This watch is the basic, low-cost, Russian 24 hour analog watch. The dial has no fancy logos or features, the minute and hour hands are simple and functional, and the only added feature of this model is a simple and highly functional 2nd timezone bezel. In this photo this 2nd timezone bezel has been rotated so that the 2400 hours on the white dial corresponds to a 0900 on the white bezel. In other words, if the local time is midnight the 2nd time zone’s time would be 9 o’clock in the morning. Once this basic time difference has been set, it is easy to tell the time in each timezone. For example if, as in the photo, the local time is 1138 the time in the 2nd timezone will be 2038 as indicated on the black bezel.

Raketa watches are the cheapest mechanical 24 hour watches you will find anywhere (they go on Ebay for prices ranging from 30 dollars to 60 dollars depending on the model), yet they have very reliable and accurate mechanisms. Raketa feature basic, if solid, cases, mostly made out of chrome-plated brass. The water-resistance of these watches is very minimal. Their straps and bracelets, however, are uniformly ugly and poorly made. The first thing I do when I get a Raketa is to immediately throw away the bracelet and buy a new one.

Raketas are very much a Soviet-era product: cheap, simple, yet sturdy and accurate. Raketa watches often feature some kind of commemorative dial, sometimes rather goofy ones: usually a piece of military hardware or some Soviet explorer’s feat. I personally don’t like this kind of commemorative dials, but that is a matter of personal preference I suppose. I prefer the more basic and functional Raketas. All in all, these are very good watches, mostly found at absolutely unbeatable prices.