Kirova Type 1 World War II Soviet Wristwatch

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SKU AS02259
SKU AS02259

Why We Love it

Popular conception of World War II is so skewed toward the exploits of the United Kingdom or the United States—D-Day, the Battle of Britain, or the U.S. Marines’ heroic assault on Iwo Jima—that the events on the Eastern Front might as well be a giant question mark. And yet the Soviet Union served as a bulwark as Hitler’s forces encroached from the West. The story of the Eastern Front was not one of daring assaults or sweeping invasions, but a series of border wars, of hunkering down during the long lonely winters as the Nazis tried to invade the Motherland… and froze to death in the attempt. 

For every British Tommy or American G.I. Joe, there was a nameless Soviet soldier doing his best to survive, to withstand the winters and push back against the threat of Fascism.

While his counterparts in the other Allied powers went to battle with watches made by Longines, IWC, Omega, or Hamilton strapped to their wrists, the Soviet soldier or pilot wore… none of these. Instead, what they wore were large—44mm, many of them—watches with chrome-plated brass cases and welded-on lugs. It was the type of watch that their grandfathers might have worn in the last war—the First World War, the “war to end all wars,” except it wasn’t, and these watches were still cranked out in factories throughout the Soviet Union until well after the Second World War.

Many of these watches became known as Kirova Type 1, and have become as alluring to collectors as the Dirty Dozen, the watches made for the British Ministry of Defense. Several different factories made these watches, the most well-known being MWF, who had factories in several different cities in central Russia. MWF began production of these watches in 1930 and continued until 1958, closing up shop when one factory was bombed by the Nazis, moving, then opening up again somewhere else.

Although some of these Type 1’s had logos on the dial, most of them did not, like the one we offer here. The exterior of the watch shows no signs of origin, no hint as to where it was made, or when. But the case is worn, weathered, scarred from battle, as the man who wore it through the war might have been.

An inscription on the case back offers some clue as to his identity. The previous owner had the Cyrillic translated into English. Though much of the engraving has rubbed off from the years, these words can be made out:

“Guards
Technician Lieutenant
Comrade Egnatovu N.N.
For exemplary performance
Of assignment of commanding officers

10-1943”

Research indicates that the 100th, 127th, 153rd and 161st Rifle Divisions of the Soviet Union were redesigned as Soviet Guards after their heroic service during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.

Clearly, Comrade Egnatovu was part of one of those elite units, and must have served bravely to have deserved such a gift.

We’re not sure what transpired between October 1943 and now in Comrade Egnatovu’s life. Nor do we know why it ventured from its home deep within Russia to our Manhattan headquarters. But it’s here now, ticking away, a memorial to the man who—along with countless, nameless others—served gallantly in that great and terrible war.

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

+

All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Kirova Type 1 World War II Soviet Wristwatch

Kirova Type 1 World War II Soviet Wristwatch

Soldspan>
Sold
Kirova Type 1 World War II Soviet Wristwatch

Why We Love it

Popular conception of World War II is so skewed toward the exploits of the United Kingdom or the United States—D-Day, the Battle of Britain, or the U.S. Marines’ heroic assault on Iwo Jima—that the events on the Eastern Front might as well be a giant question mark. And yet the Soviet Union served as a bulwark as Hitler’s forces encroached from the West. The story of the Eastern Front was not one of daring assaults or sweeping invasions, but a series of border wars, of hunkering down during the long lonely winters as the Nazis tried to invade the Motherland… and froze to death in the attempt. 

For every British Tommy or American G.I. Joe, there was a nameless Soviet soldier doing his best to survive, to withstand the winters and push back against the threat of Fascism.

While his counterparts in the other Allied powers went to battle with watches made by Longines, IWC, Omega, or Hamilton strapped to their wrists, the Soviet soldier or pilot wore… none of these. Instead, what they wore were large—44mm, many of them—watches with chrome-plated brass cases and welded-on lugs. It was the type of watch that their grandfathers might have worn in the last war—the First World War, the “war to end all wars,” except it wasn’t, and these watches were still cranked out in factories throughout the Soviet Union until well after the Second World War.

Many of these watches became known as Kirova Type 1, and have become as alluring to collectors as the Dirty Dozen, the watches made for the British Ministry of Defense. Several different factories made these watches, the most well-known being MWF, who had factories in several different cities in central Russia. MWF began production of these watches in 1930 and continued until 1958, closing up shop when one factory was bombed by the Nazis, moving, then opening up again somewhere else.

Although some of these Type 1’s had logos on the dial, most of them did not, like the one we offer here. The exterior of the watch shows no signs of origin, no hint as to where it was made, or when. But the case is worn, weathered, scarred from battle, as the man who wore it through the war might have been.

An inscription on the case back offers some clue as to his identity. The previous owner had the Cyrillic translated into English. Though much of the engraving has rubbed off from the years, these words can be made out:

“Guards
Technician Lieutenant
Comrade Egnatovu N.N.
For exemplary performance
Of assignment of commanding officers

10-1943”

Research indicates that the 100th, 127th, 153rd and 161st Rifle Divisions of the Soviet Union were redesigned as Soviet Guards after their heroic service during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.

Clearly, Comrade Egnatovu was part of one of those elite units, and must have served bravely to have deserved such a gift.

We’re not sure what transpired between October 1943 and now in Comrade Egnatovu’s life. Nor do we know why it ventured from its home deep within Russia to our Manhattan headquarters. But it’s here now, ticking away, a memorial to the man who—along with countless, nameless others—served gallantly in that great and terrible war.

A:S Guarantee

+

Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

+

All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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