Vostok and Raketa Holographic Watches

russian holographic watch Raketa

Vostok and Raketa are renowned Russian watch brands known for their innovative holographic watches. These timepieces, particularly those with military and commemorative themes, have garnered significant interest among collectors. Additionally, some rare Vostok models feature the Poljot 2609 caliber instead of the typical Vostok 2414A, further increasing their rarity and desirability.

Key Highlights

Vostok Holographic Watches

  • Military Themes: Vostok holographic watches often showcase images of military vehicles such as tanks and airplanes, reflecting the brand’s historical connection to the Russian military.
  • Commemorative Editions: These watches celebrate significant events and anniversaries, making them popular among collectors.
  • Rare Variants: Some Vostok models are equipped with the Poljot 2609 caliber, a deviation from the typical Vostok 2414A, making these models particularly rare and valuable.
Holographic Vostok Komandirskie Watch
Vostok unknown soldier tomb

Raketa Holographic Watches and Starcke Oy Collaboration

  • Holographic Designs: Raketa experimented with holographic designs in the 1980s, producing limited models with holographic elements such as images of Lenin and other Soviet symbols. These models were created in the experimental shop at the Petrodvorets Watch Factory and were often destroyed if they did not meet specific standards​ (WatchUSeek Watch Forums)​.
  • Collaboration with Starcke Oy: In the 1990s, Raketa collaborated with Starcke Oy, a Finnish company specializing in holographic films, to produce holographic watches. This collaboration aimed to enhance the visual appeal of Raketa watches by integrating advanced holographic technology into their designs​ (WatchUSeek Watch Forums)​​ (Raketa)​.
russian holographic watch Raketa
Holographic Raketa

About Starcke Oy

Starcke Oy is a Finnish company founded in 1983, specializing in brand protection and unique packaging solutions. The company gained recognition for its high-quality holographic films, which were used not only in Raketa watches but also in various security and branding applications. Starcke’s expertise in holography made them a valuable partner for Raketa during their collaboration in the 1990s​ (Wikipedia, vapaa tietosanakirja)​.

Other Soviet Brands

  • Experimental Designs: Besides Vostok and Raketa, other Soviet watch brands also experimented with holographic dials, though these models are rarer. Collectors highly seek these timepieces due to their unique designs and limited production runs.

Collectibility and Market Value

These holographic watches are highly sought after in the collector’s market due to their unique designs, historical significance, and the rare variants equipped with different calibers. The collaboration between Raketa and Starcke Oy, in particular, represents a significant chapter in the history of Russian watchmaking, blending traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology.

Further Information

For detailed discussions and examples of these watches, visit forums like Watch.ru and Faleristika.info or this section of the sovietaly’s website. These forums provide extensive insights from collectors, showcasing various models and their historical contexts.


Vostok and Raketa holographic watches represent a fascinating blend of technology and traditional watchmaking. Their military themes, commemorative designs, and collaborations with companies like Starcke Oy make them highly collectible and valuable pieces of horological history.

Raketa Karelia: 100 Years of Automotive History

russian watch Raketa 100 years of transport in republic of Karelia

A Jewel of History and Mechanics

The watch depicted in the photo is a Raketa model, calibre 2609 HA with 19 jewels. This specific timepiece, model number 4321xxx, was produced in the 1990s and celebrates the centenary of automotive transport in the Karelia region of Russia.

russian watch Raketa 100 years of transport in republic of Karelia
Raketa 100 years of transport in republic of Karelia

Dial Details

The watch’s dial is rich with symbolism and commemorations:

  • Historic and Modern Vehicles: At the top, there are illustrations of two vehicles: an old-fashioned car on the left and a modern vehicle on the right. These vehicles represent the evolution of automotive transport over a century.
  • Circular Inscription: The red inscription surrounding the dial reads “КАРЕЛИЯ 100 ЛЕТ АВТОМОБИЛЬНОМУ ТРАНСПОРТУ”, which translates to “Karelia, 100 years of automotive transport”. This underscores the centenary celebration.
  • Logo and Years: At the centre of the dial, a blue and red logo with the number “100” highlights the importance of the anniversary.

