something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR
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  1. #1
    Member storyteller's Avatar
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    something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    There is an ongoing discussion on watch.ru about Amphibia Radio Room. http://forum.watch.ru/showthread.php?t=130572 . Some participants wondered when it was actually produced, and I posted some links to WUS discussions, noticing that all NOS octagonal Radio Rooms presented there, were supposed to be produced in February 1990. And then our own Amil detected something very worrying – the bezels are different and the serial numbers are too disparate.
    Normally, there are several bezels which could be considered legitimate for one Amphibia model, because Vostok usually used what was available at the time. But it is odd that in one moment – February 1990 – and for a limited series of watches, different bezels were selected.
    More important, when somebody buys a NOS Amphibia, they normally look for matching numbers on caseback and papers. The papers presented on this forum have matching casebacks numbers, so each individual watch seems O’K. What is troublesome, is that the serial numbers vary hugely – 000288, 006235, 017740, 283701, 358632, 888953. Now this is impossible. 000288 – 888953 should mean that almost 900 000 watches were produced in February 1990, all of them RR.
    One could suppose that some overstock series of casebacks were used alongside with new ones – I believe such things happened regularly in Chistopol - but in this case we don’t have two or even three series of casebacks. The closest ones differ by 60000 – more than the whole Amphibia RR run. There is something really unusaul here, I think.






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    Original threads, where these pictures were displayed

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/vos...ns-125387.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f29/fs-...ers-30066.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/new-vostok-3828.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f97/mir...tros-6111.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/jus...rs-531077.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/nos...ss-608616.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f29/fs-...ch-436227.html

    Sorry to borrow photos without permission, but I wanted to mark the serial numbers and the month / year of production.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  2. #2
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    Do we know that all RR were given sequential numbers? Maybe the sequential numbering scheme was for all Bostoks, not RR's within Bostocks. Or maybe there wasn't any numbering scheme.

  3. #3
    Member storyteller's Avatar
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    Even so (and I'm not convinced) , I doubt that 400 - 800 000 octagonal amphibias were produced in February 1990. It is possible that the factory intentionlly provided RR with alleatory numbers. Everything is possible. But it is seems more plausible that some seller had a set of papers from February 1990 with empty spaces for serial numbers and used them to forge NOS sets, filling the serial numbers of the casebacks he had and 470444, the model number of RR.
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  5. #4
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    470444 seems to be printed and not stamped... Can it be that the passports have just been laser-printed from a genuine scan?

    I have one clue, perhaps:

    Whoever has been in the USSR will remember the peculiar odour of Soviet made paper. Even after 40 years, I have hundreds of books, stationary, LP sleeves and so on which almost all have the very same pungent odour, wherever they came from, except for glossy paper.

    Now, all Russians above 30 years old will certainly know this odour, and be able to recognize whether it smells like an old Soviet or like a modern paper, won't they?
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    Quote Originally Posted by storyteller View Post
    Even so (and I'm not convinced) , I doubt that 400 - 800 000 octagonal amphibias were produced in February 1990. It is possible that the factory intentionlly provided RR with alleatory numbers. Everything is possible. But it is seems more plausible that some seller had a set of papers from February 1990 with empty spaces for serial numbers and used them to forge NOS sets, filling the serial numbers of the casebacks he had and 470444, the model number of RR.
    It's not just the model number that would have to be filled in - the papers also say "Albatross" (in Cyrillic) - in 2 places. That's not filled in.

    I think the simple answer is that these are legit and the numbers are not sequential. When did the Russian every worry about little details like sequential numbers?
    Last edited by watch22; September 4th, 2012 at 17:57.
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    "Албатрос" is a line of octagonal Amphibia with many models, including RR.
    All right, I wouldn't insist. But I would be a bit happier if I happen to see a NOS RR with different set of papers. Otherwise the procedure seems really unusual - I imagine a huge pool of casebacks, a cauldron shaken every 10 seconds, or something like lottery balls, in order to get a maximum diversity and impredictability of the caseback numbers. Or a computer generating random numbers. Everything is possible. Including a forgery.
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR

    My papers are similar, only mine says OTK-23 at the bottom. My serial # is 001236, and my passport looks (and smells) genuine. Personally, I believe that serial numbers were struck on casebacks before the casebacks were assigned to particular watches, and only assigned to the papers of any given watch at final assembly. Between being stricken with a number and screwed on to a watch, Amphibia casebacks were put in a bin. The link from watch model to numbered caseback are the papers themselves, and this helps determine that the caseback and dial are an original match. Of course, someone must have determined that all of this was unnecessary, as serial numbers on casebacks went out with the USSR anyway.
    Last edited by Mister Mike; September 4th, 2012 at 20:11.

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    There are a number of WUS members that may have purchased NOS Radio Rooms from the same seller. It may be interesting to compare paper work from watches with a common source and see what consistencies are present.

    I purchased mine from Fred in Hong Kong,... from his box of NOS Vostoks.
    I'll try to post a scan of those papers later tonight for comparison.
    I'm sure quite a few others also purchased RR from him too.

    Should we expect to see consistent serials within this batch?
    I'm guessing no, but it might be enlightening to find out.
    MYSTERIAN

  10. #9
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    Is there any chance that all those watches are just Regular Vostok, with consistent backs and movements, that have then be re-dialed with this very popular dial and given fake, copied papers? There are plenty of new CCCP Vostok dials on the market. I bought a dozen for 10 USD in Poland, very nice, rare, designs. The seller insisted on them being new and not NOS.
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    Re: something is odd with NOS Amphibia RR


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