Note: This is an interesting discussion about two vintage Soviet pocket chronographs, made by Paul K and Tammo some months ago. Unfortunately it was lost with the crash of the forum platform, but i have found a Google's cache-copy. So the discussion is again available (reunited by me in one article) . Enjoy it. B-)
I went to a watch and clock jumble today and happened to discover two nice Soviet chronograph pocket watches: a Kapitanski and a Molnija chronograph with the 3017 movement.
Expecting them to be way too expensive I had to ask what price the seller had in mind for these; he named his asking price which was only a bit more than the going prices for these on Fleabay; that was until he mentioned that that price was not apiece, but for BOTH watches together!
Hmmmmm, the market is apparently very slow at the moment, so I managed to haggle the price down a bit more and had a deal!
The Kapitanski has a broken mainspring, but the overall condition of both is very good (the pics don't do them justice, they look better in the flesh)
Hope you all like the pics
PS: after the deal was done, the seller opened another box, and showed me some other "Russian stuff" he had, most interesting: a few "type 1" wristwatches 3 with the steel cases with the "pressed" lugs; really nice and original; also 2 examples with the fixed lugs, and a black dial with a skull?? not like Karizma's "artwork", but apparently old and original.
I didn't ask for the prices, afraid I would spend even more money; perhaps next time!
I must admit this is my 2nd Kapitansky, I already had an example dated 2-54(the one I bought yesterday is dated 4-55)
I will take the time to make some pics during the repair, stay tuned!
BTW: the 3017 is numbered 65585 does this tally with the manufacturing year?
Reply by Tammo
The Molnija with 3017 was produced in the late 70’s. They all have an English text “19 jewels” on the chrono plate whilst the dial is in Cyrillic. Although they were produced in Tseljabinsk, the movement came direct from the 1MWF production for the Sekonda/Poljot export models.
The Molnija Kapitanksi is the most interesting. The movement is called the YK28 and was a indigenous design of the 2ndMWF factory. It is a chronograph complication screwed on top of aYK6, or 3602 as it is called today. So, the mainspring shouldn’t be a problem. When you disassemble it, you might notice that the base movement has it is own designation (YK6) and own serial number.
Can you please take a picture of the naked movement for my YK28 article ?
They were produced from 1952 to 1959 with a production quantity of around 60.000 pcs. You have got the better one, made by the 2ndMWF. Around 1957 the production went to Tsjelabinsk. These movements were not so nicely finished and had also no Geneva stripes.
From a technical point of view it is interesting that the minute counter is off center. The reason is that since it a basic pocket watch, the main spring is in the way.
That serial number (#65585) of the 3017 would go back to approx. 1972.
Here is mine, confirmed to be from 1970, with the serial number 57 thousand.
Reply by Paul K
Hi again Tammo,
here's some pics of the movement, I did a quick 'n dirty repair using a spring taken from an old Ural parts watch I had.
I discovered that the spring is a rather special T-end type, also it has much less width than a 3602 (which is much thicker than the 15 jewel YK6) and I don't think this spring will be easy to find. I checked my material books, and there's nothing that comes close, I also took apart a Cortebert 620 movement (the YK6 was a copy of the Cortebert 620), to see if that was a match, but that uses a standard mainspring
Ah well, at least I got this one running:
there's no serial number nor a YK6 stamp;
the geneva stripes are only on the balance and smaller (visible) bridges;
the complete chrono module is mounted simply with 2 screws on the base movement;
the 4th wheel is lengthened and fitted with the chrono drive wheel like any vintage chrono;
Center wheel is like that from the 16 jewel Ural movement;
the off-center position of the minute counting wheel is weird, it seems it would have been possible to fit it thru the crown-wheel like so many other chrono's.
Anyways, hope you can use the pics; will you post that article here, or do you have your own website?
If you need more pics, let me know, I have quite a few different YK6 and 3602 variants.