The only watch brand that produces luxury watches completely on their own and only in Russia. Connoisseurs of watchmaking all over the world know Konstantin Chaykin and his manufactory. The brand is recognized by the world professional community as one of the most creative and original
18K yellow gold. Rarest transitional model between Mystery and Levitas collections
The illusionist makes us believe in the impossible, in a miracle – in the fact that a person can read thoughts, catch a bullet with his teeth, get rid of chains at the bottom of the sea and, of course, fly. The trick with levitation was admired by many generations of children and adults, but we somehow know that the focus is not where we are asked to look.
Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin — the father of modern magic, an inventor and a watchmaker — understood this better than anyone else could. The two main passions led him in life: the love for watchmaking and the love for tricks. The modest watchmaker Jean-Eugène discovered the craving for tricks only in the second half of his life, later became the idol of Harry Houdini. The Parisian watchmaker became so fascinated by magic that he opened the world's first illusion theatre, where he blew the public away with unprecedented tricks of his own invention: Robert-Houdin made an orange tree grow and bear fruit and levitated on stage!
Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin was born in Blois, the old center of watchmaking in France. His father was a watchmaker, he himself started as a watchmaker. In 1834, he invented a "mysterious" clock with a transparent glass dial, on which the hour hand magically hovered, which, imperceptibly for the observer, was brought into rotation by a hidden clock movement. This invention, which forever inscribed the name of Robert-Houdin in the history of watchmaking, was subsequently reproduced many times by other watchmakers. Inspired by the history of Robert-Houdin and his "mysterious" clock, Konstantin Chaykin created the Levitas collection, which allows you to observe levitation on the dial of a wristwatch.
Konstantin Chaykin is known as the creator of the world's first wrist mechanical watch with a transparent dial and a complex movement with 1000 jewels — the so-called "Mystery of 1000 Jewels", mysteriously stolen in Paris, in the very city where Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin held his magic sessions. The experience gained while designing the "Mystery of 1000 Jewels" watch was used by Konstantin as effectively as possible in the development of watches from the Levitas collection.
The name "Levitas" appeared from an associative sequence: hands floating in the emptiness of the dial... hovering without visible support... levitation. For the "mysterious" watch to be truly spectacular, it was necessary to maximize the size of the transparent area in relation to the size of the movement, and Konstantin Chaykin managed to do this. The diameter of the transparent dial of the men's Levitas models is 26.5 mm with a movement diameter of 38 mm — this is by far the best result in the industry for mechanical watches.
A transparent window with levitating hour and minute hands occupies an impressive part of the Levitas watch dial, which gives it a unique charm. All watch mechanics are placed next to the transparent sapphire discs, so that when you look at the dial of the watch, the wheels of their drive are not visible — this is the essence of the art of "mysterious" watches.
Almost all "mysterious" timepieces — large grandfather clocks, table clocks and wrist watches, since those created in 1834 by the inventor of this genre Robert-Houdin, are designed according to the rule "one rotating transparent disc — one hand". The Levitas wrist watch implements a unique system of "mysterious" time indication, invented by Konstantin Chaykin, with a drive of two hands — both hour and minute — from a single rotating transparent disc.
This is Levitas Moon Phase. Movement with a "mysterious" time indication system and an additional function of the Moon Phase. The opaque part of the dial of men's models has a classic finish with a relief "guilloche" decor and applied metal hour markers in the form of Roman numerals, the outlines of which focus on the main thing — the transparent "mysterious" dial. Under the Konstantin Chaykin manufactory emblem with a round "cap" in the centre of the transparent dial, there is a miniature minute train — the secret of the "mysterious" time indication system invented by Konstantin Chaykin, which makes it possible to use a single rotating sapphire disc in the drive of two hands.
Case: 18K yellow gold, 44 mm diameter, 9.9 mm thick; sapphire crystal; caseback with sapphire window; water resistance up to 30 m. The in-house calibre K.02-1 was developed by Konstantin Chaykin and is equipped with a mechanical "mysterious" time indication system invented by him. The movement is entirely produced at the Konstantin Chaykin manufactory and is made according to the standards of fine watchmaking. In the finishing of its components classical techniques are used: stripe and pearl textured grinding, fine longitudinal, radial and circular grinding, manual chamfering and polishing, polishing of recesses for screws, pins and jewels, spherical polishing of wheel axle tips and electroplating with rhodium and gold plating. A distinctive feature of the movement is the crescent shape with the maximum ratio of the size of the transparent area to the size of the movement. In the finishing of its components classical techniques are used: stripe and pearl textured grinding, fine longitudinal, radial and circular grinding, manual chamfering and polishing, polishing of recesses for screws, pins and jewels, spherical polishing of wheel axle tips and electroplating with rhodium and gold plating.
The series is not limited, but very small — our watch has number 07, and it is unlikely that much more than seven of them were made in this design (if more were made at all). We have a transitional model — the design is from the previous version called Mystery, and the name is already new — Levitas.
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All-Russian time of the Chaykin system in white gold
The unique design of the Russian Time watch allows to show the time simultaneously in all eleven time zones in Russia. One day, a certain customer shared the dream of "Russian-only watch" with Konstantin Chaykin. "I started to think about it, I thought of Russia, and momentarily the map of the vast country with lots of time zones came to mind... Afterwards, everything was settled at once", — reflects the master craftsman. Chaykin transferred his vision to the concept of this watch: there is a schematic map of Russia on the dial, that is why it is easy to tell the time of Khabarovsk while being in St. Petersburg — you just need to find the city on the map like true travelers do.
The watch is made of 18-carat white gold — this is a limited edition of 11 pieces (according to the number of time zones in Russia; this one is number 06). The series is rare; it was made by a special private order. The uniqueness of the watch is also in the fact that it is a historical artifact, evidence of the inexorable passage of time. The fact is that after the release of the series, the time zones in Russia changed slightly, and, for example, the time in Novosibirsk is now not 3 (as here), but 4 hours ahead of Moscow time. It was decided not to change the dial on this watch in order to emphasize its adherence to the spirit of the time when it was created.
Russia is one of the few countries in the world where there really is a need for a watch with a standard time indication. Our country has the greatest extent from east to west — about 171 degrees in longitude, which is why it had to be divided into 11 time zones. Konstantin Chaykin invented a non-standard double indication of the standard time, which makes the process of determining the local time in any of the eleven time zones of Russia easy and intuitive.
At the top of the dial, between IX and III, the eleven cities are listed to identify the time zones. Each city name is connected with a line to the hour indicator located directly below the list of cities. The actual time for each city is identified. In the bottom half of the dial, between III and IX, we find a map of Russia divided into time zones. Each time zone is connected with a line to an hour indicator located towards the bottom of the dial. The daytime hours from 7 to 18 are depicted on the scale on a light silver background, and the night hours from 19 to 6 — on black.
For the Russian Time watch, Konstantin Chaykin developed a manual-winding calibre K.01-7, where he chose not to use the industry standard design of a zone time indicator with a discrete switching system, when the indicator is adjusted, as a rule, in one hour increments. Instead, he decided to use a frictional fit, which is traditionally used, for example, in a switch gear drive. A reliable solution that allows you to do without buttons: to draw the hands, pull out the crown and then turn it clockwise — this will simultaneously turn all indicators. If you turn the crown counterclockwise, only the standard time indicator will turn.
Case — 18-carat white gold, diameter 44 mm, thickness 12 mm; sapphire crystal; caseback with sapphire window; the crown is decorated with agate; water resistance up to 30 m.
The manual calibre K.01-7 is developed by Konstantin Chaykin and is entirely produced in-house on the basis of a three-quarter plate design. Movement diameter 31 mm, thickness 7.7 mm, 17 jewels, 21,600 vibrations per hour, power reserve 48 hours. Functions — hour indication, minute indication, local hour indication in Russian time zones, local hour indication in Russian cities, day and night hour indication. The calibre is made according to the standards of fine watchmaking, classical techniques are used in the finishing of its components: stripe and pearl textured grinding, fine longitudinal, radial and circular grinding, manual chamfering and polishing, polishing of recesses for screws, pins and jewels, spherical polishing of the tips of the wheel axles, electroplated rhodium and gold plating. A distinctive feature of the movement is a trademark regulator "Pakman" (a device for fine-tuning the effective length of the hairspring developed by Konstantin Chaykin).
Exclusive high-quality leather strap, standard in-house manufactured white gold buckle.
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Steel — the legendary first version
The Joker and the various models of the Wristmons collection that followed them are one of the most unexpected and spectacular discoveries in the watch industry of recent times. Hardly anyone, including Konstantin Chaykin himself, the author of the design and the inventor of the movement of this watch, could have expected such a positive reaction from connoisseurs of watchmaking and professionals.
For Joker and other wristmons, Konstantin Chaykin invented a spectacular dial of the "regulator" style with a two-disc hour and minute indication (Joker's eyes) and a moon phase indicator (the Joker's star smile). The bezel is decorated with symbols or inscriptions made in relief — different for different models. The bezel of this watch depicts the famous "Five of a Kind", the biggest poker hand in games with a Joker. Konstantin Chaykin, in the development of watches with a face-shaped dial, was more interested not in complex mechanics itself, but in the idea of a watch as an art object that evokes a direct emotional reaction. The attractiveness of Jokers is also enhanced by the freshness of the idea, which is especially impressive in contrast to the traditional world of classic dials and hands, and expressive design with harmonious features of the dial-face, and recklessly positive image of the character. The dial of a classic watch is truly expressive only a few times a day. There are no standard hands on the dial of "wristmons", and eyes and a moon smile, which are in constant rotation, make this watch always unusually emotional and unpredictable. The human eye can easily catch over twenty thousand different grimaces of the Joker's dial-face — on the full moon at 03:42 an expression is philosophically pensive, and in the first quarter of the moon at 15:48 — incendiary crafty.
The collection status of the watch is confirmed by the small-scale production typical of the manufactory with the maximum use of manual labor, meticulous finishing of all parts and components without exception, which is typical for the best brands that are at the forefront of fine watchmaking. The proprietary indication module and all the details of the external design of the Joker watch — the case, the dial, the buckle of the strap — are completely made in the workshops of the Konstantin Chaykin manufactory. A combination of fine longitudinal grinding, abrasive blasting and polishing is used in the finishing of the case parts, in the finishing of the dial parts — fine longitudinal and circular grinding, abrasive-jet matte finish, manual chamfering and polishing, two types of guilloche embossed decor, galvanic silvering and rhodium plating, pad printing and multilayer varnishing. No plastic parts are used in production.
The Joker by Konstantin Chaykin is rightfully included in our collection of Russian watches — the base caliber is Swiss, but it is a serious manufacture revision, more than 60% of the cost of the watch is made in Russia, so by all the rules it is, of course, a Russian watch. A total of 8 jewels are involved in the module to reduce friction, the moon phase indicator is based on a wheel with 59 teeth. In the design and decoration of the module, the master was guided by the laws of fine watchmaking, despite the fact that the module is hidden under an opaque dial. Konstantin Chaykin approaches the finishing of every detail of the module with extreme meticulousness, using classic techniques: pearl textured grinding, fine longitudinal and circular grinding, abrasive-jet matte finish, manual chamfering and polishing, engraving, polishing of recesses for screws, pins and stones, spherical wheel axle tips polished, rhodium plated. An additional fixed crown, set at the 9 o'clock position, is equipped with a recessed corrector for correcting the moon phase indication.
Limited edition of 99 pieces (this is number 74).
