(This the article version of that thread)
We all know the Vostok "Amphibia" that are genuine diving Russian watches produced in a number of different versions. "Amphibia" (Амфибиа) stands for all stainless steel cases with a real 20 atm water resistance in the Vostok (Восток, the East) productions. Another common quality are the Komandirskie (Командирскле) oftenly confused with Amphibia, with their chrome-platted brass case and a resistance at least to 5-6 atm.
Produced in Chistopol (Чистополь), a city located on the banks of the Kama river, Tartarstan Republic, in the far limits of geographical Europa (800 Km east to Moscow). Vostok has the ambition to become the "Russian ETA" and Irina Maier gave us recently here some interresting news about the Vostok projects. Historicaly, Vostok was reimplanted here in 1942, during the WWII to save the manufacture from the war damages.
A brand new Vostock Amphibia (do not confused with the recent novel Amfibia described by Michele here for instance) is sold out between 28-50 Euros (40-70 US$). That price makes likely an Amphibia one of the cheapest amechanical diving watches available on the market.
It remains then one of the best bargain for divers (including some Seiko) who love mechanical watches. Early april, I consequently ordered to zenitar (28 Euros + 10 ) the blue version of my Vostok black diver already presented here. The shipment was fast and the watch arrived in Paris, CDG 3 days after shipment (we knew through the tracking number of the Russian posts), but was stuck there for a month . I just received it this week.
No additional taxes to pay fortunately .
Let's see that "СДЕЛАНО В РОССИИ" blue diver :
The same basic plastic box as in 2005. Nothing changed. Open that box:
Here is the thing. It seems that the bracelet is a bit better than before.
Here is the user manual / garantee. Produce in sept. 2006
To compare I found back the bracelet of my black diver 2005. The new one is polished and an additional fold of each links gives a better edge.
The deployant is branded to the Vostok aVostok mark contrary to the 2005 version.
Interrestingly a French web site referenced that a bunch of 4 Amphibia's resisted successfully to a pressure test up to 25 Atm (http://perso.orange.fr/fwi-sail/zdiver5.htm)!!
We are not so surprized because an amphibia looks really resistant!...
If you have 5 additional minutes to loose, here is a small musical remix video that presents the watch and the black diver / Komandirskie versions...
Interrested by history of diving, I incidentally found that picture of a diver from "Odyssey Cousteau" in the seventies :
(credit to Jean-Michel ( Hi JM!!) diving web site available at http://lesmala.net/)
The diver is wearing a wetsuit with yellow lines and a mask close to the famous Vostok diver. It was likely fashion at that time (may inspired from a Cousteau Odyssey picture??). He is wearing a Swiss Doxa Sharkhunter issued in the 70's and a Spirotechnique deepmeter, the only instruments used to manage a dive at that time (we use nowaday sophisticated dive computers). The regulator and bubbles escape from diver back (nowaday it's frontside and bit more disturbing), typical of the Mistral regulators invented by Cousteau and Gagnand during the WWII, that revolutionized the autonomous dives. Cousteau and Gagnan founded a company called Spirotechnique in France and AquaLung in the US now unified under that latter name (more on JM's web site).
Despite their obsolescence, sure I will bring along one of those watch with me for diving.