Central Military Aviation Research Hospital: 50 Years of Excellence in Aerospace and Aeronautical Medicine

russian watch Vostok Komandirskie Central Research Aviation Hospital

A classic Vostok Komandirskie with a TiN-finished case immediately caught my attention, primarily due to the uniqueness of its dial and also because, despite not particularly liking gold-finished watches, this one is decidedly appealing. The white dial probably balances the overall design well.

Determining the Production Date of the Watch

One of the key questions concerns the production date of the commemorative watch. Considering the 50th anniversary of the Central Military Aviation Research Hospital, the production date can be set around 1992. This calculation is based on the fact that the hospital was founded in 1942, making 1992 the 50th anniversary year. The lack of any reference to the USSR or Russia on the dial further supports this hypothesis, suggesting that the watch was commissioned and produced during the post-Soviet transition period.

russian watch Vostok Komandirskie Central Research Aviation Hospital
Vostok Komandirskie Central Research Aviation Hospital

The Commemorative Vostok Komandirskie

The Vostok Komandirskie created for the 50th anniversary of the Central Military Aviation Research Hospital is a unique and meaningful watch. Its distinctive aesthetics and build quality make it a coveted piece for collectors.

Watch Description

  • Case: The case is made of brass coated with titanium nitride (TiN), a material known for its resistance and durability. This gives the watch a golden yet robust appearance.
  • Dial: The white dial features raised gold indices that add a touch of elegance. In the center, the red number 50 stands out, surrounded by significant symbols such as the Bowl of Hygieia, a military aircraft, and a Soyuz rocket. The blue wings flanking the number 50 represent flight and aviation.
  • Hands: The gold hands, with a red second hand, harmonize perfectly with the dial, facilitating easy time reading.
  • Caseback: The stainless steel caseback features a rising sun theme and lacks serial numbers, adding a touch of uniqueness.

Technical Specifications of the Watch

  • Movement: The watch is equipped with the reliable and precise Vostok 2414A movement. This manual wind mechanical movement is a classic of the Komandirskie series.
  • Functions: The watch provides hour, minute, second, and date functions, with a clean and well-organized dial.

Explore technical details: Vostok 2414A Movement

A Piece of History on the Wrist

Owning this watch means carrying a piece of history. Every detail, from the dial to the case, tells the story of the hospital and the Soviet space program. The watch is not just a timepiece but a tribute to decades of innovation and dedication in aerospace medicine.

The History of the Central Military Aviation Research Hospital

Founded on May 7, 1942, by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Central Military Aviation Research Hospital has played a crucial role in military and aerospace medicine. Originally created to support the medical needs of aviation during World War II, the hospital underwent several reorganizations and name changes over the years.

A Turning Point: The Connection with Yuri Gagarin and the Soviet Space Program

In 1959, the hospital began selecting and supporting the first Soviet cosmonauts, including Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. This connection with the Soviet space program was a turning point in the hospital’s history. Gagarin and his colleagues underwent rigorous medical examinations and intensive training to prepare for space flight (Yuri Gagarin on Wikipedia, Soviet Space Program).

The hospital became synonymous with excellence in aerospace medicine, directly contributing to the successes of the Soviet space program. The medical examinations and support provided to the cosmonauts were crucial in ensuring their physical and mental fitness for space missions.

Explore the hospital’s history: ПроДокторов, Military Encyclopedia


The commemorative Vostok Komandirskie watch is a true gem for collectors and history enthusiasts. Its connection to the Central Military Aviation Research Hospital and the Soviet space program makes it unique and fascinating. A piece that celebrates 50 years of excellence and significant contributions to medicine and space exploration.

Further exploration: Central Military Aviation Research Hospital, Vostok Watches Details

Raketa ЗАЭС- 10 Years Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant: Atomic Energy, Russian Watches, and Red Jasper

russian watch Raketa 10 years Zaporizhzhia

Among my favorite Russian and Soviet watches are those made by Raketa with stone dials. I own several, each unique due to the distinct patterns of the stone. The two most commonly used stones are Jasper and Nephrite.

The History and Craftsmanship of Raketa Stone Dials

One might initially wonder why Raketa produces watches with stone dials. The reason is deeply rooted in the origins of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory. Originally known as the Imperial Workshop for Precious Stone Processing, it was established by Tsar Peter the Great in 1721. Hence, it is natural for the factory’s expertise in working with precious and semi-precious stones to extend to watchmaking. You can find various examples of both Nephrite and Jasper dials on the Raketa brand’s official website.

Raketa 10 Years Zaporizhzhia Commemorative Watch

This watch exists in at least two known versions: a general version and a commemorative version celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The commemorative version in my possession features a white Roman numeral “X” on the dial. This “X” is absent in the standard version. According to the ABOUT US page of the official website of the nuclear power plant, the first reactor was commissioned in 1984. Therefore, the Raketa ЗАЭС commemorative watch for the 10th anniversary dates back to 1994, during the post-Soviet period.

Unique Features of the Raketa ЗАЭС

The stone dial of this watch includes two overprints (a typical technique for stone dials). The first is a gold print indicating minutes on the outer part of the dial, featuring the atomic symbol and the inscription “ЗАЭС” over horizontal lines. The second print is white, showing the hour markers in Arabic numerals, except at 6 and 12 o’clock, where a gear/sun symbol appears. The white Roman numeral “X” denotes the 10th anniversary of the nuclear power plant’s operation.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

This is the name of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, located in present-day Ukraine. The plant is of Soviet origin, with construction initiated in 1977. As of 2021, it remains operational, with decommissioning planned in phases between 2030 and 2041. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and one of the ten largest in the world.

