Clarification about the “new Russian brands”
Recently there was a lot of discussion about several new watches appeared on Ebay and in several Internet stores. I was quite perplexed too, because those watches appeared quite suddenly, without bearing the Poljot name, neither one of the classic names (Sturmanskie, Buran, Aviator) registered as brands by Volmax, the main company born from a section of the old Poljot complex.
After some research (included the purchase of two of those watches) i felt the necessity of a definitive clarification about those watches. I wrote this article as integration and correction of the good article by Irina Maier ( Clarification on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs ), official distributor of Volmax and Vostok-Europe watches.
I wrote this article as simple buyer and collector of Russian watches, and i have no commercial relations with ANY Russian brand, "old" or "new". So this article is not “in favor” or “against” those new Russian brands, and it must be read as neutral and final consideration about them.
1) The most discussed of the “new brands” is “Moscow Classic”.The list of those watches (the most updated that i can make) includes the following models:
All these models are equipped with Molnija (3603) or Poljot (2612, 3133, 31681, 3105) movements.
The early rumors about these watches stated that they were "UFO-watches", made in China or elsewhere, with bad movements and bad quality. I was shocked because i had already ordered an Aeronavigator...
After receiving the watch, i had the suspect instead that the watch was not Chinese or Taiwanese...i immediately thought that it was Russian like before. The construction (dial, caseback, hands...) was too typical of many previous Poljot-branded models, with good materials and a good level of finish, like many recent Poljot products. So, what's the truth?
Searching for more informations about Moscow Classic (i think that, like Volmax, they used this brand to find a remedy for the lack of the Poljot brand), this is the reply that i have received from a seller (i will not mention the name for obvious reasons, but i can easily confirm it by e-mail):
"MOSCOW CLASSIC it's a spin-off company of the 1st Moscow Watch Factory - same movements, same people, but they don't work with Volmax or Poljot".
OK, so how many companies live in the old Poljot Factory, located in Marxistskaya 34, Moscow?
This is the (temporary ) list:
-POLJOT (still existing, but with a much smaller production - many tools and machines have been bought by the other companies)
-VOLMAX (Sturmanskie, Buran, Aviator, Patriot)
-POLJOT TRADE ("Pilot" and "Russian Time" watches)
-MOSCOW CLASSIC (see watch list above)
-DENISSOV (Barracuda, Nautilus, Vodolaz -not the same watch produced by Moscow Classic)
-POLJOT KRONOS (Selena, Elegance, Romanoff)
-POLJOT ELITE (President watches made in gold cases)
You can see that the fragmentation of the old Poljot factory is very chaotic, and sometime it's very hard to see the difference between all these brands. In fact, many features (movements, dials, etc...) are the same or made with the same tools. I'm still puzzled. Maybe the marketing companies are different, but the production lines are shared? Who knows.
Many old Poljot models are now marketed by different brands
For instance. the Sturmanskie 2001 and some Aviator (now Volmax), or the Moscow Classic Poljarnik (based on the case of the old Poljot Albatros) and Aeronavigator/Amphibia (they were designed approximately three years ago as Poljot, i still remember the preview drawings).
Several basic models (Poljot 2609/2614) are now marketed as "Pilot Time".
The dials of the Denissov "Barracuda" and of the Moscow Classic Aeronavigator have the same fonts, printed in the same way, with the same tools.
Definitely, the situation is a real mess!
The only sure things are these ones:
1) All these brands are produced in the First Moscow Watch Factory, and are not Chinese (except some models marketed by the Poljot Trade company, with Miyota 8215 or Chinese movements. Those models are still on Ebay and i will post soon some pics O| )
2) Moscow Classic and Denissov (their watches seems the most interesting ones, together with the Volmax models) are not "UFO brands", their products seems of high quality, especially Denissov. Moscow Classic has not an own website, but in this mess of small and even smaller companies, it's not surprising. Its watches seems very good though, and with that fragmentation, a watch must be judged for its quality, indipendently from the dimensions or the advertising of the company.
I have employed a lot of time to write this article, with the most objective and neutral view. I just tried to make a bit of order in a so complicated and competitive situation. Being the situation in continuous developement, i will try to update it as soon as possible.
This thread is just an integration of the first thread. For who wants to add hints and news, please continue the discussion on the first thread/article written by Irina (Clarification on Poljot, Volmax, Vostok Europe, ...some Russian watch brands & UFOs ). :thanks