Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Raketa’s “Big Zero” Makes a Grand Return

The new version of the Big Zero is a progression from its classic model but still retains the original bold design — the 0 hour marker.

Jul 26, 2022 | By Joseph Low
Image: Raketa

Of the many different watches out there, the ones that stood the test of time are those that are ladened with history. One such watch is the Raketa “Big Zero”, which has been relaunched recently to reflect the changing consumer tastes. The new version of the Big Zero is a progression from its classic model but still retains the original bold design.

The watch was first launched around the 1980s and the story goes that it was worn by Mikhail Gorbachev during his trip to Italy in 1985. As a public figure, Gorbachev was photographed by the press and the Big Zero was seen everywhere. While looking somewhat simple, the watch is anything but. One has to look beyond the surface to fully grasp the hidden meanings and appreciate the minute details that have been made.

Perhaps the most prominent and unique feature of the Big Zero can be found on the dial. At the 12 o’clock mark, the manufacture chose to start with 0 instead of the traditional numerals “12”. By common standards, this is not a classic watch design but nonetheless, a radical design. Considering the happenings of that time, it was fitting.

When asked about what inspired this bold decision, old specialist of the Raketa factory answered that “it is simply more logical to start counting time from 0”. The brand further elaborated that just like everything else in life, everything inaugurates with 0.

Image: Raketa

Moving to the other parts of the watch, the original typography and triangle markers have been entirely recreated but its black and white colour palette remains. The sobriety of the watch is juxtaposed with thick embossed printing that brings a touch of three-dimensionality and elegance.

Coupled with a newly designed case that is more “cushioned”, the Big Zero’s dial is spotlighted. The short case preserves the roundness seen on the predecessor model, but the construction is more voluminous and offers a lot of surface where its brushed sides contrasts beautifully with the polished ones.

Image: Raketa

Before Raketa ventured into horology, the manufacture had been a royal jeweller with 300 years of history. The Imperial Peterhof Factory was founded by Peter the Great in 1721 and served as the progenitor of the current brand. It functioned as a lapidary where diamonds were cut for the imperial crown and produced gemstone luxury goods. In 1936, in celebration of the successful space mission by Yuri Gagarin, watches were produced under the moniker, Raketa. Its heritage is reflected in the synthetic ruby stone that is cut and fixed on the side of the crown; just behind the brand’s logo.

Image: Raketa

On the caseback, deep engravings are seen around the back and display the water resistance rating at 10 ATM, the brand’s logo as well the name of the watch. Just like how the watch front showcases Big Zero’s affinity to black and white, Raketa’s traditional red colour dominates the back of the watch with the red rotor and red strap lining.

Image: Raketa
Image: Raketa

The Raketa Big Zero will set you back €958, without tax. For the comfort of customers, Raketa watches are delivered worldwide free of charge by DHL. Visit the website here to get it.

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