Historical Significance

The watch was created to celebrate an important milestone in the history of the Karelia region, highlighting the significance of automotive transport in the economic and social development of the area. The commemoration of 100 years of automotive transport reflects the technological and infrastructural progress that has taken place since the introduction of the first cars up to the present day.

The Raketa Brand

Raketa, one of the most renowned watch brands in Russia, has a long history of producing robust and reliable watches. The calibre 2609 HA used in this model is known for its precision and durability, making the watch not only a commemorative piece but also a high-quality technical object.

The Karelia Region

Karelia is a historic region located in the northwest of Russia, known for its breathtaking natural landscapes and rich cultural history. Here are some highlights about Karelia:

  • Geography and Nature: Karelia is characterised by a vast number of lakes and forests, making it a popular destination for nature lovers. Lake Ladoga, the largest in Europe, is partly located in Karelia.
  • History and Culture: The region has a complex and fascinating history, having been contested between Sweden, Russia, and Finland over the centuries. This has led to a rich cultural mix and diverse influences in language, music, and local traditions.
  • Economy: In addition to tourism, Karelia’s economy is based on the timber, fishing, and natural resources industries. In recent decades, automotive transport has played a key role in the region’s economic development, facilitating trade and mobility.


This Raketa watch is not just a timekeeping device, but also a piece of history that celebrates a century of progress in automotive transport in Karelia. With its distinctive design and significant details, it stands as a lasting tribute to the evolution and importance of automotive transport in the region.

How to read a Raketa 24h watch: a comprehensive guide

russian watch raketa 24h

How to read a Raketa 24h watch

Raketa 24h watches are a type of mechanical watch produced by the Raketa factory in St. Petersburg, Russia. These watches are characterized by a 24-hour dial instead of the usual 12-hour dial.

russian watch Raketa 24h Marine
Raketa 24h Marine

How the hour hand works

The hour hand on a Raketa 24h watch is the longest hand and is located in the center of the dial. The hour hand completes one full rotation in 24 hours, from midnight to midnight.

To read the time on a Raketa 24h watch, you need to identify the index on the dial that corresponds to the position of the hour hand. The index indicates the time of day.

For example, if the hour hand is at the 12 o’clock index, it is midnight. If the hour hand is at the 6 o’clock index, it is 6:00 am. If the hour hand is at the 18 o’clock index, it is 6:00 pm.

russian watch Raketa 24h Zestril
Raketa 24h Zestril

How the minute hand works

The minute hand on a Raketa 24h watch is the shortest hand and is located in the center of the dial, next to the hour hand. The minute hand completes one full rotation in 60 minutes.

To read the minutes on a Raketa 24h watch, you need to identify the number on the dial that corresponds to the position of the minute hand. The number indicates the minutes of the day.

For example, if the minute hand is at the 12 o’clock index, it is 00:00. If the minute hand is at the 6 o’clock index, it is 00:30. If the minute hand is at the 18 o’clock index, it is 06:00.

Soviet and Russian Raketa 24h watches

Raketa 24h watches were often used in closed environments or above the Arctic Circle, when it is not possible to accurately determine the time of day by observing the sun.

In fact, above the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets during the summer and never rises during the winter. In these cases, a Raketa 24h watch is the only way to know the correct time.

russian watch Raketa 24h Red Star
Raketa 24h Soviet navy

Raketa Big Zero Geiger: The Soviet Watch with a Secret History

Raketa Caution Contact Gaigher

Raketa watches have long been a significant part of Russian watchmaking history, with a legacy spanning decades. But among all the variations produced by Raketa, the Raketa Big Zero Geiger stands out as a unique and mysterious specimen. In this article, we will explore the history of this distinctive watch, its connection to Italy, and the curious error in the name “Geigher.” We will also discover why the Raketa Big Zero Geiger has become such a sought-after item among collectors.

