Monday, August 2, 2010

Vostok Komandirskie "Field Watch"

I bought this watch a while ago New Old Stock (NOS) from a seller in the USA. I really like the look of the crown in the two o'clock position. Unlike a lot of Vostok dials, the numerals are raised in this particular model, which gives it a nice effect. Powered by the workhorse 17 Jewel 2414 calibre movement, this watch is a manual winder. The original bracelet is a folded metal piece that really didn't do the watch justice so I've replaced it with a rubber tire tread design I quite like.

The watch must must have been originally imported for resale in the USA, it came in some unusual packaging that included English instructions. A bit of a mystery to me was the inclusion of the above mark on the Russian paperwork that I wasn't familiar with. It turns out that it's a quality assurance mark. Thanks to Shturman on WUS for assisting with that. Additionally, the word "RUSSIAN" is stamped on the back. It looks much like an afterthought which is consistent with the time period the watch was produced: Dec of 1992, two years after the fall of the USSR. Interestingly the dial bears the mark of being produced in the CCCP - did they have some old dials sitting around, or maybe they were still marking things in the old fashion until the political situation became clearer? Stamping the back of the watch "RUSSIAN" may have been an importation requirement, a selling feature or perhaps a requirement by the importer to have the product identified clearly as being made in Russia?

To the left you can see the word "RUSSIAN" stamped on the back, almost as an afterthought, inconsistent with the pre-existing beautiful ocean sunrise and bird motif of the normal Vostok case back.

One of my interests is photographing the watches that I collect. I find it fairly difficult to get a good shot that doesn't have any glare off of the crystal. Currently I use a Nikon D40X with a 18-55 Nikor lens. I photograph the watches with the flash off using the illumination of the natural light coming through my kitchen window and a small IKEA halogen desk lamp for filler. I use a fabric light tent I picked up on Ebay to eliminate most of the pesky reflections. I haven't fiddled with any of the cameras settings yet other than the flash, but in future posts I want to try to get off the automatic settings and experiment a bit. One valuable lesson I have learned is to use a tripod and the remote to keep the vibrations down to a minimum when using the macro settings with no flash. Makes for a much cleaner photo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Luch 1901 - Children's Watch " Karlson"

My very first Ebay purchase! A Luch (Lutsch) 17 Jewel Calibre 1901 children's watch. The Luch factory is located in Minsk Belarus.

Factory Website

The character on the watch face is Karlson who is featured in a beloved children's cartoon popular back in the USSR days.

Karlson Video with English subtitles.

I'm saving this one for my 3 year old daughter for when she begins to learn how to tell time.

The case back is snap on and has an integrated spacer built into the back. The small size of the movement is impressive to me - we expect electronics to be small these days but seeing something mechanical that small and precise is always amazing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Straps

I haven't added any new watches to my collection in some time, but I have purchased some new straps to go with two of my most worn pieces.

I picked up a Hirsch carbon fibre stap with white stitching to replace the steel bracelet on my Vostok N1 Rocket. It's got a nice heft too it and the white stitching compliments the black and white dial. Though not a selling feature for me, the strap is marked as 100m water resistant.

For my Poljot I wanted something a little retro to compliment the Aviator look of the watch. I picked up this nice little strap from RM Nilsen's store on Ebay. It has two snaps for securing the strap to the spring bars, which makes it a good buy for a watch with fixed bars or if you wanted to change it around on easily on other watches.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vostok White Radio Room

Some pictures at the one year anniversary of the production of this custom watch, produced for Russian watch enthusiasts inhabiting two well known watch forums.

Other Owners

Origin of the Species

A YouTube video explanation of the markings.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

3 Soviet 2 O'Clock Crowns

Three of my favourite Kommanderskies with the crown at a comfortable 2 O Clock tonight.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vostok Amphibia Ministry

Wow, haven't posted in almost a year. A young child can do that to you I guess....

Today I was playing around with the settings on my camera (Nikon D40x with a Nikkor 18-55 lens) and came up with a couple of shots I'm happy to share. Without the light box or tripod they came out quite nicely.

I've had the watch for over a year but it wasn't getting a lot of wrist time. I switched the folded metal bracelet that came with the watch to this much more comfortable mesh bracelet I bought on EBay, and it's been my regular watch for about two weeks now.