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7 Best Russian Watch Brands From The Soviet Era

Russian watch brands are best known for their quality and affordability.

The Russian and Soviet watchmaking history isn’t as long other watchmaking countries. Like Swiss, French, or German watchmaking.

However, Russia has a rich heritage of watchmakers that took off during the Soviet Union.

Many Russian watch brands have a niche cult following now.

Here are the top watch brands that are still leading the Russian watch industry.

Best Russian Watch Brands:

  1. Vostok (Восток)
  2. Raketa (Ракета)
  3. Sturmanskie (Штурмански)
  4. Poljot (Полёт)
  5. Zlatoust (Златоуст)
  6. STRELA (СТРЕЛА)

1. Vostok (Восток)

Founded: 1942
Location: Chistopol, Russia

Vostok (Восток) translates to 'East'

Vostok was founded during WWII. This Russian watch brand produces tough mechanical timepieces that have a cult following.

This watchmaker created the first Soviet dive watch. A super simple design that could withstand 20 atm, i.e. 200 meters under water pressure.

Released in 1967, it was named the Vostok Amphibia. It’s still popular and in production today.

Their newer Amphibia models can withstand 30 atm (300 m depths). They also come in a wide range of case designs and extra complications. Yet, are still a very affordable dive watch.

It was a watch designed for the Soviet navy and military. And to this day still supply watches to the Russian military.

You can find a huge choice of the affordable and cool Vostok watches on Amazon.

2. Raketa (Ракета)

Founded: 1961
Location: Saint Petersburg

Raketa (Ракета) translates to 'Rocket'

The Russian watch brand produces all of their watches in-house. In the Raketa Watch Factory located in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Their the more luxurious watch brand on this list. Famous for their avant-garde timepieces.

Like their unusual Raketa Copernic 0265 watch. Inspired by astronomer Copernic’s theory of the universe. Which is the sun lies at the center of the universe.

The big circle is Earth, the small circle is Jupiter, and they both rotate around the sun.

Their Big Zero collection has ensured that all Raketa watches that feature numeral indices. Now have a 0 instead of a 12. The Big Zero range is what started this trend.

Raketa was the watchmaker that designed tool watches to accompany explorers on their Polar expeditions during the 60s and 70s. Their Polar Circle collection continue on with these timepieces.

You can discover Raketa watches on Amazon.

3. Sturmanskie (Штурмански)

Founded: 1954
Location: Moscow, Russia

Sturmanskie (Штурмански) translates to 'Navigators'

Sturmanskie watches were first manufactured for the Soviet military in the 1950s.

They’re best known for making a watch for Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin. Who wore the watch on the world’s first manned space flight in 1961.

Sturmanskie was worn by other Soviet cosmonauts. Cementing itself as a Space worthy watch brand.

Their Stingray collection embodies the best of the Soviet dive watchmaking heritage.

You can find a selection of Sturmanskie watches on Amazon.

4. Poljot (Полёт)

Founded: 1964
Location: Moscow, Russia

Poljot (Полёт) translates to 'Flight'

Poljot is a Soviet watch brand produced by the First Moscow Watch Factory.

They’re watches were used in many big space missions.

The watchmaker sadly no longer produces watches. However, there are still vintage Poljot timepieces available.

However, be mindful when buying vintage timepieces. Check out our tips to buying vintage watches.

5. Zlatoust (Златоуст)

Military watch with a black dial and a bronze bezel from Russian watch brand Zlatoust.
Zlatoust – 195 Bronze (Image : Zlatoust)
Founded: 1930
Location: Zlatoust, Russia

Zlatoust (Златоуст) is the name of a city in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia

This watch brand began in 1930, but was reborn during the war in 1941. At the Zlatoust Watch Factory.

They were the watch company that equipped all of the Russian military in WWII. Producing marine and aviation chronometers.

The Zlatoust Watch Factory is still manufacturing timepieces today. Still producing watches inspired by the war.

The Russian watchmaker also produce modern dive watches. Minus the radioactive materials, which the used in the past to make them glow in the dark!

You can view their tough watch collections on the Zlatoust online store.

6. STRELA (СТРЕЛА)

Silver watch with a silver mesh bracelet from Russian watch brand STRELA.
STRELA – KODR42CYP (Image : STRELA)
Founded: 1959

STRELA (СТРЕЛА) translates to 'Arrow'

The Soviet watch brand was a firm favorite of pilots and cosmonauts.

Alexey Leonov wore his own personal Piljot STRELA on the world’s first space walk, in March 1965.

STRELA watches are still in production creating mechanical timepieces.

However, they’re now a combination of Russian and German watchmaking. With their headquarters located in Munich, Germany right now.

This move has made some watch enthusiasts no longer consider modern STRELA watches as truly Russian.

Yet, they still have to be considered one of the top watchmakers of the Soviet era. Learn more about STRELA, and their ties to the Soviet Space Race.

Check out their timepieces on the STELA online store.

To Sum Up

Russia has a selection a few great watchmakers, from modern and Soviet times. Find more watch brands from around the world.

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