Don B. from Pennsylvania, USA asks:
Is there anything exciting happening with Russian watches like Poljot? I know they have a reputation for being pedestrian, cheap, and low quality. Is there any high-end stuff coming out of Russia, perhaps a brand I’ve not heard of? It might be a niche interest, but I think an introduction to Russian horology (to the extent that it exists) might be of interest to many people.
During the Soviet era, Russia made a number of watches for their people and military. Some are collector’s items, but we don’t know how many of them are considered “good” by today’s standards. As you mentioned, some of those brands are still alive, or were brought back to life, but we don’t know how many (or if any) of them actually make their own movements. We know the people at a site called Russia2All which sells a number of “Russian” watches.
In terms of high-end brands we know of one, and it is a great brand. You should check out the watches of Konstantin Chaykin, who makes luxury watches in St. Petersburg (though he is originally from Moscow).
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