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Russian Watches Molnija

Molnija WatchMolnija watch factory is famous worldwide for its pocket watches. This Russian watchmaker manufactures movements also.

Pocket Watch History

The first pocket watch was created in Germany by Peter Henlein in 1524. Others appears in 1548 and more were produced in Switzerland and England after 1575. At this time the main problem was the driving mechanism. Typically, weights were used, which made portable watches impractical, but it was a period of great advancement and innovation. The first movements were made of steel, then later brass. They had no balance springs and were notoriously inaccurate. The watches had only an hour hand and had to be wound twice daily. Soon the spiral leaf mainspring appeared, the greatest innovation at the time as it allowed long-term power without weights. Because of a difference in timing between the long arcs and the short arcs, accuracy could only be improved by using a limited portion of the mainspring. Germany produced a watch with a cam at the end of a barrel arbor to compensate for variations in spring tension, but it was the English and French solution to use the fusee. This stopped the watch during winding to prevent over oscillation of the balance wheel. Additional stops were included as regulators.

Form watches became popular in the 1600s, with cases shaped like animals and objects. Religious themes were especially popular. Although there were few technical improvements, watches became more like pieces of jewelry. It wasn't until 1704 that the first rubies were used in watch movements to create more accurate time pieces. By 1750, enamel was used on watch dials making them more visible in low light. The first self-winding movement was invented in 1780, by Abraham Perrelet, and in 1820 Thomas Prest registered a patent for a self-winding watch. In America, in 1809, the first watch manufacturer was Luther Goddard of Shrewsbuy, Massachussetts. In 1848, Louis Brandt opened a workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds which was to later become the Omega Watch company. It was the Americans, around 1850, who were first to go into mass production, with mixed results, the main companies being Waltham, Elgin and Hamilton.

In 1884, Greenwich, England was named the zero meridian, a worldwide acceptance of a starting point for global time zones. After 1900, advances in metallurgy improved the mechanisms, primarily because the balance spring was sensitive to temperature and position. Self-compensating balances were made with bi-metallic properties to compensate for high and low tempartures, and eventually a balance was created that could compensate for middle temperature errors. 1914 saw the first wristwatch with an alarm.

«Molnija» Watch and Clock Factory

Clock & Watch Factory "Molnija" is one of the biggest and eldest factories in Russia. It is situated in the center of the South Urals in the city of Chelyabinsk. Chelyabinsk is surrounded by numerous lakes and wild forests. For its beautiful nature people call this region "Russian Switzerland". Watch production is another feature that South Urals and Switzerland have in common. Chelyabinsk region is one of the largest regions in the middle of Russia known for its talented masters. If you return back to the history of Russia you'll see that Russian Tzars always invited masters from Urals when they wanted to get unique and beautiful things for their palaces or presents to other countries. This region is also called "Gate between Europe and Asia".

The factory was established on November 17, 1947. At first main products were wristwatches, pocket watches, mechanical table clocks and unique technical clocks for tanks and submarines ordered and paid by Soviet Union Department of Defense. From the end of 50-s and up to the present time the main product of the factory is mechanical 18 jewels pocket watches "Molnija". The factory produces mechanical pocket watches "Molnija" and movements caliber 3602/3603. The cases for watches are made of "German silver", polished, plated with chrome, etc., decorated with enamels or hand-made enamel paintings. "Molnija" movement has 18 jewels, steel lever pallet escapement, off-centre small second, free-screw balance, shock resistant balance staff. Eighty percent of work is done by hand. All parts for pocket watches, except jewels and accessories (chains and packaging) are produced by the factory itself. “Molnija” watches are more than watches: they do not just show Time, they tell you exciting stories about people, events, feelings. The factory’s main collections are the following: "Nature", "Classics", "Victory", "Sport", "History", "Who is who", "Religions", etc. Molnija pocket watch can be a nice Russian souvenir and inexpensive watch gift idea for many occasions.

The “Molnija” watch factory exports its products to France, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, USA. Among the constant clients there are Administration of the President of Russia, Russia Trade Chamber of Commerce, Military Forces of Russia, etc.

Today “Molnija” produces such types of pocket watches: pocket watches with enamel, classic pocket watches and skeleton pocket watches.

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