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New Old Stock Vodolaz Zlatoust Russian Diver watch 191CHS USSR no. 7213. This is a rare example, in un-used condition.


In the cold Autumn of 1941 the First Moscow Watch Factory wastransferred to Zlatoust. Installation of the plant commenced in November, andproduction of military watches started on 25th December 1941. The191 CHS began production in the early 1950s. There were three distinct modelsproduced up until production of these watches ended in the early 1970s. Thisexample is the second instalment of the watch from the 1960s, estimated to bearound 1968 form the serial number.


 In the past, almost every USSR Naxy diver wore one of these large military watches. They were produced in the 1950s and 1960s, the Zlatoust factory produced 191-ChS watches for the Navy. It is one of the biggest wrist watches in the world with a diameter of 60mm, weighing around 250g.It is incredibly sturdy, made of a single block Stainless Steel case.


The dial is black painted, with Radium luminous numerals and cathedral style hands. The case is closed and sealed with the bezel clamp ring screwing the glass down from the top.


The watch is heavy enough to be used as extra ballast to weigh a diver down.

 The movement is a reliable mechanical hand-wound mechanism, which is pocket watch movement based and large in diameter. It has a monometallic balance, with timing screws, a Breguet spring, brass lever and cogs. A screw-on canteen cover secured by a chain protects the crown. This example has the serial number 7213. The watch was waterproof to between 200 and 250meters. 


The watch has been recently serviced by the Russian watchmaker German Polosin. It is keeping time to within +/- 15 seconds a day. The case was cleaned and the gaskets greased.


The watch only has some slight marks for storage, but clearly has not seen wear. Sadly it is lacking its box and certification.


A note on the Radium dial:

The Radium on the dial was applied as Radium salt. The watches give off a high level of radioactivity with the Geiger counter going beyond 8.000 microroentgen per hour.

The natural level of radioactivity in background is 15-30 microroentgen and the permissible level of radiation in housing must not exceed 60 microroentgen. But such a high level of radioactivity wasn't a mistake by Zlatoust. For high intensity of dispersion of gamma-rays the level of radioactivity at the distance of 10-12 centimeters equals only 200 microroentgen per hour and if the distance is over 1 meter the emission of radioactive elements equals background count. With a diver suit on the wear and multiple layers, the radioactivity wasn't harmful for the wearers of the era.


Case dimensions: 

Case width: 60mm

Case width with crown: 80mm 

Case length: 60mm 

Case length lug to lug: 77mm

Case Depth: 18mm

Lug width: 23mm

New Old Stock 1960s Zlatoust Russian Diver watch Radium 191 CHS USSR no. 7213

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