Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back in the U.S.S.R.

I'm a weird guy, I don't have a problem admitting that. Somehow I managed to stumble into another strange hobby, collecting Russian watches. They're affordable, they're different, and they provide an alternative to looking at your cell phone to see what time it is.

This arrived on my doorstep today.

It's a Vostok Amphibia, it cost a whopping $59 plus shipping on Ebay. I was a little concerned about buying anything from Russia but I read plenty of positive comments about the seller (Zenitar) on various watch forums. This same watch is available in a huge variety of faces, you're bound to find something you like.

The watches are well regarded but the stock bracelet is considered junk. I immediately replaced it with a couple of military style nylon straps.

From what I gathered the Radio Room is the most sought after version of the Amphibia. There is also a Radio Room with a black face, it's pretty cool.

Vostok Amphibia-if it's good enough for Steve Zissou it's good enough for me. All I need now is a red cap and a speedo.


  1. Huh, Russian watches. Never would have guessed.

  2. That's rather striking, and Russian-looking. Why do I have a craving for borscht all of a sudden?

  3. Those are good watches, if they're genuine : )

  4. Nice looking watch! I used to have more of a "watch" thing when I was younger. I remember obsessing over the "right" one when I was a kid.

    S'funny, I'm actually in need of a new watch. $59 ain't much more than the Timex I was thinking of getting...

  5. Very cool.

    I got my Vostok Amphibia from the same guy. I love the watch, and it's a great conversation piece. A 21 jewel automatic movement would be a steal at that price, even if it didn't come directly from Moscow.

    The original bracelet has worked okay for me (it's an everyday "beater" watch for me), after a few initial tweaks.

  6. I think it's a great-looking watch. Given that you pitch it as a collection, I assume you're planning on getting more of them?

  7. Jon-Why doesn't it surprise me that you own one of these?

    Apertome-I'll probably get one or two more.

  8. Of the many things you could collect, Russian watches have the very real advantage of not taking up a lot of space. Steam locomotives don't have that advantage. The watches will also still look cool even if they stop running.

  9. I spent 7 months in Moscow back in 96. I ended up coming home with 5 watches. I know how you feel. There was one watch that a friend of mine found and I never was able to. It was called the Tank Watch. It was amazing. Very waterproof, and you even unscrewed a metal cap to get at the winding nob. I should dig around in my junk and see if I still have any of those watches.