Raketa Perpetual Calendar

Archives October 15, 2002 admin


The Raketa Perpetual Calendar watch is
produced in the Patrodworzowy Watch factory, approximately 30km
from St. Petersburg. The factory manufactures only men’s
watches, and this particular model has been in production since
1985. As this watch carries the “Made in Russia” inscription
it would have been manufactured after 1991. Watches produced
before this date carried the inscription “Made in USSR”.

The Watch

This is a large watch, in fact a very large
watch, considering it is not a chronograph. The dimensions of
the case are as follows:

Diameter : 40mm
(excluding hooded lugs)

Thickness : 11mm (to top of crystal)

The case is chrome plated over base metal,
with a stainless steel snap back. It is hard to see how it could
have any water resistance, and certainly the watch carries no
detail on this. There is no seal between case & back. The
chrome plating is smoothly applied, giving the appearance of
polished stainless steel. The snap back is easily removed to
inspect the movement. The watch accepts 18mm bands, and once
again it was supplied with one of those extremely long black
leather bands. I have since replaced this with a bright blue
band co-ordinated to the dial colour.

The dial is quite impressive, or ugly,
depending on your tastes. It is a metallic iridescent blue colour,
with gold applied markers, and white printed markings. There
is a day & date display at the 3 o’clock position. The
hands are extremely long, and painted a very light blue. This
is not a good watch in the dark, as there are no luminous markings
whatsoever. The crystal is acrylic and very highly domed, extending
3mm above the case rim.


The watch has two crowns, located at the
3 and 4 o’clock positions. The crown at 3 o’clock (see
yellow arrow at right) handles the winding of the watch in the
normal position, and a rather unique way of quick setting the
Date display. By pulling this crown out against spring pressure,
the date will advance one number for each activation. I have
not yet figured out how to quick set the Day display (perhaps
it is not quick set). The crown at the 4 o’clock position
(see white arrow at right) sets the perpetual calendar display.

The Perpetual Calendar function is purely
manual, and is not connected to the main movement mechanism in
any way. Below is a close up of both the month and day displays.






Setting the Perpetual Calendar

The calendar is set by revolving the bottom
display with the setting crown. The years, from 1992 through
to 2012 are set to align below the corresponding month in the
printed table above the year window.

In the bottom close-up (above), you will
see that the year 1998 is aligned with the “JUN” (June)
marking. In the upper day display (above), the calendar can be
read by finding the day of the week, for example “MON”
(Monday), and then reading the dates in the printed table below
the day display. As you can see, there is a choice of dates of
1, 8, 15, 22 & 29. So, we know it is currently one of those
days in June 1998. It’s up to you to know what date you
want. A useful feature? Maybe, maybe not – but it is interesting


The movement is the 19 jewel manual winding Caliber 2628. My
example displays an accuracy of -18 seconds per day. The gear
connecting the lower crown to the perpetual calendar display
is indicated by the yellow arrow in the scan of the movement
at right.

This watch is quite eye catching, and has
probably attracted more comments, both complimentary and otherwise,
than any other watch I have worn. It is also available in a gold
plated case with an iridescent red dial. That model must be something
to see. Again the price was extremely low – US$25.

In Conclusion

I purchased both the Sekonda Alarm &
Raketa Perpetual Calendar watches out of curiosity. I was intrigued
to see just what sort of watch the Russians built, and the price
was extremely affordable. Given the low prices I have to say
that the quality of workmanship is quite remarkable. Whilst I
obtained the watches mainly as interesting conversation pieces,
they are definitely suitable for daily wear. How long the Russians
will be pumping out these little mechanical marvels is anyone’s
guess. As a sideline to a more refined collection of fine watches,
these Russian mechanicals make a delightful diversion.



Source of watches – Dimas
Trading Company

Technical & Historic information :
“Russian Wristwatches” by Juri Levenburg (a good overview
of many Russian watches).