Hello my fellow watch addicts and welcome back to another review. Today, in the spotlight is a recent acquisition of mine, that being the newly released and sold out 200M Vostok Dive watch. It is a rather inexpensive automatic timepiece being that I only paid $137 USD shipped to me from Russia in total. Let's see what it has to offer..
The case on this model is entirely comprised of polished stainless steel besides the caseback and has a rather vintage appearance in terms of the shape of the case. For some quick measurements, the diameter measures 41MM, the thickness comes in at just about 15MM, and in height we get 48MM. The lug distance is a rational 20MM and you should have no problem obtaining straps to swap out if you choose. The mid sized screw down crown is located at 3:00 and signed with the Vostok "B". The crown is always a subjective grey area of Vostok watches and most do not understand why the crown is so loose and wobbly once unthreaded. The truth behind this is that it is actually a mechanism designed by Vostok for a more robust and resilient functionality. The directional clutch that separates the winder from the ratchet wheel during hand winding is done so that if the crown came loose or broke off, the watch would keep perfectly good time and there would be no margin for error. With that out of the way, the actual case feels quite well built and finished for 130 bucks to be honest. It is certainly just as good as any 300 dollar seiko, or a Seiko SKX as an example. The lugs are also rather short, and my Submariner wears a bit bigger than this 41MM Vostok. Vostok states a 200M water resistance, combining a screw down crown and solid caseback for security. This allows the user to use this for recreational diving, swimming, showering, and any other activities you may think of.
There are a few different color dials available in this series and I happened to choose the most classic of all, a black dial with white accents. Typical Rolex Submariner colors, but they work. First thing first, my model does not have a clicking bezel but rather a BiDirectional friction based bezel equipped with a matte finished aluminum insert to match the dial, which was a bit of a letdown as other reviews displayed a clicking bezel. The matte black dial sits below the domed Plexiglass crystal and has applied luminous markers 360 degrees around. Well...HOW IS THE LUME? The lume glows green and is actually decent, and lasts a fair amount of time when comparing this to my standard Vostok "Scuba Dude" Amphibia. They have definitely improved the lume on the newer releases and that is promising. The large luminous arrow pointer hand and the sword minutes hand are bold and help with legibility. I found it odd that the hands are actually made of Nickel. Our date window featured at 3:00 which is typical has a white background with black numerals and is centered just fine. The gimmicky geeky cool part of the dial is at 6:00 where it states "Made in Russia" , in Russian.
The Soviet made in-house Russian movement in this model is the typical 2416B which is pictured above. Now this is not the most accurate movement as Vostok states it is -20 +60 a day, but it is certainly reliable and will last quite some years from my past experiences. The movement holds 31 Rubys, and has a power reserve of around 31 hours. It features hand winding, but No hacking. There is also NO quickset date which is a bit of a letdown. If this really bothers you, there is a way to fast forward the date by bringing the hour hand backwards than forwards to 12. It is not the prettiest nor most accurate movement but it Is in-house and not a generic movement, so its a bit of a controversial topic to talk about considering the watch costs roughly the price of a Seiko 5.
The steel brushed screw down caseback looks just fine to me and features all of those Russian words I can't understand, but google translate should help you with that. Im assuming these words state the water resistance and specifications of the watch. Another cool feature is the "Scuba Dude" directly on the center of the caseback.
The strap is silicone and treated with an anti dust treatment supposedly. It is black and features the same exact styling you would see on some Breitling Catachouc rubber bands. I assume this is where they got the idea from. In terms of functionality and comfort it fits rather well to the wrist and is super flexible while having some decent thickness at the same time. The one part I do not like is the buckle, it is a bit too large for this band and bulges out a bit when on wrist.
The new Vostok SE Amphibian release is certainly appealing to a dive watch collector/enthusiast. It is rather well built and you will feel the difference when comparing this to the standard $70 Amphibia diver. I would of liked to have a clicking bezel as that is one of my favorite aspects of a dive watch. Although, the absence of a clicking bezel isn’t a dealbreaker for me and I think if you can find one of these for the price I paid it is definitely worth it as an everyday wear or a great beater watch. It is not the most accurate watch or innovative timepiece, but it certainly looks good, is affordable and a unique Russian watch at the same time.