A Soviet-era watchmaker, Raketa has been rejuvenated by investors and a team advised by Manuel Emch, the former chief executive of Romain Jerome. The brand has brought back designs from its archives, while also producing new models inspired by its past. Falling squarely into the latter category, the Avant-Garde “The Horophile” takes it cues from Communist art while the palette comes courtesy of Amr Sindi, the Swiss-based watch influencer known as The Horophile.
In a relatively short time Raketa has managed to create a distinctive identity with its unique aesthetic. Precisely because of their Soviet-era style, many of the brand’s watches might seem drab. The new Avant-Garde, in contrast, stands out with its bright colours. It will certainly appeal to someone who appreciates the Raketa design but wants something more lively.
Price-wise the Horophile edition is no different from the standard model. At €1,650 before taxes, the watch is reasonably priced, although Raketa movements generally could do with a bit more window dressing, even at the price. The purple rotor in the Horophile edition goes some way in improving the view from the back.
The dial of the Avant-Garde is inspired by Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, one of the best-known works by artist El Lissitzky, one of the proponents of the Russian avant-garde movement that flourished from the late 19th- t0 early-20th centuries.
A 1919 propaganda poster, the work shows a red wedge penetrating its opponent’s defences, symbolising the triumph of the Bolsheviks over the Whites. The same wedge forms the minute hand, while the numerals are inspired by the typography of the period.
While the regular production Avant-Garde model has a dial in red, white, and black, the Horophile edition jazzes things up with a purple, white, and orange combination – purple being the trademark colour of Mr Sindi.
Dial aside, the rest of the watch is identical to the standard model. The case is steel and 40.5 mm in diameter, while the movement is the cal. 2615, an automatic movement that Raketa developed in the Soviet era but now improved and refined but still made entirely in-house.
Key facts and price
Raketa Avant-Garde “The Horophile”
Diameter: 40.5 mm
Height: 12 mm
Material: Stainless steel with black coating
Crystal: Sapphire in front, mineral on the back
Water-resistance: 50 m
Movement: Cal. 2615
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 40 hours
Limited edition: 50 pieces
Availability: Direct from Raketa
Price: €1,650 excluding taxes
For more information, visit Raketa.com.
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