Name: Raketa Baikonur
W-30-19-20-0194 – silicone strap
W-30-19-20-0195 – leather strap
W-30-19-20-0196 – stainless steel bracelet
Movement: Raketa 2624, automatic movement, 24 jewels, 18000 bph
Dial: 24 hours
Case: stainless steel, diameter 43 mm without crown, 47 mm with crow, 48 mm lug to lug, thickness 11 mm, lugs 22 mm
Case back: mineral glass display screwed
Crystal: flat sapphire
Water protection: 20 ATM (200 m)
Right after I saw first pictures of Raketa Baikonur I knew I would by it. It took several months, I hesitated to buy it because of the high price, EUR 1100. For western countries the delivery comes from Paris, France. It is a fast and safe way, including extra bonus for European Union – no VAT!
I got my watch directly from Russia for about EUR 880.
Finally the package arrived - heavy, 1,3 kg. Baikonur’s box is much bigger than previous standard Raketa packaging (see photos below). I do not know, why the boxes should be so big. They take up a lot of space. You can’t throw them away, if yo plan to sell your watch some day.
First impressions after opening the box – beautiful, big, showy watch. I put the watch on my wrist. First nice surprise – the leather strap is thin and flexible. My wrists are small, 16 cm, no worries to find the right hole in the strap. Three more holes left for even smaller people.
The screwed crown is very bequem to operate – winding up and setting the time was easy.
The most attractive part of this watch is navigational bezel. Bezel is moving smoothly and even too lightly, no ticks at all. As the bezel here has navigational marks, not 2nd time zone hours or countdown minutes, it is not a big problem. The cardinal points on bezel are in Russian. (Usually collectors prefer Russian watches with Russian texts.) Anyway, I have no intentions to use this watch for navigation. For me the bezel is only for decoration. And it looks nice.
This watch was designed in collaboration with Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. On the caseback is text: “РАЗРАБОТАНО СПЕЦИАЛЬНО ДЛЯ РУССКИХ КОСМОНАВТОВ” – developed specially for Russian cosmonauts. That’s why it has navigational bezel. That’s why the water protection is 200 m, much more than usually with Raketa watches. This is a new bigger Raketa standard for 24h watches – 200 m water protected 43 x 11 mm cases.
I have no idea how many cosmonauts are using this Baikonur watch. “Baikonur” is of the former Soviet cosmodrome, located in southern Kazakhstan, and still the main cosmodrome for Russian space missions. Zvyozdny gorodok (Звёздный городок, Star city) is Russian space training center near Moscow. Look, their online shop is selling Raketa Baikonur watches:
The dial, very important component of the 24-hour watch. Big white even hour numbers are very easy to follow. 0 instead of 24 is welcome. 0 (24) on top is not so good as 12 on top, but for navigational watch it is a must, I think. Small red odd hour numbers are so small and unrecognizable, that they could have been omitted at all. Hands are OK.
Movement is Raketa’s own 2624 automatic movement. Nicely decorated, as you can see though the display caseback. This movement is non-hacking, you cannot set the seconds accurately.
My watch has serial number LSP0470. 470 means a lot for a EUR 1100 watch. No doubt, that Baikonur is the most attractive 24 hour Raketa nowadays. As I said – beautiful, big, showy. And, very bequeme to wear, I have to say.