Raketa Caution Contact Gaigher
Raketa Caution Contact Gaigher

The History of Raketa Big Zero Geiger

The Soviet Raketa Big Zero Watch

To fully understand the history of the Raketa Big Zero Geiger, we must first examine the base model: the Raketa Big Zero. This watch was produced in the Soviet Union by the Raketa company (which means “comet” in Russian) and became quite popular in the 1980s. It was known for its clean design, robustness, and the reliability of its mechanical movement.

The name “Big Zero” comes from the position of the “12” numeral on the watch, which was replaced with a large zero, giving the watch a distinctive appearance. This minimalist style was typical of the Soviet era, where form followed function without frills.

Arrival in Italy

The story of the Raketa Big Zero Geiger intertwines with the importation of these watches into Italy. In the late 1980s, an Italian watch import company known as “Mirabilia” began importing Raketa watches into Italy. However, they are said to have done something unusual. Mirabilia appears to have assembled these watches in Italy using original Raketa Big Zero parts but with a unique local touch.

The Error in the Name: “Geigher” instead of “Geiger”

The most interesting aspect of this story is the name “Geigher” instead of “Geiger.” The error appears to be deliberate and may have been made to avoid potential issues related to the name “Geiger.” The name “Geiger” is closely associated with a Geiger counter, a device used to measure radioactivity. At a time when sensitivity to radioactivity was high due to events like the Chernobyl incident in 1986, it may have been prudent to avoid any potentially negative associations.

The Two Variants of Raketa Big Zero Geiger

The Raketa Big Zero Geiger comes in two main variants. The first features a black and ochre color combination, while the second has a black and gray combination. Both versions are extremely rare and highly sought after by vintage watch collectors.

russian watch Raketa Caution Contact Gaigher
Raketa Caution Contact Gaigher

The Appeal of Raketa Big Zero Geiger for Collectors

The Raketa Big Zero Geiger watch has gained significant fame among collectors for several reasons. Firstly, its rarity makes it a coveted item for those seeking unique and hard-to-find pieces. The combination of an original Raketa watch with the added Italian touch creates a fascinating story.

Furthermore, the mystery surrounding the error in the name “Geigher” adds further intrigue. The theory that the error might have been intentional to avoid unwanted associations adds an element of intriguing speculation.

Anecdotes and Curiosities about Raketa Big Zero Geiger

To complete our exploration of the Raketa Big Zero Geiger, let’s share some interesting anecdotes and curiosities related to this watch:

  1. The Identity of Mirabilia: The company Mirabilia, which imported these watches into Italy and assembled them, has maintained relative secrecy about its operation. Their identity and the motivations behind producing these watches remain a mystery.
  2. The Collector’s Market: In the watch collector’s market, a well-preserved Raketa Big Zero Geiger can fetch considerable prices. Collectors seek not only the black and ochre version but also the rare black and gray variant.
  3. The “Geigher” Error: The name error has become a distinctive feature of these watches. The theory that it might have been made intentionally to avoid controversies is just one of many circulating speculations.

In conclusion, the Raketa Big Zero Geiger is a unique piece of watchmaking history. Its complex history, the connection between the Soviet Union and Italy, the name error, and its rarity make it a cult object for collectors worldwide. So, if you’re fortunate enough to come across one of these watches, hold onto it tightly – you have in your hands a piece of watchmaking history with a story all its own.

Russian watch Raketa Muromets

russian watch Raketa Muromets
russian watch Raketa Muromets
Raketa Muromets

Muromets is a legendary hero of Slavic culture, also known as Illya Muromets. His figure has been celebrated in epic poetry and folk tales, making Muromets one of the most iconic characters in Russian tradition. In this article, we will explore the figure of Muromets and his legend, seeking to deepen his importance in Russian culture.

The legend of Muromets has its roots in the 12th century when Kievan Rus was threatened by the incursions of nomads from the steppe. According to the legend, Illya Muromets was a young peasant who, after being paralyzed by an illness, was forced to live as a hermit in a forest. One day, while praying in an abandoned church, he met an old hermit who predicted a great destiny as a warrior for him. The old man told him to eat the grass that grew on the tomb of a warrior, whose spirit would infuse him with the strength and courage necessary to face life’s challenges.

