Take a moment and look at this watch… You have five seconds to guess what time it is. And no, it isn’t five-past-ten! Indeed, there’s something unusual, almost disturbing about this watch. And it goes beyond the fact that it is produced in Russia. It also has nothing to do with the planet-like decoration of its dial. Yes, now you’ve probably seen it, the Raketa Russian Code indicates the time… counterclockwise! Yet, it is actually more natural than you’d expect.
Some things in our lives seem to be immutable principles: 2 + 2 = 4; seeing the Sun rising in the morning; the Moon rotating around Earth; reading the time clockwise. Is it, though? The latter is a principle that we, mankind, have set to become the norm, but rules are made to be broken. And some rules can also be contradicted by nature. What if I told you that indicating the time counterclockwise could actually be quite natural.
Hours and minutes, like most time measurements, are the result of calculations based on the motion of planets and stars – for us, the rotation of Earth around the Sun and the rotation of the Moon around Earth. Once the duration of a day, hour and minute has been defined comes the way to indicate the time, which is for all of us, clockwise. But if you think about it, does it really make sense? You’d expect the motion of time to be in harmony with the movement of the planets, right? Sorry, but it isn’t. The laws of astronomy actually make the Earth and all the other planets turn in a counterclockwise direction around the Sun. And that’s what Raketa has decided to do with its “Russian Code” watch.
Certainly, contradicting a concept as well established as the clockwise motion of the hands in a watch might make it less easy to use at first, but this isn’t the idea behind this watch… This just adds another layer of originality to a watch that already has quite a dose of the unusual – its country of origin and production being the first one.
The Raketa Russian Code is a pleasantly designed watch with a rather discreet case that leaves a clear view on what matters, the dial and its display. It measures 40.5mm in diameter. The thickness of the case is rather significant, though, due to the highly domed sapphire crystal on top – which certainly adds to the charm of this watch. The case is brushed and polished, with a gold PVD coating for the present edition (a black-coated version is also available). It is secured to the wrist thanks to a 22mm, slightly patinated brown leather strap.
Under this sapphire “bubble” is the most interesting part, the dial, with its nice astral decoration and all the inscriptions in Cyrillic script – including the brand’s logo “Ракета”. The applied indexes are positioned counterclockwise and nicely designed and paired with elegant hands – filled with luminous material. Overall, this dial is original and charming, giving the Raketa Russian Code a clear identity. A cool detail is the luminous, blue-coloured tip of the seconds hand, which actually represents the Moon rotating (counterclockwise, of course) around the Earth printed on the dial.
To power the Russian Code, Raketa relies on its in-house automatic movement, which has been modified so the hands rotate in a reversed direction – the crown is also reversed, as winding is done by turning the crown towards you and setting the time done by turning counterclockwise. This movement is, like all calibres of the brand, produced entirely in-house near Saint Petersburg, in an old-fashioned yet authentic manner – something we explored here. The movement has a bidirectional automatic capacity, it beats at 2.5Hz and stores 40h of power reserve. A small opening on the caseback reveals the balance wheel or parts of the rotor decorated with “Neva waves”.
Availability and price
The Raketa Russian Code is a limited edition of 300 pieces, which can be ordered here, at the brand’s e-boutique. It is priced at EUR 1,380 (incl. taxes).
More details at raketa.com.