I went to sleep with the elegant and refined Dietrich SD-1 on my mind and woke up with the Vostok Amphibia. It’s like these comedies when the hero wakes up in the morning and find an ugly stranger asleep over his arm. I guess that I was still lucky because I didn’t have to gnaw off my arm in order to escape my own bed, but sometime I really can’t explain how my subconscious manage to hijack the watch selection process, as if it was running its own and parallel decision tree.
I don’t dislike my Amphibia, in fact I own two of them and would wear them more often if they were not manufactured in a country that think that driving a T-72 is a perfectly acceptable way to visit the neighbors. It still doesn’t explain why I found myself wearing the clunkiest watch in my collection, the very one that I had to fix its automatic mechanism with a toothpick. I felt almost as if I was compelled to do it against my will, but I know that it could be worse, I mean that I could just as well have found myself queuing to buy a plastic zero fathoms Swatch pain.
One of the reasons why the Amphibia is clunky is due to its living fossil nature. While other brands were raiding their historical catalogs to find vintage models that are worth a relaunch, Vostok instead bypassed this time consuming chore and simply continued to manufacture the same watches worn during one of the Soviet Union friendly visits to Czechoslovakia back in 1968. The other reason was the huge gap between the aspiration to build a watch that will be free of foreign design and patents and the actual manufacturing capabilities of the Soviet Union. The real miracle here is that the designers took this into account and designed a watch that will work despite the Soviet’s shoddy manufacture and abysmal QA.
And work it does, and quite well if I may say so. It’s been very reliable and its daily deviation is less than 15 seconds per day, which is a LOT better than say my SPB147. It wears very well on my wrist and it’s a genuine diver’s watch. It’s really quite a lot of watch to get for the 70US$ I paid for. That of course is if you get a good one, because what you may get instead is one that goes tits up the moment you pull it out of the package, so it’s like a lottery but funnier.
And this is probably why it ended on my wrist today, because part of the appeal of owning a watch collection is the ability to get a watch that you can have some fun with, or as they say: In Soviet Russia the watch is having the fun for you.
I'm a big fan of watches that are interesting because they are either unique, have interesting features, well designed or simply offer a great value for their price.