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  1. #11
    Member dutchassasin's Avatar
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    Re: From Ruhla with love

    Wow great collection! Even though i only collect russian watches, i do catch myself sometimes searching for ruhla's on the bay

  2. #12
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    Re: From Ruhla with love

    Smoking Joe,

    I am pleased to see you have a liking for Ruhla watches and you have acquired some interesting pieces.

    I can't quite agree with you about "a grey world of cheap and tacky jewelless Ruhlas" though. Whilst it is true to say that the mainstay of Ruhla, the Calibre 24, is jewelless, so too were Timex in the UK and any number of Swiss made watches in the 60s, 70s and 80s. But, Ruhla did produce 2, 5, 7 and 15 jewel watches in its day.

    As for grey, I think you need to study my website more closely. Ruhla were prolific in there use of design and colour in both watches and clocks and kept abreast of watch development around the world. Hence Ruhla were the first watchmaker to fully automate their watch movement production and were the first watchmaker east of the wall to produce quartz movements and a decision was made very early on in the development of quartz to concentrate on this new technology which resulted in the watchmaker becoming part of the Micro-electronics combine in the GDR.

    For interest in how life was in the GDR and a more balanced view, it might be worth reading this interview with, Paula Kirby, a UK writer who lived and worked in the GDR in the 70s and 80s as an English teacher. Paula Kirby on Life in the GDR. « The View East. Paula states that "The reality was far more varied, far more complex and, above all, far more interesting." Or another good account: After the Wall by Jana Hensel.

    Sekondtime

  3. #13
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    Re: From Ruhla with love

    Quote Originally Posted by Sekondtime View Post
    Smoking Joe,

    I am pleased to see you have a liking for Ruhla watches and you have acquired some interesting pieces.

    I can't quite agree with you about "a grey world of cheap and tacky jewelless Ruhlas" though. Whilst it is true to say that the mainstay of Ruhla, the Calibre 24, is jewelless, so too were Timex in the UK and any number of Swiss made watches in the 60s, 70s and 80s. But, Ruhla did produce 2, 5, 7 and 15 jewel watches in its day.

    As for grey, I think you need to study my website more closely. Ruhla were prolific in there use of design and colour in both watches and clocks and kept abreast of watch development around the world. Hence Ruhla were the first watchmaker to fully automate their watch movement production and were the first watchmaker east of the wall to produce quartz movements and a decision was made very early on in the development of quartz to concentrate on this new technology which resulted in the watchmaker becoming part of the Micro-electronics combine in the GDR.

    For interest in how life was in the GDR and a more balanced view, it might be worth reading this interview with, Paula Kirby, a UK writer who lived and worked in the GDR in the 70s and 80s as an English teacher. Paula Kirby on Life in the GDR. « The View East. Paula states that "The reality was far more varied, far more complex and, above all, far more interesting." Or another good account: After the Wall by Jana Hensel.

    Sekondtime
    Hi Sekondtime,

    I have browsed your website over the last couple of years and it is a credit to you. Thank you for providing such a great resource. It is a great site which you can spend hours looking through. I put "cheap and tacky" in inverted commas as that is what alot of watch collectors think of Ruhlas. And yes they think the same of Timexs. I love them. And while "cheap and tacky" may be a little harsh as they are a good honest watch that served people well. Made their owners happy etc. But at the end of teh day they are cheap and chearful as watches go. They are made to serve a purpose in difficult times with dwindling and restricted budgets. It's like the Trabant car, I love them, a friend owns one, I drove one around Berlin. But at the end of the day the are "cheap and cheerful" as cars go.
    I wrote above that in a grey world that these Ruhlas added a bit of colour to someone's life. Allowed people to add personal choice in an other wise very controlled and limited society. So yes I was saying that Ruhlas are colourful and great design styles.
    They are great reads about life in teh DDR. Stassiland is another must read. But I am coming from friends, family and strangers who lived through it and what their experiences were like. Example being like in Poland, you had two furniture factories, much like in the DDR. Everyone either had one type of furniture or the other. Your friends had the exact same furniture as you or else the exact same as one of your other friends. Choice was limited, it was controlled, It was brown and beige melamine rather than actual "grey" Ruhla gave people great choice and great colours. And of course I know that life anywhere is never one dimensional.
    Last edited by Smoking Joe; October 5th, 2014 at 02:04.

