Since Antarctica’s initial discovery in January of 1820 by a dedicated group of Russian explorers, the Eastern European nation has been a leader in exploring and researching the frozen region. In 1969 in preparation of the 16th Soviet voyage to Antarctica — an arctic excursion that reportedly saw temperatures dip as low -89° C — the horological experts at the Raketa Watch Factory were tasked with designing a timepiece that could withstand the unforgiving and otherworldly climate, ultimately resulting in the 24-Hour Raketa Polar 0270.
Now, exactly 50-years since the Polar’s original release, Raketa is celebrating the significance of the watch via a replica that recreates the original Polar in stunning detail. The 35mm gold four-piece construction case looks identical to the 1970 version, as does the purpose-designed dial with its 24-hour time scale. At the heart of the replica is a Caliber 2623 mechanical movement created in-house by Raketa — marking the first time Raketa has offered a hand-wound watch in quite a few years. Hand-assembled in St. Petersburg, the watch is sold in a special gift-box that includes a khaki-colored NATO-style item and a genuine black leather band. Limited to just 200 units, the Raketa Polar is currently available for a special preorder price of $1,254, before that figure goes up to $1,567.