Pobeda Sputnik 1: A Commemorative Space Watch

russian watch Pobeda 45 years Baikonur

Introduction to the Watch

The Pobeda Zim commemorative watch for the 45th anniversary of the Sputnik I launch is a timepiece of great historical and technical significance. This unique piece not only celebrates a significant milestone in the history of space exploration but also embodies the skill and innovation of Soviet watchmaking.

The Dial and Its Symbols

The blue dial of the watch features a series of symbols and images closely linked to the Sputnik I mission. At the top, below the 12 o’clock marker, we see the double-headed crowned eagle, a significant emblem representing the power and authority of the Soviet nation. At 10 o’clock, the Cyrillic inscription “45 лет” (45 years) marks the anniversary of the mission​ (Wikipedia)​​ (VintageDuMarko)​.

Proceeding to 2 o’clock, there is an image of Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite launched into space. This central symbol celebrates the beginning of the space age and the Soviet ingenuity that made this historic event possible.

Historical Context: Sputnik I

The launch of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957, marked a crucial moment in the history of space exploration. It was the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, signaling the start of the space race, a technological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The satellite remained in orbit for three weeks before its batteries died, and then for another two months before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere​ (Wikipedia)​​ (VintageDuMarko)​​ (WatchUSeek Watch Forums)​.

The R-7 Semërka Rocket

In addition to Sputnik, the dial features a stylized image of the R-7 Semërka rocket, which launched Sputnik I into orbit. The R-7 was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a significant technological achievement for the Soviet Union. This rocket was later used to launch Sputnik 2, carrying the first living being into space, the dog Laika​ (Wikipedia)​​ (VintageDuMarko)​.

The Movement of the Watch

The Pobeda Zim 2602 movement, powering this commemorative watch, is known for its simplicity and reliability. This mechanical movement, with a fixed python and a shock-resistant jewel, reflects the robustness and practicality of Soviet engineering​ (Wix site)​​ (Soviet Watch Gallery)​.


This Pobeda Zim watch is not just a timepiece, but a piece of history that celebrates a fundamental event in space exploration and world history. The combination of symbols and technical details on the dial offers a visual narrative of the Soviet technological triumph and its lasting impact on the world.

Links for Further Reading

  1. Wikipedia: Sputnik 1
  2. Wikipedia: R-7 (missile)
  3. YouTube: R-7 Rocket Launch

Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz: The Story of a Commemorative and Promotional Watch

russian watch Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz

One of the most sought-after watches by enthusiasts of Russian and Soviet space-themed timepieces is the Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz (Восток Командирские Союз Аполлон). This watch is a must-have for collectors, but it is not easy to find and often comes at a high price. After years of searching, I finally acquired two versions: one with a chrome case and another finished in Titanium Nitride (TiN).

russian watch Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz
Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz
russian watch Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz
Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz

The Mystery of the Watch

At first glance, many believe this watch commemorates the historic Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975, where American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts conducted a joint mission in space. The dial features the spacecraft docking, with the names “Soyuz” and “Apollo” in Cyrillic. However, the real story behind this watch is different.

The Advertising Twist

The Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz was produced as an advertising piece for Apollo-Soyuz cigarettes, a brand launched to commemorate the space mission. These cigarettes were produced by the Java Tobacco Factory in Moscow for the Soviet market and by Philip Morris for the U.S. market, with packaging tailored for each region.

For more details about the cigarette brand, visit Wikipedia and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The Unique Caseback

One of the most distinctive features of this watch is its caseback. Unlike standard Vostok Komandirskie models, it features unique engravings that highlight its exclusivity:

  • A five-pointed star
  • The word “эксклюзивный” (exclusive)
  • The word “выуск” (edition)
  • A six-digit serial number
  • Another five-pointed star

This marking signifies a special edition, though the exact number produced remains unclear.

The Dial Details

The black dial with its printed elements is the standout feature of this watch. Key characteristics include:

  • Minute and hour markers in white
  • Circular hour markers in white, except for red at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock
  • A date window at 3 o’clock
  • The spacecraft Soyuz and Apollo depicted in blue and white, with curved lines indicating their docking paths

The Hands and Movement

The watch hands are typical of Vostok Komandirskie models: steel with luminous paint for the hour and minute hands, and a red second hand. Inside, it houses the reliable Vostok 2414 mechanical movement.

The Apollo-Soyuz Mission

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) marked the first international human spaceflight mission, paving the way for future cooperation in space. Launched in July 1975, the mission demonstrated the possibility of joint operations between the U.S. and USSR, despite Cold War tensions. For more details on the mission, visit the official NASA page.

Apollo-Soyuz Cigarettes

Apollo-Soyuz cigarettes were a commemorative brand of the 1975 space event. These cigarettes were sold both in the USA and the USSR, with the brand varying between “Apollo Soyuz” for the American market and “Союз Аполлон” for the Soviet market. This brand symbolized international cooperation in space and represented a unique element of the popular culture of that period.


The Vostok Komandirskie Apollo Soyuz is more than just a watch; it is a piece of history blending space exploration with a unique advertising campaign. Collectors cherish it for its story and the mystery surrounding its true origin.

For further reading and detailed images, visit the Apollo-Soyuz gallery on Wikipedia and an in-depth article on the history of the cigarettes on Artefact.

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