The watch and clock factory MOLNIJA was founded in 1947. Since then, Molnija has united the best Russian watchmakers. MOLNIJA timepieces are the symbols of reliability, accuracy and impeccable reputation. Our chronographs, designed for aeronautics, withstand extreme temperatures and loads.

They have been working flawlessly for decades as parts of aircrafts, spacecrafts, marine vessels and various land equipment and control systems.

In 1929, after a Soviet trade mission in America, Amtorg acquired two bankrupt watch factories – Duber-Hampden of Canton, Ohio, which produced pocket and wrist watches and Ansonia of New York, which produced alarm clocks and wall clocks. These two companies were the basis for the first and second State Precision Mechanics Trust watch plants in Moscow. The factories began producing the first Soviet watches from 1930 – 1931.

When the Great Patriotic War began, the first Moscow Watch Factory was evacuated to the Urals in Zlatoust. The newly minted military enterprise produced diver, aviation and wrist “Kirov” watches for commanders.

After the end of the war, it was decided to transfer part of the equipment to Chelyabinsk and to organize the watch production there. The plant’s first production line was put into operation on November 17th, 1947 and is considered to be the birth date of the new watch plant named “Molnija”. The factory was located in the city center in a four-story building. Over one hundred experienced workers, thirty plus engineers and multiple technicians were transferred from Zlatoust to Chelyabinsk. At that time in Russia’s history the Molnija team workers were considered some of the best skilled labor in the country.

The plant organized the production of pocket, interior, aviation, and technical watches. The plant’s main products were aviation clocks with the USSR’s Ministry of Defense as the main customer. In 1948 a year after production started, the plant produced its first batch of aviation onboard watches AVR-M with an 8-day range, developed and initially produced by the first Moscow watch plant.

Soon after initial military production, the plant began to produce aviation clocks AChS-1, which was mastered by the first Moscow Watch Plant and then transferred to Chelyabinsk. The prototype for AChS-1 were aviation clocks, produced by one of the Swiss watch manufacturers for Soviet aviation until 1939.

Along with the manufacturing of special purpose watches the plant mastered civilian production: pocket and interior watches. In 1948 the output of pocket watches totaled 1277 pieces, desktop clocks – 7202 pieces. Clock production was growing, so in 1988 Molnija produced 1,404,000 pcs. In the 1980’s, the Molnija brand watches were exported to 30 countries all over the world. More than 150 kinds of pocket watches with various themes across the watch face were produced. The factory also produced wristwatches in separate collections.

It was thanks to the pocket watches that the “Molnija” brand became one of the most famous brands in the Russian market.


Chelyabinsk watch manufacturer “Molnija” is the creator of high-precision and reliable mechanical time measurement devices capable of working in extreme conditions and harsh environments.

Chelyabinsk Watch Factory has a license to manufacture measuring instruments and certificates of approval for measuring instruments. The quality management system applies to the design and manufacturing of watch products as confirmed by GOST ISO 9001-2011 (ISO 9001:2008) Certificate of Conformity.

We are a leading domestic enterprise and manufacturer of chronographs, preserving the best traditions from the Soviet design school and reviving the prestige of Russia in the world market.

At present the main objectives of the company are:

  • Providing existing and future concept timepieces capable of working in any condition for special and civilian applications
  • Designing and manufacturing prototype samples
  • Diversified production – perfecting timepieces for daily use: street clocks, souvenir pocket watches, tower clocks.

Our values:

  • Experience;
  • Technology;
  • Commitment;
  • Responsibility.

What makes our production unique:

  • An intricate manufacturing process with over 60,000 process steps and 400 parts for just one timepiece
  • High tech, energy-intensive procedures such as detail heat treatment, electroplating (chroming, nickel plating, chemical nickel plating, chemical passivation)
  • High precision equipment is used to meet rigorous accuracy and design requirements for timepiece parts – tolerances of up to 0,003 mm in size.
  • Over 100 units of tooling – dies, press molds, fixtures and over 50 types of tools – mills, drills, plates, etc. are used to manufacture each of our specialized chronographs

PJSC Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant Molnija an In-House Operation:

  • Complete with blanking and milling workshops
  • Specialized equipment: Nomura automatic lathe, Arta clockwork part production machine, Swiss Tornos and Nanomachine for the production of rotary parts
  • Paint shop with ventilation system
  • Cutting edge control and dynamic measuring equipment – Tesa microscope, Spiromat Classic device (produced in Switzerland) for manual counting and cutting of balance springs
  • Expanded assembly shop
  • Product testing center

The new Molnija timepiece sparks a festive mood for all occasions. It represents a celebration of elegance and maturity. Perhaps it memorializes the most symbolic accomplishments in one’s life; financial success, serious investments, the implementation of important projects and reaching a higher quality of life.

We have several horological endeavors at Molnija including an exclusive new line of wristwatches and the improvement of the 3603 line’s complication and movement. 

Although competition is fierce and at times uncompromising it energizes our entire work process from production to sales, making us more efficient and dynamic. The Chelyabinsk Watch Factory’s main task is simple: to win. The history of our “Molnija” series proves that a team of like-minded people wins against all odds; this is just the beginning for us!



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