1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia
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  1. #1
    Member Afka's Avatar
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    1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia

    Specifications

    Name: 1957 Sputnik
    Model Reference: ПОЛЁТ
    Movement: Vostok 2431 (or 2416, see below), automatic, 24h, 31 jewels, shock-resistant, power reserve min. 31h
    Time display: 24 hour, minute, seconds
    Date: no
    Case: all stainless steel with screw on back (stainless steel or glass caseback)
    Size: 45 mm diameter, with crown 54 mm
    Height: 15 mm
    Face: four differently colored quadrants for morning(yellow), day(white), evening (grey), night (black)
    Text on dial: 1957 СПУТНИК, Made in Russia
    Text on back: * ПОЛЁТ SPUTNIK * 200 M * 4 октября 1957 г. СПУТНИК СССР * 159/450
    Hands and markers: luminous hour and minute hands
    Water-resistance: 200m (20 ATM)
    Crown: with extra water resistant cover
    Crystal: flat mineral crystal
    Lug: 20 mm
    Bracelet: rubber strap and fold over clasp with safety and push button
    Production: 450 numbered watches

    Foreword

    I don’t like U-boat (or submarine) watches. For me they are oversized, rude and ridiculous. But as a collector you have your curse. Recently, in December 2012, I bought a U-Boat watch made by a small Russian brand 1957 Sputnik. The reason I bought this 24h watch was its unique dial, dividing the day into four quadrants. And last but not least, I got it for a reasonable price – about €150 incl. shipping. Usually the prices are up to two times higher.

    Purchasing

    I was brave enough to order it from one Russian seller (russian-watches.info), who has not the best reputation here, in WUS (see also Do not buy at russian-watches.info). I ordered and paid on December 3. The watch was posted on December 5 in Helsinki, Finland (this Russian seller is doing it in this way). I got it soon and everything was OK with this watch. The watch was delivered with box and papers.

    Later I asked one additional question by email on December 13, to get some additional information for this review, and got prompt answer from Igor next day.

    Note. Thereafter something went wrong. My next question from December 18 remains unanswered. And as I read from WUS, all the customers lost the communication with this seller on these days before Christmas.

    Attachment 981104
    This picture is taken from seller.

    Comments

    Movement
    I’m not a specialist and can’t find any detailed explanation on differences between Vostok 2416Б and 2431, but I think that 2431 is Vostok’s new movement code for 24h version of the automatic 31 jewel movement, which is based on 12h movement 2416Б. The only difference is 24h gear and visually both movements look identical.

    In passport is written, that 1957 Sputnik watches are equipped with movements either 2415 or 2425. This is not correct and is one of the many typos and errors in the passport.

    The 2431 movement looks surprisingly good, with blue screws and text on the rotor “31 jewels Russia”, and deserves a transparent caseback.
    On the timing machine the (dial up) results were good:
    Daily rate: +15 sec/day
    Amplitude: 335
    Beat error: 0,3
    Beat rate: 19800

    Case
    This is a very popular U-Boat or diver case you can see on many Russian watches, mostly from small “grey” brands, but including also some Poljot models. The case is usually Chinese and many “Germasian” and other watches have it, example – 24h Tauchmeister T0189. 1957 Sputnik watches have all crown on the left side. The crown has an extra water resistant cover. According to passport watch is 20 ATM (200 m) water resistant. This is standard with this type of case.

    Crystal is flat mineral glass. My watch has stainless steel caseback with text:
    “ * ПОЛЁТ SPUTNIK * 200 M * 4 октября 1957 г. СПУТНИК СССР * 159/450

    The other option I’ve seen is glass caseback with identical text. As you can see this model is numbered limited edition of 450. Text “Poljot Sputnik” is misleading. This watch is not related to the Poljot brand at all. Most of the “grey” Russian brands try to use one (or maybe both) of the magic marketing words – Poljot or Raketa.

    Dial and hands
    Dial is very special and because of the dial I was interested in this watch at all. 24 hours are divided into 4 differently colored quadrants with titles in Russian:
    Morning – 5-11 – yellow
    Day – 11-17 – white
    Evening – 17-23 – grey
    Night – 23-5 – black

    The dial (actually the whole watch) is designed by Russian designer and watchmaker Alexander Umnyashov. On similarities and differences between 1957 Sputnik and Umnyashov watches read below.