Case stainless steel, diameter 42 millimetres; height 13.7 millimetres; sapphire crystal with antireflective coating Dial finish silver and ruthenium plating, two types of guilloche Strap alligator leather, calfskin lining, green stitching Caliber K07-0, automatic winding Base movement Swiss made ETA 2824-2 Movement dimensions diameter 31.5 millimetres; height 7.6 millimetres (incl. module) Escapement lever escapement Balance frequency 28,800 vibrations per hour Power reserve 38 hours Jewels 33 (25 jewels for base movement, 8 jewels for module) Functions regulator dial for hours and minutes, moon-phase display
An independent watchmaker from St. Petersburg, who produces watches on the basis of the Russian Raketa and Molnija movements — completely on his own. Currently, the master makes no more than 5 watches a year. Order queue is two years ahead
Pièce unique based on the updated Molnija3603 movement
This watch from the Hermitage series is a pièce unique based on the new Molnija 3603 movement (improved version of 2020), which, however, was seriously modified by the master — entirely by hand. All parts of the movement have been processed: barrel, each wheel, balance. In the process of work, all the pins are pressed out, all the screws are unscrewed, everything is polished. A new crown wheel screw was made (the standard factory one with a triple slot does not look very nice). The Incabloc system is replaced with another shock-absorbing spring. The balance rim is ground and polished. Under all the bridges of the movement, perlage is made (a decorative technique consisting in applying a circular "pearl" pattern to bridges and plates, as well as other watch details). This is not only and not so much a decoration — it is useful for the further operation of the watch (so that no traces remain during repairs). In general, according to the Swiss watchmaking philosophy, the so-called adornments, or decorations, of the movement do not have a purely decorative purpose (if you do not take the "Geneva Seal" with its super-high standards). Decorations are protective. For example, the perlage is made in deep grooves (pockets), where the surfaces cannot be perfectly polished. First, this treatment covers the cutter marks. Secondly, perlage is applied with coarse grit and creates a high surface roughness, which becomes difficult to scratch with something. That is, this decoration is purely technical.
The modern Molnija movement is also decorated with a Geneva wave, or Côtes de Genève. It is a decorative pattern in the form of vertical or horizontal stripes that cover plates and bridges. The Geneva wave is also needed from a technical point of view: when we disassemble or assemble a watch, we take the parts with tweezers. If their surface is perfectly polished or sanded, we will leave marks on it every time. The Geneva wave, in addition to being beautiful, protects against scratching with tweezers.
All screws of the movement are mirror black polished. This, too, is a tribute to the Swiss tradition of decorating movement for technical purposes. The screws are made of carbon steel, which is corrosive. This watch is hermetically sealed (water resistance 3 ATM), so that the screws are not in danger of corrosion. But before the ideally sealed watches appeared (for the first time at Rolex), the perfect mirror black polishing of the screws increased the corrosion resistance, as it practically removed the roughness (it is less than a micron). Moisture cannot "catch" on anything — so it cannot get inside the screw.
Anglage of all details is made. It is a decorative technique that involves bevelling movement parts (usually bridges) at an angle of 45 degrees and then polishing them. Anglage is a distinctive feature of expensive movements, decorated with a high proportion of manual labour. At the Chelyabinsk Watch Factory, the corners are processed with a rotating cutter, after which coarse stripes remain. Here all this is mirror polished.
A lot of work has been done in the electroplating. Initially, the Molnija 3603 movement is plated with nickel (it looks cheap and ugly). In this watch the movement is rhodium plated. During processing the movement by the master, the nickel is completely removed. Finishing is done, after which the brass base of the parts is covered with gold, on which rhodium is then "planted". Rhodium is a very capricious material, which makes the process very time-consuming: if you spoil something, spots appear — that's it, you can't remove the rhodium back, the part is thrown out and done again.
The 42 mm case is made of stainless steel 316L using a directional grinding (satin finish). Mirror polished lugs. Crown with the logo (master's initials — AN). A convex sapphire crystal with an internal blue anti-reflective coating creates a "volume" under the glass — multilevel, spaciousness, as if "life". The back glass is sapphire (no anti-reflective coating). Screw-down caseback. Currently, Aleksandr is working on a 40 mm case for a new watch model based on the Molnija 3603 movement.
The main decoration of this watch is the dial. The handmade "warm tube" dial compares favorably with the lifeless factory ones, made and processed in sterile conditions by robots, without the use of manual labour. Its base is traditional brass. The dial pattern is not engraved (on a milling machine or by a laser) — burrs remain from engraving. It was applied with a special secret device (machine), which Aleksandr invented and made himself, using a milling attachment. The pattern is applied mechanically (cut with a cutter), similar to guilloché, but this is not a guilloché (it is done only with a guilloché machine). The blue paint for the dial is also made (mixed) by the master himself. All "white" details on the dial are rhodium plated.
Hands of the oversized Breguet type are handcrafted from carbon steel, polished. Inserts with seconds, with the name of the master and the name of the city are gilded brass, plated with rhodium, with pad printing. Indeces — volumetric pad printing with silver ink.
Handmade blue alligator strap. In general, the strap and pad printing are the only things that Aleksandr does not do in this watch himself (but both are made by masters from St. Petersburg as well). The buckle is made from a blank, finished, polished and engraved with the AN logo. Currently the master has developed his own signature buckle, but it has not yet been brought to the ideal (there are subtleties in soldering — it is difficult to solder without damaging the finished surface).
Sergey Volkov's watch atelier from the ancient Russian town of Uglich on the banks of the Volga (Yaroslavl region, exists since 937), the former center of the Soviet watch industry (where the Chaika factory was located). "Uglich" here is the brand name, and "Colibrica design" is the name of the atelier
One-hand watch from surgical titanium alloy with unique design
Several years ago, a new line appeared in the extremely meager list of Russian watchmaking companies, and it was occupied by Sergey Volkov's Colibrica design atelier, based in the town of Uglich. Its masters collaborated a lot with third-party enterprises, but then they released their own finished product for the first time. The watch was named Indicator and looks like a measuring device. The Indicator design is the design of indicator heads — mechanical instruments for measuring very small parts. Such equipment is an integral part of watchmaking and any other high-precision production. These tools do not have anything superfluous, they are completely subordinate to the function. Indicator is a tribute to the design of a classic measuring instrument, the Russian engineering school and a dedication to everyone who developed domestic instrument making, including the Uglich watchmakers who worked at the Chaika Watch Factory. This is a tribute to the parents of the current Colibrica design's staff.
The case, bezel and its screws, caseback, crown, strap pins are made of surgical titanium alloy BT 22. The edges of the case are finished by hand with a ceramic polishing pad. All case finishes are hand made. The edge of the case is mirror-polished. The cases have identification numbers from 1 to 50. Hydrofluoric acid was used in the processing of the sides of the case, thanks to which the titanium became velvety to the touch. The crown has received rings-inserts made of oil and petrol-resistant hypoallergenic rubber resistant to abrasion and high temperatures. Cases are available in sizes 44 and 38 mm (we have 44), case thickness 10.8 mm. All parts, including rubber ones, were made in the Colibrica design atelier in one room in Uglich.
Brass dial, "legs" — silver soldering, turning, hand grinding, final chemical erosion. Finishes: rhodium-electroplated, matt white lacquer or "vintage silver." The last technique (our watch has it) is especially interesting: the silvered dial is aged, covered with a protective varnish and as a result, the watch looks like the grandfather's "Kirovskie" watches received for courage. The peculiarity of the model is that instead of the number 12, the dial has a hand-polished, hardened, blued index "0" with fixing pins made of carbon steel. Hands are hardened, hand-polished and blued from carbon steel, diamond-cut feet. Antiglare sapphire glass 40x1.3 mm, blue antireflection coating. It is the only watch detail made not in Russia.
The watch uses a manual Poljot 3105 movement with a small seconds counter and a central hour hand. This caliber also had a calendar module, but it was decided to get rid of it in order to increase the service life. Balance frequency: 21,600 vph, power reserve: 42 hours, daily deviations: -10 +20 sec per day. All movements were prepared and adjusted by Valentin Erofeev's Engineering Bureau of Time Devices. They went through decorative grinding and got blued screws. Some standard parts have been replaced with new ones (winding shaft) or modified ones. There are two finishing options for the movement: gold and white nickel. Handmade leather strap. Stainless steel buckle, engraved stigma (Uglich's "one-ear" bell), hand mount, finish.
The project is small (limited to 50 pieces), but it is important for potential buyers to understand that they get a watch that is very easy to repair: in Russian repair shops there is a huge amount of spare parts for it, so in case of trouble, the owner will not part with the watch for long. All watch owners and the watches themselves are entered in the journal, where repairs and changes of owners are recorded.
You can also order a ballpoint pen from the same manufacturer in the same style for your watch! And with the same number — our watch is numbered 06 out of 50, and the pen is numbered 06 out of 76.
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A tribute to the Bauhaus style
This is a limited edition of Uglich Avtomat watches, a tribute to the Bauhaus style/school of architecture, art and design. There are 5 watches in the series (plus one with number 0 for the author of the idea). Our number is 01! The number, in accordance with the concept and spirit of the 1920s, is depicted on the caseback in the form of symbolic "Mayakovsky's ROSTA windows".
The base of the watch is the same as that of a regular Uglich Avtomat. Perfectly finished case with a diameter of 39 mm made of BT6C titanium. Polished titanium bezel as well as crown and caseback screws. (Polished titanium is rarely found in watches due to the complexity of the polishing process itself — the very structure of the metal makes it difficult). Stainless steel caseback. In addition to technical information, it reproduces five Bauhaus principles:
form follows function
less is more
"Gesamtkunstwerk" (German: unity of art)
union of arts and crafts.
Hands are carbon steel blued, hand finished, indices are the same. The indices are covered with Soviet military lume, which was obtained at a military research institute (Spanish resin is used as a binder). The dial is domed, not stamped, but turned. For its production, silvering, large erosion (referring to architectural textures!) and four-colour pad printing were used. The dial is decorated with a 3D bell (the emblem of the atelier and the symbol of Uglich — the veche bell). Glass is convex "box" sapphire, 2 mm thick.
The watch uses a new automatic Raketa 2615 movement (pre-overhauled in the atelier). Power reserve is 2 days, water protection is 3 atm. Handmade strap, buckle is stainless steel, made in the manufactory. In general, everything except the glass and the movement was made in the Colibrica Design atelier in Uglich.
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Polished titanium classic 2 hands watch
In the Soviet years, the Chaika watch factory was the backbone enterprise in the town of Uglich. In troubled times, everything was destroyed, sold and leased. However, there are now enthusiasts who want to revive the domestic watch production. The name of these enthusiasts is Colibrica design headed by Sergey Volkov. They are best known for their unusual one-hand Indicator watch. In 2018, due to popular demand, they decided to make a chic classic watch. For Moscow Watch Expo 2018 the first 5 pieces were made, which were immediately sold out. Now the production of a series of watches Uglich Avtomat with a case diameter of 39 mm in 25 pieces is ending. There were also 3 pieces with a case diameter of 42 mm (all three were sold at once). All timepieces are numbered and entered in the REGISTER with the owner's data (a large, serious notebook lying in Sergey Volkov's desk). Our number in it is 02/25.
The revival of the domestic watch industry lies in the fact that everything in this watch is made in Russia except for the curved sapphire glass — unfortunately, watch sapphire glasses are not made in Russia (more precisely, they are not made in quantities and at prices acceptable for small-scale production). Everything Russian is the principled position of Sergey (and ours:)).
A modern automatic movement 2615 produced by Raketa was used. It is based on the proven Soviet 2627N, which is legendary. Repairers say that it is "like a tank" — it can work for decades, and even without lubrication! And if it broke, then in any workshop it can be easily repaired, unlike some Carl F. Bucherer watch, which uses unique seven-sided nuts that can only be unscrewed with their own tool. The new movement is constantly improving by Raketa. What is being done by them now and what was being done a few years ago is significantly different for the better in terms of both aesthetics and mechanics. Of course, Colibrica Design installs the movement only after it has been previously adjusted.
Glass is convex "box" sapphire, 2 mm thick. The dial is domed with 13 blued tempered steel markers. Hands are of blued steel, with luminophor. Power reserve is 2 days, water resistance of 5 atm. Handmade leather strap, buckle is of stainless steel, made in the manufactory. We now have a leather lining-wristband by Rix Strap (Naberezhnye Chelny) on our strap.
The perfectly finished 39 mm case is made of BT6C titanium, which means it is light on the hand. Polished titanium bezel as well as crown and caseback screws. Polished titanium is rarely found in watches due to the complexity of the polishing process itself — it is hampered by the very structure of the metal). Stainless steel caseback. The hands are hand-made and finished, the markers are the same, the dial is not stamped, but turned and bent by turning.
