At the dawn of the new millennium, we started to think about the revival of a horology icon from decades in deep sleep – the STRELA watch. By the end of 1999 plans were laid to tribute a few popular models from the Soviet past. The plan: supply our customers with the classic design that reflects the era, blended with the most admired contemporary Russian watch movement there is – the 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. We gathered ideas, looked close to our vintage collection and made the decisions. Then the ideas along with drawings and the first orders were submitted to Moscow. Our Moscow production partner was thrilled about this project and soon started to convert our ideas into chronographs driven by the 3133 movements. The birth of the 3133 STRELA chronographs!
Setback & comeback
Later the 1st Moscow Watch Factory (1MWF/1МЧЗ/POLJOT) struggled and lost a battle against internal and external economic difficulties. A factory with decades of watchmaking history and hundreds of workers sadly went into full production stop. 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 another Moscow watch factory – MakTime. A silver lining on the horizon for the Russian watchmaking industry. MakTime became our new production partner, the factory assembles complete watches and supplies us with the reliable mechanical cal. 31 movements for watches we build in our Munich 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 things that are not perfect. This is a process and a promise. We all know that perfection is impossible to reach. We try anyhow. This is a positive challenge and an important part of our mission. We don’t want to develop expensive in-house movements or extravagant cases that quite often come along with unreadable dials. Our mission is different: to supply you with a good value, a unique horological heritage, good readable and of course gorgeous looking mechanical chronographs and watches. That’s it! – Sounds quite easy and convincing in theory, but in reality, it’s not that easy.
Today, globalized markets and huge conglomerate companies make it seriously hard to survive and succeed for an independent watch company or a watch movement producer. Especially in Russia, and of course when we talk about mechanical watch movements! The know-how and steps within the production of movements are very demanding 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. We love what we do and we love our watches, we are proud and eager to design, test and inspect, and finally, roll them out on your wrists. In doing so, we always keep in mind to stay close to the original DNA of the historical ancestor, the СТРЕЛА. This is not a quest about mutation, it’s about evolution.
We invite you to continue to accompany us along this path.