Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wrapping up the Sturmanskie Gagarin 50th Anniversary

Okay- once again, it seems that I have lingered too long on  a review - this is the danger of forming an attachment.  This in turn brought on this whole internal discussion (with myself) about possessions, life's impermanence, etc.  Which in turn led me to think about the folly of desire... which in turn led me to -

you guessed it (okay, maybe not) Kung-Fu (the tv show):

Caine: Is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?
Master Po: If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past. 

And this in turn brings us full circle to the idea of "anniversary" or "tribute" watches.  I bet you thought I'd never get to the point!

There are a lot of companies out there, "reissuing" as if their very lives depended upon it.  And in all honestly, I do not know that there is anything wrong with that, but after a while, it almost gets to be too much.  The Speedmaster Professional - and it's seemingly hundreds of offspring to mark nearly every NASA mission - not once, but in some cases twice!  And for the hard-core Omega fan out there, that is good - even great.

In the case of the Sturmanskie Gagarin 50th Anniversary we are, in some ways, looking at a reissue.  But I'm okay with this one.  For one thing, it is a commemorative watch - commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's historic flight.  

It is a change from the previous version in that it is a bit bigger, at 38 mm.  And I really love this size.  It is big enough to be "present" but not at any point overwhelming.  And most importantly it is COMFORTABLE!!!  It really sits well on the wrist.

It is true to the original in its layout.  The dial, indices and hands are not crazy reinterpretations.  And while we are talking about the dial - the LUME is amazing on this watch!   One of the few watches I've had recently that you can actually read in the dark - not just see, but READ! 

The time keeping has been much better than I would have expected for a watch at this price point.  The deviations have been between +3 to +4 seconds per day.  This is FAR better than the "advertised" daily rate in the spec sheet.  And the power reserve is pretty remarkable as well.  Typically you might expect 36 hours, but the Sturmanskie went beyond - nearly 48 hours in my last "test".

The winding action is phenomenally smooth!   The crown is large enough and somewhat curved to allow for a better "handle".  I was able to wind this watch while it was on my wrist.  Something I can do with my Hanhart Pioneer and not too many others.  

The strap, while not top of the line is quite good and a very good balance for the watch.  A nice, basic buckle completes it, and in keeping with what was a Soviet design - nice and simple.

For those of you who love specs, here they are:

  • Mechanical lever movement
  • Manual winding
  • Movement diameter: 26 mm
  • Movement height: 4.3 mm
  • 17 jewels
  • Water resistant 5 ATM.
  • Leather belt.
  • Mineral glass.
  • Shock protection
  • Frequency: 21600 vph
  • Daily rate from –20 to +40 s/day
  • Power reserve minimum: 40 h
  • Case size is 38mm
So to sum it up - this is a great watch for the money.  It offers you a nice mechanical 3-hand watch, with a good story behind it.  Even if you are not even remotely interested in the Gagarin/Cosmonaut/Star City angle, this is a great watch for what it offers.  

No comments:

Post a Comment