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Discussion Starter #1
Short: well, yes and no. It's genuinely bad, but also a bit awesome. It's a weird watch. :roll:

Long:

I've been really down on Vostoks for a while. On paper, they seem like terrible watches, and the owners - even the ones that are raving about it - usually admit that it's shoddy af :think:.

So, of course, I picked one up on ebay to see what's the deal :-!.

This is how it arrives: a very basic plastic fold-open box, sized just-about right for the watch. It's cheap as heck, but.. well, it's rigid enough to protect the watch, and it's better than a nothing.
P1000294.jpg

Well, almost. o| Looks like the box didn't quite make it here intact:
P1000304.jpg

Oh hey look at that in the corner - it's the Amphibia!

P1000303.jpg
... On a replacement strap. :roll: More on that later.

I decided to go with the bulky barrel case and the 'typical' bezel, because, well, it felt the most 'vostok' to me. The dial, well - I thought this might look not-too-bad, and in practice, I quite like it. The sunburst is very... "bursty", a strong radial brush and a wide burst spread. Nice pale copper tone, too. |>

Of course, execution is horrible - the pooped-on lume blots mostly don't align with the printed indices, the text printing is a little bit... "blurry". The handset, btw, is not great. Hands are very flat, stamped out of a sheet. Seconds hand is sort-of ok, but the rough, raw edges of the hour/minute hand are, ick. Also, not very legible! (To quote the baboon: "Sad!")
 

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They are what they are. They are cool watches, but aren't going to wow anyone regarding their quality. Pretty much everything feels or looks a little rough. But that's part of their charm. With a few mods, you can really make them your own.

My 090 with 120SE insides
Brushed the top of the case
Boris bezel with Dagaz rally insert

It actually keeps excellent time, and I'm not sure how it does so.

 

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Kinda has a vintage charm to it, yes rough and ready, but I'm presuming it was cheap? Definitely not the worst watch ever.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, that's interesting. Looks like about 65% of my OP is gone (right around the mark where it starts to do the 'attached files' box instead of in-page embeds). FFfffffffff.

Screw this wonky forum platform >.<


Well I'm not wasting another 30 minutes re-writing it all. To re-cap the main points of what was lost:

- the bracelet is really, really bad, not worth even unwrapping.
- the crown is a PITA. If the wobble is intentional, then it's a very boneheaded decsion.
- the movement feels good though (once the crown decides to engage...), no grit, no weird noises.

- this is a cool watch, because it's like a NOS retro watch from 50 years ago. (1967 to 2017, 50 years exactly...) You get all the benefits of going vintage (quirky design, cheaper cost) without the drawbacks (scratches, gummed-up movements, unknown wr).

The bottom line - I really like it, even though it's objectively bad. It should never, never, ever be recommended as a 'first' watch, but it's great for those 'just for a laugh' days.

I now get Vostok owners who go 'gaga' over these.
 

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I have one too and it has to be understood to be enjoyed. Like driving a classic car or a VW Beetle(the aircooled one). Nobody complains about the lack of heated steering wheels in a vintage car or the lack of cup holders.

The Russians had no hope of being able to compete with Swiss quality to they did what they could with the technology on hand to create a dive watch. Knowing that, I am surprised it turned out as well as it did.

The wobbly crown is there because the engineers knew that the gorillas using them would be hamfisted while setting the time and winding it. How about the beat count of the movement?! Most grandfather clocks have a higher beat rate! Mine gains about 30 seconds a day but I know that they slow down with age. In about 5 years, I should have a COSC certified Vostok!
 

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Well, that's interesting. Looks like about 65% of my OP is gone (right around the mark where it starts to do the 'attached files' box instead of in-page embeds). FFfffffffff.

Screw this wonky forum platform >.<


Well I'm not wasting another 30 minutes re-writing it all. To re-cap the main points of what was lost:

- the bracelet is really, really bad, not worth even unwrapping.
- the crown is a PITA. If the wobble is intentional, then it's a very boneheaded decsion.
- the movement feels good though (once the crown decides to engage...), no grit, no weird noises.

- this is a cool watch, because it's like a NOS retro watch from 50 years ago. (1967 to 2017, 50 years exactly...) You get all the benefits of going vintage (quirky design, cheaper cost) without the drawbacks (scratches, gummed-up movements, unknown wr).

The bottom line - I really like it, even though it's objectively bad. It should never, never, ever be recommended as a 'first' watch, but it's great for those 'just for a laugh' days.

