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keithu59

Sekonda 17 Jewels

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Comrades,

A few months ago, I became aware of a rather unusual early Sekonda with a Raketa 'baltika' 2609.I movement -- thanks to Paul, by the way, for sharing with us his beautiful piece. The dial design is nothing unusual, but what's inside is rather unique. Ever since, I've been on the hunt, and recently I found an interesting watch from a UK seller. It seemed to be the rarer 17-jewel model, so despite the poor photos, I decided to take a chance on it. Here's what I was gambling on:

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Unfortunately, the dark rings on the dial (which I had hoped were shadows) turned out to be nasty track marks caused by the hour hand dragging along, hour after hour, for what could have been years. At some point in the watch's history, one of the dial feet had broken off, causing the dial to become somewhat loose and rub against the hour hand. The overall condition was pretty poor when I received it, and although I didn't pay much, I was very let down.

I managed to reattach the dial foot and reinforce the dial such that it should not come loose again. And mechanically, the watch was working well. So the only issue now was the superficial track marks which left unsightly dark streaks on an otherwise pristine white dial. (The marks looked far worse in the flesh with the crystal removed, and I regret not taking "before" photos upon arrival.) I had tried wiping these away with a damp cloth and a Q-tip, but no luck. It was time to brainstorm.

Years ago, I bought some sort of White Out/Liquid Paper in a stick form. I've never seen anything like it and there is no writing on it, so I can't even tell you exactly what it is. Essentially, it's a white crayon with a firm, waxy consistency. It is meant to 'color over' errors on a page, much the same way one would 'paint over' mistakes with traditional Liquid Paper. The only difference is that this is solid. Here's what it looks like:

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Feeling a bit outgoing, I decided to give it a shot. I moistened the end of a Q-tip, applied a bit of the 'white crayon' to the Q-tip, then used the Q-tip to gently brush around the track marks. To my surprise, the shade matched the dial identically and the track marks started to disappear! I continued this technique, very carefully, for the remainder of the dial, and the results blew me away. It transformed a battered, old, stained dial into something that looks almost like-new once again. I am thrilled with the results.

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Now time to find the gold-plated version with a dial in even worse condition!

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Looks really good, it's great when these things work out . Your starting to get me really interested in these dress watches.

Could you explain the baltika in your movement description, I have recently got a 17 jewel sekonda with a raketa movement which I was surprised to find when I opened it up.

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Yep, kev, you got it. As I understand it, the "Baltika" designation commonly refers to all Petrodvorets 2609(x) movements with a triangular bridge. This naming trend follows other common misnomers, such as calling all 1MWF 2209s "Vympel" or all 3017s "Strela". It's not entirely accurate to refer to these movements in this way (after all, there is only one true Vympel, Strela, Baltika, etc.), but it's easy, familiar, and what watchmakers have been doing for decades -- or so I read.

What's unusual about the original Baltika movement was the cap jewels on the main bridge. Future iterations used shock-proofing.

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You might also enjoy this thread which dives into a little more detail.

By the way, nice Sekonda :)

 

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mroatman,

This is a rather nice version with the added markings for sale by Sekonda on both the movement and back. The gold-plated one that I have has the caseback markings but not on the movement. Of course later on Sekonda decided to have minimal markings, perhaps as a way to reduce their cost, after all a penny is a penny.

 

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Wow, amazing, Dashiell! I would have never tried that but you got a one-in-a-hundred color match that may never happen again. I'm glad for you, comrade.

Mine is now probably the oldest (longest in my possession) watch in my collection which says something about my feelings about it.

 

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Yes, I realize this was 90% luck and 10% skill!

Yours still has such a unique appearance due to the texture on the dial. I really love that. I'm not sure whether that was intended or whether it is an artifact of ageing -- the fact that mine is almost completely smooth was a bit surprising. What do you think?

 

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