Soviet Zaria Watch: A Symbol of the 1990 Goodwill Games

Orologio Zaria dei Goodwill Games del 1990 con logo di cooperazione USA-URSS


In the realm of Soviet watchmaking, the Zaria watch from the 1990 Goodwill Games stands out as an intriguing piece of historical memorabilia. Produced by the Zaria brand, this watch features a 21-jewel, manually wound 2009b calibre. Although an economical model, its design and the historical context in which it was made make it noteworthy for enthusiasts of Soviet horology.

Orologio Zaria dei Goodwill Games del 1990 con logo di cooperazione USA-URSS
Orologio Zaria commemorativo dei Goodwill Games del 1990 a Seattle, simbolo di amicizia USA-URSS.

Technical Specifications

The Zaria Goodwill Games 1990 watch uses a manually wound mechanical movement, identified as the 2009b calibre, with 21 jewels. This type of movement was common in watches from that era. The watch case is made of coated brass, a material often used for budget watches, providing basic protection for the internal mechanism. The technical specifics of the 2009 calibre include an oscillation frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (vph) and a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. This movement is simple and functional but not particularly known for long-term reliability.

Dial Analysis

The watch dial is rich in symbolism. At the centre, it features a logo depicting two hands shaking, one with the colours of the United States flag and the other with those of the Soviet Union. This symbol of international cooperation is surrounded by the text “Seattle ’90” and “Goodwill Games,” clearly indicating the event and the year.

Significance of the Goodwill Games

The Goodwill Games were conceived by media mogul Ted Turner as a response to the Olympic boycotts during the Cold War. The first edition was held in 1986 in Moscow, and the 1990 event in Seattle marked a moment of détente between the United States and the Soviet Union. This sporting event aimed to promote peace and cooperation between the two superpowers.

Dial Details

In addition to the central logo, the dial features two red stars and the text “Zaria USSR,” confirming the Soviet origin of the watch. The gold-coloured hands stand out clearly against the white background of the dial, offering good legibility.


The Zaria watch from the 1990 Goodwill Games is an interesting example of Soviet watchmaking, with a design reflecting a specific moment in world history. Despite being an economical model with modest technical features, its value lies primarily in the historical and symbolic context represented by the dial. For enthusiasts of Russian and Soviet horology, this watch represents an intriguing piece to add to their collection, helping to preserve the memory of a period of international collaboration.

Poljot Khrunichev Space Center Watch: A Tribute to Russian Space History

Poljot Russian Watch Space Center Khrunichev


In the 1990s, during the political and economic transition from the Soviet Union to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the renowned watch company Poljot produced a series of commemorative watches. Among them, the Poljot Khrunichev Space Center watch stands out as a tribute to the importance of the Khrunichev Space Center in Russian aerospace history. This article will explore in detail the features of this watch, the caliber that powers it, and the crucial role of the Khrunichev Space Center.

Poljot Russian Watch Space Center Khrunichev
Poljot Space Center Khrunichev

Watch Features

The Poljot Khrunichev Space Center watch is a perfect example of design and function, combining aesthetics and history in a single piece.

  • Dial: The dial is dominated by a stylized representation of the Northern Hemisphere, complete with parallels and meridians, and an artistic representation of interstellar space with stylized stars. At the center of the dial, the MIR space station, active at the time of the watch’s production, is clearly depicted. The “SPACE CENTER KHRUNISHEV” inscription emphasizes the center’s international significance. The raised metal indices and gold-plated hands add a touch of elegance.
  • Case: The round case is made of steel with a dual satin and gold finish, giving the watch a refined appearance. The bi-color dial, white and blue, creates a visually appealing contrast.
  • Back: The back of the watch is simple, with an engraved serial number (118218). Signs of attempted battery replacement by inexperienced hands are visible.

The Caliber

The watch is powered by the Poljot quartz caliber, known for its simplicity and reliability. This movement uses an AG1 button battery and does not contain jewels, a choice reflecting cost-consciousness without compromising functionality. The movement is secured inside the case by a white plastic component, a common solution for watches of this period.

russian poljot watch Khrunichev
Poljot Khrunichev Space Center
russian poljot watch Khrunichev
Poljot Khrunichev Space Center

Khrunichev Space Center: A Beacon of Russian Space Technology

The Khrunichev Space Center, founded in 1916 near Moscow, is one of the most influential institutions in Russian space exploration history. Originally engaged in the production of “Russo-Baltique” automobiles, the company quickly evolved, significantly contributing to the production of military aircraft such as the Ilyushin Il-4 and Tupolev Tu-2 during World War II.

