Welcome! My name is Stuart Tomanek and I hope you will take some time
to look around this site and discover some intriguing Russian timepieces. I like unusual watches not usually available
to the public in high street shops. I also sell the Japanese brand Orient at my other site: ORIENT WATCHES UK. You can find some Orients on this site as well as
carefully selected Seikos, Fossil watches and more in the growing non-Russian section.
The world of Russian watches is quite unlike any other. In terms of what they put into wrist watch design there is no other nation which can match Russia. I do not mean that they make the best
watches in the world, although they are good, but that each Russian made watch comes with a large measure of national spirit. You cannot say that about Swiss watches or the Japanese. We all know how good Seikos are, but what is there about them which is obviously Japanese? Swiss makers have set the benchmark - but the world's greatest watchmakers prefer to remain discrete craftsman.
Poljot were the first big watchmaker in the Soviet Union and they are today gaining in reputation for making interesting designs, Russian or otherwise, using movements based on many Swiss classics.
As the Swiss have largely turned to quartz, Poljot are one of the most important manufacturers to keep the mechanical tradition going. The Aviator watches are probably the most popular and the Sturmanski is the most famous, particularly the type worn by Gagarin in space. At the high end of the scale can be found the Romanoff gold plated
chronographs which typically sell for about £400.
Molnija are known for making pocket watches and I think do more to represent Russian culture and history than any other maker. Take the Fairy Bird watch which has engraved on the outer case, an image of the fantastic bird from a Russian folk tale. But it is the WWII designs which capture the imagination of many buyers. The importance of remembering victory over Hitler is something which is embedded deep in the soul of
nearly all the Russians I have met, old and young, it makes no difference. Everyone in Russia, it seems, has a realtive lost in the "Great Patriotic War" and memories of the sacrifices made come back every year on May 9th ( Russian Victory Day ). There are many Molnija models which commemorate this event and indeed the "Victory" model is a copy of watches awarded to war veterans by the government.