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I had a look through the search function, but never really found a satisfactory answer in any of the other posts.

What are the odds of finding a NOS Raketa, or NOS anything, on ebay or other places nowadays? The fall of the USSR is coming up on 30 years ago in a few years now, and I'd imagine that NOS anything from the former CCCP would be all bought up by this point, yet I see ads on ebay like this one:

NEW Raketa "RED 12" Soviet mechanical wrist watch 17 jewels 2609HA Caliber | eBay

It's a good looking watch, the seller claims that it's new, and dang if it doesn't LOOK new! It has none of the usual wear and tear you would usually see on the crown, caseback, etc. But it says made in the USSR (in Russian of course), and I can't help but think what are the odds that it's real? Is there any way to tell?
 

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It looks very clean and unworn. There is a possibility that it is NOS having been forgotten in a drawer, cupboard or display somewhere. Whatever, it will need to be serviced before it can be safely used as the original lubricant will be more like glue than oil.
 

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In the early 90s a lot of state-owned large companies simply did not have money to pay their workers. As such, they would get paid in whatever the company's product was. It's not unlikely that people would have a dozen watches stuck in their drawers. That, plus the amount off theft of "public" (read "everybody's and nobodies' ") stuff was staggering in late USSR would explain the abundance of NOS stuff still around. Think about Raketa demand in the last 25 years. Not that much.

At least, watches are sellable. Think of getting paid in large industrial submersible waterpumps. I've seen that.
 

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I've read it somewhere that Raketa produced as much as 14 millions watches per year in the 80's. That's a huge number by any measure that I personally doubt it, but maybe it's true. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. If it's true then no wonder that we could still find NOS watches some 30+ years later.
 

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I would question that number. Raketa wasn't the most prolific or the most popular watch in SU. And with 300M population, minute exports and people generally having 1 watch and great movement to quartz in the 80s... maybe 14 million watches in total produced per year in all of SU, but certainly not Raketa.

Look at it another way. That would be almost 40K watches per day every day. With someone having to do assembly, some base accuracy setting, control etc. Even in two shifts, about 2,000 watches an hour. No way.
 

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In the early 90s a lot of state-owned large companies simply did not have money to pay their workers. As such, they would get paid in whatever the company's product was. It's not unlikely that people would have a dozen watches stuck in their drawers. That, plus the amount off theft of "public" (read "everybody's and nobodies' ") stuff was staggering in late USSR would explain the abundance of NOS stuff still around. Think about Raketa demand in the last 25 years. Not that much.

At least, watches are sellable. Think of getting paid in large industrial submersible waterpumps. I've seen that.
Interesting peek at the USSR end game, comrade. Those pumps were probably worth some money to someone, hopefully.
 

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Interesting peek at the USSR end game, comrade. Those pumps were probably worth some money to someone, hopefully.
Not sure, but in the immortal, and almost St.Exuperian, Soviet words: "We own what we are guarding". If you don't have something desirable, you sell the industrial pumps :)

And this continued well into the mid-late 90s as well. I traveled by train from St.P to Moscow to Kiev in '2000 and at every single train stop there were people walking around trying to sell assorted things. I distinctly remember fuel pumps for Volga GAZ-24 somewhere south of Moscow, some aluminum dishes, enamel pots and some other odd stuff. The sellers seem to hang there 24/7. In the tradition of doing business near transportation hubs, there was other stuff for sale, like Chenese plush toys in eye-splitting colors, milk products and boiled eggs and chickens, ubiquitous beer and crawfish, etc. But a lot of it was clearly domestic industrial products in fairly large quantities. I mean, a few guys would walk along the entire train's length, carrying the damn pump on their shoulder, stopping to ask if anyone wanted to buy them, and the thing was in 70lb+ range by the looks of the solid Soviet-era steel.

It was all mighty strange to me as I've lived in the States for 14 years by then, but asking around that's the consistent explanation I got. This was an almost Gandhian trip for me, personally, back then, but that's another story for another day :)
 

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I had a look through the search function, but never really found a satisfactory answer in any of the other posts.

