Setting the date on a Vostok

The Amfibia is an engineering marvel, As a watch it's basically the Russian diver's contemporary equivalent of the MIG21 that proved that achieving supersonic flight is possible while using barn tools technology.

Image

It's also just as quirky. A friend of mine was part of an engineering team tasked with the modernization of the Romanian air force and he told me that there was a big yellow button inside the cockpit that should never ever be used while the plane was parked on the tarmac, even if this bright color just screams at you to press it. He explained that it collapsed and retracted the front wheel but the designers of the MIG21 decided that painting it yellow was enough of a safety measure. Setting the date on a Vostok is just like that: a bizarre procedure that work, but only when you are aware that this is something that you will find only on a Vostok.

Image

Pull the crown out all the way and hold it firmly because otherwise it will just flop around. Watch how the movement keep running and sometime gets an hiccup. Turn the crown until the date change. You need more than one day jump? No worry, just turn the crown back until the hands are roughly at 9-8, turn it forward to 12 and the date jumps forward again. You really want to set it to the second? Why? In Soviet Russia the time set you, comrade! Push the crown back in and join the collective effort to bring progress to the masses, There is no need to bother about a few seconds here or there when the wind of history is pushing you forward.

Image

In reality it's not too bad. My 710 Amfibia isn't going to break any records for accuracy, but it's good enough to carry me through the day and setting the date the Vostok way is something you learn to live with, and it wouldn't be a Vostok if this feature disappeared.

What's bad is the lume. The paint on the dial makes it look as if there is lume pouring out in buckets out of the dial, but like many other things from Russia, it's all a shame and the paint is just there to mask the fact that there are only pin head size of lume dispersed on the dial.

·

I’ve got the Komandirskie 24-hour  and the very rare Vostok Europe Kosmodrom powered by the 2426 Vostok “GMT” and I love them both. The way you advance the date is def a quirk of Vostoks, but it’s also one of their weird charms

·

Got 2 Vostok pieces, an Amphibia and a Komandirskie. But guess what, Vostok is not the only brand that changes the date in this way. I found out later on that my Nomos Ahoi Date does changing the date the same way. There, I have done my knowledge contribution to the community for the day. 😜

·

Well it's a bit of a quickset date - you don't have to go full 24h to get to the next day.

After having owned 10+ Amfibias: One day during the date dance the datewheel will get stuck. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

When this happens, you needn't worry. It might start working again without any interference. Or not, then you'll have a dedicated watch for the 6th of the month. 🥳

·

I have a scuba dude with no date so no worries there. BUT my Komanderski has the date complication so I feel your pain!

·
Guvnor64

I have a scuba dude with no date so no worries there. BUT my Komanderski has the date complication so I feel your pain!

Bah, it's just a minor inconvenience. A pain is when you discover that sapphire is only scratch resistant, not scratch proof.

·
robwei

Well it's a bit of a quickset date - you don't have to go full 24h to get to the next day.

After having owned 10+ Amfibias: One day during the date dance the datewheel will get stuck. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

When this happens, you needn't worry. It might start working again without any interference. Or not, then you'll have a dedicated watch for the 6th of the month. 🥳

They are so cheap, and spare parts are available for even less. So replacing them is a non-issue.

·
rodeenski

Got 2 Vostok pieces, an Amphibia and a Komandirskie. But guess what, Vostok is not the only brand that changes the date in this way. I found out later on that my Nomos Ahoi Date does changing the date the same way. There, I have done my knowledge contribution to the community for the day. 😜

That's interesting. My own Ahoi is a no date version so I didn't think that this trick was adopted by other brands.

·
Catskinner

They are so cheap, and spare parts are available for even less. So replacing them is a non-issue.

That might not be the most professional solution, but often shaking them a  bit works well enough 😁

·

From the #vostok #amphibia manual (including dodgy translation):

  1. Updating of a calendar.

    Set the winding head into position 3. Set the correct date by turning watch head clockwise. After that, set the winding head into position 1.
    The accelerated updating of a calendar.

    Set the winding head into position 3. Moving the winding head from figure "12" to figure "8" counter clockwise and then from figure "8" to figure "12" set the correct date. After that, set the winding head into position 1.

[Note]: 

Figure "12", "8" etc. = 12, 8 o'clock etc.

Winding head = Crown

·
robwei

That might not be the most professional solution, but often shaking them a  bit works well enough 😁

Don't ever let anyone tell you that violence never solved anything.

·

Quirky and hard to set the date, but for some reason I still love my #vostokamphibia. i find that the watch has some sort of magical allure and mystique.

·

In Russia a blogger decided to test cheap Chinese watches for survival ability and accuracy after dropping them on a tile floor. As a reference there was a Vostok 71. Some watches lost mineral crystals, other lost 20-30 seconds a day. Guess what happened with Vostok? It ran +25 seconds before the fall. After it got to +12 seconds a day. 

·

Thanks for the post.  I never turn the time backwards on any watch I own, including the my Russian watches.  You see the gears on the watch get worn in over time, and they are made to turn in one direction, when you reverse the direction it can cause excessive wear, or in rare cases damage the watch.  The latter happened to me once, so now I just go around and around forward to set the date.

·

I own three Vostoks, a "Scuba Dude" Amphibia, an 24 hour Kommandirskie, and a "KGB" Kommandirskie.   appreciate them for the rugged, reasonably accurate, affordable watches they are.  Are they quirky?  Yes.  Are they excellent beater watches with a unique esthetic and a real horological history?  Yes.  Do I wear min on a regular basis?  Yes.  What's not to like?

·
witcher.watcher

In Russia a blogger decided to test cheap Chinese watches for survival ability and accuracy after dropping them on a tile floor. As a reference there was a Vostok 71. Some watches lost mineral crystals, other lost 20-30 seconds a day. Guess what happened with Vostok? It ran +25 seconds before the fall. After it got to +12 seconds a day. 

So...if I drop mine twice I get to COSC accuracy? Hmmm...