Poljot Moscow-Tokyo 1991

First of the flag dials

These new flag chronographs must have been something special when first produced, as tens of thousand them were produced during the 1990s. Although numerous in numbers and still easily obtained, this model is extra special because it's the only one to feature the old Soviet flag; future Poljot chronographs featuring flags would naturally feature the Russian tri-colour.

As for the special occasion, well, it was most likely Michael Gorbachev's vist to Japan in April, 1991. Presumably there was at least some optimism over the 1991 Japan-Soviet summit, as that the relations between the two countries had improved to a small degree. Japan was seeking the return of four Islands occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War Two, and the Soviets were looking for economic aid. In reality, little progress was made, as Gorbachev would only recognize there was a dispute over the islands, not Japan's sovereignty over them, and as a result Japan handed over very little in economic aid.

Another interesting event that took place in Dec. 1990 was when the very first Japanese flew into outer-space aboard the Soviet Soyuz (TM-11) space craft. Initially, a broadcasting company in Japan had planned to send a journalist up with the Americans, but when a rival network worked out a deal with the Soviets to send their journalist up prior to that event, they beat them to the punch. The Soyuz craft was adorned with advertising from numerous Japanese companies to increase revenues, and the tourist trade to outer-space was born.

Early-1990s poljot case backs

Numerous batches of these watches were produced during the early-to-mid 1990s. Some with 10,000 pieces, and one with 25,000 pieces.

Toyohiro Akiyama

Btw, Toyohiro Akiyam, the journalist who made the historic flight, wore a military-issue Sturmanski 31659 chronograph during the flight.