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Auction: 20002 - Orders, Decorations, Medals & Space Exploration
Lot: 657

The Rodina wristwatch worn by Yury Gagarin - pilot of the historic Vostock I Space Expedition, 12 April 1961 - the first occasion in history of a manned mission to space

Rodina wristwatch, 22 jewels, sweeping second hand, 38mm including crown, stainless steel, Russian characters on face, with engraved inscription to the reverse, metal bracelet, generally very fine, housed in its distressed Poljot, First Watch Factory, Moscow case of issue

Sotheby's New York, Space Exploration Auction (N06516) 1993, Lot 17, $25,875 - when being described as having been worn during the flight of Vostock I. Offered together with original Lot ticket, envelope and letter of attribution (in Russian) - which states:

'Wrist watch "Rodina", which was given to Yuriy A. Gagarin as a gift from the Commander of the Airforces, Marshal Vershinin after the glorious flight of spaceship "Vostok -1". On the backside of the watch is engravement of text about the occasion. Yuriy Alexeevitch Gagarin wore the watch most of the time. Until lately the watch was safely kept in the family.

16.09.1993 , V. Gagarina [signed].

The Vostock I mission was the first spaceflight of the Vostok programme and the first crewed spaceflight in history. Its Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 12 April 1961, with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard, making him the first human to cross into outer space.

Lasting 1 hour, 48 minutes and completing a single orbit of the earth, Gagrin wrote himself into the history books after parachuting to the earth having ejected his capsule at around 7km altitude. He was tragically killed on a routine training flight in a MiG-15UTI on 27 March 1968.

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