Vostok Amphibia Full Review Here

I just got hired to start doing guided kayak tours in the local area, and I wasn’t going to be able to keep pulling my cell phone out of my pocket to check the time. It was time to start wearing a watch again.

I needed something rugged. Something that could stand up to my sailing, kayaking, diving lifestyle.

In my search for rugged, cheap, but still nice looking dive watches I came across a recommendation for the Vostok Amphibia. It’s a cheap Russian diver that’s developed quite a cult following in the watch world, due to it’s durability, history, and huge variety of different dial and bezel designs available. And of course price.

I also found out that it’s the watch worn by Steve Zissous team in the movie ‘The Life Aquatic’, which I love. I ended up getting the same dial design as worn by Zissou, since it reflected my boaty lifestyle very well.

Steve Zissou and The Life Aquatic

I ordered the Vostok Amphibia from a seller on eBay. There’s a few well known Russian eBay stores with a good variety, but I was impatient and didn’t want to wait the 2-3 weeks for it to be shipped from Russia.

I ended up paying about $5 more and getting it from an American seller, who shipped it out the same day I ordered it.

I also went to the NATO Strap Company and ordered a 18mm Bond style NATO strap to replace the bracelet, which I’ll be talking about in my next post.

The Unboxing

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – USPS Package

The Package. The seller shipped it out the same day I ordered it, and it arrived in only two days. Which was awesome, I was feeling quite impatient to get this and start wearing it. Also, I need to clean my cockpit seats.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Dive watch in it's shipping package.

Package within a package. Reasonably well packed, the double layers of bubble wrap seemed to have provided more than enough protection.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok box and notes from eBay seller.

Only things in the package were the Vostok box itself and a few notes from eBay seller, Jectronics, sending thanks and reminding me to leave some feedback in eBay for them.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok box.

First impressions of the watch box: Very cheap plastic (of course, it’s a cheap watch). It is sturdy enough to provide protection for the watch, and the raised lettering actually looks pretty nice, gold colored and slightly reflective.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – My first look at the Vostok Amphibia itself.

And the Vostok Amphibia itself. All that’s in the box is the watch and a short manual in Russian. My first impression on seeing it is that it actually looks a lot nicer than I was expecting. It’s also smaller than I thought it was going to be, which is a pleasant surprise, as I’ve got a pretty small wrist.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Another view of the Vostok Amphibia

Another view of the Vostok Amphibia, as yet still untouched.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia, still wrapped in plastic.

The Amphibia was well protected, with a plastic protector over the crystal, and plastic wrap around the bracelet. 

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia, view of the dial

Looking straight at the face, still with plastic protection in place.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia bracelet.

A small piece of paper was threaded through the clasp in order to protect the mechanism.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia bracelet and back of watch.

A full view of the clasp and bracelet, still in it’s protective shrink wrap. The bracelet is definitely cheap feeling, but it won’t be on the watch long.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia face, with protective plastic removed.

After removing the plastic on the crystal, I’m actually quite impressed with how it looks. I’m kind of in love with this dial design, but that might just be the boat bum in me coming out.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia caseback

I have no idea what the engraving on the case back says, except for the 200M mark. I imagine the cyrillic centered on the back says ‘Amphibia’.

Vostok Amphibia Unboxing – Vostok Amphibia wrist shot.

And finally, a wrist shot. The bracelet came sized way too large for my small wrist (6.5cm), but I’m not planning on using it anyways. I’ve got a ‘Bond’ style NATO strap, with black, red, and green coloring that should match the watch perfectly, coming in the mail. 

I’ll be doing a full review when I get the strap installed and have worn it for a week or so, so check back soon!

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Dive Watches: A Quick Guide to the Basics

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First dive with the Amphibia today.



Writer, sailor, photographer, kayak guide and SCUBA diver. Based on Bainbridge Island, Washington State, USA