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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

I've been scouting this forum for about a month now and decided to ask for an advice. Right now I'm looking at the Vostok Amphibia owners, but feel free to add your two cents if you think it's going to help me.

I got into automatic watches and would like a new daily beater in a true sense. Long story short - I don't want a quartz piece, I own few of them, I want an automatic on my wrist.

My criteria for this watch are simple - I set 100$ aside, I want an automatic with decent water resistance and under 40 mm. I have 19 cm ( 7.2 in) wrists with huge hands, but I prefer smaller cases. It will be a watch I wanna wear when doing something around house, some gardening or mowing my lawn. Nothing like using jackhammer for 4 hours, I'm aware of automatic watch limits.

So far, I narrowed it down to two candidates:
  1. Vostok Amphibia, probably 420 case
  2. Some "Chinese special" from Aliexpress - NH35 movement, saphire and 200 m water resistance.
Their price is basically identical, however - Amphibia is 15 mil thick, while Aliexpress special is only 12 mil. This looks like a deal breaker to me - I wanted a watch that wont bump into every corner, ever wall and every door I walk by. But...

....the more I look at some Amphibias, the more I'm intrigued to get one. So, I would like to ask Amphibia owners to help me decide. Are they as tall as pictured, do they ride so high and do you bump them around a lot ? I know Amphibia will be more robust and take more beating, but its height kinda drives me away. Should I just get thinner watch with NH35 and avoid chunky Vostoks for now ?


Thank you for your input !

(In case you are about to suggest "get both", I can't right now because of the...higher being (with long hair and lovely eyes, that would kick me out of the house xD)
 

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Welcome to the forum Comrade.

I have a few Vostoks, some new, some older. They are every bit as good as the threads on WUS would suggest and most owners are true fanboys/girls of the brand for good reason (me included!).

Their watches are robust and take a lot of punishment without giving up the ghost and the build quality is good. The crystal is acrylic and a tube of polywatch will sort most scratches in 10 minutes. You can't say that about hardlex or mineral, and sapphire will shatter with a hefty bang.

They are also very easy to repair if there's an issue.

Be aware...once you start buying Vostok watches, you won't be able to stop. They must do something to the metal in the factory to make them addictive 馃構
 

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I'm a Vostok fan, have 40-50 of them, but I'd still give an edge to a Chinese with sapphire (if you don't like polishing the glass every now and then) and NH35 (I have a SKX007 'homage' from Steeldive) - with one caveat - Vostoks are proven, the Chinese aren't.
 

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sheriff_ - here's an interesting vid of someone testing an Amphibia to 500m pressure, just in case you wondered about how they fare under water :)

Right, I'll stop now because I'm sounding like a salesman for Vostok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks to both of you for your contributions ! :)
I do not worry about polishing acrylic crystal that much, I own two old Pobeda's and got a hang of it - I can work even on deeper scratches.
Also, I happen to live in a country without any sea, so my watches see salty waters maybe once a year - but better be on a safe side, right ? I own two divers and it just feels good to never care about your watch getting wet.
Thing that concerns me most is the fact, that I will most probably bump the watch around, banging walls and door frames and what not... Thats why I turned to Amphibia being built as a tank, but I did not expect them to be as thick. Day by day I'm closer to getting one, it is just a matter of time and skipping few beers :-D

I'll continue scanning forums for some bits and pieces from owners. They surely are watches with great history, interesting design and appeal - as demonstrated by your enthusiasm :)
 

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Hi,

in my opinion (which might be biased by my watch collection ;-), it is a very easy choice:

- the Amphibia will be waterproof to at least 200m - in reality probably quite a bit more... watch the following video:


Not so sure how well some china special will do...

- the Amphibia has a great provenance as a military diver and has many new and interesting construction techniques for dive watches - arguably quite a bit more innovative than your average 50 fathoms or Submariner.

- the Amphibia is cool!

Joachim
 

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Your concern is understandable.
I own both an Amphibia and a chinese special "Loreo", and the Loreo sits nicer on the wrist (of course, a submariner homage would be very true the the original dimensions.)

I do know that Pagani Design are making excellent subbie homages and proven waterproof.

The Amphibia is chunky. I've modded and replaced the automatic movement with a slimmer wind-up only, and got the case to fit nicely.

IMHO, there are many Chinese specials that are very good watches and punch way above their weight, but I really love wearing a watch with history.
Also, I really think that the 420 case sits very well and flush on the wrist, one of the more compact and small Amphibias (which is great in my opinion).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi,

in my opinion (which might be biased by my watch collection ;-), it is a very easy choice:

- the Amphibia will be waterproof to at least 200m - in reality probably quite a bit more... watch the following video:


Not so sure how well some china special will do...

- the Amphibia has a great provenance as a military diver and has many new and interesting construction techniques for dive watches - arguably quite a bit more innovative than your average 50 fathoms or Submariner.

- the Amphibia is cool!

Joachim
Can't argue with that, it's Russian made and well-proven. As I mentioned, I own two Pobeda watches that are close to being 70 years old, and little service from time to time keeps them running ! I really do wish to add at least one Amphibia to my collection :)



Your concern is understandable.
I own both an Amphibia and a chinese special "Loreo", and the Loreo sits nicer on the wrist (of course, a submariner homage would be very true the the original dimensions.)