Everything, except the glass and the movement, was made in the Colibrica design atelier in Uglich.
The MII brand was founded in Moscow in 2011 by Alexander Belousov. MII (M2 or M Two I) is an abbreviation — Ivan Ivanovich's Manufactory, a creative pseudonym under which different watchmakers can work at different times. The philosophy of the brand is to make original watches. The in-house manufacturing, hand finishing and an individual approach allow to produce parts that differ significantly from the serial ones in terms of quality and uniqueness. Love and part of the soul of their creators are put into MII products. Hundreds of hours of intricate and painstaking work leave an indelible mark that is inherent in art objects
Cosmos is a new version of the model formerly known as "Mercury". The watch is named after the planet. The unique dial repeats the planetary landscape, which, depending on the position of the Sun, looks different every time. A stunning play of light and shadows on a voluminous watch in a fantastic style, with a convex sapphire crystal and an alien leather strap!
Everything in this watch is made in Russia (except, as usual, for sapphire glass — no one makes such glass in Russia, alas!). In total, 8 pieces will be made in this design (this is number 1!), but they will all be different (the color of the central disc, strap, relief of the dial).
Like other MII models, Cosmos is a "one and a half hand" watch. The traditional minute hand is present here, and the hour indication is realized in the form of a rotating (counterclockwise!) disc with a fixed half-hand indicating the hour. Hence "one and a half hand" — one is usual, the second one is shortened and static. By the way, the time indication here is built on the same principle as on the first clock of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin, which in a simplified and stylized form became the basis of our logo! Only on the Kremlin clock the hour markers were not 12, but 17 (who will guess why?). And they were denoted not by Arabic numerals, but by "Slavonic numerals" (numbers were designated by Cyrillic letters). We will soon release a separate article about the history of this clock.
The case, ring, disc and buckle are brushed steel, the dial is aluminum. More precisely, this is an alloy based on it, burned out by solar winds! In fact, it is aluminum oxide, the same composition as sapphire crystal. Actually, the watch "sapphire glass" is a synthetic sapphire formed during high-temperature processing from crystallized aluminum oxide. The watch uses a unique convex sapphire crystal (unfortunately, this is only available in Hong Kong) — box type, height 6 mm and thickness 2 mm. Movement is Raketa Avtomat. Case has a diameter of 44.5 mm. Handmade vintage dark brown ostrich leather strap — a coffee-tinted disc in the center is made especially to match it!
For those who did not notice — the inscriptions on the caseback: "To the first cosmonaut on Mercury. Russian Space Empire, 2075. Stardust protection, solar wind resistant. Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth. No. 1/8". Very much in the spirit of our alternative historical watch project!
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The dial is made of metal named after Russia!
This is a new version of the model called Classic before — after the design update it is now Radius. The series is still limited — 24 pieces, this is number 1! By the way, even within this limited edition, it has a unique design, there will be no others, so not only the limited edition, but also pièce unique!
Radius is a classic watch based on the new Raketa 2615 automatic movement. This is a traditional MII hand-and-a-half watch: a full-fledged minute hand (the radius itself!), plus a small triangle remains from the hour hand at the top of the dial. It is stationary, instead of it a disc with hour markers moves (counterclockwise). Mixed finish 41 mm stainless steel case. Spherical sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating (the only thing that is not made in Russia in this watch). Polished steel hands and markers. Ruthenium (!) dial with sand texture and snow effect in the sun. [Ruthenium is a platinum group metal, named after Russia, which is of course symbolic. Do you know a lot of ruthenium watches in the world? In fact, there are few of them — the watches of Konstantin Chaykin and F.P. Journe among the few]. Nickel hour disc and radial-brushed minute ring. Enamelled hour numerals and minute markers. Handcrafted and stitched Italian leather strap.
All watch parts are produced and finished at the MII manufactory. Hundreds hours of hand work!
The brand of the Verny Hod company (a group of companies of the Trading House Slava). For collectors of Russian watches, the main watch under this brand is the legendary Cosmonavigator by Vladimir Dzhanibekov
The legendary first edition is one of the main "Holy Grails" of collectors of modern Russian watches
The legendary Spetsnaz Cosmonavigator (first edition, mechanical)! The rarest "Holy Grail" for collectors of Russian watches, as well as for collectors of space watches all over the world. It's in itself an unusual piece of engineering and design with a fascinating history, but what makes this particular example extra interesting is that it's flown on two (at least) actual space missions! This is the only watch in the world (1) designed by a cosmonaut (2) for a space mission, (3) that actually flew into space and (4) was actually used there for its intended purpose. The watches were handed over to all crew members of the ISS visiting expeditions, part of the edition was sold at retail. The Cosmonavigator brought the Verny Hod company a diploma of the winner of the "Russian Design-2003" competition in the "Watch of the Future" nomination. Limited edition of 350 pieces (we have number 054, and don't ask how we got it:)).
The Cosmonavigator is designed to determine the place on Earth over which the space crew is flying at a given time, and is equipped with a 24-hour Vostok 2423 manual movement. The choice of mechanics is due to its greater, in comparison with electronics, reliability in space. The main thing in this watch is the navigation limb (dial), divided into multi-coloured sectors. The sizes of each coloured sector correspond to the duration of the flight over a specific continent of the planet. Each continent and water surface corresponds to the conditional colours of the sectors. Light blue = oceans and seas, red = Europe and Russia, yellow = Asia, black = Africa, dark blue = North America, light brown = Latin America, green = Australia and New Zealand.
The watch case is made of special stainless steel. The limb is set in rotation by the crown located on the left of the case. The right crown controls the movement. The Cosmonavigator is designed to work in open space.
In one day in a circular orbit with an altitude of 200 km, the spacecraft makes 16 orbits around the Earth, hence the orbital period T = 90 minutes per revolution. During this time, the Earth rotates by a certain angle, and the beginning of the next orbit falls on new coordinates. The first orbit is determined by the geographic coordinates of the launch point, and its position on the map depends on the cosmodrome from which the spacecraft was launched. Subsequent orbits repeat the first one, changing the number above the equator: 1-2-3... 14-15-16... and again: 1-2-3... and so on, forming a beautiful pattern of the spacecraft flight trajectory on the flat surface of the map.
The Cosmonavigator is designed for orbits the plane of which is inclined to the plane of the Earth's equator at an angle of 51 degrees, that is, the working orbits of the Salyut and MIR space stations, the current ISS, and Soyuz series spacecraft. Navigation accuracy depends on the orbital period. As the altitude rises, the duration of the orbit increases, so there is a possibility of a simple but regular correction of the position of the limb sector relative to the hour hand.
The author of the watch is the legendary cosmonaut Vladimir A. Dzhanibekov, twice appointed Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR (see also "Dzhanibekov effect"). Dzhanibekov was born Vladimir Aleksandrovich Krysin on 13 May 1942. In 1964 he married Liliya Dzhanibekova, who was a descendant of Jani Beg, also called Djanibek Khan, medieval ruler of the Golden Horde. As her father had no sons, Dzhanibekov took his wife's family name in order to honor her ancestry and continue her line of descent, an unusual step for a husband in the Soviet Union. In 1970 he was selected into the team of cosmonauts. Dzhanibekov made five flights: Soyuz 27, Soyuz 39, Soyuz T-6, Soyuz T-12, and Soyuz T-13. In all he spent 145 days, 15 hours, and 56 minutes in space over these five missions.
Dzhanibekov got the idea for the design of the Cosmonavigator during a rescue mission to the Salyut-7 space station. That Salyut-7 rescue was a classic bit of flying by Dzhanibekov and the flight engineer cosmonaut Viktor Savinykh. They had to dock the spacecraft to a tumbling station with no beacon, just a laser rangefinder, sharp eyes and razor reflexes. The critical task of saving "The Dead Station" is regarded as one of the most dramatic flights in space history and is described in Viktor Savinykh book "Diaries From A Dead Station" in 1999. The story was also dramatized in the movie "Salyut-7" in 2017 and is available on Amazon. For this flight, both cosmonauts were awarded the Orders of Lenin, the Savinykh also received a second Hero Star, and Dzhanibekov was not given a star, because he already had two, but was awarded the rank of Major General of Aviation. More about the rescue of Salyut-7 is here.
"It was September of 1985. Salyut-7 station... It is midnight in Moscow. It is also our local time. Maintenance work going on... Ice age. The flood at the station has already passed. Viktor Savinykh is cozily sleeping in a sleeping-bag in front of me. The "deaf" circuits without communication with control are ringing. - I wonder where we are flying?, I'm asking almost in sleep. Above clouds I assume... Falling asleep I idly thinking that it would be great to have a watch with a globe like the one on the central stand. Or, with a map on the dial. But to have it on my hand... and without need to leave the warm sleeping bag to check... and soon getting back in again thinking that I was right and we were actually over clouds and under clouds were waters of the Atlantic ocean... all right,.. water is there where clouds are. Why our planet called the Earth and not the Water?.. This was the way the idea of "Cosmonavigator" was born. It became possible to realize this project only 18 months later with practical help of my old friend Pavel P. Grankin, officer in reserve, who is Head of the "Right Move" (Верный ход, sometimes translated to Right Move) company now. Financing was provided by Center of Exploitation Land-based Space Infrastructure (TSENKI) of Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos)."
And now a little modern history. On April 22, 2021, a copy of the Cosmonavigator (serial number 138) was sold at the Boston auction house RR Auction for $32,439 (estimate was $10,000+). (This is definitely the highest price paid for a Vostok movement watch ever:)). The sold piece was in space twice and spent a total of about a year there. For the first time this watch flew to the ISS with cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov on October 14, 2004 on the Soyuz TMA-5 spacecraft. Sharipov brought the Cosmonavigator to the ISS in honour of Salyut-7 historic rescue mission and as a respect to Vladimir Dzhanibekov, commander of the mission and watch inventor. To commemorate this event, he also delivered Dzhanibekov's actual art devoted to the Salyut-7 mission. It belongs to a set of seven artworks showing the Salyut-7 story. In total, the watch remained in space for over 192 days. The second journey of the watch to the ISS began together with cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov on March 30, 2006 on board the Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft. The cosmonaut stayed on the ISS for over 168 days, after which the watch returned to Earth aboard the US space shuttle Atlantis (STS-115). The last photos belong to this "flawn" watch and related documents. On two of them there are the cosmonauts Sharipov and Vinogradov along with the watch.
And at the end — the news: Trading House Slava plans to release a new version of Cosmonavigator! And Vladimir Dzhanibekov is working on its design...
Movement Made by special order by the Chistopol Watchmakers Vostok, precision calibre 2423, manual winding, 24-hour scale, power reserve of at least 38 hours. Functions: hours, minutes, seconds. Diameter: 24mm. Height: 3.95mm. Number of stones: 17. Frequency: 19,800 vibrations / hour. Shockproof balance. Case Size: 42 * 42 * 12mm. Stainless steel. Tightness: 3 ATM. Glass: mineral. Additional head for turning the navigation limb. Details Weight: 190 grams. Supplied with patented author's box.
The only descendant and heir of the First Moscow Watch Factory. Zlatoust divers are the most hardcore Russian watches. Firstly, the size and charisma — base case diameter is 60 mm, "monocoque" type cases, materials such as damask, titanium, marine bronze, zirconium, titanium-zirconium composite and meteorite. Secondly, everything is fundamentally done in Russia, down to metal and sapphire glass (no one else does this!)
The world's first and only titanium-zirconium composite watch
Diving watch 295ЧС ТЦД (ChS TTsD — "special watch, titanium-zirconium Damascus") is a model that has been developed at Zlatoust Watch Factory for 8 years, since 2012. Monocoque case (that is, without a caseback, the entire case is machined from one piece of metal). Case, bezel, protective cap and dial are made of titanium-zirconium composite ZiKRON. It includes 3 types of Russian titanium: VT1-0, OT4-1, VT20 and Zirconium E125. The material is produced in St. Petersburg (TiKRON forge), by diffusion welding, at temperatures from 1180 to 1230 C, with subsequent manual forging of each workpiece. The alloy is obtained using damask technology: layers of metal are superimposed on each other, forged, twisted, reheated, again forged many times. Then a piece of metal is delivered to the Urals, watch cases are made from it at the factory and they return to St. Petersburg again for final finishing and grinding. The resulting Damascus pattern and color scheme are not repeated in the following instance. Due to the nature of the alloy, the case changes color and tone depending on the light level. ZiKRON dials have original patterns (drawings) from the blacksmith Alexander Sklyamin. He is one of 7 people in the world who currently knows how to forge such a composite.
