The Soviet Ministry of defence tasked Vostock with making a unique watch to be used by frogmen for their dives and submarine rescue missions.
They had a stringent set of criteria.
- The case had to be made from stainless steel
- No foreign patents to be used
- Survive aggressive environments - 200 metres of ocean depths, magnetism, extreme heat, and cold
- Be inexpensive to produce
- Capable of being mass-produced
The innovative combination of crown and stem is called a Vostock floppy crown. The floppy innovation protects the crown against being hit and breaking like its western counterparts.
Regular swiss timepieces used tightened glass which was prone to shattering under pressure. The Amphibia used acrylic crystal. It distorts at depth and flattens itself against a tightening seal.
The case back had a new type of seal: a flattened O ring. The advantages are that it does not distort if it unscrews or is pressurized while diving.
It didn't have to bounce back after each dive and was resilient to water damage. Their backplate is screwed down with a metal ring that allows it to press down on the gasket, which keeps the same tightness before and after the dive.
The bracelet isn't the greatest. I think I got a cheap Chinese version. So a bit jangly. Not the original. I replaced it with a nice Nato strap.
It is a self-winding watch but frustratingly needs a lot of manual winding. As a result, the accuracy is not so great and loses seconds.
The bezel is designed for keeping track of dive times but oddly moves in both directions. It also has no rachet to keep it in place and moves if it rubs against anything.
The lume isn't that bright fades quickly.
I love this watch because of its quirks and history/ I love that everything isn't automatic, and I got to maintain it manually, as frustrating as it was. It's a beautiful watch. Just not my everyday watch