15 Jewel Shturmanskie
The 15 jewel Shturmanskie was one of the first central second movements from the 1st Moscow Watch factory and based on a further development of the Pobeda K-26 movement.
Production took place on automatic production equipment designed for the LIP R-25, bought from LIP in France.
The watch was only issued to graduate pilots of the Soviet Airforce, called Voenno-Vozdushniye Sily or VVS. The watch was not available to the public, nor was it for sale in the so-called Voentorgs, where military personal could purchase their uniforms and other military related products.
During this period of the cold war, the mainstay of the Airforce were long range Bombers and few short-range Jet Fighters. For this reason, the Soviet Bomber force logo on the watch re-presented the VVS in those times.
Production took place between 1949 up to 1954 in limited quantities.
In order to determine its authenticity, the following visual clues should be observed:(see pictures below)
Movement of the watch:
1: Jewel setting of the gear train.
In contrast to the 15 jewel Pobeda, the jewel setting is different. They reside in recessed openings of the top plate. These recesses are needed because of the stop second mechanism which needs space and moves the top plate up.
2: Date code. There must be a date code on the movement. The code consists of one digit for the quarter of the year and 2 digits for the year. Since the watch was made between 1949 and 1954, expect here a value of 1-49 to 4-53. The serial number should be consisting of 5 digits.
3: Spring ratchet wheel.
No text or symbols should be present on this wheel. It should be polished in a pattern presenting a shallow S.
4: 1st Moscow Watch Factory diamond Logo and 15 Jewels
5: U shaped spring stopping the balance wheel
The watch has an hack second. When pulling the crown, this U-shaped spring is being pushed against the Balance wheel and stops the watch. (Only visible when crown is pulled)
6: Polished Moscow (Geneva) stripes
The movement is nicely finished with polished stripes, like the Pobeda 15 jewel versions.
The difference is that for the Shturmanskie’s movement the base plate is also been polished, which visible under the Balance wheel. There is no shock protection present. The Balance cock is also polished under the adjustment lever.
The Shturmanskie has this pillow shaped crown, like the military Pobeda.
Dial of the watch:
8: Second Hand
It should be Red coloured, with a “clover leaf”shaped end.
9: The Minute and Hour hand are luminous, but the frame of the hand should be Blue
10: There is no reference text to “made in the USSR” on the dial near the 6.
Back of the watch:
11: The back cover should be a snap-on type. For the Soviet version there are no issue numbers are any other data.
The watch was also issued to the Soviet allies, so far only Czech versions could be found. This watch was issued to the Czech airforce. (It is likely that the Czech pilots received their training and graduated on the Soviet Airforce schools.) The text mentions “ Property of the military administration” and the serial number.
Success in your quest for an early Shturmanskie !