In the 1960s, the center expanded its scope to include the production of missiles and space modules, becoming a key player in the Soviet space era. Notable achievements include modules for the MIR, SALYUT, and the current ISS space stations, as well as the Proton rockets, still in use today.

Further Reading on the History and Productions of the Khrunichev Space Center

For those interested in delving deeper into the history and innovations of the Khrunichev Space Center, here are some useful links:

Collecting Russian Watches: A Valuable Addition

The Poljot Khrunichev Space Center watch is a gem for collectors of space-themed watches. Purchased for about €20, it represents not only a piece of mechanical precision but also a tribute to Russian space history. Despite some signs of use on the back, the watch is in good condition and offers an excellent combination of history and functionality.

Dating the Watch

The presence of the MIR station on the dial helps date the watch between 1992 and 1998. The MIR station, operational from 1986 to 2001, is a key indicator. The absence of references to the Soviet Union suggests a post-1992 production, while the launch of the ISS in 1998 marks the end of the production period for this specific model.


The Poljot Khrunichev Space Center watch is more than just a timepiece; it is a piece of history. For collectors, it represents a unique opportunity to own an item that celebrates the remarkable achievements of the Khrunichev Space Center and Russian space history. This watch is perfect for enriching any collection with a piece of technological and cultural history.

Sovietaly: The Journey Behind the Logo and the Birth of a Unique Watch Collection

logo sovietaly TM sfondo bianco

Sovietaly™ Russian Watches

Welcome to the story of Sovietaly, my collection of Russian and Soviet watches that has taken shape over the years. My passion for watches has deep roots in my life, roots that delve into the tales and stories of the watches my grandfather collected with care and pride. Growing up, those pieces of history always fascinated me, and in 2017, I began to make sense and structure of my expanding personal collection.

The Birth of the Sovietaly Website

In an attempt to organize the information and share my passion for Russian and Soviet watches, I decided to create a website. After exploring various options, I chose Google Sites for its simplicity and familiarity from past use. The result is the site you can visit here: Sovietaly. This space allowed me not only to showcase my collection but also to address an important issue: what to name this unique collection of watches?

The name “Sovietaly” was suggested by a dear collector friend who saw the deep connection between the concept of “Soviet” and Italy. This name became my distinctive brand, also used as a nickname in groups and forums. I decided to protect the brand (™) after legal advice, recognizing the value and protection my collection deserved.

The Creation of the First Logo

The second step was to find a logo that fully represented the essence of Sovietaly. Inspired by iconic symbols like the Raketa Big Zero watch, the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union, and the colors of the Italian flag, the logo was created with the collaboration of a professional on

It should be emphasized that the logo with the hammer and sickle was created solely to evoke the collection of Soviet watches, without any reference to communist ideology or political issues, which do not interest me.

logo sovietaly TM sfondo bianco
Sovietaly (TM) logo

The Evolution of the Logo in 2024: A New Identity

In May 2024, I decided to renew the logo to eliminate any political references and to highlight the connection with Italy even more. The new logo maintains the brand’s recognizability, adding a border with the Italian flag, reflecting a new identity more aligned with reality, given the increasing dissemination on social media.

This is currently the logo of the site and social media channels, representing the identity of Sovietaly and its evolution more accurately.

Logo di Sovietaly
Logo di Sovietaly

A Journey of Passion and Sharing

The journey of Sovietaly has been an exciting path of growth, learning, and sharing. Since then, the Sovietaly logo has become a recognizable and original element, proudly accompanying the collection. Over time, I have also experimented with its presentation, using only the text as a watermark for photos on social media.

Each watch in my collection has a story to tell, a story that I could not wait to share with other enthusiasts. Each piece represents a piece of history, a fragment of time that carries the charm and mystery of past eras.

I hope this story can inspire other watch enthusiasts and collectors. Thank you for being part of this adventure!