"We started experimenting with the Damascus steel technology 10 years ago," says Anatoly Akhapkin, a representative of the TiKRON. — We brewed the first Damascus steel and made sure that a lot of people in the world are doing the same. I wanted to create something more interesting and exclusive. Then we welded titanium and established contact with suppliers of zirconium, applied diffusion welding of metal and got such a composite. We are the manufacturer of high-tech composites and periodically create new recipes for new, previously unproduced composite materials. A new stage in our development was required! Then an offer came from the Zlatoust Watch Factory to create watch cases from titanium-zirconium Damascus.
The watches made of this type of composite is unique in the world. Before them, 3-4 types of different watches from various manufacturers (Germany/Australia/USA) were produced from the Timascus titanium composite. Many have also seen separate custom dials from private craftsmen, for example on Panerai from Timascus. This project is distinguished primarily by the base material, which is much more difficult in processing (CNC milling, grinding and polishing) than a conventional titanium composite. This is the first watch in the world made of such material.
In total, two models have been released so far — this watch based on the Vostok movement, and another one based on the Raketa (it has a crown on the right, at 3 o'clock), it was sold to an USA customer. Thus, the watch is piece unique!
Vostok 2415 automatic movement. Reinforced sapphire glass (leucosapphire), 4 mm, Russia (for more details see here). Hands and numbers are covered with a turquoise glow lume. Water resistant to a depth of 700 m. Strap from Straps & Buckles (Moscow) made of karung (Elephant Trunk Snake) leather, Timascus buckle and inserts.
The ring is associated with this watch, it is also made at Zlatoust Watch Factory. Moreover, it was carved from the same blank as this particular watch! At the Factory it was called 295KS TTsD (KS for "special ring"). Inside the ring is the emblem of the Factory and the inscription VIRTUS IUNXIT MORS NON SEPARABIT.
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A zirconium diving watch with a meteorite dial, works at a depth of 700 m!
Diving watch by Zlatoust Watch Factory 295ЧСЦ (ChSTs – Watch Special Zirconium) made of zirconium with a meteorite dial. There are few watches made of zirconium in the world, and with a meteorite dial... there is no more of it! Pièce unique!
The 46 mm monocoque type case (the smallest of all Zlatoust divers — they also have 53 and 60 mm ones) and bezel are made of heat-treated dark grey zirconium, which can not be confused with anything else. One of the most valuable properties of zirconium is its high resistance to corrosion in various environments. For example, zirconium does not dissolve in nitric and hydrochloric acids, and is resistant to alkalis. Metal has an incredibly high biological inertness, that is, the property does not interact in any way with tissues and body fluids. Therefore, zirconium products — pins, implants and scalpels — were appreciated by neurosurgeons and dentists. And at the Zlatoust Watch Factory, cases for watches of the series 295ChSTs are made of zirconium. The reason is the same as that of doctors — biological inertness. ⠀ Zirconium 295ChSTs watch is:
novelty: compared to bronze or steel, which have a several thousand year tradition of production, zirconium is a relative newcomer in metallurgy. Scientists are experimenting with this metal, applying its beneficial properties in a wide variety of industries. For example, in the production of parts for nuclear reactors. Zirconium is a metal that is at the forefront of technological progress;
quality: the best zirconium in the world is made in Russia, which accounts for 10% of its world reserves (3rd place in the world after Australia and South Africa). The only enterprise specializing in the production of zirconium in Russia (and on the territory of the former USSR) is the Chepetsk Mechanical Plant, which supplies its products to Zlatoust;
beauty: zirconium allows you to get great color solutions without additional coloring and coating. The traditions of metallurgy and, at the same time, the production of artistic metal products (edged weapons, engravings and other decorations) have been in Zlatoust for almost 300 years. At Zlatoust Watch Factory they know how to do beautiful things in a way that no one else in the world can do. After heat treatment, the zirconium case acquires (depending on the heat treatment mode) a dense matte black (as this one) or bright blue color. The blue watch looks especially amazing, depending on the level of illumination (scientists prefer the term "interference"), they change shades: the case is either matte blue, or casts a bright catchy almost brilliant sky color;
exclusivity: Zlatoust Factory is the only watch production in the world, where they mastered the serial production of diving watches with a monocoque (all-metal) case made of zirconium. Watch companies work with zirconium, but these are mostly one-off experiments. The metal, for all its uniqueness, gave the output a rather nondescript gray color. But the Zlatoust masters subjected zirconium to a certain heat treatment. And the result was impressive!
The dial is from the Muonionalusta meteorite (possibly the oldest meteorite known, there is a lot of information about it on the Internet, for example, here). The first samples were discovered in 1906, about 140 km north of the Arctic Circle. Scientists disagree about the probable time of the fall of this meteorite to Earth: according to various assumptions, this event occurred from 1 million to 14 thousand years ago. The meteorite survived 4 Ice Ages. This is the first ever found and the most famous of iron meteorites in the world. There are some photos of exactly my dial at the manufacturing stage. This instagram post shows the etching of the dial. "Sometimes during etching on meteorites a very beautiful black shade appears. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to fix it, in the future it disappears. The effect is very interesting!"
Time markers and hands are coated with a green luminophor. Automatic Vostok 2415 movement. Sapphire crystal 4 mm, made in Russia (you can read more about it here). WR 70 ATM (700 m).
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Ship bronze, Damascus steel and Russian leucosapphire
The diving watch of the Zlatoust watch factory 295ChSB (special watch, bronze). Zlatoust divers are the most hardcore Russian watch in every sense of the word — firstly, the size and charisma, and secondly, everything is fundamentally done in Russia, right down to the metal for the case, as well as glass (made in the town of Elektrostal) and strap!
In the 60-70s of the XX century the Zlatoust Watch Factory produced watches for the underwater special forces of the Soviet Navy. Several years ago, the factory restored the documentation from archival copies and decided to again make products capable of accurately showing the time under water. But they made some changes: they expanded the product line, offered smaller watches, began to use such rare and expensive materials as titanium and zirconium alloys. And the usual silicate mineral glass was replaced with a sapphire glass (leucosapphire) — this watch also has it. The main characteristic of sapphire is its high resistance to scratches. The second quality follows from the first — the ability to withstand high water pressure. This was confirmed at the factory through rigorous tests. Modern Zlatoust divers can dive 3 times deeper than Soviet military diving watches.
According to the information of the manufacturer, the supplier of such glass was found in the Moscow region, "at the NPO Alfa, famous since Soviet times". Alas, we did not find the website of this enterprise (registered in its last reincarnation in 2011), but maybe it is a very secret enterprise? After all, it is reported that it is fulfilling orders from the Ministry of Defense — making periscopes for deep-sea vehicles. One more detail (also according to the manufacturer's data): sapphires grown in America have a yellowish tint, while crystals made in Europe have a slightly blue tint. But the Russian sapphire glass is as clear as a tear! Well, this is all you want in deep-sea vehicles! And this is its third quality, which will be appreciated by the owners of Zlatoust diving watches.
ChSB is for "special bronze watch", and the number 2 in 295 means that this is a modern series with automatic winding, sapphire glass and water resistance up to 700 m. This is not a limited edition watch — the factory has practically no limited series at all. There are small series, which are made by special order. This one has only two pieces.
Damascus steel dial. Nobody in Russia does anything like that! And in the world, watches from this material are produced just by a few technologically advanced companies. Damascus ("damask") steel (or supersteel) is a metal, the secret of which was lost, but then restored (by Russian craftsmen from Zlatoust!). Historically, it has been used to make strong, resilient and sharp blades. Damascus is obtained by layer-by-layer heating, twisting and forging, and this is done repeatedly. As a result, the alloy acquires not only amazing flexibility and hardness at the same time, but also a characteristic, never repeating serpentine pattern.
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that Damascus steel, "saturated with the forces of nature", has magical properties, and amulets were made from it. According to ancient legends, the energy invested in the creation of Damascus repeatedly increases the magical power of the runes applied to the amulet. Take a look at the Zlatoust haralug watch (haralug is a blued steel in general, including bulat/Damascus steel), that's where the magic is! Steel stains inherent only to damask are like fingerprints, on each dial there is a unique snake pattern. Each watch is pièce unique.
The dial is not stamped, but forged. They take a blank — a 4 mm Damascus plate intended for the production of blades. And they grind it up to 0.6 mm! This is done with great care so that the complex composite structure of Damascus does not begin to exfoliate. Real handmade!
The case is "monocoque" type made of bronze (it is machined from a single piece of metal, that is, there is no caseback — it is more reliable!). This is a special marine bronze. The main property of this material is corrosion resistance. The sailors constantly deal with the salt water that corrodes everything, so they appreciated the beneficial properties of bronze. Bronze is too tough for caustic sea molluscs, so it is used in shipbuilding to cover the underwater parts of ships. The anti-magnetic properties of bronze made it an indispensable material for navigational instruments in the navy. Finally, it is perfectly polished, which means it looks bright and beautiful, therefore ship bells are cast from bronze. Case diameter 46 mm is the smallest size of Zlatoust diving watches (for divers with narrow wrists :)), standard size is 60 mm. There is also an average one — 53 mm. Within one lineup ("diving watch") Zlatoust Factory is the only one in the world to offer such a dimensional variety.
Movement is automatic Vostok 2415. Hands and numbers are covered with a turquoise glow lume. The crown is at 9 o'clock — so as not to break the wearer's wrist when worn on the left hand — the Zlatoust watches are harsh! Genuine leather strap by Maxim Gromakov (Moscow), bronze "Bubbles" buckle by Straps & Buckles (Moscow).
Watch enthusiast, connoisseur of watchmaking, expert, and now also a manufacturer of Russian watches!
The author of the idea and project is Mikhail Goncharov (Moscow), a Russian watch enthusiast, connoisseur and expert. The project was executed with the participation of a small team of like-minded people including Stepan Korolev and watchmaker Maxim Sushkov (St. Petersburg). The presentation of the project took place on July 22, 2020.
Ouroboros is a snake (or dragon) that coils into a ring and swallows its tail. But in this case, it is depicted as a "figure eight"! Mikhail Goncharov: "Ouroboros is often portrayed simply round, but there are many such configurations, "like eight". We felt that this reflects both the cyclical nature of time and its infinity." Ouroboros is a widespread symbolic image indicating that in constant repetition, a new beginning corresponds to the end, that the end of a path or process means the beginning of a new one. The image of a snake biting its own tail was first seen 1600 years ago in Egypt. The symbol is widespread — it is found from Japan to Scandinavia, including China, the Scythians, the Middle East, Ancient Greece, etc. Every national culture sooner or later comes to the idea of a serpent or dragon devouring its own tail. This is an understanding of the cyclical nature of being, which is inextricably linked with the very concept of time as such. From the versatility of meanings, the authors noted the following: the cycle of times, the death of the world and the new creation, dying and new birth. On the one hand, the watch is inspired by this magical symbol, on the other hand, by stormy discussions of the ideology of the watch associated with Judaism, and on the third hand, it is the authors' artistic embodiment of such a global theme as the passage of time and its visualisation.
The basic movement is an automatic ETA 2893-A2 with an additional module of 24-hour indication in the aperture at 12 o'clock. The module and components of the hour indication are designed and manufactured in Russia. The disc serves as an hour indicator, and the single ouroboros hand shows the minutes. The time indication in this watch is really non-standard! Mikhail Goncharov: "We decided that the minute hand should be the snake itself. In ordinary life, it is the main one, the hour hand is less significant... Therefore, it was abandoned, the hour indication was placed in the aperture. But we did it 24-hour... By the way, with the minute [hand] we did it... let's say, provocatively... the snake has two points on its head! So tell the minutes according to the one you want!.. The main thing is not to forget which tip you chose [initially when setting the exact time]!"
