Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Soviet Nuclear Submarine 8-Day Springwound Clock

Where do I hide the camera and microphone?

In the early 90's, I remember chic mail order catalogs started offering ex-Soviet military gear as a way to dress up your home with the booty from a fallen political system. It had long been forbidden to export any sort of Soviet military hardware, but style-conscious collectors know no borders. There have many times in history where the hard won gear of war become the trite souvenirs of the victors, but it seems a bit on the nose to offer then recent militariana in glossy gift catalogs.

No coincidence that it looks like a porthole.That aside, a favorite of these catalogs was the authentic Soviet nuclear submarine 8 day springwound clock. The clock looks and feels combat ready. That means it's heavy, stocky, and made to take whatever goulash you can dish out, comrade. Back then, the clock you received may have had some battle scars since many were actually taken off of submarines. Others might have come from a lonely stockpile, and so saw no battle action.

The supply of submarine clocks eventually ran out, thanks to healthy demand. A few years ago the clock's original manufacturer, Vostok, started making them again. Wind lasts 8 days - just long enough to stand in line for a loaf of bread.Vostok made the clock available in a number of styles – flavors that didn't look quite so formidable and military (which leaves me questioning the point of the whole exercise) – and supplies of these too have run low. Some online stores are charging in excess of $200 for these timepieces.

Fortunately there is still Ebay, and these clocks seem readily available for around $60 – a great deal for an 8 day clock that keeps very good time. That's a good thing since these clocks had to operate within pretty demanding conditions. The winding key also unlatches the heavy frame holding the crystal, and there at the 6 o'clock mark is the hole for winding. Once you pop the cover back on, the clock runs very quietly – crucial if all of those tense “silent running” movie scenes have taught me anything.

I was fortunate enough to find my clock at a thrift store for a few dollars. If you don't have that sort of fortune, tovarishch, here is a link to that exponent of capitalism, Ebay.

Soviet submarine clocks on Ebay

Eye candy: Soviet watches
The pocket watch goes to war


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