Raketa is not only the oldest factory in Russia, but also the only watch factory in the whole country. Furthermore, it is one of the only watch factories in the world, the only others being Rolex and Swatch, that manufactures its own parts; including the hair spring, balance wheel, and escapement. It was founded in 1721 by Peter the Great, as the Peterhof Lapidary Works, to make hard stone carvings. The factory produced items made with precious stones for the tsar and his family. After the outbreak of the Patriotic War of 1812, what had become the Petrodvorets watch factory was reorganised to supply the Russian army with essential equipment, including weapons. The factory also provided the stones for Lenin’s Mausoleum and the famous red stars which you can see on top of the towers of the Kremlin.
Nowaydays, the factory also manufactures watches to commemorate special events and occasions. In 2012, a limited edition “Borodino” watch, featuring an eagle, a symbol of the Russian Empire, was created in order to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War. The factory also designed a watch for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, with a different sport represented at each hour. All the Raketa watches can be purchased online or in special stores all over the country.