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Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Vostok_Amphibia_SE_420454S-01-600x900.jpg
(stock picture)

Specifications

Name: Vostok Amphibian SE 420545S
Movement: automatic Vostok 2431, 32 jewels, 19.800 bph, 31h power reserve
Time display: 24 hour (12 on top), minute, sweep seconds
Date: date at 3
Case: all stainless steel with screw on back
Size: 39 mm diameter without crown, 43 mm with crown, 46 mm lug to lug
Height: 15 mm
Face: matt black dial with white hour numbers and markers
Text on dial: [Vostok logo] - Антимагнитные - 32 Камней - Автоподзавод – 200M [Vostok - Antimagnetic - 32 jewels - Automatic – 200M]
Text on back: Чистопольский Часовой Завод - Амфибия - Специальная Серия [Chistopol Watch Factory - Amphibian - Special Edition]
Hands and markers: luminous nickel hands and hour indexes
Water-resistance: 20 ATM (200 m) water protected
Crown: signed main crown at 3
Crystal: domed acrylic crystal
Lug: 18 mm
Bracelet: silicon strap with clasp

Foreword

When I first saw this Amphibian mentioned in WUS – 24h automatic antimagnetic diver watch for USD 110 !!! – it was clear to me that I have to buy one. Buying an Amphibian SE is straightforward – go to Vostok dealer Meranom online shop and get it.

Let me explain, that Amphibian SE means Special Edition, watches exclusively designed and ordered by Meranom and you can get them only in Meranom store. The differences between ordinary Amphibian and Amphibian SE is nicely summarized by ben_m.
SE stands for special edition, a range of models commissioned by meranom. The stainless steel bezels, cleaner dials (some without date window), reinterpretation of the old paddle style hands, and scuba dude case-back, and better choice of straps are what makes them different.
I paid in August 27, watch was delivered in local post office September 12. Two weeks lead time is good for registered Russian post.

Comments

Today, September 16, I’m still wearing this watch, and that is meaning a lot.

Case
This watch is offered by Meranom in two versions – with case 420 (SE 420545S) and case 670 (SE 670545S).

Case 420 is standard Amphibian case. The lug to lug distance is 46 mm and 420 is more suitable for smaller wrists. That’s why I ordered for myself a 420 model and I’m very satisfied. The case is smaller and almost all you can see are dial and bezel. To be honest, all Amphibian cases are quite simple with basic treatment and there is nothing special to expose (it is a 100 EUR watch, remember).

Other case, model 670, is initiated by Meranom and especially in Russian watch forum many people were interested in this reincarnated octahedron case.

https://www.watchuseek.com/f10/amphibia-670se-vs-470-comparison-3543842.html
The 670 case shows unmistakable styling cues from the Soviet-era 470 case, the most obvious being the 8-sided case. It is not a direct copy; this version is slightly larger, and has 20mm lug spacing.
For me 670 case has too large lugs which makes the watch a little bit disharmonious.

One advantage of 670 for many people is that it has 20mm lugs, 420 has only 18mm.

All Amphibian cases are diver cases and in some sense similar to vintage compressor watch cases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amfibia
The Amphibia is the embodiment of possibly the most simple concept for creating a watertight case. The basic principle is to use the outside pressure to create the seal needed to prevent water from entering the case. The further the case sinks, the higher the outside pressure, the higher pressure is exerted on the case, creating a dynamically tighter seal. This is opposed to the idea where you create a case that creates the pressure to withstand 20 ATM of pressure no matter what pressure it experiences (1 ATM at sealevel, for instance).
Amphibian is not a big watch, diameter 39 mm, but surprisingly thick. See below a picture.

The watch is antimagnetic. Under case back is installed antimagnetic shield.

Dial and bezel.
The dial is not a piece of art or something special. But the combination of matt black dial and (not so nice for me) Amphibian hands is very efficient. Legibility is absolute top class. Eighter day or night, you always know what time is it.
Date window is at 3. Setting the date and hand winding - the watch is automatic, but you can also hand wind it – is a little bit clumsy, as it always is with Vostoks. To set a date you have to move hour hand back and forth between 12 and 10 (actually 24 and 20 J )

Screw down crown isn’t a standard Amphibian, but special signed stainless steel crown.

In Russian forum forum.watch.ru I read that one typical flaw with this watch is misaligned hands. My is OK.

Stainless steel Meranom bezel with anodized aluminium insert looks surprisingly good! I don’t know why, but especially many Vostok bezels are not my taste (to be honest they are looking terrific).
Black silicon strap is good for wrists 175 – 225 mm. Of course you can order other straps, leather or stainless steel.

