Questions regarding Russian watches
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  1. #1
    Member kayeng's Avatar
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    Question Questions regarding Russian watches

    hi guys.

    1. What's your favorite Russian watch brand and why? I assume most would say Vostok?

    2. The bezels on some Russian watches are brass (or are MOST Russian watches brass? I'd like to know). Do they have it gold-plated despite the fact that brass already looks like gold? Are there any Russian watches that have non-plated brass bezels?

    3 What is the reason for using brass?

    4. Where do you suggest I buy Russian watches?

    5. How come they're so cheap?? I'm tempted to buy many!

    6. Your opinion on Vostok's watches that have drawings of tanks, planes, cannons, etc. I love it! They're so fun!

    Thank you
    Last edited by kayeng; September 12th, 2017 at 10:21.

  2. #2
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    1. What's your favorite Russian watch brand and why? I assume most would say Vostok?

    Vostok. No doubt! But there are several other models from Raketa or Poljot that I love too

    2. The bezels on some Russian watches are brass (or are MOST Russian watches brass? I'd like to know). Do they have it gold-plated despite the fact that brass already looks like gold? Are there any Russian watches that have non-plated brass bezels?

    Most of the cases and bezels of the vintage Russian watches are made of brass. I think that it is a cheaper material than the steel. Nowadays Vostok has started to sell its Amphibias with bezels made of steel. I have got in my collection many vintages with steel cases and plated brass bezels. I thought that it was going to disturb me and I even bought several steel bezels to replace the original ones but I didn't. The modern steel one are in the box waiting for more future chances and the original brass bezels are in their watches. Today's one:



    3 What is the reason for using brass?

    Costs

    4. Where do you suggest I buy Russian watches?

    eBay or etsy for the vintages ones. Meranom for the modern Vostoks

    5. How come they're so cheap?? I'm tempted to buy many!

    I discovered the Russian watches one year ago and I have bought more than 30 of them in just one year!

    6. Your opinion on Vostok's watches that have drawings of tanks, planes, cannons, etc. I love it! They're so fun!

    I think most of them were designed for tourists but they look cool.

    Enjoy and welcome!
    schnurrp, Matt_Bored_O and kayeng like this.

    Instagram: @Ptolomeo74

  3. #3
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    1. What's your favorite Russian watch brand and why? I assume most would say Vostok?
    I own 3 Russian watches, all Vostok. If I would go vintage, I would without doubt buy a Raketa Perpetual Calender watch. I am frequently snorkeling, so it is truly important for me to own at least one watertight watch. Some spare watches is just nice bonuses. This is why I own Vostok watches. I doubt I would take a vintage watch into water, so vintage watches does not need to be watertight for me.

    2. The bezels on some Russian watches are brass (or are MOST Russian watches brass? I'd like to know). Do they have it gold-plated despite the fact that brass already looks like gold? Are there any Russian watches that have non-plated brass bezels?
    It is easy to strip the chrome plating, so if you truly want a plain brass watch, just buy any watch with chrome. If I am not mistaken, the 50th anniversary Amphibia is plain brass.

    3 What is the reason for using brass?
    It is cheaper to make stuff in brass than in stainless steel. Amphibias have stainless steel case and the newest models of Amphibia (160 and 670) are also having stainless steel bezels, instead of brass. The cheaper Komandirskie is all brass.

    4. Where do you suggest I buy Russian watches?
    If you want a Vostok, meranom.com and komandirskie.com have both been good vendors. For vintage watches, I suggest ebay, but ask first about authenticity here on this forum before buying anything. There are so many frankenwatches at ebay.

    5. How come they're so cheap?? I'm tempted to buy many!
    My watches have for some reason been multiplying. Not as badly as for some here, but I used to be a one watch guy and now I own totally 5 watches alread, of which 3 are Russian. I do not know why they are cheap, but I am thankful for the price.

    6. Your opinion on Vostok's watches that have drawings of tanks, planes, cannons, etc. I love it! They're so fun!
    A YMMV thing. Personally I hate wars, so I would not wear a watch with pictures of war machines. I would not want to be reminded about wars each time I check the time. But this is so personal, what one hates, other love.
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  4. #4
    Member kayeng's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    Thanks guys!
    Another question. It seems that some brand new Vostok watches in ebay are priced a bit lower than in meranom. Anything I should know about this matter?

  5. #5
    Member kev80e's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    1. What's your favorite Russian watch brand and why? I assume most would say Vostok?

    It depends what mood I'm in. I think it's safe to say lots of us start with vostok , then start reading here and get hooked on others. At the minute I'm getting into slava ones.

    2. The bezels on some Russian watches are brass (or are MOST Russian watches brass? I'd like to know). Do they have it gold-plated despite the fact that brass already looks like gold? Are there any Russian watches that have non-plated brass bezels?

    You can easily strip the plating if you prefer a brass bezel.
    3 What is the reason for using brass?

    Cost, I have agree , it's just cheaper.
    4. Where do you suggest I buy Russian watches?
    As said ebay and etsy are really the best place for older ones. Be careful though there is lots of Franken ones . If your unsure ask on here . There is a dedicated thread for this very reason.

