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Miscellaneous Questions Anything else that doesn't fit into the Fake Alert Titles, Orders, Medals, or Documents sub-forums should be posted here.

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Old 01-03-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
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NKVD Watches and Cameras

From time to time (actually, very frequently), I see offered for sale cameras that are described as being late 1930's era Soviet copies of Leica cameras. They sometimes have some sort of engraved "NKVD" designation and serial number on the top of the camera.

Similarly, I also frequently see offered for sale wristwatches that are supposed to be "vintage" and which, on the face, has a color rendering of the NKVD "egg".

The cameras are a complete mystery to me, and I have always assumed that the watches were fantasy items, since I couldn't imagine a Chekist walking around wearing one of them. But I thought that I would raise the subject here.
Is there any legitimacy to the cameras? Or is "NKVD" description simply being used by sellers because they were made at the Dzherzhinsky facory?
Were there actually wristwatches of the 1930's or 1940's that bore an NKVD designation on their faces (as opposed to the possibility of an actual award watch that might be engraved with a presentation)?
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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Re: NKVD Watches and Cameras and Bears, oh my !


The cameras to which you are refereing are the FED, which were almost exact copies of the Leica cameras.

These were sometimes used as an "official" present, mostly by the security organs. Now, given the amount of available awarded cameras on offer at any one time, either every member of the NKVD was awarded one, or some "bright" mind came up with the idea of having some of these - quite easily available today for a very small outlay - engraved and offering them to those eager Westerners fascinated by those magical initials :cool:

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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Re: NKVD Watches and Cameras and Bears, oh my !

Many thanks for the insights! :thumbsup
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:11 AM   #4
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Re: NKVD Watches and Cameras and Bears, oh my !

Basically, if it has those four letters on it, it is likely a fake - and almost definitely if there is an "egg" in color or not.

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