OKEAH / ОКЕАН
In 1976, the First Moscow Watch Factory began production of a new mechanical watch movement with stopwatch function. This movement would supersede the ageing caliber 3017 as the premier chronograph movement in the USSR. Design work was based on a the Venus caliber 188, featuring a cam actuator first patented by Landeron in 1940. This cam-lever mechanism was easier to produce than the column-wheel actuator of the 3017, and therefore could more affordably be mass produced.
The Venus company produced the caliber 188 movement from 1949 until they withdrew from the marketplace in 1966. At this time, another Swiss company, Valjoux, bought the tools and rights to manufacture the caliber 188. From 1966 until 1968, Valjoux produced a slightly modified version of the chronograph, rebranded caliber 7730. At this point, Valjoux further refined the movement with the introduction of the calibers 7733 (no date complication) and 7734 (with date function).
In 1974, Valjoux discontinued production of the caliber 7734 and sold the tools, parts, and rights to the First Moscow Watch Factory. While most parts remained unchanged, some initial modifications made by Soviet engineers included a taller main plate, a third wheel plate with jewel bearing, fully-jewelled chronograph gears, a smaller/faster/shock-protected balance (beating at 21,600 A/h), 23 total jewels, and a quickset date mechanism. The new Soviet chronograph movement would be called the caliber 3133.
Initially, this new chronograph movement was found only in Okean watches (Океан, meaning “ocean”), an exclusive line of timepieces intended only for the Soviet Navy. These watches featured a unique, all-steel design with a specialty caseback stamped ВМФ Командирские, or Navy Cammonader's. Other features included an inner bezel to track dual time zones (controlled via a crown at 9 o’clock) and a telemeter chapter ring which was calibrated in nautical miles.
A few years later, new watches using the caliber 3133 (and a modified relative, the 31659) were released for the Soviet Air Force (see: Sturmanskie). And finally, around 1983, cheaper chrome-plated 3133 models became available for civilians.
The Poljot Watch Factory continued to produce the caliber 3133 until the end of 2004, when MakTime acquired the production line machinery and relocated the equipment to their factory in southeast Moscow. Poljot staff who worked on this production line were subsequently employed by Maktime. Production of the caliber 3133 resume in June, 2005, but after several years of depressed sales and low profits due to outdated equipment and low demand, the caliber 3133 was finally retired for good in 2011.
Caliber: 3133 (23 jewels) Model: 16905519 Year: ca 1981 Notes: Soviet Navy issue chronograph, First Moscow Watch Factory
Caliber: 3133 (23 jewels) Year: 2015 Notes: Chronograph reissue, First Moscow Watch Factory