Marine: Looking for info on Russian Chronometer

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Jim Haney, Feb 25, 2017.

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  1. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    #1 Jim Haney, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
    I don't have a clue about this nice Russian chrono and appreciate anything that will help to identify it.

    Thanks

    PS, The number in the small triangle looking figure are 1MH3 and the serial number under it is

    N-19883.
     

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  2. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

    Feb 28, 2010
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    Hi, see information Omexa Chronometer, Alan Purcell comments re. Russian Chronometers. Regards Ray
     
  3. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    The instrument is made by 1st Moscow Clock Factory 'Kirov' according to Russian GOST (standard) 8916-58. Then it says Marine Chronometer in capital letters.

    The marks on the movement are not 1 MH3, rather they are the Russian letters which are an abbreviation of the factory name The letter you thought was an H is the Russian letter Ch and the 3 is the Russian letter Z (1. Moskovskii Chasovoi Zavod).

    JTD
     
  4. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    These are fine instruments. They are based on the Nardin as is the Hamilton 21 although they makers made different changes. I believe they are still making these.
     
  5. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Thank for the reply's so far and I have used some of the suggestion on Goggle and have read about the Moscow Factory.

    I still haven't found out much about the Chronometer production or dates.

    The info usually just deals with the Hampdem purchase and Ansonia Clock Co.( i didn't know that) sale and watches.
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I have the recollection from somewhere I have forgotten that the 58 in the standard code (essentially a contract identifier) gives the year.
     
  7. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    No, the second part of a GOST number is the year in which it was written. It is a standard, nothing to do with a contract, so the same GOST number can be used for ever for the item(s) to which it applies, or until the standard is revised.

    JTD
     
  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Levenburg's mistitled book, Russian Wristwatches, has a bit on these. The entry says these were designed in the 50's went into production in the60's but most were made in the 70's and 80's.

    I speculate that the Soviets stayed with mechanical technology because they assessed that a nuclear battle would burn out electronic timepieces (EMP).
     
  9. burt

    burt Registered User

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    Hi Jim,

    Thought you might like to hear what John Cronin had to say about Russian chronometers in his book "The Marine Chronometer, It's History and Development".

    ""The last traditional mechanical chronometers to be manufactured were made at the No.1 watch factory in Moscow. Production of the MX6 chronometer began soon after the Second World War, probably using machinery taken as reparation from German factories in Glasshutte, the center of German watch and chronometer manufacturing before the war. The design of these instruments is very traditional and bears a strong resemblance to those produced by Wempe and Ulysse Nardin. They use an adjustable detent very similar in design to those pioneered by Dent and Poole; compensated balance with palladium spring is of a type developed by Charles Edouard Guillaume,the eminent Swiss scientist who also developed new alloys for watch balance springs. The brass parts are gold plated and steel parts including the pinions and fusee chains are chrome plated to protect against rust. The performance of these instruments is very good:they were rated to a third of a second per day and in good conditions can do even better. They were mostly produced with the name Poljot (flight) on the dial,although other names are occasionally seen. The numbering system is a mystery, although it is possible to distinguish the Soviet era instruments from later ones by the CCCP inscription on the dial. Information on the production of these instruments is very hard to find,but seems there is still a small facility in the No.1 Watch Factory on Moscow still making these chronometers for sale to collectors,and it is possible to purchase examples that appear to be new".

    I thought I'd just post this to add to the opinions of the others. Cronin appears to be very much on top of the game with these as he and his shop are based in England and sees many of these chronometers. He also has very impressive credentials including being a accredited horologist and professional conservator and singly the only member specializing in chronometer work within ICON (the Institute of Conservation). He also taught history for 20 years so I would expect he has some appreciation for being accurate in his writings.
     
  10. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    burt,
    Thanks The best info I have received so far. You are a good researcher.
     
  11. burt

    burt Registered User

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    Jim,

    Thank you! Truth is I still owe you one and that's why I'm posting on this.

    I thought it might be of interest to look into what other authors of note have to say about these instruments.

    In his book,"Chronometer Makers of the World",Tony Mercer writes about these chronometers : "from the First Moscow Watch Factory.....the movement is well finished. All pinions plus the arbor and pivots are chromium plated to reduce wear to a minimum. The balance is of the 'integral' type."

    Marvin Whitney,in his book,"The Ships Chronometer" writes of a specific chronometer "(No.14073) signed Moscow Clock Factory of Kirova. It has 14 jewels,spring detent escapement,Guillaume compensation balance,helical hairspring,fusee,gilded bridges and plates. The movement is almost and exact replica of the East German G.U.B. Glashutte chronometer". I have seen three dated in the 50's and one dated 1/66 on the back plate".

    So it appears a fair amount of agreement by three very qualified experts on these instruments. As you noted, information is fairly limited on these chronometers but John Cronin has the most to say and fortunately still alive and available to contact. I asked a few years ago for some help in researching a chronometer built by the Englishman Septimus Miles and he was very helpful. You can Google search him and get his email address in England where he has his shop.
     
  12. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    burt,

    Thanks again for the information on this Russian Chronometer.

    I just sent John Cronin an email with a link to this thread and asked if he would be so kind to comment on it in the thread.
     
  13. burt

    burt Registered User

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    Jim,

    Good idea and I hope he does! As I said earlier he was most helpful with me researching the Miles piece.
    I considered buying a Russian chronometer but the opportunity for a Hamilton 21 came up and well............................ :)
     
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