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Some many people have so many opinions on Russians watches. The biggest problem is there are so many tourist watches out there “fakes”. In my opinion I do not have a problem buying these tourist watches, I own one. I just do not want to see others buying them and thinking they purchased an original and I also do not want to see someone over paying for one that is not original but a fake.
A tourist watch for people whom do not know is a Russian watch converted or put together from other / multiple Russian watches to make a watch to be sold to tourists. Some people also call these watches Franks short for a Frankenstein watch.
After and before the wall fell many Russian / Ukrainian watch makers created such watches. They obtained or took cases, parts, and or moments from watch factories in the former USSR and sold them on the black market. Today that market has grown even more.
Some watches out for sale have true Russian movements and parts, but a watchmaker has used parts from multiple watches to create a new fantasy / tourist watch, or they use an old movement and created a new body and face to create a brand new watch. Even worse over the last few years since older Russian movements are now getting more scarce some watches are totally created and made in China and sold as an Russian original.
The biggest fake out there is the Russian Zlatoust Vodolaz divers watch. The original has a stainless steel body and a nice large manual winding movement. After the wall fell many movements and cases where still available and taken from the factories. Many watch makers including the former Zlatoust Watch Factory created new dial and put them back together to sell to tourist. Many where made from original parts but they were never Russian navy issue. Some of the later watches have brass bodies cheaply chromed because they ran out of the original stainless steel cases. Easy to tell the differences if it does not look like the picture “shown below” than it’s a fantasy or tourist watch.
“Your heart was warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
Every day and in every way
Now forever and ever after."