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  1. #1
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    Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Apparently, two companies are currently independently producing watches labeled Sekonda.


    Perhaps this is well known among the watch cognescenti that inhabit this forum, but I haven't found any references to this fact on the web -- and if it's not well known, I thought I'd share my discovery.


    The Sekonda brand's history is well known and discussed briefly here: Sekonda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Today, the product made in Asia and sold apparently principally in Britain, is presented in this web site: Sekonda .


    But the watches presented on the smirs.com web site that are branded Sekonda were "assembles [sic] in Moscow at former Poljot watch factory" according to an email I received from Evgeny Medvedev, smirs.com Customers Support Manager a few days ago. On the smirs web site, they are labeled "Poljot watches Sekonda". The selection clearly does notmatch that on the British web site. See Poljot watches Sekonda at Smirs.Com .


    Is any of this news?


    So, what's going on? I don't know for sure. It may be that because of differing national treatment of the Sekonda trademark, the Russian-produced "Sekonda" watches can only be sold in/from Russia (or some other limited set of countries). On the other hand, this web site (SEKONDA - Reviews & Brand Information - Time Products (UK) Limited LONDON, - Serial Number: 72261239 ) reports that the Sekonda trademark has expired in the United States, although even if that is correct, the implications for currency of the mark in other countries is unclear.


    If anyone has further information, please share. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member aviator3133's Avatar
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    From what I recall of Sekonda and being a Brit and reading here on WUS is that Sekonda were always a name front for selling Russian brands like Poljot and Rekata. Russian watches never sold well in the UK in the Soviet era and rebranding under another company name was a good way to sell them. I don't recall when they stopped taking watches from Poljot and Rekata but from recollection they switched to other manufacturers at one point.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they are now taking watches manufactured in Asia or other regions and rebranding them.

    I've seen some nice vintage Sekonda's in the past which are most likely Poljot but not sure I'd trust the newer versions. Most of the newer Sekonda's I've seen are all quartz based.

    Here's a quote from the Poljot page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poljot
    "During the Soviet era, Soviet watch brands including Poljot, but also Raketa watches, were marketed in the United Kingdom under the brand "Sekonda". Today's Sekonda company, a British distributor of ubiquitous fashion watches, has no connection to any Russian watches."
    Thanks
    Dave

    --------
    My Aviator watch collection @ http://www.myaviatorwatches.com


  3. #3
    Member Starman66's Avatar
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    Re: Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Just for information, I have a Sekonda Movements Identification Manual from a London watch retailer dating from the 1970s which shows not only Poljot & Raketa, but Luch, Chaika, Slava, Vostok, Zaria, Agat & Molnia, all branded Sekonda for the UK market.
    I have often wondered what's inside the modern Sekonda watches I see in England. I thought most of them were quartz.
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  4. #4
    Member aviator3133's Avatar
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    I see there are some Sekonda pocket watches that have mechanical movements, although most are quartz now. Argos seem to sell one with a mechanical movement, but I bet its not from Russia. More likely China or some other country. I'm not sure if Sekonda ever used Swiss movements.
    Thanks
    Dave

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    My Aviator watch collection @ http://www.myaviatorwatches.com


  5. #5
    Member Tarquin's Avatar
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    Re: Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Sekonda were definitely using Soviet movements during the 60s 70s and maybe 80s. A couple of those are high on my wish list. The 3017 chronograph in particular. I also quite like the Sekonda branded 2209 slims. Both of these were Poljot movements.

    These days, as far as I am aware they are purely quartz movements from Asia. My first ever watch that I bought was a Sekonda, when I was a youngster in the 80's. It was quartz and stopped working almost immediately!

  6. #6
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    Re: Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Sekonda UK started in 1966 and was essentially a brand which sourced watches from the USSR watch factories. This was because it made affordable watches. There were many such companies operating in Europe from the 1950s onwards. Some sourced their movements from swiss or german watch manufacturers and watchcases from somewhere else and married them together. Others sourced the entire watch directly from a particular watch manufacturer. An example of such a company is Services. Services watches are often thought of as British watches and indeed many were but Services also sourced watches from Swiss and German manufactures and sold them under the Services brand. Sekonda was the same.

