Thursday, September 25, 2008

Raketa Calendar

Today I'm wearing my only other Russian watch, a Raketa calendar watch. Raketa is the accepted western-style spelling of "Paketa" as seen on the dial. I've actually seen it on dials spelled either way, with Raketa being used for export models. I bought this in the late 80s or very early 90s at my local Macy's. I remember being drawn to its complicated dial and large size (40mm) and also that it was from the USSR (as this was made prior to its dissolution.) I believe their initial price was $100, but they apparently didn't sell very well and I got it for much less. It came in a nice bright red cardboard box with "Paketa" embossed in gold, very Soviet-looking to a westerner, but I've never seen a Raketa in similar packaging since, so I'm almost positive it was just for the export market. I wore this watch for many years in conditions that I probably should not have, like high humidity. It has no seals to speak of and while the movement still operates well, I can see some corrosion on the crowns and case, and I'm sure it's prematurely in need of a good cleaning and lubrication. I don't wear this much anymore, and I apologize for the rather unbecoming strap it's attached to right now. I haven't had a strap on it in a while and that is the least offensive 18mm strap I own right now. I believe it was on a heavy black leather strap initially, but that wore out long ago. I might try notching a 20mm or 22mm strap to fit the covered lugs as I think 18mm is too narrow for this large a watch. Here's a review or a similar model to explain how the calendar works (mine only goes up to 2000.) I think the dial on mine is much more attractive, and I think the color scheme makes it look like a medical instrument of some sort. Here are some interesting Raketa links including some older speculation about the legitimacy of recent new-looking Raketas bearing the "CCCP" markings. I actually bought a more recent Raketa a couple years back (it was one of their 24-hour models, apparently quite popular in Russia) but it didn't interest me like this one did so I sold it. I don't think I'll ever sell this one as it's a reminder of my earlier days of watch interest before I knew I'd ever become a collector.

1 comment:

TaV said...

Very nice i have a new Raketa, i just bought it from Rusia, if u want to take look here it is.
Youre one is very nice looking.

It is at page 33.
Hope we could talk, i have a colection too.
Have a nice day, ohhh and i'm from Romania.