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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was influenced by 93EXCivic's post requesting some amphibian history to survey the Vostok catalogs I have available to see, according to that limited sample, when the various soviet-era amphibian types appeared. As a "history" this leaves a lot to be desired but I thought it was interesting anyway. I attribute the appearance of "soviet" watches in the later catalogs to the necessity of publishing ahead of time, but I don't know. I thought it was quite interesting to notice the use of the case types in the catalogs similar to Seele, et al's database. Also interesting was the lack of more than one case type appearing in the same catalog except for the type 470 and type 960 which appeared together and the type 119 and early Old Ministry.

Please feel free to correct any mistakes you see and add additional catalog entries you may have.

Spasibo!

1970 type 350



1972 type 350



1976 type 350









1977 type 350




1979 type 119



1980 type 119 and early Old Ministry (type 710?)




1983 type 119






1990 type 470 (and 320?)




1990 type 960



1992 type 020



1993 type 020

 

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The photos from the 1990's catalogues also show type 320 besides type 470. Type 320 looks very much like a polished 470 as far as those pictures can tell. Other illustrations of type 320 can be found online on Sergei Antonov's "1990 Tento vostok catalogue".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The photos from the 1990's catalogues also show type 320 besides type 470. Type 320 looks very much like a polished 470 as far as those pictures can tell. Other illustrations of type 320 can be found online on Sergei Antonov's "1990 Tento vostok catalogue".
Yes, I believe you are right, thury. I didn't mention the type 320 which I did notice because it wasn't listed in Seele, et al's case type database. As a student of that database I have always called all the octagonal amphibians "type 470" and I didn't know why some were showing "320".

An example from the catalog you mentioned with the polished stainless body:



and a 470 that I used to own which had the tooled body:



It's strange they didn't mention the body treatment in the description.
 

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Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw 7 minutes remaining on a Soviet era 2209 Amphibia.. ended up getting it too. For three and a half peanuts!

Doesn't look too bad I think? Early 1980s I suppose?





 

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Discussion Starter #11
Literally minutes ago I woke up at night and saw 7 minutes remaining on a Soviet era 2209 Amphibia.. ended up getting it too. For three and a half peanuts.

Doesn't look too bad I think? Early 1980s I suppose?





Yes, hantms, nice one. Early 80s. I wonder about the crown as it appears all 119s are pictured with the round crown. Where did the flat crown come from? Flat crown for 24xx amphibians will not fit so at some point the flat crown to fit the 2209 was produced. I don't think you can buy one now.
 

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^ Don't know where the crown came from.. Watch is still sitting in Lithuania, hopefully about to make a long journey to my front door.

It looks just like the crown of a new Amphibia of course.

Question: would a new gasket for the current Amphibia fit the old one? Wondering if I could make this watch water proof again..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just a rhetorical question about the crown, I didn't expect you to know.

You should be able to make it waterproof with a set of gaskets (new ones fit as far as I know) but you may need a crystal lift to remove and re-insert the crystal.

You can test for water-tightness by removing the movement/dial and stuffing some colored paper towel in its place. Button everything up, including the crown which you'll have to remove from the movement, and place it in a bucket of water. After a bit take it out and remove the paper towel. If you see wet spots you've got trouble. The location of any wet spots can even show where the water is coming in. A leak around the crystal will be the most difficult to fix. You will have to remove the crystal, clean the edge of the crystal and the crystal ledge of the body, and apply some clear silicone sealant carefully with a sharp toothpick and replace the crystal.
 

