These date from the era when the US was making pocket calculators, an area in which the USSR lagged.
See the following:
Nice article, it brought back memories. Like many child geeks back then, I was intrigued by the innards of wristwatches. The rubies used in those tiny bearings were fascinating.
well, the previous 1000 years of history there could have been a hint :) By the 192x-193x that history took specific forms of "export of revolution" (into which hundreds of years of the Russian Empire's expansion morphed) on one side and the Mein Kampf's "new living space for Germans" (into which the hundreds of years, from the times of Teutonic Order, of "Drang nach Osten" morphed) on the other side.
If Germany didn't attack USSR in 1941, it would be pretty real possibility that USSR would attack it few years later. Especially in the alternative Universe where Stalin didn't destroy the very modern-military-technology-minded Red Army leadership - like Tuchachevsky and his elk - in the 1936.
Mismanagement, and lack of materials was. An agrarian Soviet Union would have had no chance.
This phrasing makes it sound like they were just swimming around in big piles of wheat like Scrooge McDuck except with a much higher chance of asphyxiation.
People actively tried to hide some of the wheat, to keep themselves from starving, so the methods of taking were rather harsh.
Neither Americans nor Russians wanted to say much about this, especially after 1945. So, memory hole.
The problem with cheap watches is if anything goes wrong it will probably be uneconomic to get repaired
Totally worth it; it was my grandfather's favourite watch.
(Idea being - if you have some sort of emotional attachment to a watch, it doesn't really matter all that much what financial value the rest of the world puts on it.)
I would guess collectors of these watches feel much the same way - they are maintaining a bit of history, not a watch. Besides, a lot of them probably do routine CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) on their own; it is surprisingly simple given a very modest investment in tools - and guess how good it feels when you've successfully dismantled and reassembled your watch - and it still works...)
http://timeway.ru/articles/na_sushe_i_na_more/ (Google Translate is your friend)
Sounds like they were treated like kings and came home after their contract was up
Post-soviet state could not arrange proper exports, imagine that.
it was the time of "privatization" and the exports were "privatized" too.
For example Putin got his start in the Russian "business" (after running scared away from his KGB job after the failed coup of 1991) as one of the key persons - he was issuing export licenses, ie. representing that "Post-soviet state" - in the massive export channel of the "privatized" commodities (mostly metals, some oil, etc) through St.Petersburg(Leningrad). A typical, and relatively small, example of such "privatized" export back then :
The current link at Hodinkee is just a summary of the collectorsweekly.com article.