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This article is about the watch manufacturer. For hydrofoil, see Raketa (hydrofoil). For bandy club, see Dynamo Kazan Bandy Club.
Petrodvorets Classic 1985.jpg
Product type 1985 Model "Petrodvorets Classic"
Owner Petrodvorets Watch Factory
Country Russia
Introduced 1961
Website http://www.raketa.com

Raketa (Russian: Paкéтa; IPA: [rɐˈkʲɛtə], "rocket") watches, have been manufactured since 1961 by the Petrodvorets Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. The Petrodvoretz Watch Factory is Russia's oldest factory and was founded by Peter the Great in 1721. Raketa watches were produced for the Red Army, the Soviet Navy, for North Pole expeditions, as well as for civilians. As of today Raketa is one of the rare watch brands in the world producing its movements from A to Z.[clarification needed][1][2][3][4][5]


On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin made the first manned flight in outer space on the rocket Vostok 1. In honor of this, the Petrodvorets Watch Factory named its watches "rocket", or Raketa 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. During Soviet times it became one of the most produced watch brand in the world. In the 1970s the factory produced about 5 million mechanical watches per year.[6][7]

Luxury "Made in Russia"[edit]

In 2014 a new high-end Raketa collection based on the new in-house Raketa-Avtomat movement is released including:

  • "Petrodvorets Classic Avtomat";
  • "Amphibia";
  • "Polar";
  • "Zvezda";
  • "Pilot";
  • "Balerina"

With price ranges similar to Swiss luxury brands, quality and finishing of the Raketa timepieces have improved markedly since the USSR of the 60's. Since "Raketa" is one of the rare manufacturers capable of fully producing its watches, including movements, hairspring and escapements, with its parent at Petrodvorets Watch Factory beginning to supply some Swiss watch brands having difficulties acquiring Swiss ETA movements.[8][9]

A unique "know-how"[edit]

Raketa Mechanical Movements[edit]

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 5 million watches a year.

The Petrodvorets Watchmaking School[edit]

Being one of the rare watch brands in the world producing its own movements, the factory has created its own watchmaker school: The Petrodvorets Watchmaking School. This to ensure the transmission of watch making know-how to future generations.[10][11][12] the only one left in The schooling program has been established in collaboration with the Saint Petersburg Technical institute.[13]

Hairspring and Escapement[edit]

The Petrodvorets Watch factory Raketa, is one of the 5 watch brands in the world producing themselves their movements from A to Z[clarification needed] including hairspring and escapement. Most watch brands in the world do not produce their own hairspring, they generally order it from Nivarox a subsidiary of Swatch Group. This enables the Russian military industry to be independent from western suppliers, especially for producing hairsprings needed in the military-plane-industry.[2]

Raketa Monumental Clock[edit]

Built in 2014 on the Lubyanka square in the main atrium of the Central Children's Store on Lubyanka, the Raketa Monumental Clock is the world's largest clock movement. 5 tons, 13 meters high, 8meters large. Built and assembled in a record 6 months it has rapidly become a major tourist attraction in Moscow.The Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin inaugurated the clock in January 2015.[14][15]

The Petrodvorets Watch Factory[edit]

Raketa is one of the brands of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory and Raketa is probably the most famous of the factory's brands. But Other brands include Pobeda, Talberg and more. Before the Russian revolution, the factory also 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.


Ambassadors and Swiss specialists[edit]

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 2011 the Petrodvorets Watch Factory announced that the super model Natalia Vodianova offered to design a new model. Vodianova’s model is 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.[16] In 2012 Jean-Claude Quenet, earlier director at Rolex of the escapement department and of the production at Franck Muller, joined the Russian factory.[17] Also, in 2013 Prince Rostislav Rostislavovich Romanov is advisor to the creative department of the factory and member of the board of directors. He created a new special design of watches for 400 year jubilee of Romanov dynasty.[18] in 2014 a Swiss mechanical Engineer, Florian Schlumpf was appointed head of engineering and construction of monumental clocks.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.


  1. ^ "Raketa joue à la Rolex russe - Libération". Liberation.fr. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b "Узел баланса 28.800 колебаний / час | Русские часы: Ракета / Russian Watches". Raketa.com. 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  3. ^ "Raketa, la Russie à l'heure française - Le Point". Montres.lepoint.fr. 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  4. ^ "Raketa Watch Factory Loved by Brezhnev Looks for Revival | News". The Moscow Times. 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  5. ^ "SOLID FOUNDATIONS at the base of the watchmaking (...)". Europastar.com. 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  6. ^ coolbrandspeople.com Meeting Jacques Graf von Polier in Moskow
  7. ^ reuters.com Astrid Wendlandt, Watchmaker to the Tsars on European comeback trail Nov 4, 2011
  8. ^ "Узел баланса — спирали | Русские часы: Ракета / Russian Watches". Raketa.com. 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Жан-Клод Квине, Raketa". Chronoscope.ru. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Journey to the Raketa watch factory". Forums.watchuseek.com. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  11. ^ "Russians Relaunch Soviet-Era Space Watches - Emerging Europe Real Time - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  12. ^ "The Petrodvorets Watch Factory in Peterhof - Michelin Travel". Travel.michelin.com. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  13. ^ "Петродворцовый часовой завод | Русские часы: Ракета / Russian Watches". Raketa.com. 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  14. ^ "HALS - World's Biggest Clock to be Installed in Centralny Detsky Magazin na Lubyanke". En.hals-development.ru. 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  15. ^ [1] Archived July 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "''Raketa-Zvezda'' by Natalia Vodianova". Montre24.com. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  17. ^ "Q&A: Frenchman von Polier Betting on Russian Pride | News". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  18. ^ "Ростислав Романов, Raketa". Chronoscope.ru. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 

External links[edit]