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Vympel / Вымпел

After World War II, the First State Watch Factory focused heavily on wristwatch production. This lead to a proliferation of discrete brands in the 1950s, all powered by First Moscow Watch Factory movements. These brands included Antarktida, Kirovskie, Kosmos, Mayak, Moskva, Orbita, Pobeda, Poljus, Rodina, Signal, Sportivnie, Sputnik, Stolichnie, Strela, Sturmanskie, and Vympel. 

The Vympel brand (Вымпел, meaning "pennant") was first introduced in 1961. The most notable feature of this watch was the movement, an ultra-thin shock-resistant caliber 2209 with 23 jewels. At a mere 2.9mm thick, the caliber 2209 represented an enormous technical achievement as was one of the thinnest three-hand movements in the world. In 1963, the movement was awarded a gold medal at Leipzig Trade Fair. Even by today's standards, the range of Vympel watches remain impressively thin, measuring just 6.5mm from crystal to case-back.


In 1964, the Vympel was retired, just three years after its inception. It was in this year that the First Moscow Watch Factory underwent major rebranding and began marketing all subsequently-produced wathces under the Poljot tradmark. While the Vympel was a short-lived brand, it helped inspire a long lineage of future dress watches produced by Poljot, Luch, Sekonda, and other foreign brands. The caliber 2209 continued to be manufactured in great numbers until the the fall of the USSR.

(Sources: 1, 2)

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