Service: Vimpel 23 jewels

IMG_8406This watch belongs to William, and it’s a Russian Vimpel, made by Kirova. It has 23 jewels, and that’s all I know about it. Maybe one of my readers can identify the movement and shed some light on it?

I also know nothing about Russian hallmarks, but the case looks like 9ct rose gold to me.IMG_8407

Case and bracelet are very well made.IMG_8408

One of the case clamps and the winding stem are pretty rusty, but apart from that, all looks well. The movement is fully wound and not beating, so there will be dirt.IMG_8409

Rust and dirt on the case back.IMG_8410

The dial is in great condition.IMG_8411

Rust on the keyless works.IMG_8412

I take the balance out and start taking the movement apart.IMG_8414

The gear train is a bit funny, with two intermediate wheels driving the third wheel.IMG_8417

Here are the two intermediate wheels.IMG_8418

The winding mechanism is not short of wheels, either 😉IMG_8425

All ready for the cleaning machine.IMG_8587

I start off with the obligatory new mainspring.IMG_8588

Then I put the balance jewels back in.IMG_8589

All nice and clean.IMG_8590

The wheel train is back together.IMG_8593

With the balance in, this won’t win a medal, but the watch will work reliably and accurately enough.IMG_8594

Now it’s time for the bottom plate.IMG_8595

The dial and hands go back on.IMG_8598Great looking, very elegant watch!


31 thoughts on “Service: Vimpel 23 jewels

  1. Pingback: 2209 broken mainspring help!! - Page 3

  2. How amazing to have found this. I have just inherited the exactly same watch that belonged to my mother and wanted to know its history. Thank you all for that. Would like to find a new strap for it though. Any suggestions?

  3. “The gear train is a bit funny, with two intermediate wheels driving the third wheel”

    I think I’ve heard that this arrangement allowed the movement to be slimmer than the more conventional arrangement. The USP of this movement was its extreme slimness (ultra-slim)

  4. Christian may i ask what brand and model of microscope you use now? also on your you tube videos what brand of curved tweezers is that? never saw one like that before.

    • I am using a Müller stereo inspection microscope with 10x to 40x magnification.

      Those tweezers aren’t for sale any more I am afraid – just wanted to buy another set only to be told they aren’t available any more.

      • Thank you for replying. That stereomicroscope seems a good option are you happy with it? problem though its not available in uk and has to be ordered from germany which is a concern. If there was a problem then it has to be sent back to germany which is not convenient.

        • I am really happy with the microscope, but there are of course lots of stereo inspection microscopes available in the UK that you can buy. Just make sure it’s around 10x – 40x, and that the light shines onto the object, rather than coming from below.

          • You are always so helpful Christian. Cant seem to find a suitable microscope in uk as yet except zeiss which costs thousands. Probably i will take a chance and order from germany.

          • I contacted Mueller and they agree to send by courier tracking so no problem. Since im only a serious amateur i think MTX -4 C stereomicroscope 10 – 80 x would be sufficient for my occasional use. I cant find a 10 – 40 x as you mentioned.

  5. Thanks everyone for the extra information. It seems that with the Vimpel name on the dial and the diamond outline around the initials on the dial the watch must date from 1961-3.

  6. I guess from the era, case material – and what Marian says about it – that this is probably something of a rare beast.

    Not the kind of thing I would wear, but pretty good looking 😉

        • Bugger, beat me to it!! I spent a lot of time with this movement! The luch 2209 is more often found in the UK in Poljot or Sekonda cases, and normally 5 or 10 micron gold plated (marked as Au 5 or Au10 on the case). They’re actually one of the nicer finished russian movements,with an interesting gear train (as Dr Roland Ranfft explains!) but has a number of weak spots, including shredded teeth on the winding train (due to the large loads on those very small wheels!) and particularly tangled hairsprings as the later version with the movable stud holder often lets go of the hairspring stud after a sharp bang. This means spare balances/hairsprings are like hens teeth!!
          I do have mountains of spares though, if ever any body needs anything!

          Lastly, useful tip when identifying luch movements (and most russian movements) is that the first 2 digits are usually the dimensions of the base plate in millimetres, hence the 2209 is 22mm 🙂

  7. The watch is made by 1-st Moscow Watch Factory. The caliber is 2209 Extra Flat. Rate of accuracy -20 +40 seconds a day. It was produced around 1970.

  8. Thanks a lot, Christian. I did some research on the hallmark and I believe it signifies 14K gold. I would also be interested if anyone knows more about the movement, or the approximate date of the watch.

    • Yes, 583 signifies 58.3% purity, so 14k. I cant see the other numbers well enough to date, but from memory Russian hallmarks – especially during the Soviet era – were sometimes not very specific about such things.

      • 583 is 14k indeed, and in Soviet era it was pretty accurate on the gold content as gold production was a state monopoly and rather strictly regulated.
        Vympel (Вымпел) watches were produced by 1st MchZ (1st Watch Factory) in Moscow from 1961 to 1970.
        Now it is rather difficult to find one in good condition, they sought after by collectors. Gold Vympel in decent condition can cost around 1000 USD in Russia.

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