I now get Vostok owners who go 'gaga' over these.
Yes the wobbly crown is intentional. It prevents movement damage if the watch is knocked on the crown as the movement is disengaged from the crown stem unless the crown is pulled out.
I have two Amphibia's, not sure how they do it but accuracy is around 2 seconds a day. Everyone I know puts the strap directly in the bin, I dont know why they dont have an option to buy them without the strap, there must be literally thousands of unused Vostok straps around the globe!!
I dont mind the hands or the dial, my se Amphibia is way better in this respect of course (se Meranom for se Amphibia), but I think dial and hand quality is not bad at all even on standard Amphibia. I have quite a few watches, not as many as some here, but more than most normal people :)
Anyway nobody ever mentions my Omega or my Squale 2002, any of my Orients or my Seiko's, but I have had a few comments about my Amphibia's. A few weeks ago on a fire brigade course the instructor said to me " Maybe you take that expensive watch off in case you damage it". I was wearing my Scuba dude Amphibia with a 20 dollar shark mesh strap. Probably half the people on the course where wearing watches, he only seemed worried about my 50 dollar watch!!
Chris
 

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I don't see any problem with the hands, and assure you that they are considerably better than what came on my Fortis Cosmonaut. Likewise the crown, the wobble you mention is because of the built-in clutch, which disengages when screwed in. If you drop the watch and it lands on the crown, force of impact won't transmit through the stem to the movement. This is not a defect, this is extra value and clever engineering. And again, vastly superior to the silly threaded stopper which was on my Fortis.

The worst thing I can say about my Amphibia is that hand alignment on this blue dial wasn't quite as good as I would have liked. I purchased the correct tool to remove the hands and did the adjustment on my dining table. Also, I did upgrade to a different crown (also with the wobble clutch) and a different bezel, but I genuinely like the watch.

Vostok Amphibia Blue on steering wheel.jpg
 

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The only time a stranger has ever really commented on one of my watches was digging through a box of old watches at a car boot sale, the woman on the stall looked at me and said "That's is a beautiful watch is it genuine" to which i replied "Yeah its a genuine Vostok". She appeared very impressed by this. I was wearing a bezel modded blue scuba dude ministry on a shark mesh.
 

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Worst watch ever? C'mon now. It's an inexpensive automatic mechanical watch with hand wind and 30-40 hrs power reserve. 200m WR with screw down crown. For around $50-$90. It's from a company that has history. The wobbly crown is by design and I certainly haven't had any problem with any of mine. It may not be the most polished watch out there but mine certainly has kept decent time and it's not been babied at all. I use it frequently without fearing any elements. Water, dust, heat, cold, whatever, I have no fear using it around it. It's inexpensive, replaceable and because I use it I get enjoyment out of it. Being inexpensive, I can mess around doing amateur mod with it. That alone adds to my enjoyment and satisfaction of owing a watch I partially created to my liking. I like it's quirky beauty, it works for me.

My Vostok Amphibias.....






It doesn't look so out of place among these affordable greats.


And here is another one next to it.....
Blue Scuba Dude




It's one of my true fishing watch.










Looks nice out of the water as well.




And this one has gotten a lot of attention as well.....









b-)​
 

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My 420. Just because :-D

IMG_3711.jpg
 

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The watch is from the 70's. Believe it or not it's all original and the 2209 keeps great time after all the years this watch has been around. Vostok are cool and built better than you would think. Yes bracelets should go into a trash can and a non quick set date will drive you nuts. But....



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Are these really 200m watches? I would be scared to wear one in water, but do like them ill get one probably next month. Good post with good comments.
 

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I like the up close pictures because the grey dial looks great, and I was curious about the grey. The only issue I have with mine is there is a small notch at the bottom (and top) of the back of the case. This has dug into the WR leather strap I put on the watch. But it's hard to see so it's not a big deal.
 

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The wobble on the crown is so you don't strip the threads.Yeah the bracelet isn't great.I love my Vostok amphibias.If you will take the time to research it on russianwatches forum you will find that the Amphibian is an amazing piece of engineering with a very unique approach to water proofing.
 

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I don't know, I kind of like it. Enjoy it as a knock around watch or as a conversation piece. Congratulations.....I guess.
 

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I have a blue dial and black dial scuba dude. The non quick set date sucks. So I kept one on a winder. A few weeks later it had gained around 15 minutes.....
 

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Are these really 200m watches? I would be scared to wear one in water, but do like them ill get one probably next month. Good post with good comments.
Yes they absolutely are 200 meter watches.These were designed for the SOVIET military they have to be good.That's like asking if an AK47 is reliable.
 
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