Raketa's stylish 1980s “Big Zero” mechanical watch - like this one here - has an intriguing past, and was known to have been worn by Mikhail Gorbachev during the 1980’s.
The iconic 80's chic hasn't escaped notice, as noted by Worn&Wound in “Affordable Vintage: Raketa Big Zero” - “Dating likely from the early to mid-1980’s, the Raketa Big Zero is a bold watch that does a lot with very little…Clearly what sets this watch apart is the dramatic index design. Massive numerals for 3, 6, 9, and 0 dominate the dial. Between each numeral are two long narrow triangles, giving the watch a toothed appearance. The strange thing about it is that it works. The huge numbers, though clearly oversized, are in harmony with the dial and the case. The end result is bold, almost brutal, but fun.”
Raketa, also known as Paketa, started making watches in its St. Petersburg, Russia, Petrodvorets Watch Factory in1961. Petrodvorets is Russia’s oldest factory, and was founded by Peter the Great in 1721, and its watches were produced for the Red Army, the Soviet Navy, as well as for civilians.
Raketa acquired its namesake from Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin inaugural flight into outer space, the first for mankind. In honor of the flight, Petrodvorets named its watches “rocket,” or Raketa in Russian. Mechanical Raketa watches produced in Petrodvorets were exported to many Eastern Bloc and communist countries and were considered one of the most durable and reliable movements there – the Ak-47 of watches at the time, if you will.
This Big Zero comes with a NATO strap, leather strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1980's Raketa "Big Zero" Mechanical Watch
DIAL: Original Raketa-signed (Raketa in Cyrillic is rended with a "P" vice "R") white dial with original second, minute, and hour hands. Iconic and retro “Made in the USSR” in Cyrillic-script on dial. Please note small stain on dial adjacent to the Raketa signature.
CASE: Original 39mm (41mm with crown) x 40.5mm barrel-shaped stainless-steel case; original matching caseback. Wear on back of case commensurate with age for these Big Zeros.
CRYSTAL: Original Plexiglas crystal, in excellent condition with no scratches or cracks.
STRAP: This Raketa comes with a nylon dark blue, white, and orange NATO strap. It also comes with a dark brown leather strap. Both feature stainless-steel hardware and are colorful complements to the muted vintage styling of the Big Zero.
MOVEMENT: Original Raketa 2609.HA manual mechanical movement; this Big Zero beats at a frequency of 18,000bph.
CROWN: Non-original stainless-steel unsigned crown.