When you first start getting into watches, you find yourself swimming in the waters of familiar brands. Then you venture out into some deeper waters when you find the online forums, and you start running across a wide variety of brands, especially if you’re talking about older, second-hand watches. A large segment of those older watches (at least from when I was on that path) seem to revolve around watches coming from the former Soviet Union. They’ve got their ardent supporters, for sure, and now there’s a new brand playing in that pool. Today, we’ll take a look at the CCCP Shchuka.
So, first off, let’s tackle that name. No, I’m not going to tell you how to pronounce it, but I’ll will point out the Russian connection. The Shchuka-class submarines were the second-most numerous, in terms of sheer numbers, within the Russian fleet. That, along with the name of the brand and the red star logo, comprise the overtly-Russian bits of the watch. Past that, you’ve got the heritage of the brand.
For starters, it was started up by Alexander Shorokoff, a noted watchmaker (his own site doesn’t list anything about the CCCP brand, as it has different owners now), utilizing Poljot and Slava movements. At the time the brand was purchased, the new owners purchased just about all of the remaining inventory of 2427 day-date movements from the Soviet Slava Watch Factory. These were refurbished and repaired for use in a new CCCP collection.
Those are the roots of the brand – now, on to the watch we got in for review! What grabbed my eye about this watch was the color of the dial – that emerald green isn’t something you really see all that often. Pair that with the subtle GMT complication, and you can color me convinced. I wasn’t as sure about rose gold tone of the case, but it (overall) worked well, especially with the brown strap. While I’m still not exactly a convert to gold (or gold-tone) watches, I’ll say that the coppery color you can get from a rose gold is quite nice.
With this watch, the 43.5 mm stainless steel case is a fairly large element of the design as well. Along with it’s dimensions, you’ve got the wave cutout that accommodates the canteen-style crown protector. Unfortunately, I think that this isn’t actually doing any favors for the watch. For one, these types of crown protectors are generally feel more in place on a diver or sports-oriented watch, and the Shchuka really has a dressier feel to it. For another, that cutout on the case really has no aesthetic purpose – it’s simply there to allow the arm of the cover to be attached.
There is another element that I was not a fan of as well – the date cutout. I generally don’t like the oversize ones that show you a total of three days; here, we’ve got a cutout that comprises about about 10 days. Sure, there’s an added “window” to narrow the focus, and then an indicator for the current day, but it just doesn’t sit right with me. On the flip side of the coin, I did rather like the looks of the sub-seconds dial.
It’s neatly tucked in at the 3-o’clock position, and I really liked the hand they used for indication on it. To be sure, it’s not coordinated in style with the main handset, but it’s ok here. It does it’s job of indicating the seconds, and if you’re not needing to look at it, it’s slim enough to fade into the background. The applied indices and numerals around the outer edge of the dial were another plus, as they’re bold enough to easily pick out, and they add a nice dimensionality that plays with the light.
While this wasn’t my first foray into looking at a watch associated with Russia somehow, this was definitely the most mixed-bag one for me. With a retail price of around $660 (that said, it can be had for under $200 on Amazon), this is one I personally would not be strapping on. There are some nice parts to it, but the elements that didn’t work for me (the canteen crown protector and date display), when combined with the price, just is too big of a stumbling block. If you like the bits that I didn’t, though, all the more power to you. You’ll find a Swiss-parts quartz movement keeping you humming along, with styling that certainly is unlike anything else that’s in your watch box. cccptime.com
- Brand & Model: CCCP Shchuka
- Price: $660 MSRP
- Who’s it for?: This is for the fan of Russian watches who’s looking for a modern interpretation
- Would I wear it?: Not really – just too many elements that don’t work for me.
- What I’d change: The massive date cutout should be shrunk, and the canteen crown protector could be tossed
- The best thing about it: The green of the dial, as it’s not that common of a color in watches