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Julie

A rare Raketa/Sekonda?

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This Roman numeral Sekonda interested me. It had a signed back but no movement shot. Since it was late in the auction and coming from a US seller I decided to wait until arrival to investigate the movement. I won it for less than $22/delivered. It arrived today and it does have the engraved movement bridge which, until today, I thought was only found on the pretty rare "easy-read" Sekonda model. So now I think there were at least two models with the engraved back and movement bridge. Everything looks authentic to me including the crystal. I suppose the dial could have been switched out but it has the same "USSR" and "17JEWELS" as the "easy-read" model so I think it is authentic. What do you think?

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Nice watch Schnurrp,

I have never seen a 17 jewel with that specific back and the bridge plate, a rare find indeed nicely done but am not sure if the dial is original, but most certainly a very nice example, nicely done...

Best wishes

Darren

 

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Thanks, kev80e, sorry you missed out.

This is a very ordinary looking Sekonda Roman numeral, not my taste at all, but I love the stamped and engraved parts that until now I thought only were found on the white "easy-read" dial example. However, since it is so mundane, maybe there are other of these examples of some of the earliest Sekondas from Raketa out there that are being overlooked. Not found in the '68 or '70s catalog.

 

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I now think these inscribed bridge Sekondas are actually later. Here is a picture of what look like my two examples from a '74 Sekonda catalog but no jewel count is given in the description. However, #224 is described as "17 jewel" which indicates it may be a baltika movement and I have seen this case/dial type with baltika movement before but rarely.

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So these Raketa/Sekondas may still have the baltika movement in '74 and in fact a '74 catalog of various makers show a 2609.I baltika example along with some 2609.HA examples: https://plus.google.com/photos/11309...39036073221216

And finally here's one I recently acquired that adds to the mystery. I have no idea where this one fits but it's interesting:

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Very nice. I'd say 100% authentic, including the crystal by the looks of things. These are some of my favorite movements due to the unusual text engraving on the bridge.

I think you're probably right that there's a whole 'generation' of these export watches that have gone unnoticed. Due to their rarity, I'd guess they weren't produced for long. I suppose Petrodvorets probably stopped engraving the text on the back cover and movement due to cost.

I believe the writing on the bridge was phased out before the writing on the back cover. Here is an example of one I just bought (though not yet in my possession) which has the text engraved on the case-back but not the movement. Of course, the movement could be replaced, but Seele also has a Sekonda 17 Jewels "easy-read" with only the engraved back, so I'm tempted to think they're original. I'm sure it was just easier and more cost-effective for Petrodvorets to produce the same movement for domestic Ракета, export Raketa, and other export brands (Sekonda, Cardinal, etc.), rather than creating a separate bridge reserved for English-speaking consumers.

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Thanks for your opinion on these mysterious engraved Sekondas, comrade Dashiell. During my search for a 17 jewel baltika example of the third Sekonda I show I found a path to comrade Sekondtime's WUS thread (which I promptly lost!) wherein he presents a gold Roman numeral 17 jewel baltika Sekonda with back and movement engravings identical to mine, confirming for me the authenticity of the piece.

The mystery now is why did they start doing this type of engraving? As I stated above the most simple explanation is that this is how they started out in the late '60s but the '68 catalog does not include any Raket/Sekondas, only Poljot and Vostok. In the '70 Sekonda catalog a single square Slava/Sekonda model joins the Poljot and Vostok based Sekondas, no Raketa/Sekondas. Raketa-based Sekondas do not appear in a Sekonda catalog until '74 where two "easy-read" models, chrome and gold, the gold Roman numeral example and the mild tonneau model with raised number bars all appear. There's no way to know how these were engraved but they have the correct jewel count and dial design. So these were the first Raketa-based Sekondas, perhaps, and maybe Petrovorets was proud enough of their entrance into the UK market to sign them. They continued doing this for a time, witness the engraved 2609.HA tonneau model below with two-part screw-in back, and then I don't know. A later Sekonda catalog would be useful.

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I think this practice was shared with 1MWF, though to a lesser degree and with no corresponding text on the case-back aside from the occasional "Foreign":

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Again, I assume such distinct English engravings were abandoned for cost and efficiency reasons. As to why they started in the first place, well, I'm sure we'll never know -- but probably the same reason factories made different dials for export markets rather than just shipping their domestic product abroad. However, I'm guessing it was soon discovered that while English on the dial was much preferred to Cyrillic in areas where the Latin alphabet was used, the movement, being less visible and rarely seen, did not need to have English writing on it; the domestic version would suffice, thereby saving the cost and hassle of producing two (or more) styles of the same movement.

Just a guess.

 

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