Are Vostok watches any good?
Well, first let me say that I could answer this question immediately - yes. Having now bought 5 Vostok watches (Vostok Komandirskie and Vostok Amphibia) from the first purchase to the last I have been unbelievably delighted and equally surprised. With a Vostok you are getting a solid, fantastically durable and affordable watch with a look that is likely very different to all other watches in your collection.
If you are looking for a statement timepiece, then try Vostok Watches. They are more than just timekeeping devices as the watches themselves are created with a particular theme in mind, and each has its own story.
But, before we look at some of the specifics of the watches, lets go back to the beginning and find out a little more about who Vostok are.
Vostok Watches - The Beginning
Founded in 1942 when a Moscow based watch manufacturer was evacuated to Chistopal, a small town in the South West of Russia, Vostok were originally a defence manufacturer. However, Vostok then started making mechanical watches. The brand name 'Vostok' was actually only used from the 1960s and during the 1950s and 1960s watch making in the Soviet region was only surpassed by the Swiss.
It was at this time that the Soviet Union were leaders in military and space and similarly to other Soviet watch brands Poljet and Raketa, Vostok took its name from Soviet space programmes.
Vostok? Is it worth my money?
You might wonder if Vostok watches are worth the price you pay, and the answer is definitely! With their incredible features and amazing design, you would be justified in saying that as well as being one of the most affordable watches on the market, they are also one of the watches where you get the most bang for your buck.
All elements of Vostok watches are custom designed and built and Vostok does not leave anything to chance. They have a highly qualified in-house team that begin with a blank canvas before coming up with a high-end watch.
The mechanical movements that are used to make Vostok watches are also supplied to other brands like Poljot International, Moscow Classic, Vostok Europe, and Volmax.
Looking at the crystal, bezel edge, and the case back, it is not your ordinary watch. The team makes an eye-catching and unique design that you will likely not find in Japanese, German or Swiss watches in the same price range.
Vostok believes in manufacturing watches that can provide clear visibility during the day and night. It incorporates futuristic technologies to achieve this. Conversely, the majority of high-end Vostok dive watches use tritium-tube technology. Tritium tubes do not need charging in ultraviolent light to glow and can last up to 25 years.
Every Watch Has a Story
Some of the most famous models include Vostok Amphibia, Vostok Komandirskie, Vostok Energia, and Vostok Kremlevskie. Every Vostok watch is made to tell a story about the history of Eastern Europe and its achievements. The Vostok Energia, for example, is named after the largest booster rocket on Earth.
There are a number of popular Vostok models but lets take a look a little deeper at the two that I currently own: the Vostok Komandirskie and the Vostok Amphibia.
Vostok Komandirskie watches are some of the most affordable wristwatches on earth. It is solid and highly reputable. Furthermore, it is available in more than 70 versions with automatic or manual winding. The case can be chrome-plated or made of steel brass and the case back is incredible. The case back often looks nicer than many high-end and costlier watches.
There are a wide range of dials to choose from when it comes to Vostok Komandirskies. Some feature submarines while others feature boats, planes or soviet emblems.
Vostok ‘Amphibia’ was named for its ability to be used both underwater and on land.
The simple part was coming up with a name. The actual challenge was creating a timepiece that could match the demands of the Soviet defence agency. The primary goal of the manufacturers was to make a water-resistant watch. Consequently, Vostok had to come up with solutions for the crystal, case back, and winding mechanisms to prevent water from entering the watch at deep depths. This led to the birth of Vostok ‘Amphibia’ and it has become a popular choice, especially among divers.
In my opinion, everybody should have at least one Vostok in their collection. Whether, like me, you are a collector of affordable watches, or alternatively you have fewer high-end pieces, I think there is always room for a Vostok. Its character and uniqueness sets it apart from other watches whilst its durability and reliability make it a watch that is not just for show.
The only problem I see with Vostoks are they are so unbelievably cheap especially for what you get and it is therefore very difficult to stop at buying 1 (or 2… or 3… or 4…!).