Power reserve is not less than 42 hours. The movement provides for a quick change of the time zone by moving the crown to the second position. The movement is completely tested and manually adjusted. Accuracy is -4 ... + 6 seconds per day.
Despite the Swiss origin of the base calibre, the watch is rightfully included in our collection of Russian watches — substantially more than 60% of its value was created in Russia! The watchmaker of the project, Maxim Sushkov, says: "The base calibre 2893-A2 had to be modernised to implement our idea. A bridge (minute, hour, day disc) was made, which completely covers all the wheels of the movement. Due to the thickness of the dial, it was necessary to make a minute and day wheel, thereby increasing the height of the feet for the landing of the day disc and minute hand (ouroboros). The day disc itself was also designed and manufactured."
The disc, by the way, is the know-how of the authors of the project. It is unusual — white during the day and black at night (the numbers are contrasting, black and white, respectively). In the evening and in the morning, the disc and the numbers have different shades of gray (and this does not interfere with the readability!). The day disc moves gradually, without jerks — the authors deliberately abandoned the "jumping hour", since the symbolism of the ouroboros snake does not imply any sharp jumps. This would not fit in with the philosophy of an inevitably approaching time.
With the exception of the base calibre and sapphire crystal, all components are designed and manufactured in Russia. The watch's peculiarity is an insert in the form of a snake's "eye". It is made from a fragment of an Israeli air defense missile Kippat Barzel (Iron Dome), which once successfully repelled a Qassam missile. A fragment of an Israeli rocket hit the roof of a house of civilians, friends of Mikhail Goncharov, who gave it to him. So the ouroboros here is, in a sense, a protective symbol, this is very rare in watches. By the way, the metal of the Iron Dome is a unique alloy that does not expand when heated (which is contrary to the laws of physics :)). Thanks to this, both lenses of the guidance cameras are clearly fixed during the launch of the rocket, and the rocket does not "go blind". In addition, the rocket is cast in its entirety, like a piece of jewelry, and not sharpened on CNC machines, as is customary in the metalworking industry. This gives the body tremendous strength. No one in the world, except one elderly gentleman who has been involved in metallurgy in the United States for many years, knows how to cook this alloy. In general, the eye of the ouroboros here is not just iron (like the metal of the Titanic or the cruiser Aurora), but a real work of art in metallurgy!
The symbols on the caseback are interesting. Mikhail Goncharov: "The main "character" of the engraving is the Third Jerusalem Temple, which, according to canonical ideas, will be erected on the Temple Mount, where the previous two Temples were, erected in a mystical way, and its appearance will herald the end of times... And the Temple has become partly heavenly. In addition — the word "Ouroboros" in Greek and Hebrew." The Temple is located at the top of the pyramid. This is how the authors see the materialisation of the spiritual idea: the Temple is possible if it is erected in exactly this way — ideology at the top of History.
The combination of glossy and matte surfaces adds charm and sophistication to the watch. The execution of the Temple on the caseback demonstrates the possibilities of sandblasting metal (impact on the surface with an abrasive powder sprayed with an air stream). Good readability of the inscriptions was achieved by covering the lettering with black hot enamel.
The dial is made of the so-called "Eilat stone". It is mined in the vicinity of the city of Eilat in southern Israel, where the mines of King Solomon were. The official name of the stone is chrysocolla. It is mainly mined in the Congo, and the Eilat variety also has veins of malachite and lapis lazuli. In processing, this stone is very capricious — it crumbles strongly. The dial requires a plate thickness of 0.9 mm — as a result, up to 70% of the material goes to waste... The work was done in St. Petersburg. Everything is done by hand. One dial takes three weeks. As a result, each one turns out to be unique.
Case is stainless steel 316L, diameter 42 mm, thickness 11 mm. The case was invented by Mikhail Goncharov: it is peculiar, with absolutely cylindrical lugs, carved from a single piece of metal and decorated with pearl textured polishing (perlage). It is impossible not to pay attention to the unusual crown — it is almost completely sunk into the case, but it can be easily pulled out. More details about working on the case, dial and ouroboros can be found on Maxim Sushkov's Instagram.
Spherical sapphire crystal with minimal curvature. Water resistance 30 meters. Alligator leather strap.
There are a total of 8 watches in steel in the series and 8 in rose gold PVD (we have a steel version; this is number 8 out of 8!). The clasp is classic or folding (at choice), the engraving is possible at the request of the customer (standard engraving is a horizontal "eight", the symbol of infinity).
Russian manufactory with 300 years of history: Peter the Great established the Imperial Petergof Factory in 1721. But then it worked stones. They make watches in Petrodvorets/Petergof since 1961
Limited edition Seaman — for those in love with the sea
Located beside the naval bases of Saint Petersburg, the Raketa Watch Factory has been making watches for the Russian navy for a long time. Raketa Seaman 0218 (ref. W-50-17-30-0218) is a limited version of the first Seaman released back in 2012. There are only 100 pieces in the series (as indicated on the dial). In the new version, the movement is already modern, automatic. The dial is still in 24-hour format, with (ship's) watch designations.
The most interesting thing here, as in the first Seaman, is the dial. It was his controversial design that at one time divided the lovers of Russian watches into two camps. Some people liked the watch endlessly (and still do:)). Snobs and people who need a watch only to find out what time it is, were outraged that they did not understand how to tell the time from this parrot. By the way, Jacques von Polier (at the time of the release of the first Seaman in 2012 — the head of Raketa) in a private conversation complained that the dial of this watch was overloaded and he was going to give the designers the task of simplifying it, making it more readable. That is what they did in this model of the Seaman. But for this it was necessary to sacrifice the ebb / flow scale and the designation of ship's watches according to the British and Scandinavian systems. But the solar compass has survived: if the navigation devices on the ship fail, it is enough to direct the hour hand to the sun, and the "0" mark will point to the North. The dial uses the symbols of the Cardinal System of Navigation Equipment that serve to flag up danger zones, along with the names of the "naval watches" during which Russian sailors are on duty on board the ship (such designations like "Goodbye youth" and "Dog's watch" are especially encouraging). The word RAKETA and the figures 0 to 9 are drawn with the flags of the "naval alphabet" used for transmitting messages between ships.
The Raketa 2624 movement (24 jewels) with automatic winding is made in-house by the Raketa Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. Average rate is –10… + 20 s/d. Average power reserve is 40 hours. 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding, automatic winding in two directions. The decoration of the movement is a print (the drawing is taken from the Soviet archives and has no analogues in watchmaking). Stainless steel case, case diameter 44 mm, thickness 13.55 mm. Screw-down crown. Transparent caseback (mineral glass). Sapphire crystal on the front. Superluminova hands and markers. Water resistant 40 ATM. Signature stainless steel bracelet.
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The Kosmos on your wrist — space and time merge together
The new Copernicus limited edition is based on the legendary Soviet model of Raketa. Since the creation of the Raketa brand in 1961 in honour of Yuri Gagarin's flight, space has become a source of inspiration for the designers and engineers of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory. One of the most iconic Soviet Raketa models was the Copernicus, named after the scientist who made a revolutionary discovery in the 16th century: the Sun is in the center of the Solar System, and all the planets revolve around it.
Working on the creation of the Soviet model, the designers of Raketa took the following idea as a basis: the large circle (minute hand) symbolises the Earth, the smaller circle (hour hand) — Jupiter. Why? The Earth travels one revolution around the Sun in 1 year, and Jupiter in 12 years, exactly the same ratio between the minute and hour hands of this watch: the hour hand rotates on the dial 12 times slower than the minute. On the new Copernicus, time is already represented in the form of three, not two, planets — hour, minute and (for the first time) second hands — which revolve around the Sun against the background of stars twinkling on the aventurine dial. The new "second" planet evokes in us associations with a small nimble Mercury.
Raketa Copernicus 0280 (reference W-05-16-10-0280) is a new version of the legendary model. The series is limited to 300 pieces. Raketa does not indicate the number of the piece in the series — the already traditional "One of 300" is written on the caseback. The design is based on the permanent Copernicus collection, but differs significantly from it:
the dial is made of two stones: a mesmerizing dark blue aventurine, reminiscent of the night sky, strewn with sparkling stars, and yellow agate, symbolising the Sun;
the second hand is also a circle, but smaller in comparison with the round minute hand (in the standard collection, the second hand is a regular one);
black case with PVD-coating (also black strp and buckle);
new decoration of the movement: stars and planets are engraved on the self-winding and balance bridges, the rotor is decorated with the signature Neva waves pattern made by hand, the gilded movement resembles the colour of the Sun. The ratio of the sizes of the rotor (Sun) and the planets on the bridges of the movement corresponds to the ratio of their sizes in the Solar System.
Movement — Raketa 2615, automatic (bi-directional), 24 jewels, average rate –10...+ 20 s/d, average running time 40 hours, 18.000 vph (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding. Decoration — gilding, Neva waves (handmade), engraving, printing. Stainless steel case, 40,5 mm diameter (lug to lug 45 mm), black PVD coating. Dial — natural semi precious stones: aventurine and yellow agate. Front glass is sapphire, very strongly domed (as a result, taking into account the glass, the thickness of the case is an impressive 16,55 mm). The back glass is mineral. Water resistance — 5 ATM. Genuine leather strap.
Raketa "Leopard 24" (ref. W-45-17-10-0274) is a watch for Russian submariners with a 24-hour movement, made using the metal of the outer hull of the nuclear submarine Leopard K-328 (project 971, Akula class) which took part in numerous operations around the globe. Akula class submarines first entered service in the Soviet Navy in 1984 and immediately positioned themselves as one of the most advanced submarines in the world in quietness and survivability. To this day these silent submarines still command respect in the oceans.
It must be said right away that not the entire watch case, but only the inner bezel is made of the metal of the submarine. The metal was officially transferred to the Raketa by the Zvyozdochka shipyard, which from 2011 to 2020 conducted the overhaul and modernization of the submarine. On December 5, 2020, the Leopard K-328 was launched after repairs.
The "Leopard 24" model is a submariner's watch by design and functionality:
its hands replicate the design of the hands in the control panels of the submarine; ⠀
the dial and hands are luminescent to allow submariners to read the time in the dark; ⠀
6 lines (in red and grey colours) divide the perimeter of the dial into 6 parts (4 hours each) allowing each crewmember to keep count of his watches/shifts in the submarine.
The hands of the "Leopard 24" watch are powered by a Raketa 24 hour movement that allows submariners to distinguish day from night during their long underwater missions. The colours of the top of the watch (dial & top leather strap) and of the bottom of the watch (screws fixing the bridges of the movement, rotor and lining of the strap) are identical to the colours of the submarine's hull: black for the top and red for the bottom.
This exceptional watch was developed with the help of Captain Valery Dyakonov who knows this submarine very well: he supervised the pre-launch stages of the Leopard, conducted its sea trials and was its first commander until 1996. He now lives in St. Petersburg next to Raketa. When presented with the first sample of this watch, he said: "This is the first time in many years that I have touched my Leopard submarine and I will now keep it with me forever!"⠀
Each watch is delivered with a certificate authenticating the origin of the metal, an official insignia of the Leopard K-328 submarine, an additional silicone strap and a branded stud puller for its replacement. Limited edition, 300 pieces (this is indicated by the inscription "One of 300" on the inner bezel, there is no individual number in the series).
Movement — Raketa 2624A, automatic (bi-directional), 24 jewels, average rate –10...+ 20 s/d, average running time 40 hours, 18.000 vph (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding. Decoration — Onega waves (handmade) + red screws + red rotor. Stainless steel case, 44 mm diameter. Front glass is sapphire. The back glass is mineral. Sandwich dial. Superluminova hands and markers. Screw-down crown. Water resistance — 20 ATM.
The watch video. The interview with the first commander of the Leopard submarine.
Classic "Big Zero" Malevich 0273
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Malevich's Suprematist "Huge Zero" and Raketa's classic "Big Zero"
Raketa Classic "Big Zero" Malevich 0273 (ref. W-20-16-10-0273) is the result of cooperation between Raketa Watch Factory and the State Tretyakov Gallery, which receives part of the proceeds from the sale of the watches.