Afterword

My first thought was, that that this extraordinary Vostok Amphibian is todays 24h watch with best price-performance ratio. And that’s true. I would say that everything in this watch is an extraordinary example of efficiency. This is typical for traditional Russian watch industry, where main requirements for a watch were utility, reliability, maintainability, cost efficiency.

There is only one reason I can imagine for a 24h watch collector to NOT buy this watch – “this watch is too cheap for me”.

Interview

Mr. Dmitry Buyalov, co-owner of Meranom, was so nice and answered to my questions.

- How you would describe a difference between standard and SE Amphibian
watches?

The differences are:
Better dial with luminous numerals, better hands, bezels made of stainless steel, crown made of machined stainless steel. Better bracelet and straps.

- I suppose, that this 24h diver watch is your idea (BTW. You can't find 24h divers at any other watch manufacturer!). Maybe you can comment this.

I like Amphibian design and my idea was to keep all the technical details and add extra feature like 24H display.
I know that normally 24H watch is considered like the cosmonaut ones, but I thought of Polar explorers.
I suppose that robust Amphibia with 24H display fit them perfect.

- Are you satisfied with first responses and commercial results?

Frankly speaking I was surprised that there was such interest for this watch, although I think it’s too early to count we sold not much.

- Can you comment, how many 420545 and 670545 you plan to produce?

They are still in production. It is around 100 pcs. per case.
There will be few dozen more in stock in next weeks.

- Are any 24h successors in plan?

Definitely.

20160916_122818782_iOS.jpg 20160916_122914574_iOS.jpg 20160916_122931238_iOS.jpg 20160916_123501904_iOS.jpg 20160916_123430108_iOS.jpg 20160916_123001100_iOS.jpg 20160916_123020698_iOS.jpg

Plus some pictures from Meranom/Vostok

Vostok-420.png Vostok-670.jpg VOSTOK_2431.jpg
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

So the dial is matt and not glossy like the standard 12 hours 333 dial?

That's interesting to know, but to be honest I think the Albatros case look better for this watch.
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Thank you for the glimpse - now I'm even more anxious to receive mine. It looks fantastic!!

Mine shipped on Aug 31st but tracking today shows that it still hasn't left Russia... :(

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Yes, BTW that particular watch has an impressive accuracy, about +-1sec/day, it has become my favourite Vostok because of that and because of the excellent case shape, I find it very comfortable to wear.

One of the thing I don't like is the gloss finish of the dial, if the 24h is matt I might get one of those as well, perhaps I should also ask Favinov if he can lume the dial, in mine the dots and hands are stronger than the digits.
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Amazing in depth review of the SE. I have a normal amphibian, but this piece has me wanting another!


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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

My 420 just got delivered on Friday - it's actually a really neat piece. I had no idea they were producing so few of them - lots of cool details in your post. Thanks!


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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Thank you for the glimpse - now I'm even more anxious to receive mine. It looks fantastic!!

Mine shipped on Aug 31st but tracking today shows that it still hasn't left Russia... :(

Sent from my XP7700 using Tapatalk
Mine shipped 8/31 and got delivered to Boston on Friday (left Russia after about 2 weeks and took a few business days to get through customs in New York and up to Boston). Hopefully yours will be here soon!


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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Waited too long to decide to buy one; sold out. Ah well.
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

I got my Vostok Amphibian 420454S yesterday from the customer service.
And I love it to have it on the wrist. Because it is a little bit unspectacular.

cheers Michael

:roll:
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Mine arrived today!!

It's fantastic overall, though I was disappointed to find the hands are misaligned enough to be quite obvious to the eye.

I don't mind the silicone strap but it's a bit too big for my wrist so I threw it on a plain black nato which is clean look for this watch.

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

I have the 670 case version, prefered a slightly larger case and 20mm lugs over the 18mm of the 420, and i agree it's a great watch for the money.
I do hope they expand the range.

Chris
 
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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Got mail from Meranom today (in russian) that the 670 version is back in stock. Ordered immediatly. Now waiting inpatiently!
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Congrats Anders, you won't be disappointed when it eventually arrives :) i'm really liking the 670 case, looking forward to more being introduced soon.

Chris
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Sadly, both Bostok 24 hour watches out of stock now; does anyone have any clue on when they'll be back? Thanks!
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

Sadly, both Bostok 24 hour watches out of stock now; does anyone have any clue on when they'll be back? Thanks!
I would like to know when as well, hopefully if ever or if another good 24hr alternative pops up.
 

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Re: Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S – bang for the buck (AWW 50)

While it may look a little like a Gsar, and i agree the SE is a great value piece and worth every penny, the quality on the Gsar is certainly vastly superior as it's price tag would suggest.
Value on the Gsar i guess is subjective.

Chris
 
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