The beginning of the Russian horology dates
back to 1404 when the first carillon was built into the
Kremlin tower in Moscow by a Russian monk called Lasar Serbin.
The country’s first clock was apparently
a weight-driven striking tower clock. The clock cost the
Russian treasury over 150 roubles (an enormous sum in today's
money). Today’s Kremlin carillon was made in the 1850s in
Until the 18th century watches were a rarity
in Russia. The Imperial family owned only 23 watches; the
boyars 24, and the archbishops no more than 9.
Then Mikhail Lomonosov, Russia’s first academician,
worked to design precise marine chronometers, which were
instrumental in determining longitude during ocean travel.
From 1796 to 1801 Kulibin worked to make
an astronomical pocket watch. Contemporaries of Kulibin
such as Terenty Voloskov, Leo Sabakin and Yegor Kuznetsov
made sophisticated astronomical watches as well. Sabakin
gave his first watch as a present to Russian Empress Elizabeth
The first watch schools appeared, again in
Moscow, around two hundred years ago and further development
of the country’s watch industry took place during its period
of industrialization in 1929.
During the period of the USSR the watch industry
was second in terms of profitability in the Russian engineering
sector. The Soviet watches were of traditional Russian design,
had good quality mechanical movements and were moderately
priced for the Russian consumer. The competitive prices
of the watches also meant that demand was high abroad and
around 40% of the total annual production was exported.
From 1999 the Russian watch industry saw
the beginnings of a new era.
Today, there are the thirty or so watchmaking
companies and factories that produce more than 6 million
The main Russian watch factories are famous all over the
world. For instance, worldwide known watchmaker
Poljot produces 250,000 mechanical watches and movements
per year today, and specializes in the production of mechanical
chronographs with different functions.
The Vostok factory produces
watches and movements. Every year the quality of the Vostok
factory watches gets a high world appraisal.
is famous for its pocket watches with an 18 jewel mechanical
movement in a chrome-steel case. It also manufactures rocket
watches and movements.
watches and clocks. Chaika specializes in women's watches
decorated with exotic metal plating, filigree, Baltic amber
and hand-painted enamel. Nevertheless, some men's watches
are produced, as well.
Orion produces elegant watches
and clocks. Founded in 1990 Interex-Orion was pure wholesaler
trading company for a long period of time. Later the company
has organized its own design studio and has assembled production.
Interex-Orion offers now about 45 models for men and over
50 models for women.