Vostok Cosmonaut: The Watch of the Soviet Space Era

soviet watch Vostok Generalskie Cosmonaut

The Vostok Cosmonaut, also improperly known as the Vostok Astronaut, is a highly sought-after Soviet watch among collectors worldwide. Its charm lies in the dial that depicts the profile of a cosmonaut inside a space suit helmet. But who is actually depicted? Let’s explore the various theories and the different versions of this iconic watch.

Versions of the Vostok Cosmonaut

There are primarily three variants of the Vostok Cosmonaut watch: two from the Soviet era and one from the post-Soviet transitional period. Additionally, there are different types of cases and bezels that add to the variety of this model.

Soviet Era Versions
  1. Black Dial The black dial version is usually housed in a chromed Generalskie 091xxx case, with the Vostok automatic caliber 2416b. Produced in the 1980s, it was mainly destined for the Italian and German markets. This model is easily recognizable by its typical unidirectional bezel with small dots.
  2. Blue Dial The blue dial version, much rarer, is set in a Neptune case and features a Vostok automatic caliber. Despite the color differences, the dial design remains substantially identical to the black version.
Transitional Period Version

There is also a post-Soviet version of the Vostok Cosmonaut. This variant, often marketed as Amphibia, follows the success of the Soviet versions with a very similar dial. The main differences lie in the case and bezel, as seen in the following images.

russian watch Vostok Amphibia Valentina Tereskova
Vostok Amphibia Valentina Tereskova

The Dial of the Vostok Cosmonaut

The most distinctive part of the watch is undoubtedly the dial, which depicts the profile of a cosmonaut with a helmet against a backdrop evoking deep space. The Soviet and transitional versions are very similar but present some differences in graphic details.

At first glance, it’s not easy to notice the differences between the two versions. However, by carefully comparing the reflections on the helmet and visor, distinctive details can be identified. Just take the position of the “P” on the helmet as a reference.

Confronto tra i quadranti del Vostok Astronaut

Who is Depicted?

There are three main theories regarding the identity of the cosmonaut depicted:

  1. Yuri Gagarin The most common theory is that the cosmonaut is Yuri Gagarin, the first man to travel into space. The delicate features of the depicted face resemble those of Gagarin, as seen in historical photos​ (Astronomy Scope)​​ (Night Sky Pix)​.
  2. Anna Lee Fisher Some suggest that the image might be inspired by American astronaut Anna Lee Fisher. Although it’s unlikely for an American astronaut to be depicted on a Soviet watch, the resemblance to some photographs of Fisher is striking​ (Difference Wiki)​.
  3. Valentina Tereshkova The most fascinating and perhaps most probable theory is that the face depicted is that of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to travel into space. Her historic mission aboard Vostok 6 in 1963 makes her an icon of the Soviet space era​ (Astronomy Scope)​​ (WorldAtlas)​.

Does the Vostok Cosmonaut Have Clones?

There is a similar, though less prestigious, version of the Vostok watch. It is a Slava model with manual winding and caliber 2428. The light gray/white dial features the profile drawing of the cosmonaut but with less definition compared to the original Vostok. Curiously, the bottom of the dial bears the name Yuri Gagarin in Cyrillic (Ю. А. ГАГАРИН), which might support the theory that the cosmonaut depicted is Gagarin.

russian watch Slava Gagarin
Slava Gagarin


The Vostok Cosmonaut, with its various versions, is a milestone in any collection dedicated to the space era and Soviet watches. The simplicity of the design and the cleanliness of the dial make it one of the best Soviet watches of the 1980s. Regarding who is depicted on the dial, the mystery adds an additional layer of charm. Whether it is Gagarin, Tereshkova, or a generic cosmonaut, the Vostok Cosmonaut continues to celebrate those brave men and women who paved the way for space exploration.

Difference Between Cosmonaut and Astronaut

The term “cosmonaut” is used to refer to space travelers trained by the Russian or Soviet space agency, while “astronaut” is used for those trained by U.S., European, Canadian, or Japanese space agencies​ (StarLust)​​ (Astronomy Scope)​​ (Night Sky Pix)​. The distinction originated during the Cold War and reflects the independence and competition between the U.S. and Soviet space programs.

