I've always wanted an original LIP "Type 18"
Unfortunately, prices start around 150 €, which is a bit expensive for my taste ; the watch is really tiny.
WUS member Abbazz told me about the "ZVEZDA", a russian brand to whom LIP sold the design of the T.18 back in the days…
A quick search on the bay, and my russian T.18 was ordered for $38 (including shipping) !
Here is the offer's text :
Vintage Soviet ZVEZDA / STAR Watch 15J *USSR* 3Q-1955
Offered here is a RARE SOVIET mechanical wrist watch ZVEZDA (STAR).
According to the marking on movement the manufacture date is the third quarter of 1955.
The dial is signed: ZVEZDA, GChZ PENZA.
Watch has two central hands and lower second one.
Movement has been recently serviced, runs and keeps good time!
Diameter with/without winding crown is 28/26 mm, dial 20 mm, from lug to lug 38 mm, thickness 10 mm.
Sub-dial second hand;
Caliber: copy of french LIP T18;
The watch was sold without strap… and it has fixed pins. No indication of lug width either.
Abbazz told me the model he personally owns has 18mm lugs, but I decided to wait for the watch to arrive, before ordering a new strap…
Which was an excellent decision because on mine, the lugs were only 16mm !! o_O … with an added bonus : the lugs even shrink to 14mm near the case
Let's say I was a bit disappointed when I receive the watch.
Then began the search for an appropriate strap.
a 14~16mm strap is really, really small, a to make a long story short, I didn't find anything satisfying
I finally decided for an Hermes-type band, hoping it would add some width on the wrist… I'm afraid it'll look a bit feminine nonetheless We'll see.
Until it's here, my GF had a one-piece 16mm leather band on an old watch she didn't use anymore… and it doesn't look too bad on the wrist, surprisingly o_O
Here it is :
In the end, a very, very small watch, especially toward today's standards, but I like it
Thanks to Russians, I'm able to wear a watch I've always liked, but never thought I'd own