Raketa Introduces the Copernicus, the Soviet Space Watch Remake

Abstractly astronomical.

Produced in the 1980s, the Raketa Kopernik was a nod to the Soviet Union’s space exploration, a Soviet Moon watch of sorts. The hour hand took the form of a golden disc, representing the Sun, while the minute hand was the Moon, taking the form of a large ring. Once an hour the Sun and Moon hands would overlap for an eclipse on the wrist.

Named after Nicolaus Copernicus, the Kopernik was imaginatively designed but a typical Soviet-era timepiece in terms of quality. Now Raketa has recreated the original design as the Copernicus wristwatch, which is still made in Russia but boasting upgraded fit and finish.

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The rocket factory

Raketa is Russian for “rocket”, and it is a brand of the Petrodvorets Watch Factory in St Petersburg. Founded in 1721 as a stoneware manufacturer, the factory has produced watches since the second world war. Now run by its owners – an Englishman and a Frenchman – Raketa produces has a vertically integrated factory as well as an online store.

The Raketa Copernicus has an abstract dial with the Sun and Moon hands against an off-centred sphere that represents the Earth. And it has a graduated colour that goes from dark blue to black, evoking the darkness of outer space.

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The Copernicus has a steel case – either black-coated or polished – that’s 40.5mm in diameter and a thick 12mm high. It’s fitted with a sapphire crystal on the front and mineral glass on the back.

Inside is the cal. 2615 automatic movement that is derived from a Soviet-era calibre developed by Raketa. It runs at a leisurely 18,000 beats per hour, and has a 40-hour power reserve.

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While the original Kopernik from the 1980s can be had for less than US$60 on eBay, the modern day remake starts at €1,150, or about US$1,270. That can be explained in part by the improvements in quality, but no doubt is also a result of capitalism and foreign investment arriving at a what was once a state-owned watch factory.

Key facts

Diameter: 40.5mm
Height: 12mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water-resistance: 50m

Movement: Cal. 2615
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 18,000bph, or 2.5Hz
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: Leather or steel bracelet

Price and availability

The Copernicus starts at €1,150 for the steel case on strap, and is available direct from Raketa.


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