    5. How come they're so cheap?? I'm tempted to buy many!

    This is perfectly normal, well on here anyway. Resistance is futile :)
    6. Your opinion on Vostok's watches that have drawings of tanks, planes, cannons, etc. I love it! They're so fun!

    They're great.




    Good luck and welcome to the madness.
    kayeng and cptwalker like this.
    ​I'm afraid one day I will die and my wife will sell my watches for what I told her I paid for them.


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  6. #6
    Member Seele's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    kayeng,

    Let me have a try at your questions.

    1. What's your favorite Russian watch brand and why? I assume most would say Vostok?

    For those in current production, Vostok would be the most popular due to the comparatively low cost. But I like vintage ones as well, so that would open a huge vista.

    2. The bezels on some Russian watches are brass (or are MOST Russian watches brass? I'd like to know). Do they have it gold-plated despite the fact that brass already looks like gold? Are there any Russian watches that have non-plated brass bezels?

    Gold is a much more stable material than brass, so if a brass item does not have some sort of surface protection, it will tarnish rather quickly. Quite a few members like to strip the chrome plating off brass cases as well.

    3 What is the reason for using brass?

    Brass is much nicer material to machine compared to stainless steel, a lathe or milling machine can remove a large amount of material in one pass, but it's quite a bit more laborious with stainless steel. Moreover, brass can give a very nice surface finish which is very helpful for subsequent plating.

    4. Where do you suggest I buy Russian watches?

    Our fellow correspondents have made some good suggestions, but for vintage, the usual sources such as eBay would be a good bet.

    5. How come they're so cheap?? I'm tempted to buy many!

    For new ones, exchange rate. The deal with Vostok is the scale of production, and the toolings for movement parts have paid for themselves many times over, so there's no extra overhead to pay for frequent purchases of new machinery. But for smaller scale makers such as Raketa, the prices are about on par with their true value though.

    6. Your opinion on Vostok's watches that have drawings of tanks, planes, cannons, etc. I love it! They're so fun!

    Well, I do not specifically go for them under the impression that, for instance, those with submarines on the dial are meant for naval submariners etc.

    Hope this is of some interest.
    kayeng likes this.

  7. #7
    Member Neruda's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    Meranom provides free shipping which sometimes means the total price works out cheaper. However Vostok recently increased their prices, and it seems some ebay sellers haven't yet got round to making adjustments.

    Personally I've had great experiences with Meranom - three watches this year with no problems. I like to think Meranom offer a bit of extra quality control which other sellers may not!
    meranom, DJW GB, kev80e and 1 others like this.

  8. #8
    Member ExoticLifestyle's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    Thanks for the info on Russian Watches. I will be looking into Vostok

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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  9. #9
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    Quote Originally Posted by kayeng View Post
    hi guys.

    1. What's your favorite Russian watch brand and why? I assume most would say Vostok?

    2. The bezels on some Russian watches are brass (or are MOST Russian watches brass? I'd like to know). Do they have it gold-plated despite the fact that brass already looks like gold? Are there any Russian watches that have non-plated brass bezels?

    3 What is the reason for using brass?

    4. Where do you suggest I buy Russian watches?

    5. How come they're so cheap?? I'm tempted to buy many!

    6. Your opinion on Vostok's watches that have drawings of tanks, planes, cannons, etc. I love it! They're so fun!

    Thank you
    1) IMO the top Soviet brand has always been Poljot, but alas it's gone long time ago.

    2) Like Swiss watches of the time gilded brass was the facto the standard case for Soviet watches. Steel was a luxury restricted to military issued chronographs and true divers (Poljot, Vostok, Raketa) for pressure resistence. All the parts not structural like bezels remained brass.

    3) Costs, again most Swiss watches built 60 years ago were also made of brass.

    4) I would suggest new from Meranom, Zenitar, Chistopol city or any reputable seller. Vintage...you need some experience for that.

    5) Vostoks are cheap because they are the same watches produced since the early 80s with virtually no change, same tooling etc...the Amphibia is a living fossil: a diver from the 60s that can still be found new.

    6) Originally they were Soviet zakaz models made in the early 80s, I assume in an attempt to raise the morale of the conscripts...today they are mostly made for tourists but when I was a kid everybody wanted a Soviet watch with a big red star.

  10. #10
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    Re: Questions regarding Russian watches

    1. Poljot, then Vostok. Poljot (or whatever "brand" is used on its movements) is harder and harder to get nowadays.

    2. Brass bezels are used on old soviet watches, also on some cheapest Vostok watches. During this year, all Vostok Stainless Steel case watches will get Stainless Steel bezels. K-35 series and newest Amphibians (150, 160, 670) already have them.

    3. Its cheaper and easier to shape.

    4. Wherever you find comfortable for you.

    5. Cheap? You mean Vostok? Well, it's getting more expensive every year ;) Also, the factory has some money income from the state. Plus low advertising.

    6. They look like ...., you're "matrioshka, vodka, balalaika" fan? Then these are for you. Cheap souvenirs for tourists. Though still has the highest sales rate.
    kayeng likes this.

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