If you want to add some serious street cred to your home decor, look no further than a submarine clock. These authentic Soviet naval wall clocks are heavy, sturdy, and made to withstand a lot of goulash.

This vintage Russian 1987 submarine clock is stamped ‘antimagnitnyi’ on the face and comes with a hinged cover, key wind mechanism, paperwork, etc.

How to Set the Time on an Old Russian Submarine Clock

Few items demonstrate the links between history, technology, and modern design better than a submarine clock. These military chronometers, used on Soviet Navy ships and submarines, are sturdy and reliable and keep very accurate time. They are designed to operate within temperature ranges from 122 degrees Fahrenheit up to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

This vintage Russian submarine clock is made by the Poljot company and features an image of a Typhoon-class sub on its face. It is metal-cased and has a key wind mechanism. It is not running, but the balance staff appears in good condition.

Russian submarine clock is an impressive addition to any home and can elevate a room’s décor. It can also be a great conversation piece for anyone interested in history or a fan of Soviet and Russian design. To set the time, first locate the winding point on the side of the clock. This is usually located at the 6 o’clock position on the clock. Insert the clock key into the hole and turn to unlock it.

1. Remove the Cover

The first step in setting this clock is to remove the cover. A finger latch at the top of the clock case opens a door on the left side of the clock that allows you to lift up the cover and access the winding point. Once you have removed the cover, you can insert the clock key into a hole at the 6 o’clock mark to wind it. The clock is designed to run for 8 days once it has been wound.

A hefty metal case holds the decorative clock, which has an image of a Typhoon-class submarine on its face and reads “Typhoon” in Cyrillic script. The clock also has Russian markings on the case and the winding key and comes with a paper instruction manual.

On the surface, the clock looks fairly simple, but there is a lot going on underneath the surface. The clock is powered by a small electric motor, which drives a gear system that runs the hands on the dial. It is connected to a chain that runs through a set of bellows, which in turn feeds into the main movement.

The chain and bellows must be reassembled when a new battery is installed. The clock is then tested and adjusted. Once the clock is running properly, it can be used to set the time and date.

The Soviet submarine B-59 was carrying what was called a ‘special weapon’, a nuclear torpedo as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. To fire it, the commander of the submarine and the political officer on board had to agree. The story of how this supposedly improbable scenario unfolded in real-time during the Cuban Missile Crisis is told in the Bedlam production Secrets of the Dead: The Man Who Saved the World.

2. Remove the Key

A submarine clock is a treasured collectable that elevates any home. With so many variations of these sophisticated clock designs available on 1stDibs, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your space.

These heavy metal submarine clocks have a key that both opens them and winds them. They were made before the USSR broke up in 1993. They come with a plastic wall mount and are in good condition. The clock has a grey body and features an image of a Typhoon-class submarine. The writing on the dial reads ‘Komandirskie’, which is Vostok Clock Co’s trademark. Lower down on the dial, what looks like a curly ‘B’ is actually Russian ‘V’ and stands for Vostok.

The winding key can be accessed by lifting the cover on the clock. Then insert the key into the hole in the side of the case at 6 o’clock. The clock then needs to be wound for 8 days. Once the clock has been fully wound, it should run quietly – which is ideal for anyone who’s ever seen a submarine movie!

Whether you’re a submarine enthusiast, a fan of Russian history, or just need to know what time it is, this clock is the one for you. It’s also great for use in intensive care wards, allowing patients to see at a glance what time it is day or night.

In addition to being a fascinating piece of Soviet history, these submarine clocks make for an excellent conversation starter and an interesting gift. They are available on 1stDibs in a variety of shapes and sizes, from Art Deco to industrial. And with prices starting at $425, a vintage submarine clock is an affordable addition to any home.

3. Wind the Clock

You will find anywhere from one to three winding holes on the clock’s body, usually located in the back facing. Usually, the main time spring is wound through the first hole, but some clocks require you to also wind a second weight for the hourly chime or even a third that governs the quarter-hour chimes (depending on the manufacturer).

Gently wind the key or crank and keep turning until it will no longer wind at all. The clock was fully wound when it left the factory, but you should still do a thorough winding at least once every week or two to ensure accurate timekeeping.

When you’re finished winding, remove the key from the hole and let the pendulum swing freely once again. You can then set the time by moving the long minute hand on the clock face up to the correct position for its new setting. Be sure to set the time to match the number of strikes that you heard at the end of the hour and pause to allow the clock to chime on the quarter hour.

If you have a submarine clock that doesn’t have hanging weights or a pendulum, you can still maintain proper timekeeping by raising and lowering the nut on the front of the balance wheel a few times daily. Just be careful not to raise the nut too quickly, or you could damage the balance wheel.

If you have a clock with functioning hanging weights, use the special crank to raise each weight to its maximum height, then lower it again until all weights nearly touch the wooden board above them. Be careful not to bang the weights against the clock case while lifting them, as this will cause the chain links to stretch and eventually break.

4. Set the Time

Whether a wall clock, mantel clock, or something more compact, an authentic submarine clock can elevate any room. At 1stDibs, we’ve got a variety of these antique fixtures that can fit just about any décor style, from Art Deco to Industrial. Our collection also includes many sizes and periods, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for your space.

For example, this Soviet Russian 5-ChM submarine wall clock is crafted from metal and features an image of a Typhoon-class submarine surrounded by hammer and sickle, Cyrillic lettering, and the Vostok maker’s mark at its top. It also has a hinged clock door, original winding key, and printed instructions for operation and maintenance in Russian.

This clock has 24-hour markings on the dial, meaning that you can see at a glance what time it is day or night. It also has the ‘Komandirskie’ wording, which is the Vostok company’s trademark. Unlike some other clocks, this one does not rotate the hands twice per hour to indicate the minutes — it only rotates once to display the current time.

Author

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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