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Second Watch Factory / 2-ЧАС Завод

In 1929, the Soviets purchased two defunct watch companies: the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company and the Ansonia Clock Company. In October, 1930, the First State Watch Factory was founded and set about manufacturing new timepieces using the purchased equipment from Dueber-Hampten. And one month later, in November, 1930, the Second Watch Factory set about manufacturing new timepieces using the purchased equipment from the Ansonia Clock Company. The Second Watch Factory was only named as such to distinguish it from the newly-created First State Watch Factory, while, technically speaking, the Second Watch Factory had its roots in Gostrest Tochmeh, which was much older, dating back to 1922.

On April 21, 1935, The Council of Labor and Defense instructed the Second Watch Factory to assemble pocket watches from parts made at the First State Watch Factory. The watches were technical copies of the Type-1 pocket watches being produced at the First State Watch Factory, but the Second Watch Factory used different finishing and stamping techniques on the bridges, along with other minor changes (e.g. a brass-topped balance with face-down screws, excavated crown and barrel wheels, a larger click, and a pallet fork bridge with only one screw). Pocket watch production continued until the start of World War II, but the factory was not limited in this regard. The Second Watch Factory also manufactured alarm clocks, wall clocks, car clocks, and chess clocks.

Shortly after the war began, the Second Watch Factory completely discontinued clock production, greatly reduced pocket-watch production, and focused more heavily on timers, fuses, mortars, and other technical military equipment. About 200 factory workers were called to duty, and their vacancies were filled by women and younger citizens. The workday was increased to 12 hours. On October 15, 1941, as a result of war escalations, The Council of Labor and Defense ordered the evacuation of the factory to Chistopol, a small town 1000 kilometers east of Moscow. Despite growing fears of the advancing German troops, this evacuation order took the Second Watch Factory management by surprise. Almost everyone was evacuated, save for a few workers stayed behind in Moscow.

In late 1941, German forces were repelled from Moscow, and on January 23, 1942, a mandate ordered the return of some production-line machinery, equipment, and technicians to the evacuated Second Watch Factory. The equipment and manpower came from both Chistopol (where the Second Watch Factory had resettled after evacuating) and Zlatoust (where the First State Watch Factory had resettled after evacuating). In 1943, Type-1 watch production had restarted. The restored factory during this period was referred to by its government title: Factory 853. Confusion arises as the movement stamp employed from 1943–1945 was “53” (see here). However, 'Factory 53' was simply a wartime designation for the reinstated Second Watch Factory in Moscow.   

At the end of the war, in 1945, the factory returned to its original name: the Second Watch Factory. The factory logo was again redesigned to reflect this (see here). Production efforts shifted to more advanced pocket watch and wristwatch designs (Salut, Pobeda, Era, and Start), and the factory began producing alarm and wall clocks once again. Beginning in the 1950s, watches and clocks from the factory were exported abroad.

In 1958, the factory name and logo were updated to Second Moscow Watch Factory, and in 1964, the factory was rebranded yet again to Slava (Слава, meaning “glory”). All subsequently-produced watches would bear this name on the dial.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

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