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I've just started collecting watches, and I absolutely love the history and utility of Russian watches. Currently, I have two Vostoks, one of which is a vintage from the eighties with a cal. 2409 in it, more of a casual/dressy type watch, the other of which is a brand new Amphibia 420374 which I threw a blue perlon on and stripped the chrome from the bezel. That one has a bit of a sportier look, which I like, but can also go up to a casual dress type of look. I chose both because they look very unique, and they set me apart in a way from more vanilla divers or dress watches. Not to mention the fact that they're both running great! So my question is: do you all have any recommendations for Russian watches that are distinct looking, or good conversation pieces, like the Raketa Copernic? Or any Russian watches that I simply cannot miss? I knocked the Amphibia out of the way and I love it, and I'm hungry for more!
 

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For distinctness, bright coloured Raketa Perpetual Calendar or
Chaika Stadium

The Raketa 24 hour models might be conversion pieces as well.

I have all these guys, but the photos I just got off the web.




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I just got the new amphibian by raketa and it makes the dudes with Rolex and omega turn into a deer in the headlights. Its a sea of desk divers where I work. Another raketa that would stand out and has a cool story is the Big Zero. I especially like the black dial white numbered model. Eventually, I want to find a 300 Amphibia. Poljot also has a lot of distinctive and useful pilot watches. The 3133 okean or ocean is a classic and holds its value. The 3133 movement is very collectable.
 

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Any 3133 from the '80s is pretty much an essential Soviet/Russian watch. While I do covet an original Okeah, I am not all that impressed with them to shell out the money that sellers are asking


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I agree with the above posters -- the OKEAH or another 3133 is essentially but hard to find, and the Big Zero is essential and relatively easy to find.

My first Soviet watch was a Poljot Olympics watch, which a forum member restored for me. Love that watch.

I'd also say a Vostok scuba dude is essential, though far from unique.
 

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A Pobeda despite its small size is a pretty essential component of any Russian watch collection. If you want something bigger a Volna (Vostok Precision / 2809) or Baltika (Raketa) will fit the bill very nicely. All are reliable, surprisingly accurate timepieces rugged enough to wear regularly..... and they needn't cost a bomb.
 

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All the above suggestions are good, but if you want a watch that is pure soviet, nothing else like it in the watch world that I know of, you have to get a type 350 amphibian swing lug. Here's my hard-to-find Cyrillic model for the domestic market:


View attachment 8323938
Indeed Comrade Schnurrp!!! The Amfibia 350 is the perfect fusion between subjective beauty and utilitarian design... something the Soviets have excelled at on many of their industrial products...

My black-dialled Boctok would say hi but I'm away from home for now and didn't bring it over on this occasion.

Regards,

RC
 

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Strela. Okeah.
Those are the pinnacle.
But tough for the beginner.
Innumerable dress and every day watches which tend to be cheap as dirt and still do the job.
And then there are the unusual ones, the Signal alarm watches, the 24hrs, the perpetual calendars .... and let's not forget the space traveling sturmanskies, the veteran "type 1"...
Too many to list.


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I am by no means an expert on watches (russian or otherwise), but I would pick these as pretty unique:

- Zlatoust diver watch.
4127485496_9260cb7dc9_z.jpg


And...
- Okeah chronograph... Despite the design being more or less a copy of less known chronographs, IIRC, it's more well-known and pretty iconic with it's navy and space history.

- Vostok 350. I am pretty sure Vostok looked at the Zodiac Seawolf for this one. The swing-lug case really sets it apart though.

- Vostok NVCH-30. I think wire lugs are pretty rare for watches as small/"new" as this. Also, I think the paddle hands vintage Vostoks used are pretty unique.



 

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- Vostok 350. I am pretty sure Vostok looked at the Zodiac Seawolf for this one. The swing-lug case really sets it apart though.

I'm sure they did since at the time, mid to late '60s, when the type 350 was being created the seawolf was it. Leaving the lugs aside, since perhaps the soviets would have produced a more conventional lug design if they had been able to mill that military grade stainless used for the type 350, there is some similarity to the triangular hour markers and chrome bezel of the seawolf, although the early type 350s had black bezels. But the type 350's two-part back and pressure sealing crystal were new to the design of dive watches. Also the iconic "necktie" hands are unique and the seawolf at 35-36mm, normal for the time, is dwarfed by the 38mm type 350 which is still a very wearable size.

https://www.watchuseek.com/f54/vostok-amphibia-analysis-design-methodology-491757.html
 

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All the suggestions so far are all good,but if you want something rather unusual at a sensible price ,the Cyrillic TV dial soviet era Slava,or military Ratnik (Naval 200m, Army 20m or even WUS Project Ratnik)
IMG_20160510_153346.jpg
If you feel like splashing out,I think the modern stainless case Strela ( The Agent model has a stunningly beautiful dial ).
1252neu6.jpg
The reason I mention the modern version rather than soviet version is that you will probably wear it more often as it has less of a precious historical significance,which may limit your use of it
 
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