Sturmanskie Gagarin 31682

First man in space - 40th anniversary commemorative

Just after the turn of the century, in an effort to revert back to Poljot's cal. 3133 roots, a good chunk of the production shifted back to the space and military themes as seen in the mid-nineties. Old brands such as Sturmanskie and Buran, as well as the new Albatros and "Miltary" [Russian Chronograph] brands, would all feature in their own sections of the 2002 Pojot Catalogue. The Gagarin commemorative watch was the featured model of the Sturmanskie line up, which also included reissues of the old grey-dial models and SS-18/20 throwbacks.

Just prior to the turn of the century Poljot started to produce cal. 3133 based chronographs with an additional moon phase/24hr function. To achieve this, two addition gears we extended from the hour hand and rotated accordingly depending on the function. Most all of the military-style chronographs fitted with an additional function would adopt the 24hr display, while the majority of the dress watches, such as the Poljot-Elites, would either feature the moonphase or day/night indicator disks.

Initial Gagarin case back

As evidenced by the warranty card dated 2002, as well as the Gagarin etching on the case back, this particular Sturmanskie Gagarin is from the very first limited edition of the watch. It was originally purchased from the Koliz company in Vilnius, Lithuania, who in a few years would create the Vostok-Europe brand of watches. As per usual with all successful limited edition cal. 3133 chronographs, when demand outweighs the initial limited production run, another limited edition batch is sure to follow; sometimes with minor changes, sometimes without. In this case, as far as I know, all future editions were fitted with a crystal display case back.