I discovered new collectibles!! Antique Russian watches!!
I bought three antique watches (all manual):
a. 24-hour polar watch from Raketa (the only Russian brand that is still operating and solvent that was started from the USSR days) from 1992.
b. A watch from WWII (1949).
c. “Komandante” watch from 1953 which was a special order by the USSR Ministry of Defense. Apparently it is this phrase on the dial that makes it very collectible.
I also visited Raketa watch making factory in Peterhof. It turned out to be an adventure of its own trying to find the place and then rushing back to the hydrofoil terminal and Peterhof park on an old Soviet public bus. Ps. It was such a big effort to find this place that I bought a new 24-hr Polar watch for the sake of having a souvenir. I hope my Dad will like the watches. I do not know why I prefer to buy the polar watches. I think it is because it is unique to Russian watches. Sorry to say but in my humble opinion, if I want to buy a watch for its technology, I would buy Swiss watches instead, though they are way more expensive. Russian watches are for me novelty and unique, thus, I would not buy new normal ones except for the Polar ones.
There are two brands left of watches since the USSR days: Vostok (which is apparently insolvent but is still operating and making watches) and Raketa (now owned by two Swiss French guys). At its heyday, Raketa employed about 5,000 employees. They now hire about 60. Apparently, Raketa produces “spring” technology similar to that of Rolex and Swatch. And only these three companies in the world do this. I do not know much on watches and collecting them, but it seems like a whole new world to discover.