Vintage Clockwork Russian Submarine Clocks
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Vintage Russian submarine clocks – two available (see images) in this shipment – both with Antimagnetic labelling; one with additional radio-room markings.
Beautifully designed, iconic collectible timepieces that are increasingly disappearing from circulation.
The hour and minute hands are original and painted black; one clock features a red second hand. Each is date-stamped, visible when the clock face is opened up (both dated April 1978).
The clockwork mechanism is wound by a key, inserted into the hole above the number 6. To access this, the face is opened up using the same key, by turning a quarter turn in a hole on the side.
Either side of the number 6 are the Russian words ‘sdelano v SSSR’, which translates as Made in USSR (the former Soviet Union – later versions show ‘sdelano v Rossiya’, manufactured after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991). That long Russian word below the spindle translates to “Antimagnetic”.
Each clock has a 12-jewel movement and runs for approximately seven days on a full wind (be careful not to over-wind).
These were originally painted on-board submarine: usually a brown or khaki colour. Ours have been stripped and polished back to the aluminium, though the original colour can be glimpsed on the rear of the clock.
(The red radio-room segments, faded and clearly old, appear to have been added by someone on board the ship, so we are selling this below the usual radio-room price.)
Each submarine clock weighs 2 Kg with a diameter of 21 cm and a depth of 7.5 cm.
Find Out More About...
If the title says 'vintage' that item is guaranteed vintage (definition: more than 20 years old, though the vast majority of our vintage stock is circa 50 years old). Much of our vintage lighting is reclaimed from shipbreaker yards in South Asia, where vast cargo vessels and liners are decommissioned. We work with trusted suppliers to ship carefully selected lighting to our warehouse in Fowey, Cornwall, where it is fully refurbished and tested by our engineer, Clive (see Our Work tab).
There is a finite number of vintage nautical designs in circulation. We cherry-pick only the most eye-catching on your behalf. That's why so many people who come into our shop in Fowey exclaim, "It looks like an art gallery in here!" We only stock the best.
Most vintage lights were covered in layers of paint for protection. This we remove and the metal is polished to a professional finish. Given the age and original usage, there may be minor wear and tear - it will not look brand-new. That is the beauty, we feel, of buying vintage: the back-story.
As a rough guide, aluminium vintage lights are anything from 20-50 years old. Brass and bronze, nearer 40-70 years old. With plastic fittings and LED bulbs now in common use, all metallic vintage lighting is becoming harder and more expensive to source. Happily, your refurbished Any Old Lights vintage light should last a lifetime.
If the title states ’retro’ these are our own-brand Revivals lighting.
Genuine vintage lighting is typically 40-60 years old and the supply line is finite. In our lifetime, we have already noticed classic designs of vintage light disappear from circulation. Hence Revivals.
We recreate the best vintage lighting designs, with our own twist, in aluminium, brass and copper. We use only solid cast metals - our Revivals lighting feels like the real thing, it's not a lightweight tinny version that could fall apart at any moment. Our fittings are CE-rated and we use flex covered in woven fabric, to recreate the vintage vibe.
Obviously you can't beat the real thing, but if you're on a budget, Revivals lighting is the perfect choice.
Our vintage clocks have been reclaimed from decommissioned cargo vessels and date generally circa 1980s.
So that every clock on a ship told the same time - fairly important! - they ran off a slave system powered by an onboard electrical generator. This being incompatible with domestic electrics, we remove the original mechanisms and replace them with reliable battery-powered quartz versions. (Beware being sold unrefurbished vintage nautical clocks.) With some clocks, we retain the original enamel paint, as customers prefer that; others we strip then polish the steel. Personal preference.
Genuine vintage nautical clocks come in a limited range - fortunately all stunning! - from single-face to double-faced, round and triangular. Some are now so hard to find, they're on the verge of disappearance.
The same goes for the ever-popular, top-of-the-range vintage Russian submarine clocks. Years ago: plentiful. Now: rare as hen's teeth. The same will happen to all these vintage designs in time, so be sure to grab yours before it vanishes from the shelves.
We are extremely fortunate to have, mere seconds from our showroom in Fowey, Cornwall, the workshop and services of old-school engineer Clive. He has lathes, pillar drills, polishing wheels and more tools than you can shake a stick at - and, unlike most people, he knows where every one is.
Clive used to operate and maintain Fowey's steamboat, Gallant, which ferried tourists around the river. Now, he works with us, repairing damage, customising tripod fittings and replacing old light bulb holders with new (in 60-year-old lights, mind). If a missing or broken part is no longer available - he'll recreate it.
Any Old Lights has been family-run and winning awards since 2014. You're in good hands.