Raketa ЗАЭС- 10 Years Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant: Atomic Energy, Russian Watches, and Red Jasper

russian watch Raketa 10 years Zaporizhzhia

Among my favorite Russian and Soviet watches are those made by Raketa with stone dials. I own several, each unique due to the distinct patterns of the stone. The two most commonly used stones are Jasper and Nephrite.

The History and Craftsmanship of Raketa Stone Dials

One might initially wonder why Raketa produces watches with stone dials. The reason is deeply rooted in the origins of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory. Originally known as the Imperial Workshop for Precious Stone Processing, it was established by Tsar Peter the Great in 1721. Hence, it is natural for the factory’s expertise in working with precious and semi-precious stones to extend to watchmaking. You can find various examples of both Nephrite and Jasper dials on the Raketa brand’s official website.

Raketa 10 Years Zaporizhzhia Commemorative Watch

This watch exists in at least two known versions: a general version and a commemorative version celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The commemorative version in my possession features a white Roman numeral “X” on the dial. This “X” is absent in the standard version. According to the ABOUT US page of the official website of the nuclear power plant, the first reactor was commissioned in 1984. Therefore, the Raketa ЗАЭС commemorative watch for the 10th anniversary dates back to 1994, during the post-Soviet period.

Unique Features of the Raketa ЗАЭС

The stone dial of this watch includes two overprints (a typical technique for stone dials). The first is a gold print indicating minutes on the outer part of the dial, featuring the atomic symbol and the inscription “ЗАЭС” over horizontal lines. The second print is white, showing the hour markers in Arabic numerals, except at 6 and 12 o’clock, where a gear/sun symbol appears. The white Roman numeral “X” denotes the 10th anniversary of the nuclear power plant’s operation.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

This is the name of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, located in present-day Ukraine. The plant is of Soviet origin, with construction initiated in 1977. As of 2021, it remains operational, with decommissioning planned in phases between 2030 and 2041. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and one of the ten largest in the world.

Here are three main links providing information about the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant:

The Raketa ЗАЭС Watch

The distinctive shape of the Raketa Zero gold-plated case enhances the appeal of this watch. The simple shapes of the case harmonize well with the complexity of the dial. The hands are also gold-plated and thin. The back of the watch is straightforward, with a stainless steel back and the serial number 885 engraved.

Technical Specifications

The watch houses a Raketa R2609 caliber with 19 jewels, featuring inscriptions in English for export purposes. This particular stone dial watch is one of the most beautiful in my collection and is quite challenging to find, especially in the 1994 commemorative version. It was likely a gift to shareholders or personnel of the nuclear power plant.

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