Some Canadian marketed Soviets

Thread: Some Canadian marketed Soviets

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  1. #1
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Canada

    Some Canadian marketed Soviets

    I came across this "Marathon" watch on the 'bay the other day while idly researching my 90's Marathon Mil-W-46374d. Not sure off hand if was from the same company, but I guess there's no reason to think it isn't.

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    Even without seeing the movement, the case design and dial layout mark it as a Russian Molnija movement. The SU, I'm told, stands for "Soviet Union", and probably date it to the 80's. The finish is a bit higher then I've seen in other Molnija's from this era (though still a far cry from the movements made in the 50's).

    Shortly after getting this, I came across a Cardinal in a local thrift shop. These show up rather frequently around here, and a search on Google turns up dozens of identical looking watches. Thus, I wasn't surprised to find another classic Russian movment inside; the Raketa 2609HA. As I've heard it, the H series of movements were specifically designed to meet the more esthetic demands of western watch buyers. Not sure what differences mark the HA variants. As with the Marathon, the plates sport an 'SU' engraving.

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    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages:

  2. #2
    Member Seele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Sydney Australia

    Re: Some Canadian marketed Soviets


    I think you have done very well scoring these two. Both Marathon and Cardinal sourced watches from the Soviet Union and distributed them under their own brands, like Sekonda in the UK, but being an ex-Brit I do not know how extensive the operations of these two firms were.

    The first one was of course a Molnija 18-jewel variant of the 3602 in a hunter case which came relatively late; if in good condition and well maintained it is indeed a very fine watch. The second is a Raketa with the very common - and still current 2609.NA ("H" being Cyrillic for "N"). The family of movements based on this full-bridge design came into being after the "Baltika" series reached its limit of development, so it was designed to have a much higher development ceiling, with options for date, day/date complications and autowind; the suggestion that it was made for aesthetic reasons is somewhat unfounded.

    Compared to Sekonda-branded ones intended for the UK market, Cardinal-branded examples appear to be less common and on the international used market, appear to command higher prices. If I were you I would be very happy with these two finds!

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