If you keep your eyes open, you will find colorful watches with a striking case, with different dials at very reasonable prices on Instagram or on eBay. When diving deeper, you come across a watch brand that you have seen before as a watch collector, but have never really taken "seriously". We are talking about VOSTOK. If you follow the whole thing a little more closely, you will notice again and again different versions, combinations and unique timepieces on the net. So this seems to be a popular watch brand with modders that like to play with bezels and dials.
So I gave myself a jolt and wanted to test more closely what this watch from Chistopol (Russia) is all about. After countless hours on Youtube, I ordered a yellow VOSTOK Kommandierskje and combined it with a yellow rubber strap. And I was more than thrilled: pleasant wearing comfort and great dial were exactly what I wanted to have for summer.
Visibly impressed by the design, I warmed up to this brand. When I saw a modded version of a VOSTOK Amphibia on Reddit, my next research on www.vostok-watches24.com began. When I was able to find the corresponding model, I asked Peter from VOSTOK Watches to put the matching 24 bezel on me (despite his surprise).
Even though the Amphibia 420916 does not have a GMT function, I found the combination of a Coke bezel and the minimalistic design of the dial very appealing. When the watch finally arrived, the result was quite impressive. Even if the crown of VOSTOK watches is always very wobbly and feels inferior, for the price you get at least an automatic movement, more precisely an 1-stone automatic movement VOSTOK 2415.01, shock-protected, with a power reserve of about 31 hours. Both the indices of the individual hour positions and the hands have a luminous material. The polished stainless steel case measures a diameter of ø40mm (measured without crown). Although the height measures 15mm, it is still flatter than you would expect.
The outer bezel is freely adjustable and rotatable in both directions. The slightly curved watch glass is made of acryl. Both the crown and the case back are screwed. According to the manufacturer's data, the Amphibia is waterproofed up to 200m (20ATM), which is hard to believe once you have been allowed to hold a VOSTOK crown in your hand. But so far there have been no complaints on my part.
A strap monster
But the real fun starts with the fact that this watch (as well as other models from VOSTOK) is very versatile, especially if you combine different 22mm straps with it. Whether a PREMIUM Ribbed Nato bracelet or a matching FKM chewing strap - you get a real toolwatch with great design possibilities. No matter what the occasion might be, here a watch collector can let off steam and not do much wrong. Considering the "cheap" price and the amount of interchangeable parts available on the watch market, such a watch must be worn and rocked without worries.
So if you can swim or even dive with such a model without hesitation, you get a lot of watch for small money and also a true strap monster.
At Night - alright?
If you in need a lume champ, you have to search for a long time. Not many watch brands deliver what they promise. Everything has its price. Therefore, the luminosity of this Amphibia is only partially satisfactory. Although the dots above the indices and the dot on the 12 shine nicely bright, this first impression can not last very long. With increasing time on my wrist, the brightness fades quite quickly so that you have to check off this point here quickly. You can't have everything.
What put me off back then is no longer a knockout criterion today: the case size. Many 42 models did not fit my narrow 17.5cm wrist. Still, there is a much more important number to look at when knocking off watches Even if a watch is still so wide, the lug-to-lug length incl. case seemsto be the better indicator to me .
Most watch collectors surley got already in touch with the CASIO "OAK", which has become a true icon in recent years and measures a proud 45mm case diameter. Nevertheless, it is very comfortable to wear because it does not protrude too much over the wrist bone in length. The same applies to the VOSTOK Amphibia with a lug-to-lug length of 48mm. An additional plus is also the curvature of the horns downwards, so that the watch can become one with your wrist.
A good buy?
Of Course, this is not a watch for discerning, quality-obsessed watch fans. However, you should always keep in mind that you also need a "beater" watch on your vacation. As long as 1. the movement runs reliably, 2. the watch is waterproof and 3. a few scratches do not immediately lead to an expensive revision, you will need such toolwatches in your personal collection. You hardly have anything to lose. So if you are new to the watch world, you are welcome to give a VOSTOK a chance.
Personally, I really like the 420916 in this modded version. And that's the beauty of watches. As in the fashion world, everyone wears what he/she likes. And that's the only thing that counts.
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Written by Patryk Burski on 11.01.2023
Author of this post!
Founder of OhMyStrap!
Preffered type of watches: sporty, elegant, minimalistic, chronographs
Grail watch: Rolex Daytona 116509 blue dial white gold
Hobbies: DJing, traveling, reading, sports
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