Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.
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  1. #1
    vpn
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    Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    After I've bought my second Chaika 3050-KR, which has been shipped from Ukraine some days ago, I kept searching for another vintage Soviet timepiece. However, when I've stumbled upon a Luch 3055 and a Luch 2356, I was very undecided whether to choose the electromechanical 3055 or the more conventional 2356. The decision was tricky, 'cause despite the electromechanical quartz movement makes the 3055 a rather unique watch, from the technical point of view (only Timex and Golay produced electromechanical quartz watches), the reliability problems that plague the caliber 3055 led me to choose the 2356, technically more conventional and robust than the fragile 3055.

    But right in the moment I was about to buy the Luch 2356, I've found something else on Etsy:



    And... I was attacked by a sort of instinct, which made my inner voice say:

    "You have a Chaika 3050-KR that is traveling from Ukraine. Why don't you continue to collect Soviet watches with the CRP-3050 movement, and take the Poljot version? Its style is very nice and sporty, and hey! The crown at 4 o'clock is rather unusual for quartz watch with the 3050 caliber. Plus, the dial is blue, which is your favorite color. Hey man, do not miss this opportunity! "

    So, I listened to my inner voice, and I changed my mind on the second purchase, focusing my attention on this Poljot 3050. Unlike his older brother, the Chaika 3050-KR (usually known as the Chaika Resonator), the Poljot 3050 didn't debut in 1977, but presumabily around 1979, and was the first quartz wristwatch produced by the First Moscow Watch Factory. This model probably dates back to the early '80s. It was available with a chrome plated case or with a titanium nitride one, plus, the dials were available in different colors, such as dark gray, green, purple, blue and champagne.



    The movement is the well-known CRP-3050, quartz movement with 10 jewels and four coils, the firs quartz movement entirely Soviet made. Conceived for the Chaika 3050-KR, the movement fitted into this Poljot is probably the post '77 one, optimized for mass production. Unlike its Chaika counterpart, the Poljot 3050 uses different fonts for the calendar, with a more rounded style rather than the square looking one used by the Uglich-made watch.

    The dial has a textured effect with vertical lines, and has a nice gradient blue effect. The Poljot logo is located at 12 'o clock. In the middle part, the dial is interrupted by thin horizontal white stripes, where you can clearly see the "Kvartz" word to indicate the peculiarity of the movement, which was the pride of Soviet engineering, although there were several difficulties to make it economically viable. Although not visible from the photos, the bottom is marked with "Sdelano V SSSR" (Made in USSR) which, curiously, was missing on the dial of the Chaika.



    The hands are chrome-plated and decorated with a white strip of tritium, which allows them to be visible in the dark, and the seconds hand is white, contrasting with the gradient blue of the dial, creating a very pleasant effect.

    The only "little" issue is the chapter ring that is a bit crooked (it often happened to see Poljot 3050 with the chapter ring not perfectly straight), but it is an almost imperceptible detail and can easily be fixed by a watchmaker . The crystal is acrylic.

    The case is chrome-plated, and has a "TV" shape. Its size is quite significant for its times: 38x50mm, while the thickness is 12mm, due to the raised caseback that prevents the chrome-plated case to touch, thus protecting the plating. The watch has light scratches due to everyday use, while at the back you can see some chips and dings probably due to the use of improvised tools to open the caseback. You can notice that there's nothing on the caseback except for the serial number: it is clear that back at those times, the novelty factor that characterized the Chaika 3050-KR, which reported proudly on his back the "Kvarzevi Rezonator" (Oscillator quartz) word in order to emphasize to customers the uniqueness of its movement, was long gone.



    If we compare the Chaika 3050-KR with this Poljot, we can see immediately how the styling of wristwatches changed after a few years: compared to flamboyant and eccentric styling of the 3050-KR, immediately recognizable in its funky and massive '70s shape, as well as the three-dimensional chapter ring, the Poljot 3050 has a more conservative and conventional styling, with a nice sporty touch, emphasized by the crown at 4 'o clock and the chapter ring that contrasts with the particular texture of the dial. I also like the chromed accents above and below the calendar window, and the Poljot logo at 12 o'clock, which was made in two versions (the first one you see here, fully chromed, while the second variant has a white outline in the inner part, in order to emphasize the logo). I already imagine it with a steel bracelet, in order to give it a sportier appearance.



    And tomorrow, the Poljot will begin its journey from Latvia, along with the second Chaika 3050-KR, that is coming from Ukraine.
    The "Saga" of 3050 continues with this Poljot, which I hope will not face the same end of the first Chaika...!

    More pictures and "live" impressions to follow when the watch will arrive here in Italy.
    Last edited by vpn; April 9th, 2013 at 16:10.

  2. #2
    Member Malakim's Avatar
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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Super cool watch - congratulations!

  3. #3
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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Interesting read, thanks for posting. Great looking watch too.

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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    nice watches.cant wait to see more live pics !

    You are now the owner
    of a Poljot Mechanical Watch

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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    great post! thanks.

