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Vostok - client of mine used to import them, I have probably 50 or 60 of them in my warehouse, brand new. We got a lot of returns, some of them just didn't work (poor quality control), the rest of them nobody could figure out how to set because the instructions were in Russian. (The trick to advance the date is set the time back to before 10 PM and then advance to 2 AM, clicks over one day at a time.) The "best looking one" is the Submarine Commander, the other dials are downright hokey, some of them are worse, and some of them are MUCH worse. (My opinion only, YMMV.)

I bought one at a thrift shop for a quarter once, the seller said it needed a battery - it is a mechanical watch. These come in several different flavors, the old ones were made in USSR and they were said to be "somewhat" better than the post-USSR versions. Vostok sold a bunch of them to Italy, where they were popular for a while as the "anti-Rolex".

We were selling them on Amazon for a couple of years, in addition to the quality control (or lack of same) problem, turns out Vostok licensed the NAME in Europe, and the European license holder complained to Amazon. The European Vostoks are quartz watches with big chrome cases (Image! Image!) and are totally different from the Russian Vostok watches.

We tried explaining the situation to Amazon, that ours were legitimate Russian-made watches, not knock-offs (and who would bother to knock off something when the real thing costs a whopping $50?), not for sale in Europe (the protected territory) but after a few nasty and totally irrelevant form letters from the big A, we decided it just wasn't worth the hassle and stopped selling them.

They sold for about $60, and we sold a LOT of them to buyers with e-mail addresses ending in .gov. It isn't a BAD watch, but it isn't a really good one, and right now, the ones with the big red star (Submarine commander) are a bit politically insensitive, to say the least.

If it runs, wear it as a work watch and don't get overly upset if you bust it. And wait a while, you don't really want to wear that red star in public right now.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 
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