|Owner||Petrodvorets Watch Factory|
Raketa (Russian: Paкéтa; IPA: [rɐˈkʲetə]) watches have been manufactured since 1961 by the Petrodvorets Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. The Petrodvorets Watch Factory is Russia's oldest factory and was founded by Peter the Great in 1721 as the Peterhof Lapidary Works to make hardstone carvings. Raketa watches were produced for the Red Army, the Soviet Navy, for North Pole expeditions, as well as for civilians.
The origin of the brand
April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin made the first flight in the history of mankind in outer space on the rocket Vostok 1. In honor of Yuri Gagarin the Petrodvorets Watch Factory named its watches "Raketa," or "rocket" in Russian. At the height of the Cold War, however, the name "Raketa" was perceived negatively in the West, as the word was associated with the latest generation of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles, the R-16.
Before the Petrodvorets Watch Factory began to produce watches, it produced objects made of precious and semi-precious stones for the Tsar and his family. Later, it began to produce goods for military manufacturers as well as jewels" for the watch industry. In 1949 the factory released the first watches under the names Zvezda ("Звезда", star) and Pobeda ("Победа", victory). The factory's own watches, sold under the brand name Raketa, first appeared in 1961 and the factory also began to manufacture its own movements, like the «Raketa - 2609N». Over the years, the Petrodvorets Watch Factory produced more than two dozen versions Raketa movements. Some were equipped with features such as automatic winding, calendars, 24-hour models for polar explorers, anti-magnetic watches (for use in case of a nuclear attack), as well as watches for the military. Mechanical Raketa watches produced in Petrodvorets were exported to many Eastern Bloc and communist countries and are considered one of the most durable and reliable movements in the world and by the 1980s Raketa was producing 4.5 million watches a year.
- Gold medal at the World Leipzig Fair for the watch «Raketa Record» (1965);
- Gold medal at the World Fair at Leipzig (1966);
- Grand Prix World Exhibition Expo 67 in Montreal (1967);
- Soviet Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1971).
- "Petrodvorets Classic";
- "Eternal Calendar";
- "Sport - Academic";
In 2009, the Petrodvorets Watch Factory employed 3 high ranked Swiss watchmakers to help the factory to adapt the production to modern standards. These watchmakers have been previously working for Rolex, Breguet and Hautlence.
In 2013 the Petrodvorets Watch Factory - Raketa, released a new, limited “Temporary Collection”, while a new collection - to be released by 2013 - is being prepared. In June 2010, the factory announced that the super model Natalia Vodianova offered to design a new model. Vodianova’s model will be based on an old Raketa design from 1974. The sales of this “Raketa by Vodianova” will be partly paid to Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.
Also, in 2013 Rostislav Rostislavovich Romanov is advisor to the creative department of factory and member of the board of directors. He created a new special design of watches for 400 year jubilee of Romanov dynasty.
The Petrodvorets Watchmaking School
In August 2010 The Petrodvorets watch factory relaunched its watchmaker school, the only one left in Russia: The schooling program has been established in collaboration with the Saint Petersburg Technical institute.
- Russian State TV documentary 2003 about the 300 years of History of the factory
- Snob Mag. About Vodianova working for Raketa
- Fersman A.E., Vlodavec N.I.: State Peterhof Lapidary Works in past, present, future. Published: USSR 1922
- Sukhorukova AE: Watchmaker: The Story of one Factory. Published: USSR 1983. - 108 p.
- Tyutenkova AG: Checking Time. Published: Lenizdat, 1986. - 181 p.