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Sekonda (United Kingdom)

In the early 1960s, the Soviet export market was experiencing unprecedented growth. International demand for timepieces was so strong that, by 1964, all major watch factories in the USSR had been reorganized and rebranded with an Anglicized name that better lent itself to international markets (prior brands were almost always written in Cyrillic). 

In 1966, a further step was taken toward the internationalization of Soviet watches. In this year, the Scientific Research Institute of the Soviet Watchmaking Industry, NIIChasProm, partnered with a British company, Sekonda, for the creation of a new line of Soviet watches. These watches were to be sourced from the USSR and distributed in the UK under the brand name "Sekonda". NIIChasProm was the organizational body that coordinated the supply of Sekonda products from the various different Soviet watch factories, among them:

•    Chelyabinsk Watch Factory 

•    Chistopol Watch Factory 

•    First Moscow Watch Factory

•    Integral Electronics 

•    Maslennikov Factory 

•    Minsk Watch Factory 

•    Penza Watch Factory 

•    Petrodvorets Watch Factory 

•    Second Moscow Watch Factory 

•    Uglich Watch Factory 

Like all Soviet watches, Sekondas were well-designed, durable, and reliable, with fully-jewelled lever movements, but their primary feature was their low price, costing just a fraction of similarly-designed timepieces from Switzerland. This venture proved enormously successful and, by 1988, Sekonda was the best-selling watch brand in the UK. In 1993, shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, Sekonda severed all ties with the Russian watch industry. Since then, Sekonda has marketed primarily fashion watches produced in Hong Kong. It is still the number one watch brand in the UK.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

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