Zlatoust Watch Factory (ЗЧЗ) 

As a result of the escalating military situation, on October 22, 1941, work was stopped at the First State Watch Factory. A mandate ordered the evacuation of the factory to Zlatoust, a city east of the Ural mountains some 1600 kilometers from Moscow. This was not unusual; as a result of advancing German troops, some 1500 factories were relocated, in over 1800 trains, to safety behind the Urals.

 

On November 26th, the People’s Commissariat of General Engineering (the organization overseeing all watch production) was transformed into the People’s Commissariat for Mortar Weapons. A new focus was clear. By November 28, 1941, the complete evacuation of the First State Watch Factory was underway. In total, some 1260 pieces of equipment were moved, including machinery, materials, assets, and inventory. Together with the equipment, 296 watchmakers and technicians were evacuated to Zlatoust. 

The Zlatoust Watch Factory first opened on December 25, 1941, with the manufacture of ammunition for the war effort. Despite a new operating environment, harsh production conditions, and inexperienced personnel, the factory was quite productive, manufacturing more than 14 million ammunition timers and over 300,000 timepieces. During the war, 92% of Soviet tanks and 98% of Soviet aircraft were fitted with clocks running on pocket-watch movements made at the Zlatoust Watch Factory. Every third aircraft had an aviation chronometer (АЧХО) made at Zlatoust. Unlike those produced at the First State Watch Factory, early Zlatoust-made watch movements lacked any movement decorations or stamps aside from a serial number. Evidently, at the height of the war, cosmetic considerations were not a priority. Like other factories, during the war years, Zlatoust was referred to by its government-assigned number: Factory 834.

After the war, the Zlatoust Watch Factory continued producing products for civilian and military use. These included pocket watches (including special varieties for the blind), wristwatches (including a unique oversized design intended for Soviet hardhat divers, the 191-ЧС ВМФ), car clocks, timer switches, and opisometers. Around 1962, Zlatoust began focusing heavily on stopwatch production. Domestically, these were marketed under the brand Agat, but such stopwatches were also widely exported abroad to at least 12 countries. Around this time, the factory also changed its name to the Agat Watch Factory.

Over the next five decades, the Agat Watch Factory continued to be an industrial powerhouse, producing timers, switches, clocks, electronic stopwatches, and of course watches. The factory is still operating today.

(Sources: 1, 2)

Zlatoust Type-1
Zlatoust Type-1

Caliber: Type-1 (15 jewels) Year: Q2-1944 Notes: Military issue Type-1, dial stamped Д1601, Zlatoust Watch Factory

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Zlatoust Type-1
Zlatoust Type-1

Caliber: Type-1 (15 jewels) Year: Q4-1951 Notes: Zlatoust Watch Factory

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Zlatoust Pocket Watch
Zlatoust Pocket Watch

Caliber: Type-1 (15 jewels) Model: K-43 (15-1) Year: Q4-1949 Notes: Zlatoust Watch Factory

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Zlatoust Braille Pocket Watch
Zlatoust Braille Pocket Watch

Caliber: УК-6 (15 jewels) Model: 76-УК Year: Q2-1954 Notes: Braille dial, pocket watch, Zlatoust Watch Factory

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Zlatoust Stopwatch
Zlatoust Stopwatch

Caliber: 4282 (15 jewels) Model: СМ-60 prototype Year: Q4-1946 Notes: 60-second stopwatch, Zlatoust Watch Factory

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Zlatoust Stopwatch
Zlatoust Stopwatch

Caliber: 4282 (15 jewels) Model: СМ-60 Year: 1950s Notes: 60-second stopwatch, Zlatoust Watch Factory

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Zlatoust Stopwatch
Zlatoust Stopwatch

Caliber: 4282 (15 jewels) Model: СМ-60 Year: 1950s Notes: 60-second stopwatch, Zlatoust Watch Factory

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