The Soviet watchmaking tradition is a rich one. Born largely out of the emerging needs following the communist revolution, Soviet horology was very much a state-driven affair and a necessity for the burgeoning state. To expedite the industry, the Soviet government focused on acquiring foreign equipment and know-how, including from the United States. By the ’50s, Soviet factories were churning out wristwatches at scale, and though many of them were much cheaper than what was being produced by the Swiss, some were right up there in quality.
As you might have guessed, there are many dedicated collectors of vintage Soviet watches. One of them is Dashiell Oatman-Stanford. He runs Watches of the USSR, which is at its core an extensive back catalog of some of the most fascinating Soviet-era wristwatches and clocks. He explains his love for Soviet watches: