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Salut / Салют

In the mid-1940s, it is said that Lavrentiy Beria, one of Stalin's close comrade-in-arms, owned a Cortébert pocket watch with a caliber 620 movement. This watch would have been far more advance than the outdated Type-1 designs manufactured in the USSR at the time, and therefore quite desirable. While the specifics of Beria's involvement remain uncertain, it is clear that a high-ranking Soviet official ordered the production of a similar caliber. This was not a formal purchase of parts, licensing of technology, or cooperation with Cortébert. Rather, this replica was designed from scratch in the Soviet Union – and so the Salut (Салют) brand was born.


The assembly of Salut pocket watches started in Q3-1946 at the Second Moscow Watch Factory. The movements were identical to those produced for the Molnija brand beginning in Q2-1947, but the case, crown, dial, and hand designs were completely unique. The case, in particular, had much thinner chrome plating, and the blued-steel hands are particularly unique among Soviet pocket watches.

The Salut brand was short-lived; before the end of the 1940s, manufacturing was being transferred to Chelyabinsk Watch Factory

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