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Dismounting a legend: 58mm Zlatoust Russian Diver  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Mon Sep 5th, 2011 07:22 pm
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Hammerfjord
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Hello all and welcome to my autopsy of the Zlatoust I got few days ago: There was some dust on the dial and under the glass so I couldn't resistsubtlelaugh.gif
It's showing on the certificate that I got with it: 1977...
I will not say that I'm 200% sure about that but beeing a 58mm diameter/22mm thick model, it seems after some research that it is the last of 4 generations.
The first beeing heavily radioactive as the lume was made of Radium, the others have a Tritium lume: So I can open mine safely without getting a third ball growing during the operation...Here's some wrist-shots of the 300 grams beast in action.



First, I unscrew the bezel. The cristal appear: It's 4mm thick.

When taken off and returned, you can see the crystal, rubber gasket and a steel ring making contact with the dial.

Here's the watch without it's crystal: The second screw(hiding in the little hole) counting from the right after the marker 4, is the one who free the stem.
The other black screws are holding the dial to the movement(left of the 4 and 10)

The dial and movement are taken off and setted back on the returned crystal, sitting on the steel ring as it should.
Not many rubies to see! Seems like there is only 7 of them as the inscription says...They hide well under the hood I would say...


Here's the stem near the movement: No joke, it's the thickest stem I've seen... Note the regulator´s pin who's far up: Top regulation!subtlelaugh.gif
Well, the watch hold well time so...

The movement is stamped "Moskva" and it's a real CCCP period...
The last numbers reversed on the left should speak about the production date from what I observed on other movements who had slight different markings...80? Hmmm, not sure about that but then how can the watch be from 77? I can't tell...


The case been machined after it was nickel plated: See the brass appearing...
Raw work there...

The only inscription inside: P14...? The P is an R in Cyrillic alphabet if I recall well so it would be R14...Don't catch the meaning...

Here's the case back marking:

The stem hole and where the crown-cap is getting screwed: Note the 3 screws holding the rubber gasket who comes in contact with the cap.


A last look at the movement and dial screwed together and the crystal setting...


Thanks for looking and you are welcome to write some input to help my research if you know have any further infos...
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 Posted: Tue Sep 6th, 2011 12:29 am
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joecb
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Great dissection and narrative.. thanks William for the look inside..

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 Posted: Tue Sep 6th, 2011 01:07 pm
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bigrustypig
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joecb wrote:
Great dissection and narrative.. thanks William for the look inside..

+1. Nice grab William and the looks of the watch is still very unique to me. If you've got the patience and the tools, that movement and rotor would benefit from some good ol' fashioned finishing and polishing. Enjoy it, amigo! I know how it feelsthumbsup.gif

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 Posted: Tue Sep 6th, 2011 08:03 pm
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stew77
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That is awesome William!!!bravo.gif

For some reason, I had a feeling you would be dismantling your newly acquired Zlatoust sooner rather than later (especially given that there are mostly only re-issues of this one floating around out there these days)!!!

I really enjoyed the read and detailed photos.  You've got a real winner with this one.thumbsup.gif

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 Posted: Tue Sep 6th, 2011 08:56 pm
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Hammerfjord
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Thanks guys! As I was saying to Rolf(Fnusnu) today, the quality of the movement is apparently reflected by the bad economy in Russia when it was builded: That´s my conclusion as I saw earlier movements with up to 15 jewels and slight better finish.
That´s the way things change with history and as Rolf answered me: It's even more a piece of history then...
Those watches are often to sell for around 1200$ and even they are rare, I find it difficult to justify this price premium for a brass nickeled case and a rough movement.
Having paid much less for it, I find myself happy on the catch
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 Posted: Wed Sep 7th, 2011 03:59 am
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joecb
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you have an authentic piece of cold war history, William...

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 Posted: Wed Sep 7th, 2011 02:44 pm
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Hammerfjord
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joecb wrote:
you have an authentic piece of cold war history, William...Yes, we could say that...thankyou.gif

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 Posted: Wed Sep 7th, 2011 11:59 pm
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FnuSnu99
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Thanks a lot for sharing the pictures and write up buddy! Great fun to watch and read. And there is no doubt about it (at least not in my mind) you got yourself a real find there, and something very special indeed. He who seeks, findsThumbsUp02.gif

And I actually think that the case being raped like that, after it was nickle plated, and finish being a bit on the rough side  to say the least, just ads to the authenticity of this Russian underwater pizza.
As we talked about earlier, times were though back then, and they made a sturdy and "functional" dive watch, and not a piece of jewelry. Compare it to a T-72 or a AK-47 if you will ...it might not be the best/finest in its class, but it will just keep on working and working, as it was built do do. 

Wear it in good health my friend!

