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goes back to Russian chronograph models driven by the 1st Moscow Watch Factory caliber 3017, a very lofty column wheel chronograph based on the swiss Venus 150 / 152 caliber. The production equipment of the Venus 150/152 caliber with the corresponding drawings and know-how was imported from Switzerland to the Soviet Union in the mid-fifties. The cal. 3017 movement manufactured on this equipment then was a Soviet timekeeping product from the 1st Moscow Watch Factory (1.MWF, renamed to POLJOT after 1964), and one of the first chronograph movements produced in the Soviet Union.
The Early STRELA models
(STRELA in cyrillic: СТРЕЛА = arrow) were some of the first watches that incorporated this new 3017 Russian movement. The watches had two registers, 45 minute elapsed time and constant seconds hand and a central chronograph hand for measuring the elapsed seconds. The watches had a chrome plated case and a stainless steel snap case back. The first model was introduced around 1959 and at first it was only available to the Soviet Air Forces (BBC) and a few higher ranking officials. The childhood of STRELA was within the Soviet military and was based on the growing need for more precision in measuring time in the sky and on the field. These watches were official flight gear and objects of preference given to pilots and cosmonauts over a long period of time.
The STRELA dial and hand design changed over time and came in quite a few versions and models, with tachymetric chapter rings, telemeter ring, with non-luminous and luminous dials. These various models were also issued under a few different names over time but today are all commonly called “STRELAs” by the informed Russian watch collectors. At first there were cyrillic “СТРЕЛА” models in the late sixties, then in the early seventies it was mainly the latin labeled “POLJOT” models, and after that in the later seventies the latin labeled “SEKONDA” appeared. Throughout this transformation the STRELA became more and more available to a wider circle of people like scientists and members of the Russian Railway and so on. At a certain point the watch was available to anyone who had the appropriate rubles. At the end of 1979 the total sum of produced STRELAs, (including СТРЕЛА, POLJOT & SEKONDA) reached 100.000 pieces.
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