I usually visit the house of one of my Russian customers every month. I keep a security copy of documentation there, in a plastic cupboard.
This customer is a really nice person. He lives in Russia, but he visits with his family four times a year. I manage his business affairs here.
When they come over, they always bring me a Russian watch as a present, because they know I love them and that I am building a collection.
And here they are, these are the wonderful watches that I have received as gifts:
The first is a rather curious Poljot President chronograph. I use the label curious because there is no reference to any Russian President whatsoever on its mother of pearl dial, as tends to be the norm with these watches. First introduced in 1993, in honour of President Yeltsin, they were initially built with the 3133 caliber of Strela fame. However, when stocks of these movements ran out, Chinese automatic movements began to be used.
The other two are rather attractive day-date Slavas powered by the manual wind caliber 2428. Slava offers a very wide range of watches with these movements, as well others equipped with the 2427, which is the automatic variety.
Let me get back to the point of this story, though. As I was telling you earlier, each month I drop by his house to leave a security copy of any fresh paperwork relating to his affairs.
While filing the documents, I always wonder what might lie behind a door on the left.
I had been told by my customer that his father had worked as an international lawyer during the ten years prior to his retirement. His job was focused on international adoption. He helped children from the USSR find a home abroad, or more likely, families abroad to find a child in the USSR.
I’m not suggesting that he stole kids and sold them; in fact, I’ve heard he is a very good person, although everybody has a past…
I was therefore convinced that behind this door I would find hidden documents about adoptions. Maybe, now, with my help, these kids would be able to find their birth parents, or their siblings. Always trying to be the hero…
Months went on, and in the end I could not help myself. I opened the door with a master key. I lit up the room with my torch and… There were no documents whatsoever.
Instead, I found what seemed like a WWII motorbike.
Whom did it belong to? Did it see battle? In what campaign might it have been involved?
But pointing my torch at a placard on the motorbike I could clearly read: chang‐jiang‐cj750, Made in China.
I had let my imagination run very wild again…