Muromets followed the old man’s advice and, after eating the grass, miraculously recovered. He then decided to serve Prince Vladimir of Kiev and began to distinguish himself for his strength and ability in battle. During his military career, Muromets faced numerous enemies of Rus, including the Tartars and Mongols, becoming a living legend for his courage and skill.

The figure of Muromets has inspired numerous Russian artists and poets over the centuries, giving rise to a vast cultural production that still influences Russian culture today. The character of Muromets is often associated with strength and resilience and is often evoked as a symbol of the resistance of the Russian people against foreign invasions.

In Russian popular culture, Muromets has been represented in numerous ways. In some versions of the legend, he is described as a giant with long legs and a massive body, capable of lifting enormous rocks and facing entire armies alone. In other versions, Muromets is depicted as a cunning and astute warrior, able to defeat enemies thanks to his skill and courage.

The figure of Muromets has been the subject of numerous interpretations over the centuries. Some scholars have suggested that his legend may have been inspired by historical figures such as Prince Vladimir of Kiev or the Viking warrior Rurik, while others have argued that the character of Muromets represents a symbol of the Russian people and their struggle for independence.

In addition to its importance in Russian culture, the figure of Muromets has also influenced the culture of other Slavic nations, such as Serbia and others. His legend has been passed down orally for generations and has influenced literary, artistic, and cultural production in Serbia.

In Serbia, Muromets is known as “Ilija Bircanin,” and his legend has been passed down through popular ballads and epic tales. As in Russian culture, the figure of Ilija Bircanin in Serbia has also been associated with strength and courage and has often been evoked as a symbol of the resistance of the Serbian people against foreign oppression.

Moreover, the legend of Ilija Bircanin has inspired numerous artistic and literary works in Serbia. One of the most famous is the popular ballad “Ilija Bircanin,” which tells the story of how the protagonist, after being wounded in battle, is brought to a Serbian village where he receives care and protection from the local inhabitants. The ballad celebrates the solidarity and generosity of the Serbian people, who are capable of protecting and caring for a foreign warrior.

The figure of Ilija Bircanin has also been represented in works of art, such as paintings and sculptures, and has inspired numerous film and television productions. Additionally, his name has been associated with various Serbian organizations and institutions, such as the Ilija Bircanin School in Belgrade, which aims to educate young Serbian leaders.

In other Slavic nations, such as Bulgaria and Poland, the figure of Muromets has had a similar impact on culture and literary production. In Bulgaria, Muromets is known as “Krali Marko,” and his legend has been passed down through folk ballads and epic tales. Similarly, in Poland, the figure of Muromets has been adopted in popular culture, and his legend has been transmitted through ballads and stories.

In conclusion, the figure of Muromets is a symbol of Slavic culture and resistance against foreign forces. His legend has influenced literary and artistic production in numerous Slavic nations, including Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Poland, and has contributed to shaping the collective imagination of these cultures. His importance in Russian culture and that of other Slavic nations is evidenced by his constant presence in the literature, art, and popular culture of these countries.

The watch has an interesting dial featuring the cardinal points, with one peculiarity: instead of “E” for East, there is an “O”. Here are some hypotheses to explain this detail:Russian Language:In Russian, the word for “East” is “Восток” (Vostok). The transliteration of the Russian “В” into the Latin alphabet can be interpreted as a “V” or an “O” depending on the context and local conventions. In this case, “O” might have been chosen to represent a form closer to the original Russian pronunciation.Transcription System or Local Tradition:There might be a tradition or transcription system that uses “O” to represent East in certain contexts, perhaps as a historical or cultural legacy.Artistic or Stylistic Choice:Given the commemorative nature of the watch (as suggested by the dates 1934-1994 and the depiction of Muromets, a hero of Russian folklore), it is possible that the designer chose “O” for aesthetic or symbolic reasons.Translation or Production Error:Although less likely, it is possible that there was an error in production or translation that led to the use of “O” instead of “E”.”Orient”:Another plausible explanation is that “O” stands for “Orient”, which is a traditional term for East. This is supported by the fact that there are various compasses using “O” to indicate East.German Language:It could also be that the compass is in German, where “Ost” means East. This would explain the presence of the “O” instead of the “E”.To demonstrate the hypothesis related to the Russian language:In Russian:”North” is “Север” (Sever), corresponding to “N”.”South” is “Юг” (Yug), corresponding to “S”.”West” is “Запад” (Zapad), corresponding to “W”.”East” is “Восток” (Vostok), which could be represented by an “O” due to transliteration or to approximate the sound of the initial letter “В”.The presence of Muromets, an iconic character from Russian folklore, reinforces the idea that the watch is strongly linked to Russian culture and language, supporting the hypothesis that the “O” is a representation of the “В” in “Восток”.In summary, the “O” instead of the “E” is most likely an intentional choice. It could be related to the Russian language, where “Восток” (Vostok) means “East”, or it could stand for “Orient”, a traditional term for East. Additionally, the possibility that the compass is in German, where “Ost” means East, cannot be ruled out. The use of “O” for East is common in various compasses, making “Orient” the most probable explanation.

