Slightly less than a kilometre west of the main Palace gates, presiding over the former factory and current shopping centre is the Raketa clock tower. Stark and industrial, done in grey cement and dull steel, the tower marks the location of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory, which operated from 1935 to 1996, producing some of the finest quality watches and movements the Soviet Union (and beyond, though only slightly) had to offer. Production started again in 2009, and the factory is open for visitors. They were and are again known for features such as automatic winding, anti-magnetic mechanisms, 24 hour dials and for their military heritage – they supplied the Red Army, Soviet Navy and provided time pieces to the North Pole expedition. More on Raketa, you can read here.