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 Posted: Thu Sep 8th, 2011 02:37 pm
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Hammerfjord
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FnuSnu99 wrote:
Thanks a lot for sharing the pictures and write up buddy! Great fun to watch and read. And there is no doubt about it (at least not in my mind) you got yourself a real find there, and something very special indeed. He who seeks, findsThumbsUp02.gif

And I actually think that the case being raped like that, after it was nickle plated, and finish being a bit on the rough side  to say the least, just ads to the authenticity of this Russian underwater pizza.
As we talked about earlier, times were though back then, and they made a sturdy and "functional" dive watch, and not a piece of jewelry. Compare it to a T-72 or a AK-47 if you will ...it might not be the best/finest in its class, but it will just keep on working and working, as it was built do do. 

Wear it in good health my friend!

Thanks Rolf! You're rightThumbsUp02.gif

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 Posted: Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 03:24 am
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SDREW
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Hello,

I saw this posting on a search for movement information....while this posting is over a year old, I still thought I'd reply.

I'm guessing you know this by now, buy your Zlatoust is a remake, the early one made for the tourist industry in the 1970's, it is not the real thing. The real Zlatoust are made of steel/alloy and not nickel plated brass, the brass was never used by the military or any branch of the soviet government. I own a later model Zlatoust, looks almost a 1/1 to the one here, but my movement has a much better finish and mine has a steel case, also has the correct band. The last model steel version is 270 grams, not 300 grams, the steel/alloy version weighs less than brass.
Good reference for Russian timepieces is

http://www.ussrtime.com

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 Posted: Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 07:08 am
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Hammerfjord
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SDREW wrote:
Hello,

I saw this posting on a search for movement information....while this posting is over a year old, I still thought I'd reply.

I'm guessing you know this by now, buy your Zlatoust is a remake, the early one made for the tourist industry in the 1970's, it is not the real thing. The real Zlatoust are made of steel/alloy and not nickel plated brass, the brass was never used by the military or any branch of the soviet government. I own a later model Zlatoust, looks almost a 1/1 to the one here, but my movement has a much better finish and mine has a steel case, also has the correct band. The last model steel version is 270 grams, not 300 grams, the steel/alloy version weighs less than brass.
Good reference for Russian timepieces is

http://www.ussrtime.com

I've seen a bunch of remake but they had different dials, different cases-back inscriptions(specially marked with an anchor).
They also don't have the 3 screws on the crown base like mine and they house Molnija movements.
Now, following your link (custom search: "Zlatoust")
I can see the model numbered as 0510 (60's/70's) and it's case back: It's clearly in steel as we can see the machining circle marks and the deep number stamp: 2524



Still on your link, on the model numbered 0611(who's right under the 0510) and who's dated from 16 sept.75 , you can see that the case back with the numbered 1716 don't look machined at all like the other one.
The surface has much more bright and seems very well polished after all those years... Can you see the patina difference? It's obvious.
It looks like nickeled brass.
And it has very close serial numbers to mine as well: Mine being 1723.
It's claimed to be a "Hard hat diver" Zlatoust model as the 50's original and second it in the chronologic order of the collection(who knows why...).

They might have made a serial with brass cases back in time, who knows.
It's not because the guy says that the case is in steel that it's in steel: I've never seen steel looking like that and if he would have opened his watch, he might have had the same surprise as me...Brass.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert and I took contact with Mr Fedotov at the Zlatoust factory today: I sent him all the pictures I have and asked him for an answer. As soon as he answer me, I will post here.
But if mine is a fake like you claim: So is the the one presented in the collection of your link.
As I would have a hard time to believe that the one who's labeled 0611 and stamped 1716 , has a steel case: It don't look like it at all to my eyes...
The guy on your site is also saying that the 50's model is the original: This is true enough but I will personally not buy it as it's dial has a radioactive lume and is dangerous by contact with it specially if you open the watch and manipulate it.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 27th, 2012 04:12 pm
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SDREW
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Mate, Mark Gordon isn't just some guy, he is the most knowledgeable source on Russian time pieces in the world, he is a member on many of the top forums and is also known to all the top Russian dealers. He also has nothing to gain by saying one of his is steel and then another brass

FYI- the brass versions all look like yours on the inside, the plating used was very poor and flakes. Mine is polished steel/alloy, but on the inside of the watch is brushed steel like the older versions, in fact the outer case is the only placed polished








You'll see my Zlatoust came on the Original Soviet issue strap, I've since then made my own bund strap....watch is actually comfortable now!


..... steel looking like the high polish, well I've had dozens of steel watches polish to that finish, even have some steel pots and pans that are polished like that on the exterior, and brushed on the interior, and of course I currently have my steel/alloy Zlatoust to prove steel can look polished to such a finish. I'm currently in the prototype stages of manufacturing my own line of watches, I have a 220v polishing machine that will make any metal look like a mirror finish, it just take the correct steps to get the finish perfect -AKA wet sanding, and buffing at very high speeds and high temps with correct polishing compounds. I have purchased many vintage watches, people have polished them to a gloss/chrome finish, only because over time they have worn and the owners don't know how to refinish brushed steel(or don't have the tools needed), my 1970 Omega Seamaster 600 PloProf came to me with the polished look, I had to put the case onto a lathe to refinish it correctly...its now perfectbravo.gif

Last edited on Tue Nov 27th, 2012 04:23 pm by SDREW

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