Cornavin Pentaflex
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  1. #1
    Member Odessa200's Avatar
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    Cornavin Pentaflex

    Happy Friday Comrades! Does anyone know the story behind Pentaflex? We all know Cornavin brand but looks like there are some watches having this interesting back cover with Pentaflex. Looks like made in 70s. Does anyone know anything about these? Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Re: Cornavin Pentaflex

    What does the dial look like?

  3. #3
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Cornavin Pentaflex

    Let's see the front of the watch.

    Is it a Soviet Cornavin, or a Swiss Cornavin, or a Hong Kong Cornavin with a Soviet movement?
    Chascomm
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  5. #4
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    I saw several models with this back. Here is 1 for example.

    After some searching I found this: https://www.timezone.com/2002/09/16/...navin-dolphin/

    It does mention HK on the body. USSR outsourced Cornavin production to HK? 🙂 thanks
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    Re: Cornavin Pentaflex

    I don't know what "pentaflex" means but I have a number of Cornavin with various Russian movements.

    For example -

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  7. #6
    Member Odessa200's Avatar
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    True. Me too. The movement is for sure Soviet. I read Pentaflex is referred to the special faceted crystal. Will be researching more. Especially asian part: how come HK? Was it a fake copy of that time? Did USSR entered in some kind of deal with HK, etc.

  8. #7
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Cornavin Pentaflex

    The Cornavin brand was founded in Switzerland in the 1920s. In the 1970s they started outsourcing to other countries for parts, assembly or complete manufacture. This included Soviet movements sent to Switzerland or Hong Kong for assembly and complete Soviet manufacture. These days they have returned to Swiss manufacture. Cornavin brand was never Soviet or Russian owned. Any use of the Cornavin brand on Soviet made watches intended for the domestic market must have been either the result of a license agreement or perhaps 'unofficial' disposal of overstock. In more recent times there have been fake Cornavin overprinted dials attached to vintage watches on ebay.
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    Chascomm
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    The Cornavin brand was founded in Switzerland in the 1920s. In the 1970s they started outsourcing to other countries for parts, assembly or complete manufacture. This included Soviet movements sent to Switzerland or Hong Kong for assembly and complete Soviet manufacture. These days they have returned to Swiss manufacture. Cornavin brand was never Soviet or Russian owned. Any use of the Cornavin brand on Soviet made watches intended for the domestic market must have been either the result of a license agreement or perhaps 'unofficial' disposal of overstock. In more recent times there have been fake Cornavin overprinted dials attached to vintage watches on ebay.
    Thanks for the info! What I read is that USSR did purchase the brand from Swiss company so it was USSR owned. But not much info is available. We do know that USSR was making convertible currency via this companies (Seconda, Cornavin, etc).

  10. #9
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Cornavin Pentaflex

    That's the intriguing thing about some of these Soviet made watches for foreign brands (Sekonda, Cornavin, Cardinal, Serkisoff) when they appear on the domestic market alongside their Soviet-branded equivalents, and sometimes even appear in the catalogues. What kind of license agreement might exist for such products? Consider how Russian made Sekondas continued to be made exclusively for the Russian market long after they ceased supplying Sekonda's non-Russian markets.
    Chascomm
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  11. #10
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    Additionally, lets remember: 70s is the coldest part of the Cold War. Entering into any deals with capitalism countries would be super scrutinized. Helps that Switzerland is a neutral country (but still from the opposing camp). But USSR needed $. Rubles were not accepted on foreign markets... I wish some of the still living participants of these events share some insights of the sovchasprom of that time.

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