What are the odds of finding a NOS Raketa, or NOS anything, on ebay or other places nowadays? The fall of the USSR is coming up on 30 years ago in a few years now, and I'd imagine that NOS anything from the former CCCP would be all bought up by this point, yet I see ads on ebay like this one:

NEW Raketa "RED 12" Soviet mechanical wrist watch 17 jewels 2609HA Caliber | eBay

It's a good looking watch, the seller claims that it's new, and dang if it doesn't LOOK new! It has none of the usual wear and tear you would usually see on the crown, caseback, etc. But it says made in the USSR (in Russian of course), and I can't help but think what are the odds that it's real? Is there any way to tell?
I'd say once in a while a NOS Raketa with box pops up, namely the exported models like the big zero. Vostoks pop up frequently too. I'd question anything without a box labeled as NOS, but if you plan on using the watch it doesn't really matter as long as you don't overpay which the above listing looks appropriate.
 

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The watch looks clean although the strap shows signs of wear. The style is not one that I recall seeing post-Soviet. It's certainly not one of those very colourful Raketas falsely labelled "Made in USSR" just prior to the ownership change. I think this watch is exactly what it appears to be; a late Soviet watch that has seen very little use.
 

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I had a look through the search function, but never really found a satisfactory answer in any of the other posts.

What are the odds of finding a NOS Raketa, or NOS anything, on ebay or other places nowadays? The fall of the USSR is coming up on 30 years ago in a few years now, and I'd imagine that NOS anything from the former CCCP would be all bought up by this point, yet I see ads on ebay like this one:

NEW Raketa "RED 12" Soviet mechanical wrist watch 17 jewels 2609HA Caliber | eBay

It's a good looking watch, the seller claims that it's new, and dang if it doesn't LOOK new! It has none of the usual wear and tear you would usually see on the crown, caseback, etc. But it says made in the USSR (in Russian of course), and I can't help but think what are the odds that it's real? Is there any way to tell?
In Saint-Petersburg, where Raketa's factory was (and still) situated, in 1989-1991 workers on factory received salary with the watches (yep, it was no money, so...). So on russians forums periodically you can find plenty of NOS Raketa watches with box and papers. Price is ~$30-50 depending on model. So the ZIM watches.
 

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Soon after the fall, I went to Prague; everybody all over the place was selling all sorts of Soviet/Russian goods. I bought several beautiful wool shawls from a lady who was supporting much of her factory's workers by hauling the shawls to Prague and. selling them. Optics, militaria, caviar, everything imaginable, so the accounts here seem very credible.
 

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The watch looks clean although the strap shows signs of wear. The style is not one that I recall seeing post-Soviet. It's certainly not one of those very colourful Raketas falsely labelled "Made in USSR" just prior to the ownership change. I think this watch is exactly what it appears to be; a late Soviet watch that has seen very little use.
This style actually did make it through the fall and into the '90s. I got this one for about $25 on eBay, also presumably old stock.

Otherwise, I completely agree with what you say.
 

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I saw a whole bunch of NOS Slavas available back in 2012 and was thinking of getting one. $30-40 or even less, papers, boxes, etc. Was discouraged by the watch friends in Moscow at the time due to "very poor quality". I believe I sill see a few here and there in Russia.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well this is good news indeed, for a minute I felt like I was a little late to the party! Up until now I had mostly bought new Vostok Amphibias and Komandirskies, but some of those Raketa designs are one of a kind to me.

On another note, is it possible to tell if and when a watch would need servicing? I'd imagine it would be something like it stops keeping accurate time or something along those lines
 

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I did not see NOS watches in Moscow in quantities. Neither in the pawn shops, nor in thrift stores. Mechanical watches all are gone. Probably they migrated from the original owners to the specialized sellers. Virtually impossible nowadays find a bargain. Only if you lucky and know someone who is inherited a drawer full of stuff from a deceased relative.
 

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i've bought one from ebay
is this legit
ebay.com/itm/201925953188
Looks like it. Provenance appears good but I would expect to see the number "177" on the watch somewhere, maybe the back which you did not picture. I might be a buyer but I collect soviet-era only. "Made in Russia" appears on this one and its date of manufacture, 081092, Oct. 8, 1992, is after the fall of the USSR.
 
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