  7. #6
    vpn
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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malakim View Post
    Super cool watch - congratulations!
    Thank you very much Malakim! I've also bought a semi-NOS Chaika 3050-KR which I'm going to introduce here as soon as it will arrive. If my theories are right, the Chaika I've bought (from Coolydeal) might be a true "Grail" since it's from 1977, making it the oldest Soviet Quartz watch still existing today. I remember you have a Chaika 3050-KR, yours looks wonderful! Here are some pictures of the second Chaika I've bought to replace the old one. One of the things I've immediately noticed is the circuit board, which has a different pattern from the most known post-77 version, and the oscillator chip, which is coated with ceramic instead of having a plastic case, and it's from November 1977 (click on the thumbnails to see the pictures at their full size):



    Quote Originally Posted by Gravit View Post
    Interesting read, thanks for posting. Great looking watch too.
    Thank you Gravit! I'm glad you like my newest acquisition.

    Quote Originally Posted by nectarios73 View Post
    nice watches.cant wait to see more live pics !
    Thank you very much! I'm very excited as well, both the Chaika and the Poljot will arrive probably the next week. I'll open a separate thread for the Chaika as soon as it will arrive.

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_sturrock View Post
    great post! thanks.
    You are very welcome Ken! And I thank you for reading my thread. More to follow when the watches will arrive!
    Last edited by vpn; April 9th, 2013 at 15:56.
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    Member Malakim's Avatar
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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Correct - I have a Chaika Resonator and a Luch 3055. Both are great and have cool movements. The Luch don't get worn too much, like you say it's a pretty fragile caliber.

    Your Resonator looks really good - and your posts are very informative, good work!

    If I can find a Poljot like yours I'll be sure to add it to my small quartz collection.
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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Thank you Malakim! Some time ago I've done some researches on some Russian forums and websites, thanks to the notes I took, I've wrote a very fragmented history of the 3050 caliber, which I might post here when the Chaika will arrive. Unfortunately details are few since there aren't many information about the movement, but the very first generation of the Chaika 3050-KR (Chaika "Resonator", the first Soviet quartz watch ever made), made in 1977, was produced in a very small scale: only a dozen of models were officially distributed in shops, because the movement was considered too expensive for mass production. So, the production was stopped and the movement was reworked in order to be economically viable for production. In 1978 the production of the 3050-KR was resumed and the CRP-3050 movement debuted in its second generation, with cheaper parts, hence the reason why it's very difficult to find a Chaika "Resonator" from the 1977 batch (this also was the reason why the debut of the Raketa 3050 Kvartz was postponed to 1980).

    Each part was made in different factories: the movement itself was made at the First Moscow Watch factory, except for the stepping motor, that was made at the Second Moscow Watch Factory. The movement was transferred to the Slava Factory, where the stepping motor was mounted, then it was transferred to the Chaika factory in Uglich. While the movement was in Uglich, the Integral factory in Bielorussia (the one that produced the Elektronika B6-02 and the Elektronika 5) produced the circuit boards and the chips, and sent the board to Uglich, where the quartz crystal was fitted.

    Then, the final quality controls were done in Uglich, and the watch was finally ready for the final assembly. In case the movement was commissioned by another company (Slava, Raketa, Poljot), the movement was sent to the factory where the final assembly would've been done. This made the production process quite confusing and very expensive.
    Last edited by vpn; April 9th, 2013 at 17:56.
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    Member Malakim's Avatar
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    Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Wow - what a complicated process. I guess that kind of distribution of responsibilities would never have happened in the west.

    How do you tell the 1977 model of the 3050 from the later ones? I have to admit I find these Soviet quartz movements quite charming.
    Last edited by Malakim; April 9th, 2013 at 18:49.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Poljot Quartz 3050: the "Saga" continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malakim View Post
    Wow - what a complicated process. I guess that kind of distribution of responsibilities would never have happened in the west.

    How do you tell the 1977 model of the 3050 from the later ones? I have to admit I find these Soviet quartz movements quite charming.
    Yep, it was quite complicated. I guess that it wouldn't be surprising to imagine that sometimes the parts would've been mismatched during production.

    Here's a photographic comparison between a Chaika 3050-KR from the 1977 batch and the revised and cheapened version, made after 1977. While aesthetically they might look identical, the real differences are in the movement.

    The first generation of the CRP-3050 caliber has many differences, as they're seen in the pictures below. The circuit board has a different pattern, compared to the second generation. The oscillator chip, as you can see, is coated in ceramic, and the overall quality (except for the stepping motor, which was the only part that was not revised) was higher than the second generation. Another thing worthy to be mentioned, is that the hacking system was more complex than the one of the second generation (although I don't know in details what was the exact difference in the hacking mechanism between the two generations). From what can be seen in the picture, the quartz tube also seems to have a different shape, rather than the one commonly seen in the second generation. The rare 1977 Chaikas can be easily recognized by these little details. As you can see, on the oscillator it's written the production date: 1177, (November 1977.) (Picture source: Coolydeal, the seller where I've bought the watch)

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    Then we have the second generation pictured below. Compared to the first one, the differences are quite visible. The circuit board has a completely different pattern and looks more spartan compared to the one used by the first generation of the movement. The oscillator isn't ceramic coated anymore, but it's enclosed with plastic, and the hacking mechanism was simplified. The entire quality of the movement was lowered, in order to make it cheaper to produce. Unlike the first generation, on the second one, the production date is stamped on the quartz crystal, but in order to see it you have to remove the circuit board from the movement as the quartz crystal is placed under the board. (Picture source: Violity.ru)

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    There might be also some other differences between the two movements, but I haven't dismounted it (as I wouldn't want to break something), so I don't know if there are also some other differences.
    Last edited by vpn; April 9th, 2013 at 19:55.
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