Today we are going to talk about the ultimate russian made affordable automatic diving watch, the Vostok Amphibia. This is not a watch any basic watch collector will know about but rather one reserved for true enthusiasts and those looking for a reliable, affordable, and stylish timepiece with rich history. The Vostok brand dates back to the pre world war 2 era and was founded in 1942. Their current headquarters are in Chistopol, a small town located on the Kama river in Tatarstan. The company quickly shifted to only manufacturing defense tools for the russian forces during WW2 but as soon as the axis powers were defeated they went right back to producing timepieces, clocks, and movements for other companies as well.
A couple fun facts..
1. Vostok ( Boctok ) actually means "East"
2. Vostok was named after a space program just as Raketa and Poljot were.
3. The company was appointed an official supplier of watches for the Ministry of Defense in the Soviet Union circa 1965.
The Vostok Amphibian classic ( 710059 ) or "Scuba Dude" watch I own has a light bluish turquoise dial almost resembling a slightly patina'd watch face. It sits 11MM tall and is housed in 41MM steel cushion style case which sits super comfortable on the wrist. The circular mid size screw down crown has a clutch mechanism which is often misinterpreted by buyers as low quality because of its wobble when unscrewed. This is done on purpose and manufactured this way because if the crown were to release or break off while underwater the time will not be effected nor changed. The crown basically disengages itself slightly from the movement when unscrewed which gives it a wobble. I find this quite interesting and also a very subjective feature. Anyway, the watch has applied lumed indices with a beautiful diver printed on the dial, hence the name Scuba Dude! Amphibias come equipped with a friction based bezel compared to a normal unidirectional clicking bezel which is sort of unsatisfying , but for 75 USD , I cannot really complain. If there is one thing I can complain about it is the stock bracelet supplied with the watch! This bracelet is as bad as it gets and must be switched out immediately, atleast for me. Some great alternatives for the bracelet I have tried and worn are Mesh bands, Millanese , leather straps, and of course rubber straps. The caseback is screwed down and has a few russian words inscribed which most people have no idea what they actually mean, but Google Translate is super helpful in clearing that up! Listen, for 75 dollars you will not find a better everyday automatic timepiece with an in-house movement, rich history, decent timekeeping at about plus ten seconds a day while looking good on the wrist at the same time. I have left a few pictures below of my Amphibia for your viewing and also a link where you can buy a small piece of Russian history for under 100 bucks. Does it get better than that? I don't think so.
*Please Note the Band on the watch in the pictures is a Barton's Silicone Quick-Release Strap*
Model #: 710059
Depth Rating: 200M
Crown: Screw Down
Lug To Lug: 45MM
Lug Width: 22MM
Movement: 6041 In-House Vostok Caliber Automatic
Power Reserve: 31 Hours
Crystal: Antique Plastic Domed
Link on AMAZON for VOSTOK Watches: