This is a complete list of the books about Russian watches, compiled by Micha Fokkens. The text is by Andreas "Uvox" Ulbrich.
Russian Watches Literature
I’m often asked whether there is any literature on Russian watches available, that’s why I decided to write a small overview about the books I own in my collection.
I’ve seen several books about watches with a small part about Russian watches, but it usually is only small and not very representative. I know of only two authors in this area who have written books specifically about Russian watches. In fact, most parts in other watch books also come from either of them.
The first Author is Michael Ceyp: He has written two books about Russian watches, which are both still available in book stores:
1. Faszination Russische Uhren (ISBN 3-929-902-24-9, Verlag H.M. Hausschild GmbH, Bremen, 1994) it is written in German (German knowledge is very helpful, because most literature is in German), but available in English as well (Fascination of Russian Watches, ISBN 3929902869). This book gives a nice overview about the Russian watch factories. The most attention is being paid to Vostok, Poljot and Raketa, but Slava, Zaria and Chaika are mentioned as well. The book gives a lot historical background. Therefore I would say that this book is very nice for somebody starting with his collection. Especially because it gives only a “raw” overview about the models available. Compared to the books by Levenberg it can’t be used as good as a reference. In 1997 a second edition was released.
2. Faszination Sowjetische Uhren. Frühe sowjetische Armband-, Taschen- und Borduhren. (ISBN 3931785351, Verlag H.M. Hausschild GmbH, Bremen, 1997) this book is available in German and this book is about Russian watches from the 1930’ies till the late 1960’ies. No other book is as extensive about this era and therefore important for vintage watches collectors.
The second author is Juri Levenberg: He has written several books and I’ll mention them in a chronological order. His books are no longer available in book stores, but Levenberg still sells them new on eBay (look for the seller Sonnenflasche) and they are being offered used as well on a regular basis.
1. Uhren aus Russland – Sammlerkatalog Nr. 5 (probably 1993), available in German only. I don’t think this was produced by a print house – it looks photocopied and is not bound like a book. It only has black & white pictures and most are of poor quality and the descriptions are of few words. However in contrast to Ceyp Levenberg pays a lot of attention to Molnija in all of his books. In contrast to the other Levenberg books Nr. 5 pays relatively much attention to Slava. But still, I would only recommend this one to the “die-hard” collectors.
2. Russische Armbanduhren 1 (ISBN 3-7667-1168-7, Callway, München, 1995) in German and available in English (Russian Wristwatches, ISBN 0887408737, Callway, München, 1997). In this book Levenberg gives a very nice overview about Russian watches (Poljot, Vostok, Slava, Molnija and in a lesser degree: Raketa, Pobeda and Sarja, as well as aircraft instruments and ship chronometers). The books shows lots of pictures and covers mostly watches of the late 70’s to the early 90’s.
3. Russische Armbanduhren 2 (ISBN 3-7667-1173-3, Callway, München, 1995) in German. As “1” this book offers a nice overview, this time paying a little more attention to Raketa and Chaika. I would say “1” and “2” are the must have books – they are very useful for reference.
4. Uhren aus Russland – Sammlerkatalog Nr. 6 (1995) in German. I don’t own this one, because I was told it’s basically the same as book nr. 2
5. Uhren aus Russland ’96 – Sammlerkatalog Nr. 7 (Russian Watches, 1996) this book is written in German, but the pictures are explained in English as well (but not as extensive). This book shows some (in my eyes rare) watches – most of them I have never seen before (on eBay). It also describes a lot of old Russian watches (from the 50’s and 60’s). It also contains some hints how to tell whether watches are “fake”.
6. Uhren aus Russland – Sammlerkatalog Nr. 8 (Russian Watches, 1997) As Nr. 7 written in German and partly in English and Russian. It shows watches from the late 70’s to the early 90’s and has a small chapter about Russian watches with illegal brand names (BMW to Tutima...).
In all of Levenberg’s books it occurs that watches are “double posted”, so you’re not having a dèja vue .
I’m aware that most of these books contain errors, but they are the best around. IMHO the are a nice reference source and help to give an overview on the vast amount of Russian watches available. It’s a pity that there are no newer books around.
thank you Micha for this complete Overview
(text by Andreas "Uvox")