The Vostok of Gorbachev: The Watch and the Historic 1989 Visit to Italy

russian watch Vostok Gorbachev 1989

The Vostok with Calibre 2409 and the Commemorative Dial

The Vostok watch with calibre 2409 is known for its robustness and reliability, typical characteristics of Russian mechanical movements. This hand-wound watch has a diameter of 24 mm, a height of 3.7 mm, and includes 17 jewels. It operates at a frequency of 19,800 vibrations per hour and offers a minimum power reserve of 40 hours. The dial of this particular model celebrates Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to Italy in 1989, featuring his image​ (WatchUSeek Watch Forums)​​ (Wikipedia)​​ (WatchUSeek Watch Forums)​. It is available in several dial colour variants, allowing collectors to choose the option that best suits their personal taste.

russian watch Vostok Gorbachev 1989
Vostok Gorbachev 1989
russian watch Vostok Gorbachev 1989
Vostok Gorbachev 1989
russian watch Vostok Gorbachev 1989
Vostok Gorbachev 1989

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Visit to Italy in 1989

Context and Significance of the Visit

In 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, visited Italy from 29 November to 1 December. This trip was part of a broader European diplomatic tour aimed at strengthening political and economic ties between the Soviet Union and Italy amidst the ongoing reforms of perestroika and glasnost​ (Wikipedia)​​ (The Nation)​.

Agenda and Meetings

During his stay in Italy, Gorbachev had a series of high-profile meetings:

  1. Meeting with the President of the Republic: Gorbachev was received by President Francesco Cossiga. The discussions focused on bilateral cooperation and global issues such as nuclear disarmament and international security.
  2. Talks with the Prime Minister: Gorbachev met with Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to discuss economic and political relations between the two countries, with a particular focus on trade cooperation.
  3. Visit to the Vatican: Gorbachev had a historic meeting with Pope John Paul II. This event was significant given the atheist nature of the Soviet state and the Pope’s influence in the Eastern Bloc, especially in Poland.
  4. Participation in Conferences: Gorbachev attended various conferences and gave public speeches, highlighting the importance of perestroika and glasnost for the future of the Soviet Union and for international stability, promoting greater cooperation between East and West​ (Making the History of 1989)​​ (OpenEdition)​.
Anecdotes and Curiosities
  • Enthusiastic Reception: Gorbachev and his wife Raisa were warmly received by the Italian public, demonstrating the interest and admiration for the reforms introduced by Gorbachev.
  • Raisa Gorbachev’s Visit to Milan: Raisa visited Piazza Adelaide di Savoia 2 in Milan to pay homage to Nicola Benois, a renowned Russian-Italian scenographer who had worked extensively at La Scala in Milan. Benois was known for his extraordinary contributions to opera and ballet, and Raisa’s visit highlighted the importance of culture as a bridge between nations​ (Wikipedia)​​ (Teatro alla Scala Pittori 1937-1970)​.
  • Cultural Impact: Gorbachev’s visit helped to strengthen cultural ties between Italy and the Soviet Union. Various cultural exchange projects were discussed during the stay, including study programmes and artistic collaborations that would facilitate greater mutual understanding​ (Wikipedia)​​ (Making the History of 1989)​​ (OpenEdition)​​ (The Nation)​.


The Vostok watch with calibre 2409 and its commemorative dial represent not only a piece of horological history but also a symbol of an era of significant changes in international relations. Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev’s visit to Italy in 1989 remains a memorable moment that contributed to strengthening cultural and political ties between the two countries. Thank you for visiting our site and for your interest in this piece of history and culture.

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