WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
Today I’d like to write about my Komandirskie K-34 watch I bought in January. Firstly, I’m not an English native speaker, so please forgive me my language flaws :)
K-34 is a relatively new series of military-style watches from Vostok Watch-Makers. There are a few variants produced, with date or GMT functions, a Pilot-style watch and an interesting version with luminous dial as well. Some chronograph quartz watches are also available. Cases are made of stainless steel or titanium. Prices slightly over $150, as far as I know.
Komandirskie watches first appeared in 1970’ as military watches made for Soviet Union Defense Ministry. As time passed, the series has become a souvenir for tourists rather than a true military watch to speak of, however Vostok probably still has some army orders. K-34 series takes us back to the very first Komandirskie watches due to it’s similar dial design. The cases design is new, though, and it’s exactly what you’d expect of a military watch.
This particular one has a stainless steel case in matt finishing, resembling titanium, grey dial and features a well known, prehistorical almost, Vostok 2416B movement. It is a 31-jewel automatic movement developed in the Soviet era with date function. It has both automatic and manual winding mechanisms. Like most Russian movements, it doesn’t have a date quickset system, which can be really annoying sometimes, as the date has to be set by going back and forth between 8PM and 12AM (it takes a long time if you have to advance the date almost a month ahead and it’s definitely painful for the cannon pinion).

Design and finish
The Komandirskie K-34 definitely has a military look. It has a simple military style case and dial. Originally, it has a black leather strap with red thread and a very nice butterfly buckle with Komandirskie series logo. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit my thin wrist too well – it sticks out too much, so I had to replace it with a nice Morellato textile strap. Case is made of stainless steel, though the matt finishing gives it a titanium-like appearance. The back is finished the same way as the case. This version doesn’t have glass on the back, some do. The crown is big and look nice with a big Vostok logo on. It’s not screw-down like in previous Komandirskie watches, but it’s even better IMO, since I don’t like screw-down crowns at all, and the 10ATM water resistance is just enough. The glass is mineral and dome-shaped, no flaws found.
The dial is grey with white luminous numbers and hands. The use of white red color on a grey dial is a fantastic idea and looks great. The paint quality could be better maybe, as my brother says it looks like plastic, but maybe that was the point – who knows. I like the look of this watch very much.



The downsides (as far as design and finish is concerned) of this watch are both price and origin-related. There aren’t many of them though. If you take a closer look, you can see, that the dial is not centered perfectly, the hour hand doesn’t point the exact hour and luminova is not too bright and the glow fades very quickly (much better in Aviator or Japanese watches, and even slightly better on cheap Amphibian’s hands). They could have done a much better job here, but sadly, Vostok watches are known of low quality luminova.



Movement

As I’ve mentioned before, the watch uses a 2416B Vostok in-house automatic caliber, designed in Soviet era. It’s exactly the same as the one in Amphibian series, but it’s better regulated and has polished screws. Definitely not a beauty, but it’s not visible in this watch anyway. Currently the 2416B and derivates are the only soviet automatic still in production and unlike most other USSR automatics, it has a ball bearing for the rotor. The movement has a weird frequency of 19.800bph, so the sound is distinctive :). It keeps good time, gains a bit, but all in acceptable range. The winder is efficient, but has a tendency to jam a bit from time to time (shaking the wrist slightly harder helps, but it shouldn’t jam at all). The date changes nicely almost exactly at midnight. The indirectly driven seconds is well regulated, so it doesn’t have this irritating stutter like in some watches with this or Miyota 82xx and similar movements. It jumps a lot during time setting though. The cannon pinion also seems to be a bit too tight in this one.
The quality of the movement is the watches biggest downside, as quite a lot of them have annoying issues, such as loose rotor, badly lubricated automatic winder or badly lubricated mainspring barrel, just to name the common ones. They are less common in K-34 than in cheap Amphibians, but still it might be o problem (still nothing a good watchmaker wouldn’t fix). The lubricants longevity seems to be a disaster, most of these watches need service much earlier then Japanese ones in the same price range. It is however said, that export series are better than domestic (I’ve got a Russian market issue).

Conclusion

Komandirskie K-34 is a good, nicely looking and well finished watch, with some history about it, that may be a bit annoying due to movement’s quality issues and weak lume. Definitely not a watch for you if you want a truly reliable timekeeper, but if you’re looking for a nice, simple military style watch, you should consider buying this one. I love this watch very much, and I just can’t live without one anymore :).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
It's lovely - it has a kind of eastern European charm about it.

I'd love to get one of these - only with the original Russian scripts though. Glass back would be nice :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
818 Posts
Unfortunately, Vostok seems to only make the K-34 with Latin lettering. If they ever offer Cyrillic, my order will soon follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Hi my first post though I often read this fantastic forum:
I have a Vostok Amphibia with a black cyrillic dial with the 2416 movment, they are interesting watches, I love the dial, though mineral glass would be a bit nicer. I bought it new in Ukraine, later found it didn't keep good time, on further inspection it seems it wasn't winding correctly because it has a stripped tooth in the auto winding mech, so I am going to sell or see if i can get the parts/a movement. They are not that expensive so it is not worth, paying anyone to repair it -at least not here in the UK!
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top