This watch does not follow the usual rules of classic watch aesthetics. It is created in an abstract style — in the same style in which in 1915 the Russian avant-garde artist of Polish origin Kazimir Malevich painted the most radically abstract picture in the world, Black Square. This is one of the most discussed and most famous paintings in world art, a pictorial manifesto of Suprematism, one of the largest areas of abstractionism, the founder of which was Malevich.
The apparent simplicity of the picture conveyed a profound meaning for Malevich. To explode the "conventional art of the past", he first had to reduce everything to "zero form", that is, to the core cell/shape on which he could build his new art. Malevich's quest for the "zero of form" led him to a black square. He explained that the painting represented a "huge Zero", symbolizing the end of the previous period of artistic evolution and the beginning of a new artistic reality, devoid of any associations with the objective world. Over time, the painting has had a huge impact on contemporary art and has become one of the most recognizable in the world. Today, Black Square can be seen in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
The black and white minimalism, the Big Zero (="huge Zero") concept, the desire to break established rules, let alone the Russian origins, are just some of the common items between Malevich's Black Square and Raketas's Big Zero. The watch is designed with respect for the abstract Suprematism of the artist: there are no numerals and indexes on the dial, and the hands are designed to blend in the black square of the dial.
The watch dial is handmade. It is made in the form of a mosaic of three natural semi-precious stones: black and white jade and violan. The natural "pattern" of the stone resembles craquelures, the cracks that have appeared over the years on Malevich's painting. This makes every watch absolutely unique. Mine is also notable for its number — 0555. This is the serial number of the watch, not the serial number in the series. The serial numbers are used to register the watch in the factory database. There will be 300 watches in this limited edition. The numbering of watches within the series is not provided, each piece bears the proud inscription "One of 300" on the caseback.
The movement is the in-house automatic Raketa 2615 (self-winding in two directions). 24 jewels, daily rate -10...+20 s, average power reserve 40 hours, 18,000 vibrations per hour (2,5 Hz), stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding. The decoration of the movement is Neva waves (handmade + printing). The black coating of the self-winding rotor is made in a unique technology that emphasizes the aesthetics of Malevich's Black Square. The logos of Raketa and the Tretyakov Gallery are printed on the bridges of the movement.
The case is stainless steel, 38,8 mm. The glass of the dial is sapphire, the back glass is mineral. A Malevich quote is engraved on the caseback: "... all the phenomena of the world are reduced to a huge Zero — or Zero contains all the phenomena of the world." Water resistant 10 ATM. Genuine leather strap.
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Raketa Polar 0270 (art. W-09-11-10-0270), limited edition of the legendary Soviet model for polar explorers in honor of the 50th anniversary of the release. The circulation of 200 pieces is also because this edition is also dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the expedition of Russian sailors Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev and their discovery of Antarctica. Also this year marks the 100th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, which organizes annual polar expeditions.
In 2020, Raketa decided to resume production of this model, whose history begins in 1969. Then the Petrodvorets Watch Factory received an order for the development and production of special watches for polar explorers — participants of the 16th Soviet Antarctic Expedition. Hence, the watch has a 24-hour movement that allows you to distinguish between day and night in the Arctic/Antarctic Circle. A batch of watches for polar explorers was produced in 1970 in time for the departure of the expedition. These Soviet watches with an unusual design quickly became popular among collectors (largely due to their rarity and inaccessibility — they did not go on free sale, as they were part of the equipment of polar explorers).
The Russian replica is very different from the popular Swiss remakes — modern watches with some retro design elements taken from the historical original. The reissue of Polar is based on watercolor sketches and technical drawings found in the archives. On the Raketa, they managed exclusively with analog methods, without digital scanning of the originals, as the Swiss do (for example, the remake of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321). Authentic machines and tools are used in the production process of the watch — now no one does that. Moreover, an employee who worked on the original watch in 1970 is still working at the factory, and it was she who led this project. Not only is she still working at the same company 50 years later (well, a legal entity, of course, changed a long time ago, but still), but she used this opportunity to improve a bit upon the original, allowing it to benefit from more modern materials.
Of course, there are differences from the original Polar watches: a different thickness and shape of the glass (but, like the original, it is organic, or plexiglass), the finish of the dial, the design of the winding crown and the caseback. However, in general, the appearance of the 1970 model was preserved. The replica uses the revived Raketa 2623.N movement with a 24-hour display and manual winding. In the past its development required great design and production efforts from the Factory. Reading the time on a 24-hour scale is not very convenient at first. But such a watch is very convenient to use as a compass: you need to direct the hour hand to the Sun — and the north will be found at the position of the 24 hour mark.
The 35 mm case is a necessary sacrifice for the sake of conforming to the historical truth, although, of course, it is too small in modern times. The original "spread out" lugs and the open (without bezel) dial have been preserved. Thanks to the convex glass with smooth edges, the dial, despite its modest size, is distinguished by good readability. It is neatly finished and has a luminescent coating on the markers and hands for a steady green glow in the dark. It is not entirely clear why the Soviet polar explorers in 1970 needed a watch anodized "like gold" (most likely, just to refine the brass case), but in any case, the golden color of the original had to be preserved (although the case itself is now, of course, stainless steel). A vintage-looking black leather strap with a red lining is stitched with red stitches.
Movement Raketa 2623.N, manual-winding, in-house, with 24-hour indication. Diameter: 26 mm. Power reserve: 42 hours. Frequency: 2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour). Number of jewels: 16. Daily rate -10 +20 s
Case Anodized stainless steel. Diameter: 35 mm, thickness: 10.1 mm. Waterproof (waterproof level not specified, but most likely 30 m). Organic glass "box" type. The caseback is engraved "BELLINSHAUSEN'S EXPEDITION 1820 - 2020 200 YEARS OF ANTARCTIDA DISCOVERY", "WATERPROOF ANTI-SHOCK LIM. ISSUE 200 PCS."
Dial Silver, sunburst (radiant) with a globe and C (North) and Ю (South) marks. Applied hour markers and hour and minute hands are partially coated with green Super-LumiNova
Straps The original straps are black calfskin and beige textile NATO. We have a custom handmade strap by Rix Strap (Naberezhnye Chelny) on our piece. The strap is made of premium Italian cow and goat leather, hand-applied technique and artistic solutions.
"Black Amphibia" 0256
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This limited edition automatic watch for divers is inspired by a Raketa diver watch design from the 1970s
Located beside the naval bases of Saint Petersburg, the Raketa Watch Factory has been making watches for the Russian navy and Russian divers for a long time. "Black Amphibia" — Raketa Amphibia 0256 (ref. W-85-16-20-0256) — a self-winding diving watch, conceived on the basis of mythical Soviet Raketa diver model from the 1970s. The watchmakers of the Raketa Watch Factory have now perfected this diver's watch in comparison with the Soviet prototype:
the case is in stainless steel,
the hands and the figures and indices on the dial have luminous paint,
the maximum permissible depth is 400 metres,
a scale on the rotating bezel marked in 15 minutes intervals enables the diver to control the level of oxygen in his bottle,
the special screw-in crown prevents the diver from accidentally opening it underwater,
every part of the movement in "Black Amphibia" is covered with a special coating — "black chromium". "Black chromium" is more wear-resistant, and in terms of corrosion resistance it is twice as good as conventional chromium-plating.
Limited edition of 300 pieces (this is number 064). It looks different from ordinary, non-black amphibias:
black colour of the case and crown,
stylized symbol of marine special forces on the dial — the emblem of military divers, combined with a symbol of military intelligence (bat),
indication of the number of wathes in the series on the dial,
decor of the self-winding rotor (the watch number in the series is also indicated on it).
The Raketa 2615 automatic movement (24 jewels) is made in-house by the Raketa Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. Average rate is –10… + 20 s/d. Average power reserve is 40 hours. 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding, automatic winding in two directions. The decoration of the movement is a print (an image of a mermaid on the rotor) and branded Raketa's Onega waves (handmade). Steel case and rotating bezel with black PVD coating. Case diameter 43 mm, thickness 13.65 mm. Screw-down crown. Transparent caseback (mineral glass). Sapphire crystal on the front. Superluminova hands and markers. Black dial. Water resistant 40 ATM. Branded silicone strap (+additional textile strap included).
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Art in motion!
The limited version of the Raketa "Avant-Garde" 0279 watch (full reference number is W-06-16-10-0279) is the first novelty from Raketa in the anniversary year 2021 — the Petrodvorets Factory turns 300 years old! Unlimited watches of this series have been produced for a long time — since the times of the USSR. In the modern history, Emir Kusturica had a hand in their design, and the watches became even brighter and more interesting.
The origins of the iconic "red triangle hand" go back to Raketa's Soviet watch designs. As always, Raketa was inspired by Russian avant-garde art characterized by abstract geometrical shapes floating on a white background. Over the years, the "red triangle" was used in many different Raketa watch designs. It even crossed the Soviet/Russian borders to inspire great modern artists such as Alain Silberstein.
There are 300 pieces in the "Avant-Garde" limited edition, and there is a corresponding inscription on the caseback in the format "ONE OF 300", which is already customary for Raketa — traditionally there is no individual watch number in the series. The limited edition differs from the existing collection by:
its black PVD case;
its special manufactory colourful leather strap with red and black accents, geometric patterns and contrasting stitching;
its open caseback (not with a small window, like in conventional model);
the decoration on its movement.
There are no changes from the front of the watch — under the domed sapphire, as under a museum glass, we observe the movement of hands in the form of various geometric figures, referring us to the Soviet Raketa Copernicus watch (minute hand), and to the Russian avant-garde art, and to thoughts of relentlessness time. The Raketa slogan for this model is This is not a watch: this is "art in motion"! Moreover, this is a rather rare case when an unusual design does not complicate the primary function of the watch: telling the time.
Movement — Raketa 2615, automatic (bi-directional), 24 jewels, average rate -10...+ 20 s/d, average running time 40 hours, 18.000 vph (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding. Decoration — print. Stainless steel case, 40,5 mm diameter, black PVD coating. Front glass is sapphire, very strongly domed, as a result, taking into account the glass, the thickness of the case is an impressive 16,55 mm. Despite the large sphericity, there is no glare, and moreover, even fingerprints on the glass practically do not remain (they use special coatings for this at the Factory). The back glass is mineral. Water resistance — 5 ATM.
Inspired by the iconic Soviet watch Copernicus, this limited edition pays homage to the science of astronomy
The first Raketa Copernicus watch was launched in the early 1980s, and it is no coincidence that it bears the name of the famous astronomer. Its design is entirely inspired by Copernicus' theory of the Universe, which led to a fundamental revolution in the science of the 16th century: the Sun lies at the centre of the system, and all the planets revolve around it (and not the other way round as had been thought up to then). The big circle (the minute hand) symbolises the Earth which rotates around the sun in 1 year, whereas the small circle (the hour hand) symbolises Jupiter which rotates around the sun in 12 years: indeed, the hour hand circles around the dial 12 times slower than the minute hand!
Raketa Copernicus 0265 (reference W-05-16-10-0265) is a modern version of the legendary model. It is also a limited edition of only 50 pieces. Raketa does not indicate the number of the piece in the series — the already traditional "One of 50" is written on the caseback.
Movement — Raketa 2615, automatic (bi-directional), 24 jewels, average rate -10...+ 20 s/d, average running time 40 hours, 18.000 vph (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding. Decoration — hand-made Neva waves (rotor). Stainless steel case, 40,5 mm diameter, black PVD coating. Front glass is sapphire, very strongly domed (as a result, taking into account the glass, the thickness of the case is an impressive 16,55 mm). The back glass is mineral. Water resistance — 5 ATM. Genuine leather strap.
Designed jointly with Tupolev for pilots of a supersonic strategic bomber
Raketa Pilot Tu-160 C307 (ref. W-30-18-30-C307) was created by the Petrodvortsov Watch Factory together with the Tupolev Design Bureau, the designer of the Tu-160 strategic bomber (among the pilots it received the nickname Belyy Lebed — White Swan, NATO reporting name Blackjack). Tu-160 is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. It is the largest and heaviest Mach 2+ supersonic military aircraft ever built and second to the experimental XB-70 Valkyrie in overall length. As of 2021, it is the largest and heaviest combat aircraft, the fastest bomber in use and the largest and heaviest variable-sweep wing airplane ever flown. The aircraft has set 46 world records.
