Raketa Sosnovy Bor Watch: A Commemorative Timepiece Telling a Story of Energy and Culture

russian watch Raketa Sosnovy Bor


The Raketa Sosnovy Bor watch is a unique and fascinating piece that celebrates the twenty-year anniversary of the Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant. This watch, produced in 1993, incorporates cultural and local symbols, making it an item of not only historical value but also great aesthetic and cultural significance. The three concentric stripes on the edges of the dial, representing the colours of the Russian flag (white, blue, and red), clearly indicate that this watch was created in the post-Soviet period, reflecting the new national identity of Russia.

Description of the Dial

The dial of the Raketa Sosnovy Bor watch is rich in symbols that tell the story of the nuclear power plant and the city of Sosnovy Bor.

  • Yellow Part: This represents a characteristic structure of Andersengrad, a theme park located in the city of Sosnovy Bor. Andersengrad is inspired by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and features a castle with a clock, a copper roof made of red bricks, and a weather vane. The roof decoration, with the stylised sun and the stripes radiating to the right, is clearly visible on the watch dial.
  • Blue Industrial Building: This represents the nuclear power plant itself, a symbol of progress and technology.
  • Green Elements: These represent trees, highlighting the connection with nature and ecology. The city of Sosnovy Bor is indeed rich in forests, covering an area of about 7.3 km². These green elements indicate a balance between energy production and environmental preservation.

This watch is highly sought after by collectors for its unique design and the historical and cultural significance it carries.

russian watch Raketa Sosnovy Bor
Raketa Sosnovy Bor

The Sosnovy Bor Nuclear Power Plant

History and Construction

The Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant, also known as the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP), is located in the Leningrad region, Russia. The city of Sosnovy Bor was founded in 1958 specifically to support the construction and operation of the nuclear power plant. The construction of the plant began in 1967, and the first unit was launched in 1973. This plant was one of the first in Russia to use RBMK-1000 reactors, the same type used at the Chernobyl plant.

Events and Incidents
  • 1973: The first unit of the Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant begins producing energy.
  • 1975, 1979, 1981: Three more units come online, making LNPP one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world.
  • 1990: During refurbishment works of Unit 1, an increase in radiation is detected due to the leakage of contaminated graphite.
  • 1991: An accident due to faulty equipment and non-compliance with safety rules causes ten fuel rods to break.
  • 1992: Another incident results in the release of radioactive gases and iodine into the air.
  • 2009: A unit is stopped due to a hole in a pump discharge header.
  • 2015: The first unit of the plant is shut down for decommissioning.
Modernisation and Replacement

Over the years, the plant has undergone numerous modernisation works to improve safety and efficiency. In 2008, construction of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant-2 (LNPP-2) began, using new-generation VVER-1200 reactors. These reactors are designed to replace the old RBMK-1000 units, with greater efficiency and higher safety standards.

Andersengrad: A Fairy Tale Piece of Local Culture

Andersengrad is a theme park located in Sosnovy Bor, inspired by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. It is a magical place for children, characterised by fairy-tale architectural structures, including castles and towers. The castle with the clock and the copper roof is one of the main attractions of the park, decorated with stylised elements such as weather vanes. This detail has been integrated into the design of the Raketa Sosnovy Bor watch dial, emphasising the connection between local culture and the industrial history of the city.

Torre con orologio in un ambiente pittoresco, con decorazioni luminose. Proprietà di JEANYWITCH.
Torre con orologio in un ambiente pittoresco, con decorazioni luminose. Immagine di proprietà di JEANYWITCH. Fonte: ne-kurim.ru.


The Raketa Sosnovy Bor watch is much more than just a timepiece. It is a piece of history that celebrates the Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant and integrates local cultural symbols such as Andersengrad. This watch represents a perfect balance between technological progress and respect for culture and the environment, making it a valuable item for collectors and history enthusiasts. Its production in 1993 and the use of the Russian flag colours place it in a period of national renewal, reflecting the new identity of post-Soviet Russia.

Vostok Commemorative Watch of the Komi Republic

Soviet Union commemorative watch with Republic of Komi map and symbols


The Vostok commemorative watch of the Komi Republic represents a unique and significant piece of the region’s history, located in the northeastern part of European Russia. This watch is not just a timepiece but a tribute to the history and culture of the Komi people, dedicated to S. Spiridonov, an important local historical figure.

Soviet Union commemorative watch with Republic of Komi map and symbols
Soviet Union commemorative watch featuring a map and symbols, highlighting Ю. Спиридонов and the Republic of Komi.

