Russian Watches and the Cooperatives of Petrodvorets Watch Factory

russian watch Raketa PM - ВМФ СССР

Why are there Raketa watches without the Raketa inscription?

In some cases, it is possible to find watches without the Raketa inscription, but they are produced by the cooperatives of the PWF (Petrodvorets Watch Factory). I have also had the opportunity to encounter them and have several specimens in my collection. These watches are authentic Raketa timepieces, sometimes very unique due to dials made of stone or meticulously crafted designs.

The cooperatives of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory.

During the Perestroika, three cooperatives were established:

  • Ренессанс (Renaissance)
  • Престиж (Prestige)
  • Петергофские Мастера (Peterhof Masters (PM))

In the watch models produced by these cooperatives, the Raketa brand is not featured, despite them being actual Raketa watches. The dials are consistently of high quality and exhibit impeccable craftsmanship.

The Confirmation by Alexander Brodnikovsky

Alexander Brodnikovsky

As confirmation of what we already knew, at the beginning of 2021, I came across a post by Александр Бродниковский (Alexander Brodnikovsky) that stated the following:

“Часы «Атомный Ледокол Ямал» с одинарным календарем на базе механизма «Плоская Россия» 2614.Н кооператива «Петергофские Мастера».”

Во второй половине 1980-х годов в Советском Союзе Михаил Сергеевич Горбачев провозгласил перестройку и объявил, что можно организовывать кооперативы. На базе Петродворцового Часового Завода образовалось 3 кооператива: Ренессанс, Престиж и Петергофские Мастера.
1-й кооператив-«Ренессанс». Специализировался на наручных (механические и кварцевые) и карманных часах с каменными циферблатами из нефрита, яшмы и малахита.
2-й кооператив-«Престиж». Специализировался на часах с необычной зеркальной накладкой.
3-й кооператив-«Петергофские Мастера». Специализировался на часах с печатными циферблатами на разные темы.

The translated text

“Watches ‘Atomic Icebreaker Yamal’ with a single calendar based on the mechanism ‘Flat Russia’ 2614.N of the cooperative ‘Peterhof Masters’.”

In the second half of the 1980s, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev proclaimed perestroika in the Soviet Union and declared that cooperatives could be organized. Based on the Petrodvorets Watch Factory, three cooperatives were formed: Renaissance, Prestige, and Peterhof Masters.
The first cooperative, Renaissance, specialized in wristwatches (mechanical and quartz) and pocket watches with stone dials made of jade, jasper, and malachite.
The second cooperative, Prestige, specialized in watches with an unusual mirror overlay.
The third cooperative, Peterhof Masters, specialized in watches with printed dials on various themes.

As highlighted in the text, and understandable to those who understand Russian, the creation of work cooperatives was permitted during the Perestroika.

The Cooperatives

We are talking about watches created in the late ’80s and early ’90s. As can be inferred from the text, each cooperative had its own specialization.

The Renaissance Cooperative

Specialized in wristwatches and pocket watches, both mechanical and quartz, with dials made of semiprecious stones such as jade, jasper, and malachite. Personally, I would also add nephrite to the stones crafted by the cooperative.

soviet watch Raketa Big Zero Nephrite
Raketa Big Zero Nephrite

The Prestige cooperative

Specialized in watches with an unusual mirror dial. They are unique and very beautiful.

Prestige raketa atch cooperative
Prestige raketa atch cooperative

The Peterhof Masters (PM) cooperative

specialized in watches with high-quality printed dials on various themes.

Peterhof Masters Raketa cooperative 2609 VMF front
Peterhof Masters Raketa cooperative 2609 VMF front

The Context

I hope it is now clearer why there are some Raketa watches with other brands. They are not extremely rare timepieces, but they are not so common to be found every day on auction sites either. Personally, I believe it is worth seeking to have at least one of these watches in your collection. They tell a story of a very unique historical moment and the transition from a centrally planned economy like the Soviet one to a more liberal system.

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