The watch is specially designed for Tu-160 pilots. As a result of joint work with Tupolev PJSC, a model was created that ideally meets all technical requirements, with a strict design inherent in military aviation. A limited series of 200 pieces (this is number 127).
Calibre Raketa 2616 — position, it is inscribed in the traditional Raketa's Big Zero. Automatic winding, stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding, 12-hour time indication, 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz). Movement decoration — laser engraving. Unfortunately, Raketa is discontinuing the production of these movements, we will not see more Raketa models with date. This one of ours is one of the last two remaining at the factory.
Case — stainless steel, diameter 43 mm, thickness 13.5 mm. Titanium bezel. The glass of the dial is sapphire, the back glass is mineral. Screw-down crown, water resistance 20 ATM. Luminescent hands and hour numerals. Steel bracelet made of solid elements.
Tu Item 80
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Tupolev pilots' watches codenamed "Item 80"
The limited series of watches was named "Tu Item 80" (ref. W-45-17-10-0269). The first 50 numbers were to be owned by the pilots of the Tupolev corporation. In fact, watches were given as gifts also to other employees of Tupolev (this watch — number 24/200 — just got to us from one of them). The model is rare, with an early design — the design of the dial of the first 50 watches differs from the one that is available for order now (the difference is in the imitation of the aircraft position indicator, which was not present at the first 50 watches).
CalibreRaketa 2624, 24-hour time indication, 24 jewels, bi-directional automatic winding, stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding, average rate -10 + 20 s/d, average running time 40 hours, 18,000 vibrations per hour (2,5 Hz). Movement decoration — laser engraving.
Case is stainless steel, 44 mm. The glass of the dial is sapphire, the back glass is mineral. Screw-down crown, water resistance 20 ATM. Superluminova coated hands and hour numerals. Genuine leather strap.
Classic Big Zero 0217
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The limited edition with an unknown number of pieces in the series:)
Raketa Classic Big Zero 0217 (ref. W-20-16-10-0217). According to Raketa this a limited edition (although the number of pieces in the series is not indicated anywhere and is not disclosed). The unofficial version says that the watch is dedicated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the Russian national team (hence the green dial and the coat of arms of Russia, stylistically reminiscent of the emblem of the Russian Football Union).
The design of the Big Zero series was originally developed in the 70s. Over time, this bold black & white minimalistic watch became Raketa's bestseller. The legend connects the growing popularity of "Big Zero" with an episode that happened during Mikhail Gorbachev's official visit to Italy. Local journalists asked him what Perestroika meant for the USSR. Gorbachev replied that Russia has embarked on an entirely new start, and using his hands to emphasise his point, he showed the figure "0" marked in place of "12" on his Raketa watch. From that date, the hour figures on Raketa watches always start with 0 — one of Raketa's trademarks.
The Raketa 2615 automatic movement (24 jewels) is produced entirely in the Raketa Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. Average rate is –10… + 20 s/d. Average power reserve is 40 hours. 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz). Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding, automatic winding in two directions. The decoration of the movement is branded Raketa's Onega waves (handmade). Steel case, diameter 38.8 mm, thickness 12.65 mm. Transparent caseback (mineral glass). Sapphire crystal. Superluminova hands and markers. The radiant dial is olive-coloured, with a stylized image of the coat of arms of Russia. Water resistant 10 ATM.
Classic Avtomat 0219
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One of the first self-winding Raketa watches produced (in a new era in the history of the factory)
Raketa Classic Avtomat 0219 W-20-16-10-0219. This bold black & white minimalistic design with a Big Zero has become a Raketa classic! This watch was originally designed in the 1970s — an elegant mechanical watch that has become a Raketa icon. During an official visit to Italy, journalists asked Mikhail Gorbachev what Perestroika meant for the USSR. Gorbachev replied that Russia has embarked on an entirely new start, and using his hands to emphasise his point, he showed the figure "0" marked in place of "12" on his Raketa watch. From that date, the hour figures on Raketa watches always start with 0 — one of Raketa's trademarks.
The Raketa Avtomat automatic movement 2615 (24 jewels) is produced entirely in the Raketa Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. Average rate is -10 + 20 s/d. Average power reserve is 40 hours. Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding. Steel case, diameter 38.8 mm. Transparent caseback (mineral glass). Sapphire crystal. Superluminova hands. Water resistant WR100.
The series is not limited, but we have one of the first pieces of this watch sold, if not the first. The design of the model is now a little different, and now it is called not "Avtomat", but "Big Zero".
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Rare model, no longer produced
Raketa Seaman W-50-11-20-N035. Mechanical watch with a 24-hour dial and three types of (ship's) watches — Russian, British and true Vikings' one!
Raketa 2623H movement with manual winding. Water resistance 50 m. Stainless steel 43 mm case and bracelet. Sapphire crystal. The series was not limited, but rather small (this is number 0211) and is no longer produced or sold.
The most interesting thing here is the dial, because it was its controversial design that divided the lovers of Russian watches into two equal camps. Some people liked the watch endlessly (and still do). Others were outraged that they did not understand how to read the time from this parrot.
By the way, Jacques von Polier (at the time of the release of this watch in 2012 — the head of Raketa) in a private conversation complained that the dial of this watch was overloaded and he was going to give the designers the task of simplifying it, making it more readable (which was done in later, limited models). However, the face of the watch is so bright and cheerful that it is not clear if there is any benefit from simplification. The disadvantage of the watch should rather be attributed to the fact that the head that controls the external "(ship's) watch" ring is not fixed in any way, rotates very easily and inadvertently set values can be knocked down.
Time, as already mentioned, is indicated in 24-hour format, there is a second time zone, an ebb/flow scale and a solar compass. In the design of the dial, symbols of the Cardinal System of Navigation Equipment, flags of the international code of signals are used, plus the designations of the ship's watches (Russian, British and Scandinavian) are applied to the rotating bezel of the dial. Particularly pleasing are the designations like "Goodbye youth" and "Dog's watch":)
The first watch in space. Also spelled Shturmanskie (which is more correct)
Legendary "Russian Chronograph" Ocean by Volmax (new version, 2019)
Chronograph Sturmanskie Okean (Ocean) 3133/1981599 (2019 homage watch by Volmax). A controversial (as it is believed in certain narrow circles) new version on the theme of the legendary Soviet chronograph, but of very high quality, and the "box" glass is almost identical to the original. Connoisseurs indicate the wrong hands, inscriptions on the dial and their proportions as shortcomings of the model. Limited edition of 100 pieces (Volmax later treacherously increased it to 200 pieces, but I have a watch from the first batch, so the number on the caseback is 030/100).
The legendary Ocean dial has a unique appearance. An additional crown at 9 o'clock rotates the dual time bezel. In the recesses of the mini-dials, there are 60-second and 30-minute counters. The lume is applied to the applied markers, hands and the rim of the dual time bezel. All this ensures excellent readability under any lighting conditions.
A telemeter scale is applied along the perimeter, counting the distance in nautical miles. The case, repeating the shape of the vintage model that is so actual today, is increased to 40 mm, in contrast to the original 38, and is made of stainless steel with a combination of polished and ground surfaces.
The base for the watch is the legendary Russian movement, chronograph 3133 produced by Maktime ("Russian chronograph").
In 1976, the First Moscow Watch Factory began production of new wristwatches intended for officers of the Navy: chronograph 3133. This watch was made in a cushion-shaped case with a silver coating, the blue dial was called "Ocean" (item 731). Later, a modification for the Air Force flight personnel appeared, called "Sturmanskie". Such models were produced in limited quantities with military certification. Only 9 years later, in 1983, a watch with cal. 3133 became available to citizens. In 2019, Volmax launched a new collection, created with reverence for historical model.
The history of the 3133 movement begins in 1974, when the USSR purchased equipment from Switzerland for the production of a new chronograph based on the Valjoux 7734 movement. The Soviet watchmakers, however, created a new movement on its basis, reworking the design of the Swiss caliber. They made significant improvements, increasing the oscillation frequency of the balance to 21,600, and also increasing the number of jewels from 17 to 23. The new caliber received the number 3133. This was the first chronograph for which the designers of the First Moscow Watch Factory received the State Prize. The Poljot 3133 was the most complex movement and the pride of the Soviet watch industry.
Stainless steel case 40x40 mm. Mineral "box" type glass. Movement: Poljot 3133 mechanical escapement with manual winding ("Russian chronograph"). Caliber — 31 mm. Height 7.35 mm. 23 jewels. Date, summing action stopwatch, dual time. Water resistance: 50 m, 5 ATM. Balance axis shockproof device. The period of balance fluctuations is 0.33(3) s. Average daily rate: from -20 to +40 s/day. Power reserve: with the stopwatch off — 42 hours with the stopwatch on — 37 hours. Markers and hands are covered with superluminova.
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Another legendary 3133 design by Volmax (2019 version)
Sturmanskie 3133/1981260 by Volmax. Movement 3133, manualchronograph with date, made in Russia. The movement has 23 jewels, the frequency is 21,600 vibrations per hour. The power reserve with the stopwatch on is 37 hours, without the stopwatch — 42 hours. Balance assembly shockproof device. Brushed and polished stainless steel case. Fluted crown. Convex "box" type glass. Water resistance 50 m. Gray-black dial with kind of legendary design, applied markers. Lume on markers, hands and bezel. Leather strap with stainless steel buckle. Limited edition of 300 pieces (this is number 157).
Chronograph Ocean Final Edition 1976-2011
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Rare Volmax limited edition for Spanish watch forum
Okean (Ocean) Final Edition 1976-2011 by Volmax (the famous limited series for the Spanish forum or a later reissue). Limited edition of 300 pieces (this is number 071). Poljot 3133 movement — chronograph, date, manual winding. Convex mineral glass. Recognizable steel case. A truly iconic watch. Custom strap, genuine leather, handmade by Stanislav Kim (Moscow).
Gagarin Vintage 2609-3768202
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Bronze limited edition
Bronze Sturmanskie Gagarin 2609-3768202. Manual calibre Poljot 2609. 40 mm case. The caseback (also made of bronze) is decorated with a three-dimensional image of Yuri Gagarin and is fastened with 4 screws. Sapphire crystal, convex, "with two radii", as they say in the review (it is, however, about the Japanese market model of 50 pcs., but in this sense it is the same). Limited edition, 500 pieces (this is number 259).
Gagarin 60 years 2416/3815146
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60 years anniversary limited edition
On April 12, 1961, a new era began for humanity — the space era. A Sturmanskie watch accompanied Yuri Gagarin on the first manned flight into space. Gagarin "60 years" (ref. 2416/3815146) is the traditional anniversary model of the Sturmanskie, released in honour of this event.
Automatic Vostok 2416 movement, 31 jewels, power reserve of 31 hours. Vintage stainless steel case, traditional for the series, diameter 40 mm, height 14 mm. Mineral glass, convex, with two radii. Water resistance WR 50 (5 ATM). The ivory colour dial features large 12-hour numerals in retro print. Hour markers and hands with Super-LumiNova. A distinctive feature of the watch is the anniversary engraving on the caseback and the image of Yuri Gagarin during the first flight into space. Stainless steel bracelet with quick change mechanism. Limited edition of only 60 pieces (this is number 13).
Open Space 2612-1801730 Signal
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The famous mechanical alarm watch
The watch is dedicated to the anniversary of the release of the first Soviet alarm watch in 1959 — hence its second name "Signal". Movement Poljot 2612 (18 jewels) with a mechanical alarm. Polished stainless steel case, 42 mm. The crown is located at the 4 o'clock position. The head of setting the alarm is at 2. Mineral glass. Water resistance WR 30. Leather strap with silver heraldic insert. Limited edition of 300 pieces (this is number 094).