Discovering the Charm of Soviet and Russian Watch Collections

Ritaglio schermata pagina Lancette Sovietiche Collezionare Sovietaly intervista

Strange as it may sound, even a collection of Soviet and Russian watches can be appreciated and recognised by non-enthusiasts. Andrea Manini, a 44-year-old from Milan, has been collecting these timepieces since 1992 and now boasts over 400 examples. “What amuses me greatly is that, unlike Swiss watches, the Russian ones always hide a story to tell,” says Manini.

Ritaglio schermata pagina Lancette Sovietiche Collezionare Sovietaly intervista
Lancette Sovietiche collezionare online

The world of Soviet watchmaking is rich with stories, particularly those surrounding Yuri Gagarin, the first man to conquer space. The exact watch he wore during his 1961 mission remains a topic of debate. Some claim he wore a Poljot Sturmanskie, produced by Moscow’s First Watch Factory, while others argue it was the Type One by Sturmanskie, citing a photograph as evidence. “But who can say for certain? Perhaps it’s just a shot taken during a simple exercise?” muses Manini, highlighting the mysteries often associated with these famous timepieces.

Manini’s passion for Russian watches began in 1992, the year following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Russian watches started appearing in Italian jewellery stores, sparking his interest. His first purchase was a Vostok Komandirskie, bought for a few lire at a roadside stall. The military look and the rocket on the dial intrigued him, only later discovering its significance related to Gagarin’s historic flight.

Manini’s collection focuses on Russian space adventures and Soviet watches designed for the Italian market. There are also categories dedicated to Soviet polar explorations and Russian railways. Watches commemorating space milestones, like Sputnik, Laika, and Gagarin, are particularly numerous and fascinating.

The evolution of Russian watchmaking is complex, intertwining with the country’s social, political, and military history. Initially, Russian watches were crafted by artisan workshops during the Tsarist era. The Soviet era brought industrialisation, with factories producing watches en masse for civilians and the military, using machinery acquired from American companies.

Famous brands emerged, like Poljot (meaning flight), Raketa (rocket), and Pobeda (victory). Each name reflects a historical or cultural significance, such as Chaika, named after Valentina Tereshkova’s code name during her space flight.

Despite mass production, watches from the 1960s and 1970s are of superior quality, often misunderstood due to their low export prices and the Italian proximity to Swiss watchmaking. Many Russian watches were rebranded for export, like Raketa, Slava, and Poljot becoming Sekonda for the UK market.

For the Italian market, unique models were created, like the Slava Fri Fri with a pink dial and the California with a black dial and pink indices. Two unique chronographs used Vostok cases and Poljot movements, packaged in wooden boxes and sold at high prices.

One common misconception is that Vostok watches were used by the Russian military. In reality, they were state-commissioned but not exclusive to the military. The Amphibia model, developed for divers, is another highlight, featuring a unique screw-back case.

Among Manini’s rarest pieces is a Raketa Big Zero with a nephrite dial. Finding such rare models requires caution as the online market is rife with fakes and assembled watches. Manini advises consulting knowledgeable collectors and forums to avoid pitfalls.