Sturmanskie Gagarin Sport Dual Time Ltd. Edition
Although I purchased the white dial version of this watch, they are very similar. Some differences can be seen in the dial. This one has steel stick minute markers on all positions sans 12; the white dial version has numerals on the 12, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 positions with the numerals and remaining markers coated in a Mediterranean blue. The outer rotating chapter ring on the white dial is a matching Mediterranean blue while this one is of course black. So in the end, their are only a few minor differences. The non-hacking movement is the same on both. Both crowns, the main crown for time and date setting as well as the chapter lock down crown both have red cabochons on the ends. I believe the movement is a 31 jewel Vostok engine, which as I understand is pretty rare in a Sturmanskie piece.
In terms of the buying experience I have to say it couldn't have been easier. I simply called, ordered the watch and it was sent out within a couple of days. I had numerous follow-up emails letting me know where I was in the process and that was very refreshing to say the least.
Honestly, their isn't a major amount I can say about the watch. It's a beautiful example of Sturmanskie craftsmanship. The case is solid with a nice heft to it and the leather strap is nicely padded... but not overly thick. To be honest, I changed out the standard buckle for a higher end deployment. The reason is simple, I like keeping the straps in the best condition possible and using a deployment helps with that. Plus, they are just easier to put on and take off. The red contrast stitching on the strap is very well done... no wobbling or stitches out of place. The crowns operate very smoothly and with the angled cutting are easy to turn. Make no doubt, these are substantial, very serious, time pieces. One thing I do like is the rather simple, classic operation of the automatic movement. No hacking and you have to turn the hands over to forward the date... no quick date change on this one. Not a problem for me as I love the older movements... they just seem more engaging to me.
You set the 2nd time zone by moving the outer chapter ring to the time you want where the 24 hour hand is. For example, Los Angeles is 3 hours behind me so if its 9:30 pm EST, and the 24 hour hand is nearly at the 11 position on the 12 hour dial, I would turn the outer chapter ring so the 24 hour hand is pointing at 18 1/2 on the outer chapter ring. In other words, unlike some other movements where you would simply move the 24 hour hand to a specific point on the 24 hour marked bezel or 24 hour markings on the dial, here you move the outer chapter ring to where the red 24 hour hand is and set it at the hour you want . An old school and very simple way of tracking an additional time zone. By-the-way, if you adjust the regular hour and minute hands to the 12 position, the 24 hour hand will align with them at 12... which of course is the 24th hour. So it all works out pretty well.
I can and do highly recommend this specific Strumanskie model. It doesn't matter which one you get... they also have one that is a 24 hour model where the center piece on the dial (with a picture of the earth on it) moves around the dial on a 24 hour scale as the regular hands move. That model has a different movement and I don't think its a dual time model. None-the-less, this is a wonderful watch. I'm proud to have it in my collection and will be wearing it often.