Open Space 310579-1845988
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Sturmanskie Moon Phase
Sturmanskie 310579-1845988. Limited edition of 500 pieces (this is number 010). The model is part of the Open Space collection created in memory of the commander of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft, Hero of the Soviet Union Pavel Ivanovich Belyaev. In 1960 he was enlisted in the cosmonaut corps. Among the recruited pilots, he was the oldest in age, highest in rank (major) and position (squadron commander). Within the group, he was the only one whom colleagues called by name and patronymic. He underwent training for flights on Vostok and Voskhod spacecrafts. On March 18-19, 1965, Pavel Belyaev made a space flight as the commander of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft. During the flight, the co-pilot of the spacecraft, Alexei Leonov, was the first in the world to perform a spacewalk, opening a new page in space exploration. At the final stage of the flight, when the spacecraft's attitude control system failed and landing in automatic mode became impossible, Belyaev manually orientated the ship and turned on the braking propulsion system. These operations were performed for the first time in manned astronautics. More details here.
Anchor Poljot 310579 movement, manual winding. Balance axis shockproof device. The period of balance fluctuations is 0.33(3) s. The bridges are decorated with sanding in the form of stripes, the screw heads are blued. Side second hand, date, Moon phase indicator. 42 mm 316L stainless steel case, brushed and sandblasted surfaces. Scratch-resistant mineral glass with a curved dome shape. Retro style dial, appliqués of silver-plated, diamond-cut numerals and hour markers. Light-accumulative luminescent coating on hands and hour markers. Caseback with a transparent window, connection to the case with 6 screws. Water resistant up to 30 meters (3 ATM). The crown on this piece is different from the one in the photographs from the Internet — apparently, there were variations of the model with slight differences.
Open Space 3105-1881917
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Side second, date, steel colour case, gold colour hands and markers, manual winding
Sturmanskie Open Space 3105-1881917.Poljot 3105 manual movement. Balance axis shockproof device. Small second, date. Mineral convex glass. 42 mm stainless steel case. Water resistance WR 30. Luminescent hands and markers. Limited edition of the first spacewalk, 500 pieces (this is number 355). More about the mission of Pavel Belyaev and Alexei Leonov, which the series "Open Space" is dedicated to, — here.
Open Space 2416-1869991
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Gold colour case, automatic movement
Sturmanskie 2416/1869991. A watch from the Open Space series, released in memory of the commander of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft, Hero of the Soviet Union colonel Pavel Ivanovich Belyaev. He and his teammate Alexei Leonov opened a new page in space exploration with the first spacewalk.
Pavel Belyaev was enlisted in the cosmonaut corps in 1960. Among the recruited pilots, he was the oldest in age, highest in rank (at that time major) and position (squadron commander). Within the group, he was the only one whom colleagues called by name and patronymic — Pavel Ivanovich. He underwent training for flights on Vostok and Voskhod spacecrafts. On March 18-19, 1965, Pavel Belyaev made a space flight as the commander of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft. Voskhod-2 was launched on March 18, 1965, at exactly 10:00 Moscow time (07:00 GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome. At 11 hours 32 minutes 54 seconds, Belyaev opened the outer hatch of the airlock, and Alexei Leonov found himself in a space vacuum. At 11 hours 34 minutes 51 seconds Leonov swam into airless space. Leonov spent 12 minutes and 9 seconds in free flight, after which he returned to the airlock. All this time Pavel Belyaev controlled the flight parameters. During the flight, Belyaev wore a watch by the First Moscow Watch Factory, in memory of which the Open Space series was created. The design of this collection is based on the classic Strela chronograph series, launched in 1959. The appearance of the case and dials is as close as possible to the prototype with the only difference that the most modern technologies and processing methods are used in the manufacture.
At the final stage of the flight, when the spacecraft's attitude control system failed and landing in automatic mode became impossible, Belyaev manually orientated the ship and turned on the braking propulsion system. These operations were performed for the first time in manned astronautics. You can find more details about the Voskhod-2 mission on the link, but in short, it was an unprecedented thriller, it was not for nothing that a film was made about this flight — The Age of Pioneers!
And at last — something about the watch itself. There are 31 jewels in the automatic Vostok 2416 movement. Power reserve 31 hours. Balance axis shockproof device. The classic round 42 mm case is made of polished and brushed stainless steel with a gold PVD coating. The silvery guilloche dial is protected from damage by a spherical mineral glass. Markers with superluminova. Waterproof 50 WR. Limited edition of 2000 pieces (this is number 1024).
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Dual time zone, date
Vostok 2426 automatic movement. Date, 24 hour scale, dual time. Polished and brushed stainless steel case, 44 mm. Waterproof WR 100. Mineral glass. Textured white dial with applied markers and diamond cut. Blue leather strap with silver heraldic insert (insert by Straps & Buckles, Moscow). Limited edition of 2000 pieces (this is number 1092). Video review here.
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Modern version of the classic Soviet model
Sturmanskie Amphibia 2416/7771502 is based on the Vostok 2416 automatic movement with date, 31 jewels, 19,800 vibrations per hour. Power reserve 31 hours. Balance axis shockproof device. Spring overload safety device. The case is made of stainless steel, diameter 38 mm, lug to lug is 45.2 mm. Water resistance 20 ATM (200 m). Thickened spherical mineral glass. Black PVD-coated rotating bezel, marked with contrasting luminescent scale and digits. Luminescent hands and indices on dial and bezel (Superluminova). Hands, bezel and dial markings are of a beautiful turquoise colour, unusual for Sturmanskie watches. The screw-down caseback is adorned with an engraved image of a rider on a dolphin (a reference to the 1961 Soviet film Amphibian Man and a tribute to the classic Soviet version of the watch). Screw-down crown. Silicone strap with classic buckle. Limited edition of 500 pieces (this is number 472).
Gagarin Vintage 2609-3717129
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Titanium, black dial
Sturmanskie Gagarin 2609-3717129. A watch dedicated to space exploration. Manual Poljot 2609 movement. Case — brushed titanium, 40 mm. Luminescent hands and markers. Convex mineral glass. The caseback is decorated with a relief engraving (portrait of Yuri Gagarin). Limited edition of 999 pieces (this is number 861).
Gagarin Vintage 2609-3745128
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Titanium, beige dial, green numbers
Limited edition of 999 pieces (this is number 425). On the Internet under this reference number you can only find a photo of watch with a series limit of 2000 pieces, so the real number of this watch may be different — since we have a series of 999 pieces.
In Russia the classic Sturmanskie is a watch worn by your dad or grandfather. Until the mid-1980s, they were produced exclusively for the needs of the army and it was impossible to buy them in a store. They were not an accessory, but were part of military equipment and it did not occur to anyone to talk about them as some fashionable thing — the Sturmanskies were valued as a reliable tool, always ready to be tested in battle. Because people's lives directly depended on their reliability and accuracy.
Modern Sturmanskie and specifically the Gagarin Vintage model did not fly into space. They were created in honor of Yuri Gagarin and in memory of his heroism. The Volmax company tried to create watches that are as close as possible to those of Gagarin's: the outlines of the case, the design of the dial and hands, convex glass, and a flattened crown. The company almost literally reproduced in this model the Sturmanskie Type 1. But there are still differences. Instead of chrome-plated brass, the case is made of titanium, plexiglass is replaced by mineral glass and, naturally, the case diameter has increased — 40 mm against the historical 33 mm.
But the most interesting thing is inside — under a numbered caseback with a portrait of a cosmonaut, a vintage Soviet Poljot 2609 movement is hidden. It is not something incredible, but Soviet heritage makes the watch more integral and more emotionally valuable.
Overall, the model was a success. With it, Volmax got into the stream of global fashion for watch vintage. We would like to praise them for their choice of the movement, because a Russian watch should has a Russian movement — the memory of the glorious past of the domestic watch industry cannot be eradicated from us. The practical titanium case also adds value to the watch. Only lacquered hands (everyone would like blued, as on the original) and mineral glass (but a convex sapphire is much more expensive and would transfer the watch to a different price category) can cause complaints.
Manual 2609 Poljot movement, made in Russia. Balance axis shockproof device. The caseback is decorated with a bas-relief with a portrait of Yuri Gagarin and is fixed with 4 screws. Functional laconic dial is made in retro style with luminescent markers. Sandblasted titanium case, 40 mm. Convex mineral glass. Water resistance 50 meters. The strap is matched to the color of the dial and hour markers.
Gagarin Vintage 2609-3700477
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Steel, beige dial, grey numbers
Movement Poljot 2609, 17 jewels, manual winding, power reserve 38 hours. Vintage case in brushed stainless steel with black PVD coating, 40 mm. Convex mineral glass. Water resistance WR 50. Luminescent hands and markers with Super-Luminova. The caseback is decorated with a portrait of Yuri Gagarin and is fixed with 4 screws. 20 mm grey leather strap with standard buckle. Limited edition of 500 pieces (this is number 400).
Heritage Sputnik 2609-3735431
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Small Sputnik instead of a second hand
Sturmanskie Heritage Sputnik 2609-3735431. The watch dedicated to the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite (sputnik) reminds of the USSR's successes in space exploration. Limited edition of 2000 pieces (this is number 0134). Manual Poljot 2609 movement. Balance axis shockproof device. Polished and brushed stainless steel case, 40 mm. Mineral spherical glass. Water protection 5 atm. In the center of the dial there is an image of the Earth from space, the role of a second hand is played by a rotating disk with the image of a satellite. Every minute, the satellite makes a "turn" around the Earth.
The first (despite the name "Second"!) Soviet watch factory (1924). High quality and affordable price made Slava a popular watches (or clocks), which were in any home, in any family. Today Trade House Slava produces modern watches designed for a wide range of customers
The modern version of the semi-mythical Slava watch of the last century — the unique in its shape, water resistance and history Sadko diving model. Once upon a time, a watch with such name and unique design was being prepared for release at the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory, but due to the complexity of the case, it was never put into production (or was released in a small batch, there are different versions on this topic). Today only 5 prototypes of the Sadko model are known (or more — opinions on this matter also differ — but still not very much). In 2019, Slava Trading House and a group of enthusiasts at the largest Russian watch forum watch.ru undertook to recreate that development almost simultaneously. The forum limited series is still being realized, but Sadko by Slava is already available.
The watch is interesting, more interesting than in the photo. Yes, for the inscriptions on the dial, which differ from the Soviet original, the company is criticized, but... The goal was not to create a replica of the Soviet legend. The goal was to create a new watch, a "variation on the theme". And it seems to us that it has been achieved.
The new version, in contrast to the historical prototype, has 500 m (50 atm) water resistance, automatic helium decompression valve in position "8.30", redesigned recognizable "bull's head" case and a quick date change button. Self-winding movement of the 2nd Moscow Watch Factory Slava 2427. Uniquely shaped steel case and cast bracelet with double butterfly clasp (316L steel). The workmanship of both the case and bracelet is very impressive. Case diameter 45 mm. Sapphire crystal. Original engraving ("chasing") on the caseback (unfortunately, it is made of nickel silver and is glued to the caseback). The black dial, the black and red bezel (unidirectional) is precisely the classic, historical Soviet combination (the modern reference number of this version is 5000167/100-2427). It is interesting that the most popular version among the customers is not even this one, but with a green dial and a black and red bezel.
Limited collection of 500 pieces (all varieties together, not each separately; this is number 200).
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A new version of the popular Soviet "tank"
Slava TVset 7620026/100-242. A remake of the popular Soviet watch, but at a much higher level of performance. The name is associated with the shape of the dial — it looks like an old TV. The watch was also popularly called "Tank" (the bracelet resembles a tank track).
The case is made of high-alloy steel 316L. The design is characterized by brutality and laconicism, reflecting the style of the predecessor. The glass was changed from a plastic one to a convex mineral glass with a sapphire coating. Such a coating is maximally resistant to any mechanical damage and falls. Slava 2427 automatic movement, authentic for this model, with double date (date and day of week in Cyrillic writing, Sunday is traditionally red:)). The bracelet has become all-metal, made of stainless steel (the same as the case). It was decided to abandon the usual plate clasp in favor of a modern, stylish and ergonomic folding clasp. The caseback is screwed down — this remains unchanged. Water resistance 10 ATM.
Limited to a collection of only 500 pieces (all variations together, not only this one. This is number 054).