  • Cosmonaut: Derived from the Greek words “kosmos” (universe) and “nautes” (sailor), meaning “sailor of the universe.”
  • Astronaut: Derived from the Greek words “astron” (star) and “nautes” (sailor), meaning “sailor of the stars.”

Fun Facts About Anna Lee Fisher

Anna Lee Fisher was the first mother to fly into space and worked as a chemist and astronaut for NASA. She was married to William Frederick Fisher, also an astronaut, and together they represented one of the few married couples to have both flown into space​ (Difference Wiki)​.

Insights on Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova

  • Yuri Gagarin: The first man in space, on April 12, 1961, completing an orbit of the Earth with the Vostok 1 mission. His achievement represents a milestone in the history of space exploration​ (WorldAtlas)​​ (Night Sky Pix)​.
  • Valentina Tereshkova: The first woman in space, flew on June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6. Her mission lasted almost three days and marked a significant advancement in the inclusion of women in the space program​ (WorldAtlas)​​ (Night Sky Pix)​.

For further insights, here are some useful links:

  1. Forum Orologiko
  2. Watchuseek – Discussion on Vostok Cosmonaut
  3. Article on Valentina Tereshkova
  4. Biography of Yuri Gagarin
  5. History of Vostok Watches
  6. Technical Details on Soviet Watches
  7. Soviet Space Adventures

Khersones: The Majestic Three-Masted Sailing Ship and the Raketa Watch

Close-up of a Khersones wristwatch showing different world cities and a ship illustration on the dial.

The Khersones sailing ship is an impressive and fascinating vessel, whose majestic image stands out on the dial of a watch that is a prized piece for collectors. Among the first Russian watches in my collection, this model is appreciated not only for its aesthetic appeal but also for the intriguing history linked to the sailing ship depicted on the dial.

Raketa Khersones

The watch features an attractive design with white, metallic, and blue tones that evoke a maritime atmosphere. The rotating inner bezel, a distinctive feature of this model, lists the names of cities in English. The chrome-plated case and black-finished bezel harmonize perfectly with the dial, which is dominated by the image of the majestic Khersones sailing ship.

russian watch Raketa Kersones
Raketa Kersones

The Khersones Training Ship

The Khersones is a three-masted sailing ship built in 1989 at the Gdańsk shipyard in Poland. It is part of a series of six sister ships, the most famous of which is the MIR. Designed for training naval cadets, the Khersones is 108.6 meters long and 14 meters wide, with a mainmast height of 49.5 meters. The ship has a total sail area of 2,771 square meters, allowing it to achieve significant speeds powered solely by the wind.

History and Curiosities

  • Launch and Early Career: Launched in 1989, the Khersones was primarily intended for training students at the State Maritime Academy of the Black Sea. In its early years of service, it participated in numerous international regattas, earning a reputation for excellence.
  • Circumnavigation: Between 1997 and 1998, the Khersones completed a circumnavigation of the globe, becoming one of the few Russian sailing ships to accomplish such a feat. During this voyage, it visited ports worldwide, serving as a floating ambassador of Russian seafaring.
  • Film Fame: The Khersones has appeared in several films and documentaries, enhancing its iconic image. Its presence in cinematic productions has helped spread knowledge of the ship beyond nautical circles.
  • Current Status: The Khersones is still in service today, flying the Russian flag. It is often sighted in the Black Sea near Sevastopol and continues to serve as a training ship for new generations of sailors.

To follow the current location of the Khersones, you can use the MarineTraffic website.

Collecting and Exploring

Collecting watches often leads to a desire to explore and learn more about the objects that inspire them. Personally, I enjoy pairing watches with related items like stamps, pins, or postcards. Recently, I found a postcard that depicts the Khersones sailing ship in all its majesty.

The Raketa Watch

The Raketa Khersones is a comfortably wearable watch, once you understand how to read the time correctly on a 24-hour dial. The case is typical of 24-hour watches, with TiN finishing and a black-finished bezel. Inside, the watch houses the 2623.H 24-hour caliber, a reliable movement used by Raketa.


The Raketa Khersones watch is not just a beautiful object but also a tribute to the rich history of the sailing ship it represents. Collecting it means appreciating both naval history and craftsmanship that come together in a unique and fascinating piece.

Verified by MonsterInsights