Vimpel with Tongji movement

Vimpel (the watch brand, not to be confused with the ultra-thin Soviet watch movement) was the trade mark of VPZ (“Vitebsk device-making plant”) factory in Vitebsk in 1990s-2000s.

In Soviet times it specialized in the manufacturing of watch cases for different Soviet brands (Luch, Zaria, Raketa). It was part of the “PO” (manufacturing union) “Minsk watch plant” (it may sound strange that a factory in Vitebsk was part of a bigger factory from Minsk, but this was common practice in USSR). In 1990s this manufacturing union was eliminated, and VPZ as an independent factory begun making watches under its own brand with their own cases, and movements from other manufacturers (in 1990s mostly Luch, later mostly Chinese). In 2010s factory practically stopped its activity – like many other in Belarus – and no longer make any watches or watch parts.

This particular watch appears to have a Chinese “Tongji” movement, though it is stamped with the Vimpel “double pennant” logo.

Fortunately the escapement wheel turned out to be interchangeable with that of a modern Chinese movement. I also swapped some rusted wheels from the keyless works.

Cheap modern Tongji movement for comparison:

Most parts look like they would be interchangeable, except for the mainspring barrel (the non-jeweled pivot has a larger diameter).