Here are three main links providing information about the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant:

The Raketa ЗАЭС Watch

The distinctive shape of the Raketa Zero gold-plated case enhances the appeal of this watch. The simple shapes of the case harmonize well with the complexity of the dial. The hands are also gold-plated and thin. The back of the watch is straightforward, with a stainless steel back and the serial number 885 engraved.

Technical Specifications

The watch houses a Raketa R2609 caliber with 19 jewels, featuring inscriptions in English for export purposes. This particular stone dial watch is one of the most beautiful in my collection and is quite challenging to find, especially in the 1994 commemorative version. It was likely a gift to shareholders or personnel of the nuclear power plant.

A Zim Watch That Tells a Glorious Story

russian watch Zim 400 years Kuibyshev monument of Glory

One of the most fascinating aspects of collecting watches is discovering what they commemorate or represent. This passion led me in November 2020 to discover a Soviet Zim watch with a champagne-colored dial and a monument depicted on it, which was unknown to me at the time.

The Zim Watch

This Soviet Zim is well-preserved, with a champagne-colored dial that is rich in detail but aesthetically very pleasing. The main elements are well distinguished, and the dial depicts the Monument of Glory in Kuibyshev, now known as Samara. The dial also bears the inscription “Kuybyshev,” the name Samara had from 1935 to 1991 in honor of the Bolshevik leader Valerian Kuybyshev.

russian watch Zim 400 years Kuibyshev monument of Glory
Zim 400 years Kuibyshev monument of Glory

Details of the Watch

The hands, including the small second hand, appear to be original. The dial is in excellent condition, although the watch seems to have been used. The plexiglass may have been replaced. On the dial, between three and nine o’clock, are the waves of the Volga River, adding a touch of elegance and geographical context to the watch.

The Back of the Watch

The case shows signs of wear that have removed the plating, revealing the brass underneath. The stainless steel case back is fixed with a screw-down ring, also in steel. The back bears a serial number: 524715. Although the serial numbers of Soviet watches do not have a particular significance, they are useful for identification through the watch passports.

The Movement of the Watch

The heart of the watch is a simple yet effective Pobeda 2602 caliber without antishock.

Characteristics of the Pobeda 2602 caliber

The Monument of Glory in Kuybyshev

History and Construction of the Monument

Located in the city of Samara, the Monument of Glory is dedicated to the workers of the aviation industry who contributed significantly during the Great Patriotic War. Built between 1968 and 1971, the monument was created by sculptor Pavel Bondarenko, artist Oleg Kiryuhin, and architect A. Samsonov. The structure, over thirty meters high, is made of a stainless steel alloy. The inauguration took place on November 5, 1971.

More information on the history of the monument

Historical Images of the Monument

A selection of historical images allows you to appreciate the monument in various periods, probably starting from its construction in 1971.

The Monument of Glory Today

The monument is located in Slavy Square, with the Volga River in the background. This detail is also depicted on the watch’s dial. The monument, made of an aeronautical alloy, features vertical lines at the base and shiny steel representing rays of light directed towards the sky. The statue on top, 13 meters high, depicts a figure with wings spread.

Video of the Monument

Various videos online show the grandeur of the Monument of Glory and the adjoining square. Here is one of the best from 2019:

The City of Samara

The watch dial shows the founding date of the city of Samara, 1586. Interestingly, one of the earliest representations of the city is on a 14th-century Italian map when Samara was considered a pirate haven.

The two dates on the dial refer to the city’s 400th anniversary (1586-1986).

History of Samara

This watch perfectly represents why I love collecting Russian and Soviet watches: each piece is a journey through time and space, allowing me to visit historical moments and fascinating places just by looking at the dial.

Molnija Pocket Watch: Symbol of the Soviet Guard

russian pocket watch molnija

This article is dedicated to enthusiasts of Soviet and Russian watchmaking, focusing on a particular Molnija pocket watch. We will explore the technical, commemorative, and historical details of the watch, enriching the content with links to reliable sources for comprehensive insight.

Technical Details and History of the Molnija Watch

Recently, at a flea market in the province of Milan, I found a Molnija pocket watch that caught my attention. This watch has several distinctive features both on the case and on the cover.

Watch Case: On the metal case that protects the dial, there is the symbol of the “Soviet Guard.” This symbol includes a red flag with the inscription “Гвардия” (Guard) above a red star surrounded by a laurel wreath. This emblem is a mark of distinction and honor, reserved for the units of the Red Army that distinguished themselves for their courage and efficiency during World War II.

Back Cover: On the back cover of the watch, there is an engraved symbol of the hammer and sickle within a five-pointed star. Around this symbol, the Cyrillic inscription “великая отечественная 1941-1945” (Great Patriotic War 1941-1945) celebrates the Soviet Union’s victory against Nazi forces during World War II.

The watch is equipped with a manually wound Molnija 3602 caliber. This mechanism, known for its reliability and precision, was widely used in Soviet pocket watches of the era.

Historical Insights

Soviet Guard: The Soviet Guard was an elite unit of the Red Army, created during World War II to honor units that had shown extraordinary courage and skill in battle. This watch celebrates such units, highlighting the importance of their contribution to the Soviet victory. For more information, you can visit the Wikipedia page of the Soviet Guard.

Great Patriotic War: The inscription “великая отечественная 1941-1945” on the back cover of the watch refers to the Great Patriotic War, a term used in the Soviet Union to describe the war against Nazi Germany during World War II. This period is characterized by immense suffering and sacrifice, but also by incredible determination and courage that led to the Soviet victory. You can delve deeper into this topic by visiting the page dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.

Links for Further Reading

  1. Soviet Guard on Wikipedia
  2. Great Patriotic War
  3. Molnija 3602 Caliber
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