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Raketa 24H "Pilot" Pics

18535 Views 43 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  robbra
камрады (which I'm hoping means "Comrades"!):

I was messing around with the камера (camera) and took some photos of my Raketa "Pilot", with its new "CoolWatchStraps" Kevlar-like strap.

The darn strap was nearly as much as the watch at $30.70 with shipping (ouch!), but what price love?!

What do you think?

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Looks nice.

Is it hard to get used to a 24-hr watch? I'm afraid I'd wake up at 2:00 in the afternoon, have lunch at midnight ....
Nah, it's a piece o' cake! First couple of times are weird, but after that, no problemski. I have about half-dozen 24H watches and wear them all the time, and almost always on the weekends.
Looks amazing. Can I ask where you purchased the watch from? Thanks.
Zenitar on eBay, $39.00 plus shipping. I bought several watches from him, including 2 other Raketa 24H watches and 2 Raketa 24H pocket watches.
Thanks. That strap fits the watch perfectly. Beautiful combo.

Edit: Does this version have lume? Ive read that other 24h Raketa watches don't.
This one has a little bit, like a Komandirskie, it fades pretty quick. About what you'd expect for the price...
I'm really curious.

This watch looks brand new.I heard that Raketa went out of business, and was bought by a company that makes inferior watches with Chinese movements under the Raketa name. What type of movement does it have? Any chance of a photo?

BTW, the dial is very nice. One of the best I've ever seen in a 24 hour watch.
It is brand new, as are all my other Raketas. Here's a photo I just took of the movement, I don't know if it's Russian or not, perhaps a more experienced WUS Russian expert can tell?

And here's a photo of the "lume" from the Raketa 24H Pilot. Note that only the hands have lume, the numbers are illuminated from ambeient lighting:

Here's a photo of the Raketa 24H pocket watch, along with a photo of the pocket watch movement. These were bought brand new also recently from Zenitar:

Here's another Raketa 24H watch. Note the difference in the hands; I've found that the Raketa watches of this style with the "thin" hands are not as accurate as the Raketas with the "thicker" hands, such as the Pilot.

But, they're all just as much fun, and at very low cost!:

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While I'm not an "expert" on Russian watches, I've worked on several Raketas. This is the Russian made Raketa movement without question. What puzzles me is how crude the finishing is compared to the Raketa pocket watch below.

Just a few points: there is no brush finishing on the bridges, the rachet wheel is completely unfinished, there is no shock absorber on the third wheel and so on. The movement is very basic.

Let's compare it to the movement that is in your pocket watches:

This is a very nicely finished movement, well up to Swiss standards. Also, the shock absorbers for the balance seem to be inca bloc, but those in the top photo are not.

Sorry for all these endless questions, but I like these watches quite a bit and I'm thinking of buying one or two of them for myself. Was there any specification about the movement? Did the pocket watch have a see through case back?
No problem with questions! The back of the pocket watch looks like this, photo below. I bought the 2 pocket watches and 3 Raketa wristwatches from Zenitar on eBay. He lists the pocket watch movement I guess incorrectly as:

"Mechanical Raketa movement 2610. 24-hours dial,central second hand. Case is 40 mm x h 10 mm, made from stainless alloy neusilber.
Watch comes with the chain. The watch in never used condition! "

The pocket watches cost $40.00 USD. He lists the Raketa wristwatches as:

"Russian 24-hours Arctic Polar mechanical polar pilots wristwatch. Words in Russian: "PILOT . MADE IN THE USSR". 24 hours dial ring - no need to guess AM or PM time! Well-made item. Decorated Russian fully mechanical hand wounded movement watch with 19 jewels in a solid stainless steel chrome plated round case Pilot design. Size of case is 1.6" inch x 1.5" (41 mm x 39 mm). Comes with black leather band. The watch in never used condition! "

The wristwatches usually cost $34.00- $39.00 USD. I find them both to be very accurate; not as accurate as a Komandirskie I also bought from him, which is amazingly accurate and which doesn't vary more than about 10 seconds of the set time over 3-4 days! But the Raketa yellow pocket watch runs within 10 seconds to the set time in 24 hours.

The Raketa wristwatches can vary; as I mentioned, the "thicker" hand Raketas, like my Pilot, seem to run more accurate than the "thin" hand Raketas. The Pilot runs within about 10 sec/24 hours, while my other Raketa wristwatches can vary up to 45 seconds or so within 24 hours. I let them run down and then use the "poor man's hacking" method to set them.

