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Buying a marine chronometer "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Hello gentlemen (and ladies),

I'm currently looking to buy a marine chronometer for use aboard a sailing vessel. After spending my share of hours on Ebay and various other sites, I think my best bet could be a soviet/russian Kirov or Poljot (Polet??) chronometer.

But, as I have read here, and on other sites, there are a lot of mixed experiences with the sellers from eastern europe. Not to mention that their prices on Ebay are ridiculous.

I'm wondering if any of you fine gents have any inside information or sources that can provide a good chronometer at a "reasonable" price.

As long as the chronometer itself is in good condition, I don't mind spending some hours refurbishing the box.

As mentioned, the chronometer is to be used on a a sail training vessel, where we will teach "old-school" navigation to young people.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
IHC Member 2030
posted
I purchased a soviet Air Force cockpit clock from Kiev.
http://www.ebay.com/usr/grizzly33bear
Great purchase, about four weeks shipping.
Probably not finest quality, but keeps good time and can pull 9 G's.
Mike
 
Posts: 1107 | Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA | Registered: February 08, 2015
posted
I have a very nice Hamilton model 22 chronometer used in the war in good running condition.it has the rare double wood box also.it is a 21 jewel movement.$2000 will take it.it is rare and was issued to the Canadian navy for ww2.nice collector piece also as well as a good working gambled clock.
 
Posts: 203 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: May 11, 2014
posted
Mike: Thanks for the tip. The cockpit clocks are certainly an interesting option that I will keep in mind.

Victor: Thanks for the information, but I'm afraid $2000 is a bit too steep for me. This is the reason that I'm looking into the soviet/russian chronometers, as they seem to be more reasonably priced.

I have read some posts from a couple of years ago, where a number of members purchased chronometers from a contact known only as Sabina in Russia. As I understand, she started scamming people in the end, and is no longer available on Ebay. I am wondering if any of the current members have any contacts or sellers they can recommend.

Cheers
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
posted
Buying from anyone in the former Soviet Union countries, Eastern Europe and many other countries has inherent risk since you have little or no ability to go back to a seller after the fact. And if you do get scammed or get sent a lemon there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. If you want to buy a Russian timepiece your best bet is to buy one in person and to inspect it before putting your money down. Then you need to keep in mind that if something breaks then you may have a hard time getting someone who knows how to fix it and who has the right replacement parts on hand. The Russian chronometers are a bit of a roll of the dice as to the quality overall and even more so the variable quality that comes with the day of the month that a given timepiece was made. You might get something very nice and serviceable, but you might also get something not so great and then be out of a very large amount of money. Pennywise/pound foolish is a thought you may want to consider if you are going to be relying on a chronometer that you will actually be using on your sailing ship. And having something that your local watchmaker is very familiar with repairing and for which parts are readily available is something that will reduce the long-term cost of owning and using a chronometer.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The Poljot Comparator Watch and the Kirova Chronometers are both excellent timepieces, but sadly it seems the supply has been "cornered" by questionable ex-soviet sources.

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
Jim: Thanks for the warnings. I sure understand that it might not be without risk to buy a chronometer from Russia, but I just can't spend $2000 on European/American chronometer. After all, I am taking the darn thing to sea with me.

And as for the spare parts and expertise, spare parts are abundant on Ebay, and as far as I understand, the Kirov chronometers are almost a carbon copy of a Ulysse Nardin chronometer.


David: Thanks for the great pictures, they sure are some pretty pieces there. Too bad good pieces are hard to come by. A lot of the ones on Ebay seems to be wildly overpriced.
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
posted
Mike: In your experience, how well does the cockpit clocks run over time? How accurate are they?
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
IHC Member 2030
posted
The clock has been running well. In the two weeks I have had it,
Gained 4 min in 30 hours, adjusted slide on back to slow and it is +_ 2 min per day.
This is not a chronometer and I would not trust my life and longitude to it's accuracy.
But for $60 it is a rugged fun time piece.
Mike

The crono cert people have a website
http://www.cosc.ch/portrait.php?lang=en
 
Posts: 1107 | Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA | Registered: February 08, 2015
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
STOP THE PRESSES!!!, I WAS TALKING WITH CHRIS ABELL TODAY AND HE HAS A RUSSIAN KIROV AVAILABLE NOW AT HIS PLACE IN TEXAS!
 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
Mike: Thanks for the info. It certainly is a fun piece, and it's ability to withstand up to 6 G's is quite amazing.

David: Sounds good, what kind of price is Chris Abell looking for?
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
e-mail Chris at;

Abellwatchmakers@suddenlink.net
 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
Thanks a lot David, I'll be sure to do that right away... Smile
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
This is Chris' Kirov. Production date, 1958. Plenty of documentation. Probably a Russian SUB Chronometer during cold war.

Calibration documents show seconds error/day. Perfect for Navigation.

 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
Even though I got a good tip on a chronometer, I'm still looking for other good leads on good deals... Smile
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
IHC Member 2030
posted
Ole,
Your 'old school' sailing is what is curious. If you go unplugged, there is a danger of getting lost, it is best to have proper equipment.
Today, with GPS and other methods, the danger is not a concern. There are many Quartz timepieces that have an accuracy for navigation.
Otherwise, get the best avilable for the budget and hope for the best.
Mike
 
Posts: 1107 | Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA | Registered: February 08, 2015
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
At least for backup!
 
Posts: 6492 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
Well, perhaps I haven't explained myself correctly.

I'm the 1st Officer on a sail training vessel which participates in the Tall Ships Races and other regattas around Europe. On these trips, we take aboard a lot of young cadets, between 18-25 years old, and we are trying to teach them seamanship.

To this end, we are also going to teach them the basics of celestial navigation.

In order to make the "experience" as genuine as possible, we are looking to purchase a decent chronometer.

This does not mean that we are going to sail "unplugged". The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art redundant navigation systems, but our cadets should still calculate the ships position twice a day when the weather permits it.

I do know that a modern quartz clock is as accurate, perhaps more so, than a mechanical chronometer, but as I have mentioned, this has more to do with the "experience" of relying on a sextant and a wind-up clock.

Hope this clears up things.
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
IHC Member 2030
posted
Thanks for clarifying. There are similar programs at Naval Academies around the world. Hopefully someone in this forum can find a lead.
Good luck in your noble quest.
 
Posts: 1107 | Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA | Registered: February 08, 2015
posted
Thank you... Smile
 
Posts: 13 | Location: Molde in Norway | Registered: April 12, 2015
posted
As you are trying to make this a good learning experience I would urge you to look into any possibilities of having your ship's sponsor or perhaps your government's Navy donate or perhaps just loan a high quality mechanical chromometer to your ship for its training voyages. I would think that it would defeat the purpose of training if you use a chronometer that is not entirely accurate or reliable like the Russian ones you are considering. Inaccurate readings would result in inaccurate navigation that would be a frustration to young cadets when the actual location of the ship from your GPS is compared to their calculated position.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Greetings Ole,

As a fellow mariner (merchant) I have a Kirov that would fit the bill. Please send me a message at mdjhome at hotmail.com and we can discuss.

Michael
 
Posts: 102 | Location: Houston, Texas in the USA | Registered: September 26, 2009
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