    As rboltuck says Sekonda has been a brand of Time Products Ltd who are now based in Leicester in the UK. From 1966 until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sekonda sourced watches from the USSR. Indeed spares for Sekonda watches in the UK were provided by Southern Watch and Clock Supplies Ltd, Precista House, 48-46 High Street , Orpington, Kent. If Sekonda were directly linked to the watch factories in the USSR then this would pose the question why would their spare parts be supplied in the UK by a third party company?

    During the 80s, as quartz watches became more fashionable, Sekonda was able to source quartz analogue watches from the USSR, see my website for USSR quartz for Uglich and 1st and 2nd Moscow Watch Factory examples. However, they also sourced LCD quartz watches from the far east (Hong Kong, then a British colony) during the 80s and in the UK these can still be found. Although they did also sell the Elektronika Six and the early B6-02 in the 70s. As quartz became more prevalent, Sekonda switched from USSR to the Far East to source their watches. I remember looking in jewellers shop windows here in the UK and seeing that Sekonda was the last brand offering mechanical watches which no one wanted in the early 90s. About that time they shifted entirely to quartz. I think the last type of watch to make this shift was the Sekonda pocket watch as these were available long after wristwatches had shifted to quartz.

    Like most manufacturing these days, Sekonda looked towards the east and their watches are now manufactured in China. Sekonda's mantra since its creation has been good quality watches at affordable prices. That is only possible today if production occurs in China.

    As for the Sekonda branded watches on Smirs.com, my assumption here is that as Sekonda has been linked with Russian watches in the past, use of the Sekonda name is being exploited. I have no idea though if the Sekonda brand name is licenced in Russia or not.

    I hope this provides a Bit more background on the Sekonda brand.

  7. #7
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Thanks for that excellent coverage of the Sekonda story. I will simply add the following couple of points:

    - My understanding is that the 'Sekonda' brand was originally created by ChasProm (the Soviet timepiece industry agency) in partnership with a British company. (If I'm wrong about this I am happy to be corrected)
    - Sekonda 'paddle-hand Strela' chronographs were given as official gifts several months before the 1966 launch of the brand in Britain. (reported on this forum several years ago)
    - It was within 18 months of the end of the USSR that Sekonda UK stopped sourcing any watches from Russia or Belarus.
    - 'Sekonda'-branded Russian watches have continued to be available in Russia, from Poljot and Slava, right up until recently. Many of these may simply be unsold stock, but clearly that is not the case with Solod's stock of modern designs with Japanese movements.


    Based on all of that, I would guess (and this is just a guess) that the manufacturers formerly under ChasProm direction retained rights to the Sekonda brand for the Russian market even after the British company cut all ties with Russia.


    This one is surely the prize of the lot:

    An undeniably post-Soviet Sekonda 3133 chronograph.
    Last edited by Chascomm; February 17th, 2012 at 04:53.
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    Chascomm
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    (no, I am not going to list all my watches here)

  8. #8
    Member Tarquin's Avatar
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    Re: Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    Thanks for that excellent coverage of the Sekonda story. I will simply add the following couple of points:

    - My understanding is that the 'Sekonda' brand was originally created by ChasProm (the Soviet timepiece industry agency) in partnership with a British company. (If I'm wrong about this I am happy to be corrected)
    - Sekonda 'paddle-hand Strela' chronographs were given as official gifts several months before the 1966 launch of the brand in Britain. (reported on this forum several years ago)
    - It was within 18 months of the end of the USSR that Sekonda UK stopped sourcing any watches from Russia or Belarus.
    - 'Sekonda'-branded Russian watches have continued to be available in Russia, from Poljot and Slava, right up until recently. Many of these may simply be unsold stock, but clearly that is not the case with Solod's stock of modern designs with Japanese movements.


    Based on all of that, I would guess (and this is just a guess) that the manufacturers formerly under ChasProm direction retained rights to the Sekonda brand for the Russian market even after the British company cut all ties with Russia.


    This one is surely the prize of the lot:

    An undeniably post-Soviet Sekonda 3133 chronograph.
    Thanks, I have not seen one of these before!

