This has got to be the weirdest of all Russian 24 hour watches ever made. First, it is absolutely huge. Bigger than any other watch you have ever seen: about 58mm across, with another 12mm for the crown (which, by the way, is enclosed into a special attached compartment), and 22mm thick. It weighs an absolutely stunning 330 grams! Combine this with a heavy neoprene strap, and you have an absolutely unwearable watch. On top of a wetsuit it might look more appropriate, but should you really go diving with it? Maybe, maybe not. While the case appears to be well closed and sealed, there is no indication of how water resistant this watch really is. But this is not the weirdest thing about this watch.

The weirdest thing is that nobody seems to know who actually built this watch. While there is no doubt that this watch was built in Russia, nobody knows by what manufacturer.

Before buying this watch, I had read a warning on Ebay about fake Russian dive watches aka fake Zlatoust watches, but I did not care that it was not the type of watch actually used by Soviet divers in the 1970s and that this was only a recent Zlatoust copy. I knew that this was a a) Russian b) 24 hour and c) dive watch, and this was good enough for me. After getting this watch, I got more intrigued and I wrote to the “Agat” factory which makes the Zlatoust watches to ask them about my model. I got a reply from their deputy director, Sergei Ivanovich Fedotov, who told me that Zlatoust had stopped making any diving watches 30 years ago and that “somebody” had “covertly” issued a series of Zlatoust fake watches. I was rather puzzled. So not only was this not an original Soviet dive watch (which I knew), but it was not even a Zlatoust.

I then noticed on various sites on the Internet that very similar watches were sold under the brand name Moscow Classic (see here or here). I emailed Craig Hester at Russia2all who replied that he had never seen my model in the Moscow Classic brand (even though he is their distributor). So that does not appear to be a Moscow Classic either.

 The guy who sold me the watch, Poljot Russian Watches on Ebay, only told me “I bought it in Russia”. Nothing more. I ended up asking the experts at the Russian watch forum on Watchuseek . Bottom line: nobody knows who actually manufactured this mystery watch (you can read the full discussion for yourself here).

My personal feeling is that this is probably a Zlatoust or Moscow Classic watch, produced with tools and parts which these two manufacturers already have, and which was never officially released. Either because the management of these companies was never informed, or for some other reason.

(If you know who manufactured this watch, please let me know though my contact page)

Whatever may be the case, this is, as far as I know, the only 24 hour dive watch produced anywhere. While I would not take it on a dive, I love it as a very original, collectible watch. It also makes for a terrific desk watch, which is how I use it.

Mystery diving watch

Mystery diving watch