Poljot MIR 2001

An enigma...

This watch commemorates the MIR Space Station's 15-years in orbit of the earth. It's of decent quality by Poljot standards of the day, with one of the first all stainless steel cases made for a regular production Poljot chronograph. It also looks very handsome on the wrist with the large black strap.

But however decent the design by my standards, for some reason this chronograph never made it into any Poljot catalogue (known to me), and to date, I have only seen images of one other similar chronograph. It could be that this chronograph was a non-starter with poor initial sales, and therefore immediately bumped by the newer MIR Space Station-themed chronographs featured in the 2002 catalogue.

Whatever the case may be, at some point modifications have been made to this chronograph. In my opinion, both the case back and limited edition numbers were added at some point after the watch was assembled. The two most likely reasons, in my opinion, would been to either hasten sales, or make it look more like the original watch. For instance, 104 unsold pieces may have needed some kind of an upgrade to hasten sales, or a few pieces were left-over from the original batch and were missing the original case backs, respectively. I think there are more than a few scenarios, so hopefully more of these chronographs will turn up in the future.

Etched MIR case back cap

The first modification was a steel case back "cap" fitted to the top of an older, and slightly smaller, "Poljot" stamped case back which was already a perfect match for the main case as far as attachment is concerned. The cap is of good quality, with a very fine etching of the MIR space station that attaches perfectly to the main case without any gaps whatsoever. You would never know it was a cap without examining the inner case back and noticing the faint outline of an older Poljot stamp. There was obviously some effort put into creating this cap.

Btw, if there was an original case back, it probably would have look almost identical but with more of a convex shape to it.

Limited edition numbers?

The second modification was the odd limited production number of 104 on the side of the case. On the two pieces known to me, it's obvious the etching was made on the same machine. The other watch known to me is #35, therefore there may be others, or it could have just been someone's decision to print off two limited edition numbers for two pieces. It also looks as though the case back on #35, which was sold to somebody at some point, was also capped.

Nevertheless, a very unique "only in Russia", quality factory-frankened, chronorgaph at it's best!