Poljot Gorbatko

Earliest known w/ black "Poljot" dial

Besides the actual colour of the rotating bezel, and the NOS chrome-plated case which I intend to replace, this chronograph is identical in age and components to the one worn by Viktor Gorbatko during the 1977 Soyuz 24 mission to the Salyut space station.

Obviously, chronographs fitted with the black "Poljot"(Cyrillic script) dial were initially produced for the military. It's interesting to note that Gorbatko wore this model into space instead of the Sturmanskie?

Initial production movement cal. 3133 movement

Produced less than two hundred pieces after the previously shown Okeah's movement, this almost identical movement features the original straight pallet fork bridge fitted to the earliest cal. 3133 movements, whereas the Okean was probably retrofitted at some point in time with the newer version of the bridge. The original steel-coloured jumper spring on this watch had also been replaced at some point, then broken again and welded together, and then replaced again by me upon arrival.

Springs are the weakest link in the cal. 3133 chain.

Original Gorbatko chronograph

Even in grey-scale you can tell the chronograph hands are orange as opposed to red. Also note the alternative number font on the rotating bezel? When compared with what we normally see on the vast majority of Poljot bezels of this type, the numbers are larger and have a small dot at the base where the bezel meets the dial.

Curiously, it seems that these two different styles of bezels co-existed during the early-production years.

The watch, which actually belonged to Victor Gorbatko, was put up for auction via Sotheby's, New York, in 1993, but remained unsold. (I would love to see a movement shot of that watch.) It's unknown to me exactly why the artefacts were put up for auction, but at the time Russia's space program was in need of funding.

Original Rozhdestvensky chronograph

Notice how this watch, worn by Valery Rozhdestvensky a year earlier during the failed Soyuz 23 mission, has other style bezel font that before would become the standard.

Of course, there's always the chance that this watch was not the original.