The photo I took of the Raketa wristwatch movement is one of the "thin" handed watches. I don't know if the Pilot watch is different; I had difficulty removing the back on that one, so I didn't try to force it.

To be honest, I don't really care much or mind what type of movements are in them as long as they are Russian. I think the Raketas are a lot of fun, and I often wear the white "Polar" wristwatch while carrying the white pocket watch, and same for the yellow pair.

Also, people seem to get a real kick out of seeing me pull out a pocket watch, and most non-WIS types have never seen a 24 hour watch, much less a 24 hour pocket watch!

This is what the back of the pocket watches looks like:

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Re: I really like the face of the watch

I really like the look of the watch, What diameter is the case? Also it is nice to have a 24 hour watch, it makes you think a bit.

Thank For Posting,
The case is 39 mm across, 41 mm across the lug width. It took me a while to get used to it. The first 12 hours is the same, i.e., midnight to noon. Then it's like learning another language -- rather than trying to convert, start thinking in 24 hour terms, like 3 pm is 15:00, 6 pm is 18:00 and 9 pm is 21:00.

You get the to point where you can just look at the watch and "know" what time it is when it says, for example, 21:35. If you try to convert back and forth every time, you may never get used to the 24 hour time format.
I wonder about the lume. (I'm a lume freak...:-d ).

Seems to me some only have lume on the hands, whilst others have on the numbers too (cool).

Anyone have knowledge about this?
Very few of the Raketas I've seen (and own) have any lume at all. The Pilot has a touch of lume on the hands, which last about...10 seconds, literally. I guess for 40 bucks, you can't have it all!
Re: Beautiful Pictures! What Kind of Camera was Used?

Great pictures by the way, very professional, what kind of camera and lens combination are you using. I have great difficulty photographing my watches, I do not get the lighting right, too many reflections. Can you elaborate on how the shots were taken?

Thanks Again,
Thanks for the kudos, but to be honest, it's not the camera, I think it just takes a lot of trial and error. I do take product photos for a website I run, but I'm a hacker, not a photographer!

I can tell you this -- taking photos of watches is definitely the most difficult and challenging type of photography I've experienced! It's all about the lighting -- it is very important to precisely control the light to avoid reflections and to get the light in the right places.

I'm a rank amateur at watch photography. I've learned a lot just looking at the other photos taken by WUS members, most of which are awesome.

I do have a photo studio set up in my basement, which helps a bit, because I have many different pro lighting sources, but again, those are designed for very different subjects of other types of products.

I've found that setting one light on the side, with a much dimmer (2-3 stops) light set farther back and behind the watch, can help. The light will bounce back to the lens so you have to be careful to set the light source at an angle that will illuminate the watch while not blasting back into the lens.

It's also very important to create some devices to hold the watch steady at different angles. I set them on a flat box and lay a piece of cheap fabric over the box. I bought a bunch of fabric remants at Walmart.

Some WUS photographers use a light box, and one day I'm going to make one out of a cardboard box, cutting out the sides and adding some translucent fabric.

Also, it's important to have some black non-reflective paper, like construction paper, to hold over the face to dampen reflections. You can see the effect this has as you look through the viewfinder.

Honestly, the camera doesn't matter much, as long as it's on a tripod (a must) and has enough manual features to allow a large depth of field (I start with about f18) and long enough shutter opening to let in the light at that small aperture.

I use either a Fuji F31d digicam (no longer made, but highly acclaimed) or a Nikon D70 or D200 with a 60 mm Nikon macro lens. I use a polarizing filter sometimes.

I may take 50 photos to get one or two decent ones, trying all different settings. You never know what will look good until you pull out the memory stick and look at the results on the computer screen.

Photoshop does the rest -- cropping, sharpening, and tweaking the exposure and color cast.
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Re: Lume Question?

Hello Again,
Do the numbers and markers have any lume? I have a couple of inexpensive Russians coming in I believe they are Vostok's and you can't go wrong for the money, even if you have to wind them up. I'll see if I like them when they come in. I have all of sudden taken a liking to some of the Russian watches, because they look so different and are out of the ordinary of what you find everyday, and a lot of them are priced right. Watch buying is addicting, and now with decent looking cheaper watches, I'm in trouble!

Most Raketas that I've seen have no lume. This one has the "thick" hands, as I described above, with a small amount of lume on the hands only, also as described and illustrated in the photos.
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