Text and images copyright 2019 From Russia With Watch

ANTARCTICA

RAKETA ANTARCTICA 16SAE

One of the rarest Russian watches is the Raketa Antarctica 16SAE. I got it from a well known e-Bay seller after a long search. 

There is a lume dot missing below the 3 hour mark and the dome glass is a replacement. The rest of the watch is fully original.

 

I have it on a Grey Taupe Teju Lizard strap with blue lining and is handmade by John Glance from Dangerous9. This kind of beauty deserves a strap of one of the world's best strap makers out there. 

 

The movement of the watch is the Baltika 2623. This beauty got an antimagnetic steel box inside en has a stainless steel screw back. The dark blue 35mm dial is directly placed on top of the case. When looking at it you have the impression that there only is this magnificent dial. In the middle of the watch is a picture of Antarctica with six red dots, marking the Soviet Polar bases.

On the dial is written "АНТАРКТИДА 16 САЭ" which means Antarctica -16th Soviet Antarctic Expedition.

The hands are lumed and there are also lume dots on the dial marking the odd hours.

 

Based on earlier research on the Russian watch forum at Watchuseek.com by some other Raketa 16SAE owners it was stated that the watch was given to members and other related people to the expedition. It is not known if the people got their watch upfront or after the expedition. There are also specimen without 16 and only with "САЭ" on the dial.

 

The 16th expedition lasted from 1970-1972 and was much bigger than previous expeditions with 566 people in total.