  4. #14
    Member emoscambio's Avatar
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    There have been many essays about the general tendency of the population of former states to systematically denigrate and besmirch their former lives and homes.

    Whitewashing, self victimization, adaptation after a change of regime. Eastern Germany has known at least two important changes of regime in the 20th century, and almost the same happened in both cases. I know from France that after WWII, every one pretended to have been some kind of a rebel or a resistant in his own way. This will happen everywhere in the World in the same situation.

    Such people usually rush from one ideology into the next one. Other ones just skin their teeth. An explicable gregarious behavior.

    By the way, doesn't a former spouse turn so bad as soon and in the very moment as the next one has been found and married? :)

    Back to the initial theme, the past was in full colors. It is the photographs, TV and newspapers which were in black and white.

    Antique Romans and cavemen and middle age people lived full color lives as yours. They were not cave-wall hand-painted, acid etched on silver plates, or stone chiseled lives. Just normal lives led by human emotions and relations, on a background of a social system prevalent at those times.

    And the elders were ever so wise, the parents ever so stubborn, and the kids ever so spoiled. Since the origin of mankind.
    Last edited by emoscambio; October 5th, 2014 at 08:31.
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  5. #15
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    Re: From the DDR with love

    Smoking Joe,

    Thanks for the comments on my website. If I had time, there would be lots more information and photos to post.

    You are perfectly correct in stating that East German industry suffered from "dwindling and restricted budgets" but perhaps instead of cheap and cheerful you should adopt the SED's phraseology and say Ruhlas are a product of "the triumph of Socialist rationalisation as initiated at the SED Party Congress". Indeed on 7th May 1975 Neue Deutschland reported that "The First Secretary of the Central Committee was assured that the operational collectives of the (Ruhla) Combine under the leadership of party organisations continue to fulfill the duties of the national economic plan in 1975 in every way and over-achieve target."

    Or else you might get a visit from the Stasi!

    Sekondtime

  6. #16
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    Re: From the DDR with love

    Quote Originally Posted by emoscambio View Post

    Back to the initial theme, the past was in full colors. It is the photographs, TV and newspapers which were in black and white.

    Antique Romans and cavemen and middle age people lived full color lives as yours. They were not cave-wall hand-painted, acid etched on silver plates, or stone chiseled lives. Just normal lives led by human emotions and relations, on a background of a social system prevalent at those times.

    And the elders were ever so wise, the parents ever so stubborn, and the kids ever so spoiled. Since the origin of mankind.
    I think that you are taking the phrase "grey days" too literally. Sure life went on like anywhere else. People has subcultures, music scenes, they fell in love, sent their kids to school like anywhere else. So yes, life was in full colour if you want to get technical or literal. Just like the phrase "Ireland is green". Well my dog is white with black spots and a dab of brown. Not a single bit of green on her! Ireland has every colour in the rainbow as well as green if you want to talk literally.
    I guess the phrase "grey days behind the iron curtain" maybe came from all the grey concrete that the Commies rebuilt once beautiful cities with, or the fact that in some, they literally painted all the beauty out with grey paint. Or maybe due to the depressive/ oppressive control and limited choice in life people had. People in the west had the full colour of choice. You could buy food from Africa to South America. You could listen to music from American Blues to German beer house music. You could buy a British car, or a French one, or Italian, or West German, or American or Japanese. A full "colour of choice" of cars. Full colour of arts and literature, etc. The choice was yours. Behind the iron curtain you could not............ Maybe this is where the phrase comes from? ......
    Last edited by Smoking Joe; October 6th, 2014 at 00:46.

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