Today on “MicroSunday” here on Watchinsight.com we are taking a closer look at the Vostok Amphibia 1967 Scuba Dude. I can almost hear you thinking, what?! A Russian diver in the 100 dollar range?! Well, yes. Why not! Russian divers are becomming more and more popular these days and if you look at the various facebook groups you will notice the Zlatoust Russian divers and the many Vostok watches. In previous reviews we looked at the micro brand divers which based there designs on models from the 60s and 70s. So this 1967 Scuba Dude fits right in, as it is the ultimate 60s design of the Russian diver models and the counterpart of the more expensive Swiss divers.
Vostok Watchmaker Inc.
The company startet in 1942 during WWII and was a Moscow based company. During the war the company was evacuated to the east of Russia in Tatarstan and was located in the small town called Chistopol. F.Y.I. Vostok means East in Russian! The company at that time made watches and other military equipment for the Russian army. After the war a part of the factory moved back to Moscow and the other part stayed in Chistopol desiging and making military watches and became official supplier of the Russian army and Ministry of Defence. Mostly due to high precision, excessive reliability and durability. The Vostok name was First used in the 1960s and seems the excists today. Seems, because several sources have reported that Vostik filed for bankruptcy in 2010 though production has continued and watches are still produced. This year Marks the creation of the famous Komandirsky watch.
Amphibia 1967 Scuba Dude
So, we are taking a closer look at the Scuba Dude now. The First Amphibia watches were manufactured in 1967 and quickly became the symbol of the Russian watchmaking industry in the 60s and 70s. Most models were made of brass with a chrome or gold plated finish. The Scuba Dude in this review is one from the special series and is completely made of stainless steel with a blue naval diver dial with the diver, the so called scuba dude, printed on the dial. It’s not a horlogical master piece in its finishing, though this one looks pretty damn good, but it is a masterpiece in the sence of reliability and durability. You can buy this watch and wear it on a daily bases for the next 20 years without any problems. The average Swiss diver has to come in voor maintenance every 5-7 years……
The Scuba Dude has a massive cushion styled highly polished stainless steel case and measures 42mm x 49mm x 15mm. This is without the 4.5mm crown and from lug-to-lug. The screw-down crown feels a bit wobbly, but it is designed that way. So at first you think you have problem already, but that isn’t the case. With a screw-down crow and case back, this watch is water resistant up to a 200 meters. The screw-down case back is decorated with the Russian version of Amphibia and some other Russian markers. On top of the watch an impressive domed plexi crystal is placed and that makes it all worth for me. I am a plexi crystal fetishist I think.
Around the plexi crystal a highly polished graduated rotaded bezel is placed. The fun part is, you can order various bezels in various styles to personalize your watch. I prefer to keep it original, but that is a matter of personal taste.
Dial and hands
If you take a look at this blue dial, you instandly fall in love. This is without doubt the most beautiful blue dial I have ever seen, it is gorgeous. It is a kind of Royal blue I suppose and with the domed plexi crystal on top it is breathtaking. On the dial you will find applied indices and luminous dots and of course the scuba diver or so called scuba dude. At the 3 o’clock position the date window is placed and the date indicator is placed exactly in the middle of the window. I have seen Swiss watches doing a worse job fort hat matter. The hands are also equiped with some sort of luminova, same as the dots on the dial. The second hand is painted red and stands out beautiful on the gorgeous blue dial. So this watch is all about the dial, pexi and reliability.
Under the hood you will find the reliable inhouse Vostok automatic caliber 2416B with date indicator. It is a 31 jewel movement with shock-protection, a two-side winding rotor, 19.800 halfrotations/hour and with a minimum of 31 hours power reserve when fully wounded. With a 31 jewels this movement will not have the wear and tear the 21 or 28 jewels will have, so you really have an outstanding movement that will last a lifetime.
Bracelets and straps
The Scuba Dude is equipped with a stainless steel bracelet. This really is a crapy bracelet, a hair puller of inferior quality. Some like it, I don´t. So I ordered a bunch of 22mm matching nato straps and a 22mm Jugten leather strap. The last one is not ideal for a diver, but the nato straps have not arrived yet at the time of this review.
In my vintage Rolex collector days I often met people who owned a Scuba Dude besides their Rolex divers. I never really understood that until now. This particular Scuba Dude is a killer in every way. Outstanding price quality ratio, stunning dial and domed plexi, inhouse movement, stainless steel case and a lifetime durability. So, no matter who you are, how many exclusive Swiss divers you own….If you don´t have a Scuba Dude in your collection it is not complete. In my opinion, the watch itself is still a masterpiece! A masterpiece for less than 100 dollar…..isn´t that something!