Russian Watch Guide recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Gordon, one of the world's top experts on Russian and Soviet watches. In the interview Mark shared his thoughts on the best Russian watch brands and movements, the quality of modern vs vintage Russian watches and much more.
Vostok-Europe's newest watch is now available. It's called the "Caspian Sea Monster" Ekranoplan KM. It's a big watch with a case diameter of 47mm. Several versions are available. The watch sells for about $450 at Russia2all.
The watch is named after the largest "ground effect" vehicle ever built. The Sea Monster carried record payloads quickly and economically by riding just above the sea waves on a cushion of air -- or "ground effect" -- which significantly increased lift and reduced drag.
Features of the watch include:
- An automatic 2432.01 movement with raised hands to accommodate tritium tubes
- 20 atm water resistant surgical grade stainless steel 47 mm case
- Black and gun metal PVD coated sand blasted cases
- Uni-directional rotating bezel with minute counter
- Two color day & night indicator
- 24-hour GMT digital readout
- 17 trigalight® micro tubes on the dial and hands for nighttime visibility
If you've never owned a Vostok watch before, setting the time and date can be a little tricky. And the fact that the manual is in Russian doesn't make matters any easier.
One thing to keep in mind is that this watch has a screw-down winding cap with an internal rubber gasket. You always need to close that completely after winding and setting to keep it waterproof.
Also, there is a shortcut to setting the date quickly without having to turn through 24 hours to move the date ahead one day. Basically, you can move the hour hand between the 8 o'clock and 12 o'clock positions to advance the date.
The 2009 edition of Wrist Watch Annual features articles on two Russian watch brands: Aviator and Vostok-Europe. You can view these and other articles in our Magazine Articles Archive. The articles are in PDF format.
I received the following email today with some interesting information about a company called NIKA Jewelry Watches. They manufacture gold watches with Swiss and Japanese movements. The company is based in Moscow.
"NIKA Jewelry Watches” has been developing luxury gold wristwatch sales in Russian Federation since 2003 and has thus acquired an extensive expertise in creating TOP quality real gold wristwatches (only Swiss and Japanese movements provided) in a very affordable price segment. Having based on the features demanded by very spoilt Russian customers and market we have been growing rapidly and now have reached a level of production enabling us to introduce our products in US and EU markets with a big boom.
Our designs range up to 820 pieces and each month we produce more than 15000 top quality Gold and Silver wristwatches with having more than 4000 retail points all around Russian Federation. At the moment we have more than 400 employees, many of them professionals with more than 40 year work experience in watch business.
...Moreover we have received many international awards in high end jewelry wristwatch design and recognition from publishers all around Europe and Russia.
We have a special website created and tailored for US market, (www.nikawatches.com), but we are still working on it as the translations made there are terrible and I do apologize for that, it will be improved in days to come. Please see both websites (.com and .ru) for better picture.
I'm often asked where is the best place to buy a Raketa watch. Many times a Raketa watch, in particular the 24 hour model, is a person's first Russian watch purchase. The reasons why are clear: the style and function are unique, the 24 hour face looks great in photos, and the watch is inexpensive.
For the past few years most people have been buying Raketa watches on eBay.
However, this year the Raketa company has started the process of establishing a distribution network of authorized sellers. At the time of this writing, the network is not yet established.
You can learn more about the status of Raketa watch production and distribution in this Raketa interview.
Part of the appeal of Russian watches is that they are great value. And nobody wants to overpay for a watch, right?
To help you locate the best prices -- and alert you to deals, sales, clearances and specials offers -- I've set up a page on the Russian Watch Guide website that lists the sellers that offer the best prices. On that page I will also be posting any deals or sales I come across. Readers and sellers are welcome to post too.