Located in Saint-Petersburg on the shores of the Baltic sea, the Raketa Watch Factory has had a long and strong tradition in producing watches for Soviet seamen and submariners. Raketa's affinity with the ocean has led it to create its latest timepiece, the Leopard 24. This is a distinct piece that's not only full of character but also carries with it a physical bit of its inspiration from the "Leopard" Akula-class submarine.
The Akula-class submarine first entered into service with the Soviet Navy in 1984 and since then has become one of the world's most advanced marine vessels. Each Akula-class submarine has its own designated name, with the "Leopard K-328" being the vessel that donated its metal to Raketa for the Leopard 24 timepiece
The Leopard 24 was developed with the help of Captain Valery Dyakonov who supervised the pre-launch stages of the Leopard, conducted its sea trials and was its first commander until 1996. The original metal from the "Leopard L-328" Akula-class submarine was used to make the bezel, but the Leopard 24 features many distinctive details of a true submariner's watch.
Its hands replicate the design of the hands in the control panels in the submarine, the dial and hands are luminescent to allow the submariners to read the time in the dark and there are 6 lines (in red and grey colours) dividing the perimeter of the dial into 6 quarters (4 hours each), allowing each submariner to keep count of his shift times in the submarine.
The Leopard 24 is powered by Raketa's in-house calibre 2624A. This is an automatic 24-hour movement with a power reserve of 40-hours. The calibre 2624A's 24-hour display is not a novel idea but it's a super functional one, giving the submariners the ability to distinguish day from night during their long underwater missions.
Each piece will be delivered with a certificate authenticating the origin of the Leopard metal, along with the official insignia of the Leopard submarine. The Raketa Leopard 24 comes on a black leather strap as well as a spare silicon rubber strap and a branded watch strap changing tool.
The Raketa Leopard 24 is available in a limited run of only 300 pieces and will be priced at €1,550.