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From the site
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An overview over Russians watchmaking history sorted by factory.
For most western watch enthusiasts, the bulk of Russia's watchmaking history is nothing more than a compendium of hazy legends and whimsical rumors. However, the factual history is no less compelling than its fabulous history, and even a brief introduction to the great and not-so-great watchmakers of russias past makes a visit far more rewarding. By the way, nowhere does Invicta show up in these links but a google search for Russian Dive watches turns up almost all Invicta "russian divers".
As far as I know, Invicta had nothing to do with the Russian Dive watches. What is interesting though is comparing the review to what is posted at the website.
A portion from Jim Skelton’s Review:
"Eyal Lalo (President & CEO of Invicta Watch) was given one of the original Russian Divers by his grandmother and used that for a basis for this design. The original was carefully taken apart so that every part of it could be inspected, measured and replicated as closely as possible. "
From the Invicta website;
This time they have tackled a design they made in 1959 which was commissioned for the Russian Naval Fleet. The former Soviet Union commissioned roughly 100 pieces to be made by Invicta in Switzerland for their elite divers in their Navy, and proved to be one of the last Swiss manufactures used by the USSR. Designed to be worn over a diver's suit this is a huge watch with large numerals and hands for better legibility under water, and in the dark. Protecting the crown is a large screwdown "cap" which tightens down for water resistance.
Eyal Lalo (President & CEO of Invicta Watch) was given one of the original Russian Divers by his grandmother and has decided to use that for a basis for this design. Completely replicating this original took a lot of work by creating this one-off oversized case, and unique vintage dial. The original was carefully taken apart so that every part of it could be inspected, measured, and replicated as closely as possible. Invicta has surpassed the original by utilizing a stronger compound of Tritnite luminescent material on the dial, and a completely reworked and skeletonized Swiss Unitas movement. All of the work was performed in their newly built Swiss factory and it exhibits all of the finish and quality of any high end Swiss Made product.
Excerpts from a reveiw of the original Diver by Ed
The ORIGINAL RUSSIAN DIVER: Zlatoust Diver's Watch
The Zlatoust diver's watch is big, really big. I've owned alarm clocks that weren't this big. How big, well its 58mm in diameter (not including the huge canteen crown which brings the overall width to 74mm!), 24mm in thickness (which is thicker than the width of many a ladies watch), the lugs are 24mm wide, lug to lug the watch measures 73mm and the it weighs 10oz. The Zlatoust uses a one piece case design (the movement is installed through the front) with an unusual screw-down bezel to hold the thick acrylic crystal tight against a rubber gasket. The watch ships with a sort of rubberized canvas band (complete with CCCP logo).
In addition to the odd band, the bezel unscrews completely to allow the wearer to remove the protective grill and place a thicker (included) gasket in its place. The lug pins are of a screwed in type and can be removed with the small screwdriver that also came with the watch. The huge canteen style crown screws down and has a rubber gasket to protect the movement from water. An attached chain keeps the crown from getting lost. The numerals and hands on the watch face are luminous and, in a pleasant surprise, the lume is pretty good. The movement on this model is the same one used in the old First State Watch Factory Type One. It is a 15 jewel hand wound mechanism that must be wound once daily by unscrewing and partially removing the canteen crown cover.
The Zlatoust watch factory has an interesting history. During WWII, the one of the Moscow watch factories was evacuated east to Zlatoust in the Chelyabinsk region to avoid being captured or destroyed by the advancing Nazi army. (many other Russian factories were moved this way as well) There, watch and clock production was quickly brought back online. According to the factory, over 90 percent of the clocks installed in Soviet tanks and aircraft were made at Zlatoust. After the war, the factory continued to produce all sorts of clocks and watches including stopwatches and this huge diver watch. (As an aside, they don’t just make watches in Zlatoust. This place was also the center of the old Soviet nuclear weapons industry. See: Zlatoust . It is also reputed to be one of the most contaminated places in the world as well.
From what I have found:
Invicta Watch Group is a Florida-based watch company founded in 1837 by Raphael Picard in La Chaux-de-fonds, Switzerland. The Picard family owned and operated the company until 1991, when the company was purchased by a United States-based investment company.
In fact, there is very little out there on the original company. Almost as if it never existed. The post is for information. Many confuse the part Invicta has played in the development of the watch.
From Elsewhere, a well reconized collector of Russian Watches
Originally Posted by kinaed
The original Zlatoust (Златоустовский) Navy Diver was produced in the 1960's and has 60mm stainless nickel-steel case. The "tourist" version that typically sells on eBay is generally 58mm and chrome-plated brass, with a number of different movements in it.
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