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Soviet-era Space Watches Relaunched
March 25, 2011 15:50

Russia has presented Soviet cosmonauts watches on the world’s most important show for the watch and jewellery industry on March, 24. This was a debut of Russian brand Raketa, popular for its watches for the army, civilians and fashion accessories.

The biggest exhibition Baselworld is held in Switzerland, Basel. All the innovations and trends are presented there, confirming Baselworld's status of on of the most popular fair for watch and jewellery industry. In spite of economic crisis, the recovery goes on. This year the event gathered 1892 exhibitors from the watch and jewellery sector, representing a total of 45 countries.

Russia was presented by "Petrodvorets Watch Factory – Raketa", one of the oldest Russian factories, founded by Peter the Great in 1721 as a precious stone manufacture. It supplied precious stones for the crown of the Tzars, for Fabergé, Imperial palast, the Kremlin Stars and Lenin's moseleum. From 1930 year the factory started manufacturing rubis for watch mechanisms and watches under famous soviet brands. During World War II, the factory was converted to rocket production. After the war, the factory was given the brand name Pobeda. In 1962 new brand Raketa has been created in honor of the first man in space Yuri Gagarin. According to, "the factory produced watches for the Russian army, the KGB, Polar expeditions and the space industry".

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the factory suffered from the hard times and then it was bought out by private investors. According to The Wall Street Journal, "Mr. Polier was among the group of Russian domestic and émigré investors who bought the factory two years ago". He says: "It was in a bad shape and would have closed, but we found some investors to save it. It had access to government orders, but not a lot else. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the domestic retail market for Raketa disappeared". According to Polier, the new factory is a miniature of the old one and with the help of Swiss experts if became modern.

The plant produces clock mechanisms which rank among the most reliable in the world. All mechanisms are designed to work in extreme conditions. Also, they have been tested under the load that impressed Swiss specialists. In addition, these mechanisms are admitted in Europe and in Japan, according to Kevinrussiantime.

"The company has just secured a deal with French upper-market retailer Colette, and is now seeking distributors in and has meetings with retailers from Germany, Brazil and North America to sell its rocks, which sell for 200 to 700 euros apiece," according to The Wall Street Journal.

Polier, managing director of the factor, said: "People at the moment think the country doesn’t produce a lot apart from oil and gas and Kalashnikovs. Russia has one of the richest cultures in the world and we make watches as well. This is a link to Russian culture and history, to remind people that Russia is a country which produced Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy as well".

This year Raketa brand releases a long awaited collection combining the highest standarts with fashionable Russian design. The watches may appeal to anyone with interest in Russian history and culture.


Tags: Soviet Union     

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