Raketa has a rich history that’s intertwined with space exploration. Ever since the 1960s, the Russian watch manufacture has been producing watches to go into space on the wrists of cosmonauts. The company is even named “Rocket”, so there’s no getting around it really. We’ve recently seen watches dedicated, or inspired by space travel, such as the Baikonur or the Copernicus. For the latest special edition watch, Raketa has collaborated with The Limited Edition UK and Scottish Watches to create the Raketa Mars-3.
The Limited Edition is a leading UK-based online retailer specializing in unique, rare and limited watches with a strong focus on independent watchmakers. The company was established in 2015 by industry veteran and GPHG Academy Member Pietro Tomajer with a group of keen watch collectors to become, in recent years, an ambassador for independent watchmakers and brands.
Joining forces with Raketa, the Mars-3 is based on the Space Launcher we’ve recently covered. It is inspired by the Russian Mars-3 lander, which set foot on the red planet’s surface on December 2nd 1971. Using the same 43mm wide and 13.15mm tall steel case as the Space Launcher, the Mars-3 also comes with a bidirectional rotating bezel. It is engraved with an ingenious scale to keep track of a Martian day, called a Sol. Since a Sol measures 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds in Earth-time.
The Mars-3 lander sent only one distorted picture back to earth after it touched down on Mars, which is the inspiration behind this watch’s dial. The laser-etched bronze dial is an as close as possible copy of that image, in a colour that resembles the red planet’s surface. Time is indicated in a 24-hour scale (Earth time) and bronze coloured hour and minutes hand with a red seconds hand. All the markings normally found on the dial are etched into the underside of the sapphire crystal.
The Raketa Mars-3 is equipped with the in-house produced Calibre 2624A, which is automatically wound. And we’re talking about proper in-house, with even the hairspring made by Raketa themselves. It runs at a frequency of 18,000vph and provides 40 hours of power reserve. The mineral crystal caseback reveals a custom red rotor with the date of the Mars Landing in 1971. The movement is also decorated with several constellations.
Limited to 50 pieces only, the Raketa Mars-3 is available exclusively through The Limited Edition UK for a retail price of GBP 1,680 or EUR 1,940 (both excluding taxes). It comes on a brown calfskin leather strap with a red lining and a pin buckle, and a secondary black rubber strap.