I do know that Pagani Design are making excellent subbie homages and proven waterproof.

The Amphibia is chunky. I've modded and replaced the automatic movement with a slimmer wind-up only, and got the case to fit nicely.

IMHO, there are many Chinese specials that are very good watches and punch way above their weight, but I really love wearing a watch with history.
Also, I really think that the 420 case sits very well and flush on the wrist, one of the more compact and small Amphibias (which is great in my opinion).
Thanks for your info ! I own Loreo "Submariner" as well, it's really great watch for that price, isn't it ? :) That is why I'm considering adding another Alliexpress watch to my little (and modest) collection.
That "chunky" feeling of Vostok is what keeps me away from just ordering one straight away, even though I know I will eventually get one, no discussion on that. I just wanted to collect more information from owners and see, which style and functionality suits my preferences right now :)
 

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Just to give you some visuals, my 420 Amphibia is 14.9mm tall:

Most of the height difference between this and a generic Chinese watch is probably down to the domed acrylic crystal in comparison to a flat sapphire crystal.

The case back of my Amphibia also sits nicely down into into my wrist, so it really doesn鈥檛 feel excessively tall:

 

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... I've modded and replaced the automatic movement with a slimmer wind-up only, and got the case to fit nicely.

Also, I really think that the 420 case sits very well and flush on the wrist, one of the more compact and small Amphibias (which is great in my opinion).
I agree.

Some of us here prefer to install a 2409 or 2414 manual wind movement and the shorter / lower caseback that is sold separately. This reduces the height since the auto. movement is thicker.
But, you want the auto. movement so this is not possible.

420 is very popular and many folks buy that as their first Amphibia.

I am clumsy yet I seldom bang my Amphibias on the door frames or walls in my very small house. It is less of a problem than you think for a watch with a tall crystal.

Some of the aftermaket custom bezels are taller than the Vostok factory bezels. dr.seikostain / one.step.closer, zavar011 and a few others have tall bezels. The top of some these bezels sit either just below the top surface of the crystal or are level / flush with it. This helps to protect the crystal. I have worn a few Amphibias for over 5 years with tall bezels and the crystals have not been scratched much. I wear them for everything I do: woodworking, car repair, washing dishes, splashed with many different chemicals, gardening with my bare hands in very sandy soil....etc. etc. I only polish out the scratches once every 1 or 2 years.
 

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I have owned three Amphibia 420s and they always sat tall on my wrist, but mine is tiny (6鈥).
I switched to a Komandirskie and it is MUCH thinner without the bulky convex rotor housing and the thick crystal. WR is still perfectly adequate for gardening and housework. The caseback has the same bayonet design as the Amphibia.
 

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Can't argue with that, it's Russian made and well-proven. As I mentioned, I own two Pobeda watches that are close to being 70 years old, and little service from time to time keeps them running ! I really do wish to add at least one Amphibia to my collection :)





Thanks for your info ! I own Loreo "Submariner" as well, it's really great watch for that price, isn't it ? :) That is why I'm considering adding another Alliexpress watch to my little (and modest) collection.
That "chunky" feeling of Vostok is what keeps me away from just ordering one straight away, even though I know I will eventually get one, no discussion on that. I just wanted to collect more information from owners and see, which style and functionality suits my preferences right now :)
The 15mm thickness deterred me too. Took me a lot of thinking to get my first Amphibia.
But when I did decide to get it I was shocked (in a good way!), I've only had Chinese watches so far, and the Vostok was something else- almost magical (Vostok rabbit hole, amirite?).
 

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You could try a Komandirskie with an auto movement. I only have one and it's 13.5mm thick. The hand winders I have tend to be 11.6mm-12.4mm thick. The Amphibia I'm wearing now is 15.1mm and it's on a single piece strap, making it even thicker. I'm fairly clumsy with watches and haven't banged it against anything yet ;)
 

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Just to give you some visuals, my 420 Amphibia is 14.9mm tall:

Most of the height difference between this and a generic Chinese watch is probably down to the domed acrylic crystal in comparison to a flat sapphire crystal.

The case back of my Amphibia also sits nicely down into into my wrist, so it really doesn鈥檛 feel excessively tall:

What strap did you use? is that 18mm end links and then it is 20mm? I've been trying to find a strap like this if I get a vostok again.




OP - I've owned a few 420s and while they dinged off walls and such, I never had any scuffs or big scratches to the acrylic. I think the 420 is one of the best watch cases out there.
 

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What strap did you use? is that 18mm end links and then it is 20mm? I've been trying to find a strap like this if I get a vostok again.
It鈥檚 a solid link bracelet from Meranom. Yes, it鈥檚 18mm hollow end links specific to the 420 case, then 20mm width bracelet with solid links that tapers back down to 18mm at the clasp.

Since I got my fully brushed version they have changed to polished centre links. This probably fits better with most Vostoks that have polished cases, but mine鈥檚 on a fully brushed SE so glad I got the old fully brushed bracelet.

The 420 version is currently out of stock though:
 
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