conjurer wrote:The big push for Russian watches started, like so many other unfortunate fads in horology, on American home-shopping TV. Craig Hester, who may actually be an otherwise all-right guy, started importing a brand called Vostok-Europe, which is based in the Baltics someplace, which used old Vostok movements and, as foggy knows well, didn't have a quick-set date--possibly because the Russians were always so fucking jaked on gobment vodka that they didn't really care what the date was, anyway. Anyway, he started selling 'em on the old Shop-At-Home channel, with Tim Temple shilling for him. Some of the watches weren't too fucking horrible; they were relatively normal sized, and at least a couple of them that I bought seemed pretty well made. They were also pretty cheap, mostly in the below $200 price point.
Since then, V-E started raising their prices, using SII movements (or Citizen quartz), became absurdly large, and of course still celebrate the Great Russian Nation, which one would think hinder their sales as Russian troops goose-step through Ukraine and impale infants on their bayonets.
I owned a couple V-Es, as well as a Poljot or two, but they were a passing fad, trinkets, not really worth serious discussion.
Well, that "somewhere", where V-E is located, is Lithuania, so the brand isn't even fully Russian these days anymore.
Regarding no date quickset, remember that these watches were designed for people, who only could afford one watch, unless they were members of the CPSU or one of its "subsidiaries" in the "satellite states." So nobody even had to care about designing a quickset feature, which meant that the movement designers could be jaked on vodka for most of the time.
As to the war potentially affecting the sales, the USSR nostalgia is what sells, so Trump's BFF could well take another portion of Ukraine, and the Mother Russia merchandise would still be selling great.
Poljot... Well, I still have one - I've bought it some time ago at a flea market, for not much more than the worth of two-three packs of smokes. It's a hand-wound wrist alarm, and there is little actually wrong with it- it's got a nicely made clone of the AS 1475 inside, the dial looks like new, and the plating is worn- but more from daily wear than mistreatment, as there are no dents or scratches. The only reason why I don't wear it, is that it's simply fucking ugly. I had a brief moment of infatuation with 1970s watch design, and this one was as 1970s-style crass as it gets. After a month or two, it turned out to be way too crass for me.