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Search eBay for "Komandirskie" and you’re bound to find several copies having the Paratrooper dial. It’s definitely one of the most common, and if you ask me, there’s a very good reason for it.

I bought my copy in December (2017), but it’s not until now that I’ve had the time to service it, give it a new strap, and start to wear it. As the rest of the watch, the movement was in great condition, although all oil and lubricants had dried up. For some reason, the calendar cam spring was missing. Of course, being a Russian watch designed for military use that can take a beating like few, that won’t stop the calendar mechanism from functioning, but it will make the date rollover slow rather than click. Fortunately, I have several Vostok calibre 2414 scrap movements to scavenge for spares.

As can be seen below 6 o’clock, this copy has the "ЗАКАЗ МО СССР" (ORDER OF MO USSR) marking meaning it’s from the Soviet era. According to this blog post, it means "By Order of the Ministry of Defense of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic". I paid $62.50 for my copy on eBay (seller tdn74-2008), and although you can find working Komandirskies for $20 including shipping I was more than happy to pay the price (I usually am when I find these IMO more than affordable Russian watches in great condition).

I always promote this video to anyone who's curious about Russian watches, Vostok Amphibians in particular, which is the "big brother" of the Komandirskie!
 

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Hi VWatchie,

been reading your posts on russian watches with interest. In this post you are are referring to your sample as. being a ”copy” . Can you expand a bit on this? I presume you are not talking about the common fake stuff with chinese movements as one can find in ”Rolex’s” etc. but something different and more genuine? 

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Thanks for the question and sorry for the confusion! It's probably my English that isn't up to snuff. Like you I'm Swedish so I simply translated the Swedish word "exemplar" and out came "copy" :unsure:I guess I could do away with the word "copy" completely as it doesn't really add anything, or perhaps replace it with the word "specimen"!?

So, no, nothing fake! It's the real deal! :biggrin:

 

 

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6 hours ago, VWatchie said:

 Like you I'm Swedish so I simply translated the Swedish word "exemplar" and out came "copy" :unsure:I guess I could do away with the word "copy" completely as it doesn't really add anything, or perhaps replace it with the word "specimen"!?

You used the right word. If you photographic forums, people often use it to refer to their piece in comparison to a standard quality level..

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Hi,

Got you... I was kind of thinking in the direction that maybe the Soviet versions from 60-70’s were considered ”original” and the ones of later, post-soviet days were labelled ”copies”.

I presume there is actually a lot of Soviet era romanticism and money making around these newly produced Kommandaskies?


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No, I've never heard of "original"/"copies" in the context of Russian watches. I know there are a few counterfeits of dials, especially the ones marked "ЗАКАЗ МО СССР", but not in my case. There's a forum on F10 on WUS dedicated to spotting Frankens and counterfeits and my "copy" passed. There's no official list of eBay trusted sellers of Russian watches that I know of, but after a while, certain seller names begin to crystallize, and meranom.com is always a safe source. The guy running the place (Dmitry) is also very service minded and have even shipped me some spare parts for just compensation for the postage ($10).

I bought a Poljot on eBay once that I'm pretty sure was a fake. The seller offered me a refund. Perhaps for a good reason. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, there's generally very little problem with counterfeits.

It's not my impression that wrist-watch enthusiasts buy Russian made watches out of "Soviet era romanticism" (I certainly don't. It was, as we all know these days, a very dark era in human history), but first and foremost because of their affordability, in-house movements,  because they are so easy to modify and customize, and because they are interesting from a historical POV. To the best of my knowledge, no modern day Vostok watches have dials with the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol or the CCCP inscriptions. I've also noticed that the quality of the movements has improved over the years. For example, bridges these days are considerably more precision fit then they used to be. If you ask me, the affordability of the newly produced Komadirskies and Amphibians is unbeatable.

Edited by VWatchie

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Hi and thanks for all this valuable info. You obviously dived deep into this field of buying/servicing/collecting russian watches.

The historical aspect of our hobby is something I find very rewarding.

The mechanical watch development based on the Swiss technology and spreading out in various geographical (and political) directions is an entire industrial epoque in itself that came to a semi-standstill with the introduction of the cheap quartz technology. This obviously except for the continuation in high-end brands making ”mechanical” into a sales argument.

On a related topic I learned from a collecting friend that one can find NOS watches from (I think) the early 80’s from Chinese sellers that are quite interesting from this aspect. These watches made for the domestic market have apparently been sitting on the shelves in China since those days, when the quartz revolution made them impossible to sell, even on the local Chinese market.

My friend bought a ”bucket” of them a couple of years ago for very low prices and I helped him getting a few running as they had dried up completely. The one I kept as compensation for the work is running increadably well while being very basic when looking at the details with your ”swiss glasses” on.

Now I realize that these watches are (as one could expect) also becoming collectibles and prices are going up by the day. The fun never lasts, does it... :-)




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