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Produced by skilled artisans at Raketa’s traditional manufacture in St. Petersburg, Russia, the new Avant-Garde Limited-Edition 0279 watch for 2021 is a testament to why enthusiasts admire the historic watchmaker. Reasons include a dedication to preserving mechanical watch movement manufacturing in-house at the company, while also offering bespoke artistic and fashionable touches to Raketa’s contemporary offerings.

Avant-Garde timepiece collection fans will no doubt enjoy the novel aesthetic Raketa has introduced to this 300-piece limited edition. The core Avant Garde model (reviewed on aBlogtoWatch here) is distinctive for its pebble-shaped 40.5mm-wide case (water-resistant to 50 meters), Kandinsky-inspired dial design, and uncommonly shaped hands, including an elliptical minute hand inspired by the orbit of an object around the earth. Just as the name of the watch implies, the Avant-Garde is a wristwatch inspired by classic 20th-century avant-garde and modernist art. Raketa, like no other watch company, expertly channels the visions of Kandinsky and Malevich into timepiece form.

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For this 2021 Limited Edition version of the Avant-Garde, Raketa has begun by rendering the steel case in black using a PVD coating treatment. Raketa also developed a new caseback for the Avant-Garde, which has a display window that offers a grand view of the movement inside. Accordingly, while the mechanism inside the watch is an existing caliber produced by Raketa, for the Avant-Garde Limited Edition, an entirely new decorative approach was conceived. The concept was to continue the avant-garde artistic them from the dial onto the surfaces of the mechanical automatic movement.

The movement itself is the Raketa Calibre 2615, a truly legendary little machine that collectors take interest in due to its Soviet-era conception. The automatic movement has 40 hours of power reserve and operates at a frequency of 2.5Hz. This modest operational frequency is lower for a very specific reason: to maximize the running time of the movement between service intervals. The automatic rotor is further designed for efficiency and can wind the mainspring no matter which direction it spins in.

The watch case is topped with a dramatically doming sapphire crystal (the case with crystal is 16.55mm thick), while the dial’s soft cream color is easier on the eyes than a stark white color would be. To complement the distinctive looks of the Avant-Garde Limited Edition case and dial, Raketa devised a brand-new strap that is also produced in-house in Russia. The 22mm-wide tapering strap artistically blends traditional leather bands and “porthole” racing straps with multiple layers of stitched black and red leather.

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It is with pride and strength that Raketa watch dials and movements display “Made In Russia” on their surfaces. Collectors will also point out that this statement is now written both in Russian and in English (on the movement and caseback), signaling Raketa’s larger intentions to promote watches within their native Russian market, as well as internationally. The Raketa Avant-Garde 0279 Limited Edition reference W-06-16-10-0279 is a set of 300 pieces and has a retail price of 1125 Euros (no VAT). Learn more or order at the Raketa watches website here.

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