First watch in space

Common belief is that the first watch in space was the one worn by the first man in space - Jurij Gagarin in his flight on 12.4.1961. But that is not entirely true. The first watch in space was one simple Pobeda watch worn by the dog Tschernuska two months earlier in one of the last preparation flights. Since a lot of Pobeda watches existed at that time made by several different companies it is unknown which Pobeda exactly was in that mission. My guess is that it might be 1MČZ Pobeda model. Reason for this speculation lies in the fact that first watch worn by the man in the space was also 1MČZ watch, a modification of the Pobeda watch which has central second instead of small second and upgraded with stop second complication.

But even the question which watch was worn by Gagarin has two possible candidates. The first candidate is 1MČZ Šturmanskie watch, which as stated, is an upgraded Pobeda watch, it has 15 jewels movement:

This watch is presented in the Soviet space history museum as the one being in the space. Watch was made exclusevily for the soviet military pilots, every pilot received one when graduated. But, when Gagarin graduated a newest version of Šturmanske already existed. New version had 17 jewels, visible different are also hands of the watch.

Majority of the watch collectors are certain, that this second version was the one taht Gagarin has worn. On the pictures taken just before the flight on Gagarin hand watch is poorly seen but hands on the picture seems to be from the second version.

Civil version of the watch also existed, named Sportivnie. Even though it is basically the same watch it is now worth much less than Šturmanske. Both Šturmanske models are today one of the most abused watches with tones of replicas and franken watches. 

Of course a lot of official reeditions also exist. At first they were issued on 30, 40, 50 flight annyversary. Instead of Pobeda movement those reedition used Poljot 2614 movement (even though this movement does not have stop second). It is interesting that most of the reeditions visualy follow the version 1 and not version 2, but not all! 

First two reeditions were issued by Poljot. Soon after reedition in 2001 Poljot was closed, on it's legacy Volmax company continued. So the rest of the reeditions were issued already by Volmax.

In 2011 Volmax issued also cheaper quartz reedition:

Since arround 2016 Šturmanskie (which beacame it's own brand within Volmax group, see section about russian watches) have "Gagarin watch" in it's standard offer. In 2020 automatic version with Vostok 2416B movement was issued. Even though historicaly white dial would be the correct one I decided to take the brown one. It is interesting that for the first time at the back plate standard "First man in space" is replaced by "First watch in space" (Pervij časi v kosmose)!