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(...) I didn't mention the type 320 which I did notice because it wasn't listed in Seele, et al's case type database. As a student of that database I have always called all the octagonal amphibians "type 470" and I didn't know why some were showing "320". (...)
A lot of these old catalogues we are discussing appeared online rather recently, it is quite normal that their information did not make it into the database.
You may also notice that the old ministry case has a reference number that starts with 710. No it is not the same case as the current 710 but the catalogue reference is the same.
I have been working on these catalogues to compile a list of dials. This taught me that Vostok naturally changed things along time for industrial (tooling, cost, etc) reasons and also probably sometimes simply because they thought it would look or work better. They did not change catalogue references when they considered the changes minor.
We may consider, from a collector perspective, that old ministry and current ministry cases are two very different things, obviously Vostok considered it was just a minor modification and kept the same 710 reference (or the marketing guys came in and said : ministry is a brand with enormous customer recognition we have to keep the 710 reference number ... which I somehow doubt).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A lot of these old catalogues we are discussing appeared online rather recently, it is quite normal that their information did not make it into the database.
You may also notice that the old ministry case has a reference number that starts with 710. No it is not the same case as the current 710 but the catalogue reference is the same.
I have been working on these catalogues to compile a list of dials. This taught me that Vostok naturally changed things along time for industrial (tooling, cost, etc) reasons and also probably sometimes simply because they thought it would look or work better. They did not change catalogue references when they considered the changes minor.
We may consider, from a collector perspective, that old ministry and current ministry cases are two very different things, obviously Vostok considered it was just a minor modification and kept the same 710 reference (or the marketing guys came in and said : ministry is a brand with enormous customer recognition we have to keep the 710 reference number ... which I somehow doubt).
I was mostly struck by how the numbers seen in the catalogs were consistent with the numbers discovered in compiling the database with only these exceptions:


  1. two different numbers assigned to the octagonal "470" amphibian, depending on the case finish.
  2. "710" assigned to the "Old Ministry" case.
  3. "937" assigned to a 1990 group of integral bracelet automatics which included the iconic "scuba dude" with black bezel given the number "960" in the data base.

 

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I was mostly struck by how the numbers seen in the catalogs were consistent with the numbers discovered in compiling the database with only these exceptions:


  1. two different numbers assigned to the octagonal "470" amphibian, depending on the case finish.
  2. "710" assigned to the "Old Ministry" case.
  3. "937" assigned to a 1990 group of integral bracelet automatics which included the iconic "scuba dude" with black bezel given the number "960" in the data base.
I should read 9370 rather than 937 in this case (considering that the dial numbers are, in my experience, always 3 digits while case numbers may be 4 digits as in "1190"). Maybe at that time Vostok considered using 4 digit codes for its cases and went back to 3 digits later ? In a way it would be logical for them to use 4 digits (as they seem to keep the last figure for material or finish - stainless, chrome, etc.) 3 digits minus 1 is 2 and that leaves only 99 to 100 possibilities for the shape of the case...
 

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I have two 119s with the same dial, obtained from two different sources, and both have the same flat crown. I'll post a photo tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have two 119s with the same dial, obtained from two different sources, and both have the same flat crown. I'll post a photo tomorrow.
I know they are out there, also type 350s with the flat crown, I just haven't seen a picture of one in a catalog. The crowns were obviously made for the type 350 or type 119 since that's all they will fit (Vostok 2209 movement) but where and when is a mystery. I would love to see a catalog picture of one with a flat crown.
 

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This site is such a wealth of information.

I do have a couple questions though. Does anyone have a picture of the catalog from the first year of the Amphibian (1967 correct?, or was that the year it was designed?)? And is the swing wire lugs just a variation on the standard type 350 or does it have its own code?

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
This site is such a wealth of information.

I do have a couple questions though. Does anyone have a picture of the catalog from the first year of the Amphibian (1967 correct?, or was that the year it was designed?)? And is the swing wire lugs just a variation on the standard type 350 or does it have its own code?

[/Q

UOTE]

I have established to my own satisfaction (http://timeway.ru/articles/na_sushe_i_na_more/) that 1967 was the year the basic amphibian design was completed and demonstrated to the public. I believe they had a car run over it. I have no idea what the watch itself looked like. The 1970 type 350 with the black bezel is the earliest one I could find in a catalog and I think it would be a good candidate for the first one since it could very easily have taken a couple years after 1967 to produce a marketable watch.

As far as I know the swing wire lug was a variation found on the 300 meter version only, a serious tool, so that a wider band could be fitted.
 
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