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Since the early 1960s, Raketa wristwatches, have been manufactured by the Petrodvorets Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. The inspiration for these watches came on April 13, 1961, when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made the first manned flight in outer space. To honor the achievement, the Raketa (Russian for “rocket”) watch was born.
At the peak of production in the 1970s, the factory produced about 5 million watches per year. You can get a behind-the-scenes tour of the manufacture of watches from an iconic Russian brand, including seeing the original Soviet-era machinery still running to produce watch components.
Know Before You Go
Tours are very reasonably priced in Russian and English, and the factory is just walking distance from Peterhof Palace.