Slava California Watch: An Iconic Timepiece of History and Innovation

russian watch Slava California

Slava watches are renowned for their quality and reliability, and the Slava California watch is no exception. Produced by the Second Moscow Watch Factory, this watch stands out not only for its unique design but also for its historical and technical significance. In this article, we will explore the features of the Slava California watch, the Slava 2428 caliber, and the fascinating stories behind the famous “California” dial used by Rolex and Panerai.

Description of the Slava California Watch

russian watch Slava California
Slava California

Design and Case

The Slava California watch is easily recognizable by its distinctive dial, featuring a combination of Roman numerals on the upper half and Arabic numerals on the lower half. This unique design is complemented by:

  • Chrome-Plated Brass Case: The brass case with chrome plating gives the watch an elegant appearance, though it is less resistant to everyday wear. Over time, the chrome can deteriorate with daily use and contact with sweat.
  • Black Dial: The black background of the dial provides perfect contrast with the pink hour markers outlined in gray, enhancing readability.
  • Minute Markers: Gray, aligned along the railroad track surrounding the dial.
  • Polished Metal Hands: The hands, without luminous material, feature a hollow interior, while the second hand is distinguished by a red “lollipop.”
  • Date Display at 6 o’clock: The date display at 6 o’clock allows for vertical reading of the date and day, a practical and distinctive feature.

Technical Details of the Slava 2428 Caliber

The heart of the Slava California watch is the Slava 2428 caliber, a manual winding mechanical movement known for its reliability. Here are the technical specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13 lines (32.2 mm diameter).
  • Height: 4.85 mm.
  • Power Reserve: 47 hours.
  • Frequency: 18,000 vibrations per hour (vph).
  • Jewels: 17.
  • Complications:
    • Sweeping Seconds.
    • Day and Date.
  • Regulator Type: Pinned regulator (or index regulator).
  • Escapement Type: Swiss lever escapement.
  • Winding and Setting: Stem winding, stem setting.

The Story of the California Dial: Rolex and Panerai

The “California” dial has a fascinating history involving some of the most prestigious watch brands.

Origins of the California Dial

The term “California dial” originated in the 1980s when dial refinishing shops in Los Angeles, particularly on Melrose Avenue, began using the half Roman, half Arabic design to refinish vintage watch dials. This style quickly became popular among collectors of Rolex “Bubbleback” watches​ (Welcome to​​ (Fratello Watches)​.

Rolex and Panerai

Rolex was one of the first to use the California dial in the 1930s and 1940s, particularly in models designed for Panerai, which supplied watches to the Italian Navy. These watches were known for their readability and robustness, essential features for underwater missions​ (Watch Swiss)​.

The Rolex California

The California dial of Rolex has become an icon among collectors. Initially used to improve readability in difficult conditions, it was later adopted by various vintage models. Today, the California dial is highly sought after and represents a piece of watchmaking history.

Beware of Counterfeits

Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of the Slava California watch, unscrupulous sellers have emerged, counterfeiting California dials for these watches. Fake dials can be found on various marketplaces, so it is important to be cautious and verify authenticity before making a purchase.

The Value of the Slava California Watch Among Collectors

The Slava California watch has become highly sought after among collectors. The combination of unique design, fascinating history, and technical reliability has increased its market value. Currently, a Slava California in excellent condition can fetch between 300 and 350 euros.


The Slava California watch is more than just a timepiece; it is a piece of watchmaking history. With its distinctive design and robust Slava 2428 caliber, it continues to captivate collectors worldwide. Whether you are a vintage watch enthusiast or a collector seeking unique pieces, the Slava California is an excellent choice.

Slava АМНТК Союз: A Watch that Tells a Story of Aeronautical Excellence

russian watch Slava АМНТК Союз

The Slava Watch

The Slava АМНТК Союз watch is much more than a simple timepiece. This watch, made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aero-engine Scientific and Technical Complex «Soyuz» (АМНТК “Союз”), represents a piece of Soviet and Russian aeronautical history.

russian watch Slava АМНТК Союз
Slava АМНТК Союз

The watch dial is simple yet rich in meaning. It features a stylized drawing of an aircraft, symbolizing the technological innovation and power of the engines produced by the institute. The second hand is characterized by a large red dot near the tip, typical of some Slava watches. The dial also includes the dates “1943-1993,” marking the fiftieth anniversary of the institute’s founding.

The watch is powered by a standard manual winding Slava 2414 mechanical movement with a date function. The case is a 3991XXX chromed model, similar to the Perestroika models intended for the Italian market. The back of the watch is stainless steel and bears the serial number 419, a detail that adds a touch of uniqueness.

History of АМНТК “Союз”

The АМНТК “Союз” complex has a fascinating and successful history. Founded during World War II, the institute was created with the Resolution of the State Defense Committee No. 2916 on February 18, 1943. Initially located on the bank of the Moskva River in Luzhniki, the factory was evacuated to Kuibyshev (modern-day Samara) during the Great Patriotic War.

Innovations and Technological Developments

Who builds the engines for the MiG-21, MiG-25, or Tu-104? The answer is the Aero-engine Scientific and Technical Complex «Soyuz». This institute has been a pillar in the Soviet and Russian aeronautical industry, dedicated to the maintenance and production of engines for helicopters, missiles, and aircraft.

The MiG-25, known for its extraordinary performance, owes its speed and power to the Tumansky R-15B-300 engines. These engines are among the most powerful turbojets ever built and have enabled the MiG-25 to set numerous speed and altitude records. HERE you can find detailed information about the АМНТК Союз engines, including the Tumansky R-15B-300 that powers the MiG-25.

The Engine Factory Today

Today, АМНТК Союз is a publicly traded company, with activities primarily focused on the production of turbojets for aircraft and gas turbine drives for generators and gas pumps. The institute has been active for 78 years and continues to be a leader in aeronautical engine technology.

HERE you can access the institute’s website for more information about the designed engines and the institute’s history.


Once again, a simple Slava watch has allowed me to delve into a often overlooked aspect. When a layperson like me looks at a military jet, it’s rare to think about the engines and their characteristics. We focus on the fuselage and shapes, but the engines, hidden within the aircraft, remain a mystery to most. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to take an interest, albeit superficially, in this topic. I’ll probably look at aircraft differently in the future.

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