What is Your Take on Vostok?

When I was in diamond sales, a customer came into my store who had just been to Russia on business. He wore on his wrist a Russian made watch with a canteen style crown. Quickly into the sales process, I asked him about it. He explained the watch, its features and an awesome canteen cap that screwed down over the crown to protect it. I was mesmerized. He told me he was going back and would get me one. I willingly accepted. Unfortunately he got on the ‘be back bus’ and never came back. So I was thrilled when last year I bought my own Russian made watch — my Vostok Amphibia.

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So it was when I read @UnholiestJedi’s post of his ‘very well-worn‘ Vostok he just purchased from a seller in Ukraine, I got to thinking about my mesmerizing encounter from years ago. Russian timepieces have forged their own rich history with quirky but often ingenious designs — and I have discovered some of these in my smart looking Amphibia. From the screw down case back ring that increases water resistance with every added atmosphere, to the famous wobbly crown some folks on Watchcrunch have either applauded or bitterly hate…I for one have gained great favor with my eastern hemisphere timepiece.

Tell us your take on your Vostok or other Russian brand watch.

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I love Vostok because they gave me the chance to get a homage of one of my favorite quirky watch designs which is the angled dial, for only 50$. 

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playboyheafner

I love Vostok because they gave me the chance to get a homage of one of my favorite quirky watch designs which is the angled dial, for only 50$. 

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Dang! That is super cool!

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i love some of the vostok design. only complain for them is wobbly crown and case made from brass from what i know. has anyone know this "sturmanskie" brand? i think it is pretty decent watch with poljot movement

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Unholy

i love some of the vostok design. only complain for them is wobbly crown and case made from brass from what i know. has anyone know this "sturmanskie" brand? i think it is pretty decent watch with poljot movement

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My Amphibia is all stainless steel, though I believe the Komandirskie has brass elements. 

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playboyheafner

I love Vostok because they gave me the chance to get a homage of one of my favorite quirky watch designs which is the angled dial, for only 50$. 

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A beautiful watch!

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I'm a big vostok fan. My amphibia was my first automatic purchased from meranom. My Komanderski has amphibia spec so water resistant to 200m etc. The amphibia has been used in the North Sea with no issues. They are built to last!

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I have my own variant that had the dial swapped out and the hands, so it looks cool in my humble opinion. I quickly got used to the wobbly crown and actually think it's a good feature, so not to break the dam thing winding or setting the time.

So all in all for the price I think you get some great watch history and a pretty indestructible little watch.

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I bought a Vostok Amphibia one year ago. I was my first automatic watche. but I realise that this watch is VERY VERY unprecise. aproximatively 15 MINUTES per day. It's clearly unfonctional to tell the time. That is my bigest deception withe the vostok amphibia

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Got mine in January or so and its been running -1 sec a day. Its really sturdy and my swimming/beach/don't care about watch. The crystal does scratch but at the moment it doesn't bother me to much. Love that thing

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Quirky,retro,robust, cheap in watch terms,easily modable, not much not to like really (maybe some occasional QC issues) ,I've only got one at the moment a gmt reef model ,it's not got the plexiglass crystal but it's got the proper Russian movement and I love it,will probably add a full on proper one (wobbly crown,plexiglass) in the future.

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Without getting political: I'll say the engineering is interesting, but I'd rather have an H. Moser.

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I have said much in many posts here about my affinity for Soviet-era watches. They are the best value in vintage watches if you want something that will wind up and give you reasonable time. (If you measure accuracy in seconds these watches will never be for you.) They are sturdy and have been worn and repaired. At the risk of being that dinner party guest who knows one subject and will not shut up about it:

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My only Vostok (1980's). It is simple and stocky. I trust the screw down crown, but not the gaskets, so I won't swim with it. It has presence and the dial is a pretty metallic brown that is great in the sun.

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This is an automatic Chaika Stadium watch (1970's). It has never been reliable enough for me to get much wear out of. It is in the queue to go back to the watch maker. I want it to work. It is too funky not to love.

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This is a Zim (Pobeda)(1980's). I was originally attracted to this because of its brilliant coppery dial. My old eyes found it to be too hard to read at a glance. I gifted it to my niece.

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This is an automatic Poljot (1980's). It is blocky and comfortable, keeps good time.

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Some early 1980's Raketa. These are my favorites, very well built. Soviet watches carried 1970's styling well into the 1980's.

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1970's Slava. These were always civilian watches and have a reputation for fragility (relative, I suppose).

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1950's Start and Neva. These are barely hanging in there. They won't last a full day on a wind. A broken lug keeps the Start in the drawer.

I have a Zvezda on the way. (I thought that I was past this phase, but the price was right.)

Soviet era vintage allows you to explore exotic watches for very little. Some of these are winners and some are not.  I have spend more on the service of a Swiss watch than I have for this whole lot. I avoid them if they look too good. I don't need a fantasy dial commemorating Yuri Gagarin's flight. I am glad that I went through this phase of collecting.

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Bought a Vostok in the early 90s from a Polish flea market dealer in what used to be the old GDR. It cost about the same as a medium-priced dinner, and came with a 0-day warranty. The watch lasted for about 2 years, before the movement stopped working.

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I just got one a few days ago. Love the design. Unfortunately the date does not adjust and the crown feels very loose and unstable. I've emailed them for a warranty replacement and so far, no response. Course' it is the weekend, fingers crossed.

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As the mentioned in the post, I am still enchanted with the Vostok brand. 

The wobbly stem I knew going in so it didn't alarm me and I don't mind it. 

I'll probably end up getting another after I screw this one up poking around in it.