaika 1601A went in to production, with some sites suggesting as late as 1985. It seems to me to be a much older design, with more in common with 1950s calibers than ones from the mid eighties.  

It has slightly odd dimensions, for a gents watch, which I presume it is. 

With the two hander dial, 17mm lugs and a case size that would not look out of place on a 1950s watch, and a touch of the beer bottle cap design of the Rolex Oyster, it is somewhat unique.

Its origins are a little unclear. Mikrolisk has a couple of suggestions. 


Despite its diminutive size, the relatively large 1601A balance makes for a reasonably accurate little watch. It isn't likely to make COSC standars, but it runs pretty well for what it is.

As you can see the dial changes colour quite markedly depending on the light. Quite attractive, and well worth the four quid it cost.


... and of course we have to have the "money shot" too. It may be possible to date this more accurately if anybody knows how to decode the serial number.

Edited by AndyHull
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36 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

It seems to me to be a much older design, with more in common with 1950s calibers than ones from the mid eighties.

Elaborate on this statement. What sorts of things define calibers from different decades? The only thing I can think of short of the pocket to wrist watch shift around WWI and quartz is shock settings starting... late-40s, early-50s?

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The Chaika 1601A bridge styles look more like something from an earlier time. It is also finished relatively well for the 1980s, as a lot of manufacturers by then had started a race to the bottom in terms of finishing and materials as a result of the quartz crisis.

If you compare it with a comparable Swiss movement from the same period, you will find they have much less elaborate bridges, and other cost cutting measures. Straight cut bridges with no bevel on the edges are much cheaper and simpler to produce than the curved bridges of the Chaika 1601A. They even went to the trouble of stamping a serial number on the movement. A practice which only the higher end Swiss manufacturers were bothering with by this point.


The Chaika 1601A does have a relatively cheap balance though. The 'timing screws' in the balance are for decoration only.

Having said all that, the USSR caliber designs were fairly conservative, and produced for relatively long periods. This was partly as a result of the command economy, which tended to lead to relatively little innovation in design, and partly because they weren't chasing after the fickle flights of fashion that arguably drove some of the changes from other manufacturers. Some of the USSR designs were licensed or even "borrowed" from Swiss and French designs.  

For example I have a Sekonda pocket watch (which may be the next one on the bench for a clean and service). It has a Chelyabinsk Watch Factory "Molnija" 3602 caliber in it, which was based on a Cortébert movement used in Swiss watches from around 1940.


Here is one of the examples from Ranfft. You can see that it is similar to the Chailka with curved bridges. They even had Breguet over coil hairsprings and "Geneva" striping. Some had shock protection, some did not.  

The Sekonda is in its original 1980s plastic presentation box, complete with "manufacturers guarantee" (although Sekonda obviously didn't manufacture it).

This same Molnija  movement was produced in the Chelyabinsk Watch Factory with little change, except notably in the level of finishing, from around 1947 until the early 2000s when production ceased.

For comparison, here is a Swiss ST96 from around the same period as the Chaika and the Molnija. .


Smaller jewels, flat and unrefined finishing, and all in all, a little bit lacklustre.

.. and a Rolex 600 from around 1922


The Chaika, despite being from the 1980s, to my eye at least, looks a little closer to the Rolex than the ST96


Edited by AndyHull
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  • 1 month later...

I just picked this up a couple of hours ago for $2US. Put in a new battery, pegged it just a bit and took these pics. I think 30-40 minutes in an ultrasonic bath and a little polywatch on the crystal and we have a beautiful nostalgic trip down memory lane for 1979. Maybe listen to Pink Floyd's The Wall and it doesn't get much better than that for a Sunday afternoon. Electric!DSCN57592.thumb.JPG.270b03fa42fa4bdeec26e388475eaa44.JPGDSCN57602.thumb.JPG.f676cedf5b20c2f6b433c87ca3004c1e.JPG

This bracelet is just so comfortable on the wrist as well.

Edited by Razz
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