The new limited edition line features a rare super flat luxury movement from the 1960s Soviet Union, packaged in an elegant retro package.
The new “Vintage V5” line by German watchmaker Alexander Shorokhoff is part of the brand’s celebration of its quarter century anniversary this year. So far we’ve been quite impressed with their celebratory releases, and this one is probably my favourite.
The Vintage 5 is a contemporary take on vintage timepieces, but it also has a provenance that matches its looks.
Its story begins in 1963 at the First Moscow Watch Factory in the former Soviet Union. That is when the company started to produce the super flat cal. 2416.Poljot delux movement. Produced in very small quantities, the movements were packaged in some of the nicest watches that ever came out of the USSR. Naturally, they were intended only for outstanding personalities, like the “heroes of socialist work” or high-ranking members of the communist party.
There were also solid mechanical and design reasons that made the movement was special, too.
Instead of attaching the self-winding gear to a manual-winding calibre, as was the norm, in this version the automatic gear was directly integrated into the movement. This allowed for enough space for the seconds and rotor pinions. On top of that, the rotor is driven by the barrel through another intermediate wheel, which allowed it to be placed aside the barrel and not partially above it. When all was said and done, the movement was only 4.55mm high.
But by the 1970s, hard times for the Union stopped production of the calibre deluxe 2416.Poljot, which became too expensive to make. All in, the factory had only produced a few thousand pieces by that time.
Over four decades later, Alexander Shorokhoff has somehow managed to get its hands on 80 examples of the rare movements. And as you might expect, the 80 automatic movements were found to be in already good condition. After all, the USSR was known for producing everything that is rugged and easy to maintain, even its “luxury” items.
The movements will be overhauled nevertheless, and put to work in a new limited edition of 70 vintage-inspired pieces. The remaining 10 will be kept for repairs. The rotors of the refurbished movements will also be engraved to add a bit of flair in the typical Alexander Shorokhoff style.
True to the roots of the movements, the new line will retain the slim profile and dial design of the 1960s. They will be packaged in a mid-sized 40mm stainless steel case, which essentially makes them elegant unisex timepieces.
But the wide shape of the dials results in feeling that the watches are actually larger than they are. Both silver and champagne dials will be available, with rose gold coloured appliques completing the noble retro look.
Expect only 35 examples of each dial colour of the impressive Vintage V5 to be produced, each retailing for 1,225 euros. And expect them to move fast.