Sunday, July 04, 2010

Vostok Combos

One of the more entertaining (and at times, irritating) parts of collecting Russian watches is finding replacement bands for them. As those of us who collect Vostoks know, the factory bands and bracelets are, generally, pretty bad. The old bracelets were terrible hair pullers and the leather bands were of awful quality (if they were even made of leather at all). Lately, the stock bracelets have improved somewhat in quality but they are still nothing to write home about. The trick when looking for replacements though is to find an acceptable solution that doesn't cost more than the watch itself. Given that most Vostoks can be had for less that $70, this can be a bit of a challenge at times.

The three examples shown above illustrate a few of the solutions I have found. In the foreground, the blue Amphibia is shown on a tan nato. This is one of the most popular and affordable replacement solutions for a Vostok. Nato bands will fit virtually any size wrist, are inexpensive, and are pretty durable. The Ministry Amphibia and the Radio Room commemorative edition both sport inexpensive replacement bracelets from ebay. Each cost in the $10-$20 range if I recall correctly. Neither is a solid link design but their overall quality is considerably better than the factory models. I would rate them about equal to the folded link bracelets that Seiko uses on low end "5" models.

There are many possible ways to refit a Vostok with a decent band. Quality solid link designs are available on both ebay and from other sellers albeit at prices that generally exceed the price of the watch itself. That may be an acceptable compromise for some but, so far, I've avoided going that way. I recommend that Vostok collectors keep an open mind when searching for new band solutions. I've been pleasantly surprised more than once.


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7:37 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I've upgraded the bracelets of most of my Russian watches also. The NATO style strap makes an inexpensive but attractive alternative, though I'm guilty of exceeding the value of the watch on some of my bracelet upgrades.

Great Blog!


1:36 AM  
Anonymous Sell Your Rolex Watches said...

Thanks for sharing this idea, hope someone from Vostok would read your blog here so they can remedy their bracelets and bands.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

I was looking for a lighter thinner bund so it would wrap around my wrist comfortably. I have a nicer bund but its really stiff, so I thought I would try one of these. I am going with this brown/gold theme to match a pair of boots I have (I am from Texas). And it will be cool to have a all Russian combo (at least it will be cool to me). My main concern is that the Admiral will not be too long lug to lug for this band.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ed,

I´m from Brazil. This your blog is very interessant. I recent purchase my first Vostok and their bracelets is one attractive alternative for me. Great blog congratulations
André Pessoa

9:06 PM  

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