    Dial is not lumed. Watch has lumed hour and minute hands and central red seconds hand. The length of the hands is correct for this dial, both hours and minutes are easy to read

    Strap
    Lugs width is 20 mm. My watch has a rubber strap and fold over clasp with safety and push button. Other option, as I see it in the web, is genuine leather strap.

    Summary

    I don’t know what to say? The best part of this watch is movement. The case, strap, everything tangible you have, are actually OK. The level of quality? I would say that if you can get it for about €150, then it is adequate. For €300 you have to expect more.

    The passport is meaningless. The description is erroneous. The warranty (12 months according to the passport) is non-existent, because the producer is hiding. The only chance to get some support is when reseller is providing some warranty from his side.

    For me this watch is just a representative of a certain type of watches in my 24h collection, and laying in a drawer needs no support.

    Attachment 981105 Attachment 981106 Attachment 981108 Attachment 981109 Attachment 981110 Attachment 981111

    Attachment 981113 Attachment 981115

    Afterword


    1957 Sputnik and Umnyashov
    Very little is known on 1957 Sputnik. The website mentioned in the passport - www.1957sputnik.ru - never existed and even the domain 1957sputnik.ru is available. They have email address, but are not responding to the emails. I suppose that 1957 Sputnik is a kind of one-man company, who has no production itself and all the components and assembly are outsourced.

    The first series of 1957 Sputnik watches were four models with almost identical designs to corresponding Umnyashov brand models. Umnyashov models have always glass caseback, the series is limited to 300, and the prices are usually somewhat higher than 1957 Sputnik.

    Attachment 981117

    Last weeks I see a lot of new 1957 Sputnik models emerged. Some of them featuring similar dials as 24h post-Raketa bootleg production - Polar, Lunokhod etc. Other models have modified first series dials. And I would say, that in compare to the original mr. Umnyashov desig, the modified dials are just ... ugly.
    Last edited by Afka; February 21st, 2013 at 18:05.

  2. #2
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    Re: 1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia

    2431 have а date and "Vostok" don't decorate your movements far as I know. Real russian watches with 2431 have a price twice as many at least.

  3. #3
    Member Afka's Avatar
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    Re: 1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia

    Quote Originally Posted by a-ray View Post
    2431 have а date and "Vostok" don't decorate your movements far as I know. Real russian watches with 2431 have a price twice as many at least.
    Thank you!

    After some additional research (not finished yet) I have to make corrections regarding movements. They are using decorated movements from Vostok Europe. And it seems to be 2425 VE in this watch.

  4. #4
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    Re: 1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia

    2425 is movement without auto-winding according Soviet caliber marking. 2426 is caliber with auto.

  5. #5
    Member Afka's Avatar
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    Re: 1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia

    Update on movements question.

    I managed to contac the producer. He promised to send me information about movements they are using.

    Quote Originally Posted by a-ray View Post
    2425 is movement without auto-winding according Soviet caliber marking. 2426 is caliber with auto.
    You are absolutely right. And Vostok movement coding still follows this Soviet era system. But in one booklet Vostok Europe said, that they are using 2425 VE movement and I thought, that this the same number mentioned in the passport.

    Browsing 1957 Sputnik pictures I see, that they are using both, Vostok and Vostok Europe movements. The difference is, as I understand, that Vostok Europe is hand decorating original Vostok movements and letters VE are added to the movement type.

    I'm happy - my movement is from Vostok Europe, really nice decorated movement. As I said, movement is the best part of this watch. But I have stainless steel caseback and all the glory is hidden.

    On many eBay pictures on the contrary you see 1957 Sputnik with transparent back and standard not decorated Vostok movement.

    And - Umnyashov website declares, that they are using Vostok 2431 on all models.

  6. #6
    Moderator 24 hour watches forum l3wy's Avatar
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    Re: 1957 Sputnik - U-Boat 24h watch from Russia

    Just had one show in the mail today



    Mine shipped from Taiwan. Shipping was kind of high, but paid $200 for the watch. Interestingly, the deployment clasp on the rubber strap says Vostok Europe with the logo.
    seattle_guy likes this.

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