To produce this 24 hour automatic wristwatch for Russian submariners, the Raketa Watch Factory used original metal from the Russian submarine “Leopard” (Akula class). This exceptional watch was developed with the help of Captain Valery Dyakonov, who supervised the pre-launch stages of the Leopard, conducted its sea trials and was its first commander until 1996. He now lives in Saint-Petersburg next to Raketa.
The Raketa Watch Factory is located in Saint-Petersburg, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and it therefore always had a strong tradition of making watches for Soviet seamen and submariners.
Living underwater for many months, Soviet submarine crews needed a sturdy watch with a robust 24-hour movement to allow them to distinguish day from night. The Raketa “Leopard 24” watch model continues Raketa’s tradition of making such specialized 24 hour watches for submariners.
“Akula” class nuclear powered submarines (their Soviet/Russian designation is “Shchuka-B”) first entered service in the Soviet Navy in 1984 and immediately positioned themselves as one of the most advanced submarines in the world in quietness and survivability. To this day these silent submarines still command respect in the oceans.
Each Akula Class submarine has its own name: the metal used in the Raketa watch comes from the “Leopard K-328” submarine which took part in numerous operations around the globe. The metal was officially given to the Raketa Watch Factory by the shipyard that is currently conducting the overhaul and modernisation of the Leopard submarine (each watch is delivered with a certificate authenticating the origin of the metal). This metal comes from an exterior part of the Leopard’s hull.
In addition to the bezel made from a metal part of the “Leopard” submarine, the Raketa “Leopard 24” model is also a submariner’s watch by design and functionality. Its hands replicate the design of the hands in the control panels of the submarine.
The Leopard 24 watch is powered by a Raketa 24 hour automatic movement (Raketa 2624А caliber) that allows submariners to distinguish day from night during their long underwater missions. The dial and hands are luminescent to allow submariners to read the time in the dark.
6 lines (in red and grey colours) divide the perimeter of the dial into 6 quarters (4 hours each) allowing each crewmember to keep count of his watches/shifts in the submarine.
The automatic movement has a bi-directional rotor which doubles the winding-up efficiency of the watch (which is particularly useful in the cramped conditions of the submarine).
The colours of the top of the watch (dial & top leather strap) and of the bottom (screws fixing the bridges of the movement, rotor and lining of the strap) are identical to the colours of the submarine’s hull: black for the top and red for the bottom.
Every watch is delivered with a certificate authenticating the origin of the Leopard metal, with the official insignia of the Leopard submarine, with an additional rubber band and a branded spring bar tool to easily change the straps.
The Raketa Leopard 24 watch is produced in a limited series of 300 pieces. Its price is 1,292 Euros (VAT not included).
Model: Raketa “Leopard 24”
Raketa Watch Factory (Saint-Petersburg)
Raketa Calibre 2624A
Automatic with 24 hours display
Number of jewels: 24
Testing positions: 4
Average rate (s/d): -10+20
Average running time (h): 40
Frequency/hour: 18.000 / 2.5Hz
Bi-directional automatic winding: Yes
Stopper of self-winding unit activated during manual winding: Yes
Decoration: Hand-made Onega waves + red screws + red rotor with printing
Case and dial
Material: Stainless steel
Material of bezel: Stainless steel from the submarine Leopard K-328
Size: 44 mm
Front glass: Sapphire
Back glass: Mineral
Crown: Screwed-in crown
Water resistance: 20 АТМ
Material: Genuine leather + additional silicone strap included with watch
Width: 22 mm
Suggested retail price
1,292 EUR (without VAT) with free delivery worldwide