Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)
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  1. #1
    Member KingQuartz's Avatar
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    Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    What are the oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)? They can be either defunct or currently in operation.

    We will define Eastern Europe as consisting of the following countries-

    Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine
    + [SE Europe] Cyprus, Greece, Malta, and Northern Macedonia
    Last edited by KingQuartz; March 18th, 2019 at 21:43.
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    I enjoy collecting non-European, in-house movement, manual-wind watches.

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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    Quote Originally Posted by KingQuartz View Post
    What are the oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920) still in existence?

    We will define Eastern Europe as consisting of the following countries-

    Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine
    + [SE Europe] Cyprus, Greece, Malta, and Northern Macedonia
    None. If there were any, they were all closed under Soviet influence (except Greece, Cyprus and Malta, but I doubt there are any watch brands with 100+ years of unbroken lineage there).

  3. #3
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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    Quote Originally Posted by ffritz View Post
    None. If there were any, they were all closed under Soviet influence (except Greece, Cyprus and Malta, but I doubt there are any watch brands with 100+ years of unbroken lineage there).
    Well, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia are not former USSR states

    Also, Poland and Czech Republic share a border with Germany, which has many old watch brands; is it not possible these countries have some old brands?

    I am editing my question so that the brands can be either defunct or currently in operation. That should open things up a bit.
    I enjoy collecting non-European, in-house movement, manual-wind watches.

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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    G. Gerlach.
    I don't know much about this Polish brand except I've been waiting for 3 weeks for a shipping confirmation. However, the website seems to indicate some kind of history dating back pre Cold War.

    Vostok, Strela, Poljot in Russia.

    I'd love someone to give us a tutorial on some of the East German brands ... GUB??? Ruhla?? Seems to be some interesting history there.

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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    Quote Originally Posted by KingQuartz View Post
    Well, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia are not former USSR states

    Also, Poland and Czech Republic share a border with Germany, which has many old watch brands; is it not possible these countries have some old brands?
    Hardly. Even in the GDR the traditional watch brands didn't survive. As far as I know, Nautische Instrumente Mühle Glashütte was the last independent watchmaker there, family owned until 1972, then state owned but still independent until 1980, when it was also incorporated into VEB GUB, one of the big three state owned watch factories (Glashütte, Ruhla, Weimar). So former Soviet republic or not, it will be hard to find traditional watch brands with 100+ years heritage in states where private ownership hardly existed for half a century. Especially regarding a product of strategic importance, such as watches.

    But I could be wrong, of course. Maybe there are some that escaped the communization.
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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vioviv View Post
    G. Gerlach.
    I don't know much about this Polish brand except I've been waiting for 3 weeks for a shipping confirmation. However, the website seems to indicate some kind of history dating back pre Cold War.

    Vostok, Strela, Poljot in Russia.

    I'd love someone to give us a tutorial on some of the East German brands ... GUB??? Ruhla?? Seems to be some interesting history there.
    Ha, I've had a G. Gerlach. Don't think they are technically "old" though. Their 3 week delay doesn't surprise me at all. Really liked some of their stuff, but they need to improve their customer service.
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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    What about a company like H. Moser? Definitely went defunct, was I believe expropriated and shut down after the Russian Revolution. What connects that Russian company to the current Swiss iteration of H. Moser today?
    Last edited by Vioviv; March 19th, 2019 at 00:36.

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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    Quote Originally Posted by KWOJ View Post
    Ha, I've had a G. Gerlach. Don't think they are technically "old" though. Their 3 week delay doesn't surprise me at all. Really liked some of their stuff, but they need to improve their customer service.
    Fantastic -- I'm glad to hear you got something eventually! I feel better! I'll take a deep breath and be patient.
    I did read something about the origins of the company, but it's so vague that it's not worth repeating. When my watch arrives, I'll use the occasion to do some serious research.

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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    There is PRIM from Czech, which predates Eastern Bloc and I think it's still operating.

    https://www.prim.cz/
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    Member Michael Fox Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Oldest Eastern European watch brands (pre 1920)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vioviv View Post
    Vostok, Strela, Poljot in Russia.
    I called those Russian Schnitz.
    "Life is the flower for which love is the honey. Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
    The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
    " - Victor Hugo

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