Watch Description

The watch features a detailed dial with Cyrillic inscriptions, including “Главы Республики Коми С. Спиридонов” which translates to “Head of the Komi Republic S. Spiridonov.” This suggests the watch was created to commemorate Yuri Alekseevich Spiridonov, the first elected head of the Komi Republic, serving from 1994 to 2002​ (Википедия — свободная энциклопедия)​​ (Радио Свобода)​.

Meaning of the Inscriptions and Symbols

  • Главы Республики Коми С. Спиридонов: Translated as “Head of the Komi Republic S. Spiridonov,” this text honours Spiridonov, known for his significant contributions to the region’s modernisation during his tenure.
  • РТЧ (RTCH): Although this abbreviation is not immediately clear, it might refer to a specific organisation or institution, possibly military or scientific.

The watch dial also includes:

  • Map of the Komi Republic: Highlighted to underscore the regional importance.
  • Double-Headed Eagle: A traditional Russian symbol, possibly indicating a connection with the federal government or an official organisation.

History of S. Spiridonov

Yuri Alekseevich Spiridonov played a crucial role in the modern history of the Komi Republic. During his tenure, he oversaw significant administrative and social transformations, contributing to the region’s stability and development​ («7×7» Горизонтальная Россия)​.


The Vostok commemorative watch of the Komi Republic is not only a valuable historical item but also a symbol of the region’s culture and history. Through its inscriptions and symbols, this watch celebrates the legacy of S. Spiridonov and provides a tangible link to the rich history of the Komi people.

Exploring the Universe of Russian Watches with Vittorio: A Journey Through Time and Technology

Exploring the Universe of Russian Watches with Vittorio: A Journey Through Time and Technology

Welcome to the fascinating world of Russian watches! In an exclusive interview conducted by Andrea, known as Sovietaly, we delve into the collection of Vittorio, a passionate enthusiast of Russian watches with an engaging story to share.

If you’re curious about exploring the world of Russian-inspired watches, get ready for an exciting journey that will take us through the history, technology, and uniqueness of these timepieces.

This interview video offers a privileged insight into Vittorio’s passion for Russian watches and the captivating stories behind each piece in his collection.

Introduction: Welcome! Whether you are a watch enthusiast or simply curious to explore a unique world, you are in the right place. This video by Andrea, known as Sovietaly in the watch world, takes us on an engaging journey through the collection of Vittorio, a lover of Russian watches with an overwhelming passion for the history and technology behind these incredible pieces.

Summary: In Andrea’s interview with Vittorio, we get an up-close look at Vittorio’s passion for Russian watches. Before becoming a collector, Vittorio developed a deep interest in the Russian language and culture, learning the language and visiting the country. Originally from Frosinone, Italy, but now residing in Warsaw, Poland, Vittorio shares how his passion for Russian watches grew over the years, starting with the serendipitous discovery of a 1990s Molnija pocket watch at a market. His collection, though not vast, includes significant pieces such as the Canfie Dia, his favorite watch due to the rich history it embodies.

Vittorio explains his extensive knowledge of the Russian language, almost at a native level, and his ability to converse fluently on any topic. He recalls his visits to Russia, starting in 2005, and his regular trips since then. Despite living in Poland for many years and initially knowing Polish only for tourist purposes, he later had to deepen his knowledge for work-related reasons.

Vittorio’s collection of watches extends beyond Russian models, including Swiss and Japanese pieces, reflecting his curiosity and openness to diverse cultures. He discusses the technical innovations and unique stories behind Russian watches, such as the use of plexiglass for waterproofing in Soviet-era dive watches, and his interest in the mechanical aspects of these timepieces.

Vittorio also shares his views on historical events, particularly the period from 1917 to 1991 in Russia, and his fascination with Soviet technological advancements like atomic icebreakers and amphibious vehicles. His passion for Russia goes beyond watches, encompassing history, geography, geopolitics, and culture, including 1990s and 2000s music that helped him learn the Russian language.

Finally, Vittorio mentions his online presence, including a website and participation in watch enthusiast forums, and his use of social media to share photos of his travels and collections. His enthusiasm for Russian watches is evident as he describes their stories, technical solutions, and the unique blend of history and technology they represent.

Conclusion: Andrea’s interview with Vittorio has been an exciting experience, taking us into the world of Russian watches through the eyes of a passionate enthusiast. With fascinating stories, technical curiosities, and palpable passion, Vittorio has introduced us to a universe where history and technology merge uniquely.

