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  1. #1
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    Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    What can you guys tell me about this watch?

    https://picasaweb.google.com/maurnav...eat=directlink

    I've been doing some research and it seems that a lot of people end up with junk-converted pocket watches from this era that aren't what the sellers claim they are. This one appears to be more legit than many of the others I've seen, but I wanted to get the expert's opinion.

    Can anyone provide insight? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    Total fake. Not German, not Laco, not 1950's

    Not even Russian......

    A nice example of Ukrainian Mickey Mouse crap, made yesterday using a worn out Russian low grade pocket watch and some fantasy.

    (Sorry Mickey!)
    TickTocker305 likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    Ah. Bummer.

    I was hoping that wasn't the case, but my cynicism exists for a reason. Luckily I didn't buy it. I was just curious.

    Thanks for the input, though! Any resources for finding legitimate vintage pilots?

  4. #4
    Moderator Uwe W.'s Avatar
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    I wonder just how many people have been ripped off by these low-life bottom feeders. Judging by their feedback scores on eBay, it looks to be in the tens of thousands. Worst of all, those who have been swindled rarely realise it because the feedback scores of these parasites are quite good. Occasionally I have seen someone trying to resell their Ukrainian fake; obviously they finally figured out that what they bought wasn't what it was supposed to be and they were hoping to unload it on someone as uninformed as they once were.

    With respect to this watch in particular, the seller is claiming that it's a '50's era Russian pilot's watch. I have no experience with that genre, nor any interest in Russian watches; however, your first clue that it's homemade junk is that there's a sub-second dial on the German-style B-Muster dial. The entire purpose of the B-Muster dial was to provide extremely accurate time measurements using the second hand, which is why the predominant scale of the dial is 60 seconds. Only on this watch the second hand is in a tiny sub-dial, defeating the entire purpose of the dial's original design. Want something else to laugh at? Take a look at the hour hand (I won't even poke fun at the pocket watch hands that were used). It projects so far past the hour scale that it almost appears to be another minute hand. For all I know Russians actually made their watches like this, but even if they had, it's a completely ridiculous design.

    J. Brown, with all due respect, I think you need to do a lot more research if you're in the market for a vintage military piece. The fact that you thought this design was "more legit" tells me that you have a lot to learn - at least that is if you don't want to count yourself amoung those that have been ripped off. Fortuneately this is a good place to get an education. Read through the Laco, Stowa and PilMil forums and you'll pick-up a lot of valuable information. I have a simple rule when it comes to buying these type of watches: Never, ever buy from Ukrainian or Russian sellers. And be very, very suspicious of watches coming from Israel or Bulgaria. Many sellers from those countries have a long history of writing descriptions for their junk that people want to read and having an endless supply of rare watches to fill the demand for new collectors.


  5. #5
    Moderator Uwe W.'s Avatar
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Brown View Post
    Any resources for finding legitimate vintage pilots?
    My advice would be to buy a modern replica from a reputable company such as Laco. Originals are very expensive and might need parts that are no longer available. You could start with Chrono24.com if you want to check out some decent original watches, but be cautioned that those sellers typically are asking top dollar for their watches.


  6. #6
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    Uwe,

    Point taken. I'm not looking into this very seriously, but I stumbled onto this one and began looking around to see what I could find out about it. About all I was able to discover was people complaining about blatant fakes where it was 100% clear what they were told was false. To my untrained eye, this one wasn't immediately obviously fake, but I certainly see some of the fishy things you've pointed out. This is why I created the thread.

    In any event, don't worry. I won't be sending a check to the Ukraine anytime soon. I just enjoy my current pilot and was curious if a vintage one could be had for a reasonable price. As with most things though, if it seems to good to be true then it probably is.

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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    If you really want an Original WW2 piece, be aware of this:
    Zero WR
    No Antichock in movement
    Few watchmakers can repair with original parts.

    The most affrdable is Laco, as they had the largest production.

    Laco in Pforzheim and watchmaker Buse can repair them.

    Ebay have the occasional example for sale.

    But as Uwe say, a modern Replica is more wearable, unless you get one of the Lacos where they "recreated" the D5 movement.

  8. #8
    Moderator Uwe W.'s Avatar
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    If you really want an Original WW2 piece, be aware of this: .
    I would add that it's a 55 mm watch to that list. Not everyone is comfortable wearing a watch that size.


    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    The most affrdable is Laco, as they had the largest production.
    Ironically, the new ones are also the most affordable. For an IWC, Wempe or A. Lange you're into the thousands - and they're not very similar to the originals. Stowa is slightly pricier than Laco; although some of the details of their watches are of a higher level, they also have parts of their designs that are not historically accurate. Laco, of the original five B-Uhr manufacturers, have the most historically accurate models at the lowest prices. Of course you could do well with an example from a manufacturer that isn't one of the original five, but for me lineage is an important quality.


  9. #9
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    Generally the Russian pilot watches were very different from the German ones. If you are interested in the design represented by the famous A-type and B-type B-Uhrs, you shouldn't look for Russian and even American, but exactly German or eventually Swiss watch. I also came to the conclusion that Laco and Stowa are the best choice for a reissued watch (taking into account the historical aspect). And of course, for everyday use, the new reissues are far better than the vintage examples.
    Being interested in Russian watches, I can tell few clues in addition:
    - The military and pilot watch before the end of WWII is called Type K-43. It was produced by 1MWF (later Poljot) and Chistopol watch factory (later Vostok, pictured first).
    - After the end of WWII, some machinery from German watchmakers were taken to USSR and for some period the Tutima type chronograph was produced and used by the airforces. This is the only common design in pilot's watches AFAIK. And Tutima/Urofa are the only brands you can find stamped on some movements from the post-war Soviet production.
    - The next mass-used pilot watch was the first Sturmanskie. This is the watch worn by Yuri Gagarin during the first space-flight, and fakes in this direction are probably more than vintage Laco fakes today. And this is the watch you can expect from the 50-ties in USSR.
    - The Tutima-type chrono was replaced by the famous Strela chronograph in the end of 50-ties, beginning of 60-ties. It's the first watch worn in open space (during the first EVA performed by A.Leonov) so fakes on the market are again - much more than the originals. The dial designs are black or white, with or without telemeter and tachymeter scale, with or without lume, branded Strela, Poljot or Seconda (the last one is purely civil version for export in UK).
    - In the end of 70-ties the Sturmanskie chronograph with Poljot 3133 caliber (or modification) came to replace the Strela in airforce and space usage.
    As seen, the design rules, even between different generations in Russian pilot watches, are very different. Such "standardization" as A-type and B-type doesn't exist. First Russian watches with B-uhr inspired design were released by Poljot after the middle of 90-ties and were never officially intended for military use.


  10. #10
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    Re: Question about 1950 CCCP LACO Molnija pilot watch

    A marriage, junk though.
    Kind regards
    Mike


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