I own nine Vostoks. paid almost $150 for a 170894 and $175 for a 170863 a few months back. $160 for a 086492 and $120 for a 020708. For various reasons I was willing to pay much more than the Meranom price for those four. The other five were all less than $90 shipped to my door. I live in the USA and buy from here if I can simply to get the watch into my hands more quickly.
Im new to the watch thing, and naturally I've been researching and watching youtube videos, and I always see people say how Vostok watches are so cheap and all. Or that vostok has 30 dollar automatics. But where? How? What are they talking about? They are literally 200 dollars + wherever I search. I honestly feel scammed by where I live, everything has like some kind of mystical "watch tax". So where do I find those elusive "30 dollar" vostok automatics?
I don't think I've ever seen a working Vostok selling for $30. In fact, I'd be afraid to buy a $30 auto that wasn't Chinese- most watchmaking countries would charge you $30 for a sun dial...
Vostoks cost what they do not because they suck, but because they're using mid 20th century tech and tooling, and no marketing budget. They're not thin, the bezels are friction, the crystals are acrylic, and the dials are (mostly) painted. None of that is a matter of quality, but of either taste (the dial) or era (everything else). As I understand it, the cases are a mildly lesser grade of SS, if that matters. Overall, In my experience, they have been better, more durable watches than their cost. I paid more than MSRP for most of mine and would have paid a bit
more. Now, their price is definitely why I have nine of them and not two or three --I'm learning to tinker with them and I don't mind much if an $85 watch ends up trashed-- but I guess I'm saying all that to say that I think you should probably be prepared to spend at least $100 to get a new Vostok, and consider any savings beyond that as icing on the cake.