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Mystery Sportivnie

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Hi all,

I'm looking for any information on this Sportivnie that recently came my way. I seem to remember seeing this dial with the script/cursive writing before, but I can't recall where. Does anyone have any information about this watch that they can share?

Here's the little bit that I do know. It was very, very dirty upon arrival (clearly heavily used for many years), but after a thorough cleaning, it's looking fairly good and keeping excellent time. The movement is 17 jewels non-hacking, meaning either it replaced the original movement or, possibly, that there never was a hacking movement inside (and thus, not a Sportivnie). The lume on the numbers (possibly radium) is still functional, although barely.

I actually have partially solved this riddle, but wanted to ask around here before revealing anything else.

Seller's photo:

20150918185155_gu5jckz1s22.JPG

After cleaning:

20150918185207_vqvhvfvjalb.JPG

Thanks!

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Mroatman, here are doubts I have about your "Sportivnie":

Wrong movement as you have already mentioned.

No jewel count or place of manufacture on the dial.

Smudged line printing most noticable between "7" and "8".

The "2" at "12" and the "2" appear to be a different size as do the "1" and "0" at "10.

The appearance of possibly lumed numerals and non-lumed hands doesn't make sense.

In my opinion the dial is fake and this is not a sportivnie.

 

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Bingo.

Good eye, schnurrp, I had picked up on most of those things but not all.

However, the dial is in fact a Sportivnie. Or was. See if you notice anything as I tilt the watch towards the light:

20150918185227_25jid50dqpa.JPG

20150918185245_n5or1wr5x4g.JPG

20150918185317_ke3i2zvgypp.JPG

This detail is not easy to see in real life as requires very exact lighting. Still, it's definitely there, clear as day: The Running Man.

So, what we have here is plainly a fake. The way I see it, this is probably an original crown and case, possibly original hands, a "restored" dial that's highly dissimilar to the original, and an incorrect movement. But my question is.....why?

Creating a fake dial that's a replica of an authentic, highly-desirable example (as in the many Strelas with new Chinese dials) is a clear marketing opportunity to capitalize on ignorance (or apathy) in an effort to turn a high profit. This is an unfortunate scenario that nonetheless makes perfect sense to me. But this watch is none of those things. First, it's clearly old. There's little question in my mind that it was used for a long time before coming into my possession. Second, I was not aware that Sportivnies were desirable enough to warrant a redial. This practice seems limited to more rare watches such as Sturmanskies, Sputniks, or the aforementioned Strelas. Finally, clearly this watch is not trying to be passed as an original, else the artist would have restored the watch to the original Running Man dial design -- or any of the other common Sportivnie dials, for that matter. This dial design, even if it ever was an authentic Sportivnie dial variation, is not common.

So....why? Was it ever common practice to ask a watchmaker to create a new dial if the original was damaged or just not to one's preference? Did individuals ever commission custom dials if they could afford it? Was the franken market as lively and successful 30 years ago as it is today?

I actually happen to like the dial. It's clean and simple and looks like it could be a Sportivnie. But I just can't understand who made this, at what time they made it, and why.

Any input would be warmly welcomed. And thank you for your thoughts, schnurrp

20150918185317_j1gdjkmeqsq.gif

 

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My opinion is that this watch became what it is a very long time ago, probably for private use (to make good from a bunch of available parts), and therefore it cannot be compared to modern frankenwatches that are created specifically for on-line sale.

 

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The "Running Man" hands are quite different. Here's Antonov's: https://picasaweb.google.com/1130982...88167244526370

I suppose there have always been watch hobbyists and this may be a "re-dial" done by an owner/hobbyist over a damaged "Running Man" dial, perhaps with spare parts added to create the watch you now have.

I agree with Chascomm that it could have been created for personal use and if so it is very interesting.

 

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Ah yes, I assume the hands came from a Pobeda.

Thanks, Chascomm, for your opinions. I think we're on the right track. Still, I would wonder why someone "making good from a bunch of available parts" would not just use one of the untold factory dials rather than crafting their own. I think this theory of a watch hobbyist makes most sense. If so, it means someone invested a lot of time and energy into this dial for what was likely very little financial gain, if any. And if this was done by an individual, I tip my hat to their artistic talent. Even for all the flaws mentioned above my schnurrp, it would be quite an impressive feat if done by hand.

I will ask the seller if he/she has any background on the watch and update if I learn anything new. Thanks again for your help!

 

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To speculate a bit: if the numbers really are of luminous material, then there must have been more than one rebuild to this watch, else the hands would also be luminous. Alternatively if the original rebuild was done with limited available parts then those hands may have been painted with lume which was subsequently cleaned off due to problems (a similar issue to a watch with hands painted by my grandfather that a repairer later cleaned).

 

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Could you post a picture of the movement? I am not sure if there was a non-hacking 17 jewels version of Pobeda with central second hand. I remember the classical 15 jewels Pobeda from 1 MWF with central second hand (with hacking version), the 16 jewels Moscow and the 17 jewels Shturmanskie / Sportivnie with hacking only. But I am not sure.

Otherwise I agree with Chascomm, this looks like a watch rebuilt in 1960s when the consumer goods were rare and masters both skillful and cheap.

 

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I suppose there could be others. Like I said, I do seem to remember seeing this cursive/script "Sportivnie" writing on the dial somewhere else before. I just can't remember where, so now I'm doubting myself.

About the movement, I'm actually not 100% certain about hacking. I received this watch just moments before having to leave town. I quickly opened the back and noted it was 17 jewels, but in my haste did not study any further. I was thinking about the watch on my drive and was curious about the movement, so I called my roommate (who knows little of watches) to ask if he would pull out the crown and tell me if the watch was still functioning. He claimed to have done so and said it was still working. So that poor bit of research is all I have to base my non-hacking argument upon.

I'll have the watch tomorrow, if not by tonight, and will post movement shots at that time.

 

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Well, storyteller, you were right. The movement is not 17 jewels at all, but in fact a Pobeda 15 jewels movement from 1956 (Q3). I'm not sure why I was so certain it was 17 jewels -- I guess I was hurried and had been thinking Sportivnie, so my mind filled in the rest.

Anyhow, now we have:

- Pobeda hands

- Pobeda movement

- Pobeda/Sportivnie case (is there a way to tell the difference?)

- Sportivnie crown

- "Sportivnie" dial

It does seem like someone was making use of somewhat random available parts, but wanted the external appearance of a Sportivnie (otherwise why not just leave the Pobeda crown?). Alternatively, I think it's possible this watch was originally a Pobeda, to which someone added a replacement crown and a custom "Sportivnie" dial. But who knows.

Movement shots:

20150918185339_3exit1mblpz.JPG

20150918185356_pbrxhr45g2q.JPG

 

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