  9. #9
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    Re: Sekonda brand used by two companies . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    Thanks for that excellent coverage of the Sekonda story. I will simply add the following couple of points:

    - My understanding is that the 'Sekonda' brand was originally created by ChasProm (the Soviet timepiece industry agency) in partnership with a British company. (If I'm wrong about this I am happy to be corrected)
    - Sekonda 'paddle-hand Strela' chronographs were given as official gifts several months before the 1966 launch of the brand in Britain. (reported on this forum several years ago)
    - It was within 18 months of the end of the USSR that Sekonda UK stopped sourcing any watches from Russia or Belarus.
    - 'Sekonda'-branded Russian watches have continued to be available in Russia, from Poljot and Slava, right up until recently. Many of these may simply be unsold stock, but clearly that is not the case with Solod's stock of modern designs with Japanese movements.


    Based on all of that, I would guess (and this is just a guess) that the manufacturers formerly under ChasProm direction retained rights to the Sekonda brand for the Russian market even after the British company cut all ties with Russia.


    This one is surely the prize of the lot:

    An undeniably post-Soviet Sekonda 3133 chronograph.

    Chascomm,

    Thanks for you extra information. I defer to your knowledge on the origins of Sekonda. It would be interesting to know what the original agreement between Chasprom and the UK operation. I was unaware that the Sekonda brand name was used before 1966. I wonder if Sekonda UK would give more information both about the origins of the brand and the status of the Sekonda brand in Russia today?



    Sekondtime.

  10. #10
    Member aviator3133's Avatar
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    This seems to be the more official history / marketing spin that Sekonda give out to online shops, this one taken from http://www.buyasekonda.co.uk/sekondahistory.htm

    "SEKONDA has been the best selling watch brand in the UK for the past 19 years. The range consists of high quality, attractive watches which are outstanding value for money.

    Since the brand was launched in 1966, SEKONDA has shown the ability to innovate and produce extensions to the brand with the addition of Xpose, Safari and most recently SEKSY and ONE.

    SEKONDA is committed to producing high quality watches by using top quality movements, strict manufacturing specifications, rigorous testing, quality control and providing a two year guarantee.

    In order to remain the UK's biggest and best known watch brand, SEKONDA consistently reviews and extends its ranges

    Sekonda is a British brand which was established in 1966 to offer a collection of mechanical watches which were manufactured in Russia. With extensive marketing support and superb customer service Sekonda quickly became a household name. The introduction of the quartz movement saw manufacture moved to Hong Kong and this enabled Sekonda to introduce more fashionable styles. This combination and continued marketing support led to Sekonda becoming the best selling watch brand in units in the UK in 1988, a position that is still held today.

    The period since 1998 has been one of rapid change with the introduction to the worldwide market of numerous fashion brands. Whilst competition is good for every brand, these new introductions started to take market share without substantially growing the total market for watches. Sekonda still remained the number one selling brand but action had to be taken. In 2004 SEKSY was born. With many years of experience in watches the Sekonda team turned their expertise to the fashion arena and developed product aimed at the 25 to 35 age group. An instantly recognisable name meant that SEKSY could become a worldwide brand. The launch range consisted of just eleven models and with clever advertising a number of these lines soon became best sellers.

    The second year saw the range expand to current levels with around thirty models. At this point Sekonda introduced a gents fashion range called ONE.

    This was launched with nine models and again was backed with powerful advertising. SEKSY and ONE are meant to be different from other fashion brands but both ranges still carry the Sekonda ethos of giving the customer excellent product at competitive prices. The brands have grown each year and in 2006 the third advertising campaign for SEKSY and second for ONE, created substantial demand by going back on television through sponsorship of programmes such as 'Jack Osbourne Adrenaline Junkie', 'Ghost Hunting with Girls Aloud' and 'An Audience with Take That'. In 2007 and 2008 the SEKSY range and ONE ranges were expanded.

    Stringent quality control is a feature of all Sekonda watches under all its associated brand names. Quality is never sacrificed due to commercial pressure and these standards have ensured that out of 1.6 million watches sold, less than 1% are returned. "
    Thanks
    Dave

    --------
    My Aviator watch collection @ http://www.myaviatorwatches.com


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