Saturday, October 18, 2008

Volmax Aviator Sub Seconds

A growing penchant for mechanical hand wound movements and a lack of Russian watches in my collection made this Volmax Aviator Sub-seconds watch seem a great deal when our friends at sent me a newsletter with a sweet price. Without a doubt this watch has far exceeded my expectation for a Russian at this price point.

This is clearly a pilot’s watch with a Russian flavor. The simply scrumtrilescent (no, it’s not a real word) blue dial really appealed heavily to me. The deep blue of the dial is set off by delicious sky blue highlights in the sub-seconds hand and markers, as well as the minute track circling the dial. Such a sublime combination which really brings a smile to my face.

Besides being pretty, the dial is as a pilot’s watch’s dial should be; legible in extreme. A 42mm case with little to no bezel makes for a large dial area which is well utilized in this Aviator. The markers are large a luminescent and work wonderfully in concert with the large sword hands. In addition to the aforementioned minute track, a flange on the outer dial gives us the hour designations. Unfortunately the luminescence is reserved only for the makers and hands. Although the watch is equipped with only a mineral crystal, the crystal is fantastic and literally just disappears.

The much maligned “Russian Quick Set” date is front and center at 12:00 as the sub-seconds dial occupies the 6:00 position. This arrangement is easy to read at a glance. Once you get beyond the lack of a true quickset date you realize it’s nice to have a handcranker with a date.

Fit and finish on this model far exceeded my expectations. The satin finished case is smooth and flawless with no rough edges. The crown engages and winds effortlessly. This is the Plojot 2614 movement. Specs:

Poljot 2614 / 2614.02(RU)
Mechanical lever movement

Manual winding

Diameter: 26 mm

Movement height: 4.3 mm

17 jewels

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds:

2416 - central second hand; 2416.02 - sub second hand

Shock protection

Frequency: 21600 vph.

Daily rate from -20 to +40 s/day

Power reserve minimum: 42 h

The movement is efficient and a fairly accurate time keeper though I have yet to time the watch for accuracy. Initially I thought my seconds hand was jerking a bit but closer inspection under a loupe proved this a bit of an optical illusion from the sub dial’s patterned finis which catches and throws light with abandon. Power reserve on a full wind is generous making this watch easy to keep wound.

The Aviator came mounted on an interesting leather strap. The strap almost seems silicone as its backing is some sort of soft suede-ish rubbery stuff. A little weird at first but ultra comfortable. Strangely enough the backside of the strap has blue accent thread while the front side of the strap shows grey. No matter; the strap is comfy and stands up well to a sweaty guy like me.

Overall this watch has been a real pleasure to wear. The blue dial is quite striking and made even more so by the sub-seconds dial. I highly recommend this Russian to anyone who enjoys handcrankers and/or pilot’s watches.


Rick said...

Thanks for the detailed review and very nice close-up photos! I've been drooling over this watch and I think I'm going to get it, I have a small year-end bonus burning a hole in my pocket and I'm looking for an old-world manual wind watch -- don't trust those batteries any more!

D Sim said...

Ever thought of selling this watch?