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Discussion Starter #1
Theoretical question: Would like to hear nominations for your best pure manual wind (not auto) that's also sturdy/robust but cheap, preferably under $100USD?

In other words, what do you think is the best cheap manual wind watch that's "sturdy enough to be a daily beater"? Photos encouraged!
 

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Any Russian Vostok would qualify....$30 to $50 for any one you like. I collect mostly Navy themed ones but there are hundreds of styles out there. I have a couple vintage not pictured as well.













 

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Theoretical question: Would like to hear nominations for your best pure manual wind (not auto) that's also sturdy/robust but cheap, preferably under $100USD?
In other words, what do you think is the best cheap manual wind watch that's "sturdy enough to be a daily beater"? Photos encouraged!
I nominate any Chinese 6497 based watch, which are unbreakable assuming you don't receive a lemon. Easily attainable in many styles for under $100. Let's just say a Marina Militare:

 

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Any Russian Vostock would qualify....
Ah, I was going to nominate the Amphibia's and Kommandirskie's at first (unbreakable little buggers for almost zilch costs) but thought they were auto's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any Russian Vostock would qualify....$30 to $50 for any one you like. I collect mostly Navy themed ones but there are hundreds of styles out there. I have a couple vintage ont pictured as well.


Wow, some real nice iron here, I esp. like this one above with the hex case and battleship! What's this one called, does it have a model name or number? Thanks for the pics!
 

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Another vote for Vostok...

The 6497s are terrific, often more currently stylish, and available for around the same price if you sleuth or haunt the online auctions, but the Vostoks *retail* for the prices you're seeing quoted here :-!

One of mine:



The Komandirskies are durable "manual, not automatic" mechanicals built for everyday wear.
 

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Ah, I was going to nominate the Amphibia's and Kommandirskie's at first (unbreakable little buggers for almost zilch costs) but thought they were auto's.
All the ones I showed pictures of are manual wind...I love 'em!!
 

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Wow, some real nice iron here, I esp. like this one above with the hex case and battleship! What's this one called, does it have a model name or number? Thanks for the pics!
Sorry, That watch is a mystery...I have never seen another one and have no model number ID. I found it on eBay and knew I had to have it! I put a Spidel premium bracelet on it and it's awesome! Wish I could tell you more.
 

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There are a huge number of manual wind Russian watches, most of which are fairly affordable and sturdy. Although I can't say I really love the way most of the modern vostoks look. Other than that a Chinese 6497 clone is probably the next best choice, and their are more styles for the price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There are a huge number of manual wind Russian watches, most of which are fairly affordable and sturdy. Although I can't say I really love the way most of the modern vostoks look. Other than that a Chinese 6497 clone is probably the next best choice, and their are more styles for the price range.
Thanks guys - are these the watches seen on various websites known as "Russian Military Vostok" styles for $30.00 to $50.00? The Russian watch thing is kind of confusing to me, many companies some with overlapping names.
 

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The HMT Pilots and Janata from India. USD 12 each. They all can be sturdy daily beaters!

Photo by Fmattes/Pil-Mil forum.(Black Pilot)





Photos by ralbert/Pil-Mil forum(White pilot/Janata)




The following are autos, but since they are very sturdy daily beaters and qualify on the basis of cost, I am posting these too:

Photo by ralbert/Pil-Mil forum (HMT Rajat/USD 21 approx)


Photo by Reto/PMWF (HMT Kedar/USD 30 approx)


HMT ADSL 03 automatic/USD 45 approx (photo is mine)
 

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Thanks guys - are these the watches seen on various websites known as "Russian Military Vostok" styles for $30.00 to $50.00? The Russian watch thing is kind of confusing to me, many companies some with overlapping names.
Zenitar is trusted on eBay...buy from him. Russia2all.com is a forum sponser but is not stocked very well with regular Vostok right now. Check out the site and sign up for email, deals are awesome!!
 

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I love Vostok Komandirskies. Here's a few of mine, one new production, an early 80's 3AKA3, and a 1950's (now gone):oops:. Still missing pics of a few of mine.








 

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^^^^ that one is quite nice


Smirs.com has quite a few Vostok's and Vostok amphibia's, and fairly decent prices thanks to a favorable exchange rate but the downside is shipping from Russia is slow.

Also Russian watch forum sponsor vostok-watches.com, but the poor euro to usd might make it slightly pricier, but remeber prices on their website are listed with 19% vat which you as a non-eu resident don't have to pay.
 

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The Vostok with a hex case looks like one of the Vostok "Partner" style variants but I haven't ever seen another with that type of face.
 

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all my vintage seiko manual from 1950-1960s
from cal 66xx to high beat manual wind

all still has > 40 hours PR and accuracy within COSC
all my best manual watch is vintage manual seiko for me

I bought it all for 30-50 $
the most expensive is the high beat manual from marvel and king seiko
but it still < 200 $
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys, beautiful watches all! I'm into hand winds lately, will definitely check some of these out. Wish we could source the watches from India too!
 

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The cheapest sturdiest manual wind would have to be an 18 jewel vostok amphibia.I have one, but do not believe they are produced any longer.
 
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