At the dawn of the new millennium, the revival of a horology icon from decades in deep sleep began – the STRELA watch. By the end of 1999 plans were laid to tribute a few popular models from the Soviet past. The plan was: supply our customers in Germany with the classic design that reflects the Soviet era, blended with the most admired contemporary Russian watch movement there is – the Poljot 3133.
Only one came to our mind to make these watches for us the best possible way, the 1st Moscow Watch Factory. With good contacts in the factory, we started the project, gathered ideas, studied our vintage collection and made the decisions. Ideas along with drawings and the first order were submitted to Moscow. Our Moscow partner was excited about this project and shortly started to convert our ideas into the well known chronographs driven by the 3133 movement. Start of the 3133 STRELA chronographs!
Reversal & recovery
Later the 1st Moscow Watch Factory (1MWF/1МЧЗ/POLJOT) struggled and lost a battle against internal and external economic challenges. A factory with decades of watchmaking history and hundreds of workers sadly went into full production standstill. A huge loss for the Russian watchmaking industry. Fortunately a division of the staff and machinery for the production line of the 31 cal. movements were acquired by MakTime. It was a silver lining on the horizon for the Russian watchmaking industry.
MakTime became our production partner. The factory assembled complete watches and supplied us with batches of the reliable mechanical Poljot cal. 31 movements for watches we are building in our Munich watchmaker workshop – the place where the idea for the 3133 STRELA was originally contrived.
Until today, all our STRELA watches are powered by the same genuine Russian mechanical heart, once developed by Poljot, then build by MakTime.
We work constantly to improve. A process and a promise. We know that perfection is unlikely to reach. We try nevertheless. A positive challenge and our mission. We cant develop expensive in-house movements or absurd cases that quite often come along with unreadable dials. Our mission is another: to supply you with a good value, a unique horological heritage, good readable and of course grand looking mechanical chronographs and watches. That’s it! – Sounds quite simple and possible in theory, but in reality, it’s not.
Today, globalized markets and huge conglomerate corporations make it seriously hard to survive and succeed for an independent watch company or a watch movement producer. The know-how and steps within the production of movements are very demanding complex and cost-intensive. Maintaining a wristwatch plant on the long-range and investing in the development of new movements would require such a flick. A flick too heavy for us so far, but we try our best to support the Russian watch industry. The main thing we can do is to stay true to STRELA’s origin and use Russian movements.
It turned out MakTime filed bankruptcy in 2012. Big shock for us. Today there is no more chronograph made on the grounds of Russia.
We love what we do as we love our watches, we are proud and anxious to design, test and inspect, and finally, roll them out on your wrists. In doing so, we keep in mind to stay close to the DNA of the СТРЕЛА ancestor. A quest not about mutation, but about evolution.
If you like. Follow us along this path.