Watch the full interview on YouTube

Raketa Zero KGB: A Watch Between History and Hindu Symbolism

russian watch Raketa KGB Cosmogony

The Raketa Zero KGB watch is not just a functional object but also a vehicle of deep symbolic meanings. Let’s first examine its technical characteristics and then the symbols on its dial and their meanings.

Characteristics of the Watch

The Raketa Zero KGB is an example of a Soviet watch with a chromed brass case. Here are some of its main specifications:

  • Case: Chromed brass, giving it a robust yet elegant appearance.
  • Movement: The Raketa Zero KGB is powered by the 2609 caliber, a manual mechanical movement known for its reliability and simplicity.
  • Dial: The dial features three elephants supporting a grassy platform with a stylized representation of the Moscow Kremlin and the Cyrillic inscription “KGB” underneath them.
  • Functions: Time-only, without additional complications.

Link for further reading on the 2609 caliber:

The Dial of the Raketa Zero KGB

The dial of the Raketa Zero KGB is rich with symbols that tell a complex and fascinating story.

The Elephants

In Indian mythology, as well as in other cultures, elephants are often depicted as creatures of great strength and stability. They are associated with wisdom, power, and longevity. In Hindu cosmology, the Akupāra myth describes a turtle supporting four elephants, which in turn support the world. This symbolism is rich in meanings:

  • Stability and Strength: The elephants represent the solid foundation on which the world rests, symbolizing the stability and strength necessary to support large structures or concepts.
  • Sustainability and Support: The presence of the elephants suggests robust and reliable support, qualities reflected in the vital functions of institutions or nations.

Further reading:

The Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin is a powerful symbol of Russia. It not only represents the center of political and military power but is also a cultural and historical symbol:

  • Political Power: As the seat of the Russian government, the Kremlin symbolizes authority and control.
  • National Identity: It represents the continuity and history of Russia, evoking images of greatness and national pride.

Further reading:

The “KGB” Inscription

The KGB (Комитет государственной безопасности) was the main security service of the Soviet Union. Its presence on the watch’s dial can be interpreted in various ways:

  • Foundation of Power: The KGB is often seen as the guardian of the Soviet state, crucial for internal security and stability. Its depiction as the base of the elephants underscores its role as the foundation on which the nation rests.
  • Symbol of Control and Surveillance: It also represents the control and surveillance the KGB exercised over the population, maintaining the order and power of the government.

Further reading:

The Vision of the World on Turtles

The phrase “It’s turtles all the way down” refers to the infinite regression in cosmology. This metaphor comes from an ancient creation myth present in Indian, Chinese, and Native American mythologies. According to the myth, the world is a flat disc supported by a series of infinite turtles, one on top of the other. This vision was cited by Stephen Hawking to illustrate the concept of infinite regression in cosmological explanations.

Further reading:

Interpretation of the Combined Symbolism

When these symbols are combined, a complex picture is created that can be interpreted in several ways:

  • The KGB as the Foundation of Russia: The turtle of Hindu mythology is replaced by the KGB, suggesting that the power and stability of modern Russia (represented by the Kremlin) are supported by the foundations created by the KGB.
  • Power and Control: The elephants and the Kremlin above the KGB inscription can represent the immense power and control the KGB had and, by extension, how this control helped sustain the structure and stability of the Russian state.
  • Union of Opposites: Similar to the representation of yin and yang in Hindu cosmology, this watch could symbolize the union of opposites – power and stability (elephants and Kremlin) supported by hidden strength and KGB surveillance.

Further reading:

Final Reflections

This Raketa Zero KGB watch, with its symbol-rich dial, represents more than just a tool for measuring time. It is a cultural artifact that tells a story of power, control, and stability. Every detail of the dial is loaded with historical and cultural meanings, making this watch not only an object of curiosity but also a piece of dialogue about Russian history and politics.

Exploring these symbols offers an opportunity to reflect on how history and culture influence everyday objects and how these objects, in turn, can tell complex and fascinating stories.

Once again, I am amazed. An unexpected watch that has once again sparked my curiosity. A different and definitely unique Raketa Zero KGB!


Exploring these symbols offers an opportunity to reflect on how history and culture influence everyday objects and how these objects, in turn, can tell complex and fascinating stories. The Raketa Zero KGB is more than just a watch; it is a piece of history and culture that deserves to be understood and appreciated.

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