Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Russian Diver

Since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 we capitalists have been able to purchase surplus Soviet government and surplus military items at bargain basement prices. I remember seeing for sale such items as used East German uniforms, Russian uniforms, communist bloc rifles, pistols, binoculars, night vision goggles, flags, ammunition, etc. And thanks to the latest Soviet technology you could get an i.u.d. the size of a tractor, pencils that run on car batteries, diesel hair dryers and a diver watch that is so big that no normal human would ever be able to wear it in public.

I speak of the Russian Diver Watch (Type 3) made by the good people at the Zlatoust Watch Factory.
This is one heavy canteen watch weighing in at 260 grams. The case is approx. 75mm with the crown and about 60mm without. Case thickness is about 23mm. Lug to lug distance is 75mm and lug width is 24.5mm. The case material is almost certainly nickel or chrome plated brass. And the claimed water resistance of 700 meters is doubtful. I suppose that at one time the watch was all steel and the depth rating was as claimed but I suspect that was back in the 70s. To tell you the truth, I'm actually a little skeptical about getting it wet but since I'll never actually wear it that won't be a problem. I admittedly don't know anything about the movement but it supposedly utilizes 15 jewels.
The watch comes in a small blue box with instructions, a screwdriver for strap pin removal and an additional gasket to be used when the protective grill is not installed. I don't speak or read Russian so the instructions are superfluous exept for the stamp that says in English "NO RADIATION". Why is that the only thing in English? Why make a claim of no radiation? Do watches usually have radiation? Does my Timex have radiation? Note to self: Keep Russian Diver watch away from front of pants just in case.

Yay, no radiation!


I am sooooo cool.

A thick piece of glass at 4mm.

This is the only watch I own that doesn't have a second hand.

One last look at the Russian Diver because my arm hurts.

Sadly, this watch will only exist as a conversation piece. It's really neat and I wish I could wear it but that's not going to happen in this lifetime.
"Remember, is making for nice gift at glorious people's party worker union function"

Благодарю вас и прощальное


  1. Who on earth has a uterus big enough for an IUD the size of a tractor? lol!

    It looks like you're wearing a grandfather clock on your wrist.

    Those Russians are crazy...

  2. Hi Mamasoo,

    Who's crazier, the Russians for making a watch that weighs half a pound or the American for buying it?

  3. hi mark this is arjun from india.i liked your blog about russian zlatoust fact i'm a big dial watch collector.IT WILL BE KIND OF YOU IF YOU LET ME KNOW FROM WHOM YOU BOUGHT THIS MASSIVE WATCH ???

  4. Arjun,

    Namaste. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner. The Russian Diver was actually a gift from my wife that I received about three years ago. She purchased it from eBay. She remembers paying around 150 USD for it.

  5. hello ourmarkR,you're welcome.seasons greetings(christmas) to you.& advance happy new year.from arjun.