Vostok Amphibian SE 420454S - bang for the buck (AWW 50)
: Vostok Amphibian SE 420545S
: automatic Vostok 2431, 32 jewels, 19.800 bph, 31h power reserve
: 24 hour (12 on top), minute, sweep seconds
: date at 3
: all stainless steel with screw on back
: 39 mm diameter without crown, 43 mm with crown, 46 mm lug to lug
: 15 mm
: 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
: 20 ATM (200 m) water protected
: signed main crown at 3
: domed acrylic crystal
: 18 mm
: silicon strap with clasp
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.
Today, September 16, I'm still wearing this watch, and that is meaning a lot.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
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?
Plus some pictures from Meranom/Vostok