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Vostok Europe Arktika Automatic Watch…

Vostok Europe Arktika Automatic #827 of 3000. ~$300 – $350 Limited to 3000 PCS. When I first saw the Arktika automatic almost a year ago I’ve always wanted to pick one up. Well I decided what the hell. I’m glad I did. It’s a great timepiece. It’s like a chunk of fashioned shaped steel on your wrist. Heavy Metal BUT very comfortable since it’s a square type and the crown does not bite into your hand when bending. It’s a nice laid back timepiece thats available in many different flavors and band choices. It’s a mens timepiece and looks great at the club, on stage or even at the office. The one above is unfortunately the most costly with the stainless steel band itself almost adding $100 to the price. I like numbers on my watch faces, it just helps me tell the time quicker, so I got one with the numerals on there vs only the tickmarks. Another cool thing about this watch is that it features a 24 hour scale / clock, date window and a day night indicator in case you are stuck on a boat in a 18 hour dark winter at the polar ice caps and are not sure if it’s day or light out. Vostok 2432 Mechanical lever movement Precision automatic Diameter: 24 mm Movement height: 6,3 mm 32 jewels Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date calendar, central day/night indicator Shock protection Frequency: 19800 vph Daily rate from -10 to + 30 s/day Power reserve minimum: 31 h Speaking of Polar Icecaps the Arktika watch design was inspired by the Russian Icebreaker / ship that was the first to reach the North Pole. The design with it’s bolts, anchor shaped second hand and “machine gauge” like appearance give it a nice industrial, yet elegant look. The watch uses a 2432 automatic movement (32 jewels) with blued bolts made by Vostok, one of the oldest Russian watch makers. The watch is all hand assembled in Vilnius, Lithuania to Vostok Europe’s exacting standards. Vostok Europe is a Russian company and each watch in the Vostok Europe lineup has a rich history behind each model, all of which honor a Russian technological, architectural, or cultural achievement. As an American (born and raised), its cool to see this. The cold war is long over, but some of these new watch designs to come out of Russia are some of the best I’ve seen in both design / quality and specially price. I wanted to make sure I got a version of the Arktika that was not something I’d see sold on a Shopping network, although the more popular these get, I’m sure the lower cost and we may start seeing the metal band versions being sold on TV.. perhaps even the entire lineup. My only minor gripe about the watch is perhaps setting the date. As with most common Vostok movements, its no problem to turn counter-clockwise many hours to set the time easier… but setting the date is another story. On the 2432 movement the crown only has 2 positions, in.. or out… that is unless you have a diver’s model case (I’ll be reviewing that watch soon) which has a screw down position (for water seal), then a wind position, and a set position. This watch can be wound just by wearing the watch or reaching over and turning the crown, no need to pull the crown out first. Now… (hehe) to set the DATE you pull the crown out and basically have to wind and wind and wind until the date you want is reached… that is, you turn the crown and move the hands twice around for the day to advance once. So if your watch stopped on the 1st of the month and today it’s the 30th, you will have a lot of turning of that crown to advance the date 30 days. There IS however a quicker way… you can turn the hands until the date has advanced (usually as the hour hand sweeps past 12), then you can turn the clock backwards (hands counterclockwise a few hours).. back to 8pm… then turn it fwd a few hours past 12 pm again and sort of ping pong, going from 8pm to 12pm… 8pm to 12pm… etc and the date will advance. This save you from having to spin the hands fwd 24 hours each time to advance the day one day… sound confusing ? well don’t worry it makes sense if you read it again and let is sink in.. haha But yes, if this watch had a second click position for the crown to quick-set the date that would be great, but it doesn’t, however it’s still a great timepiece and this should not be a reason to pass it up. Though word is that a updated movement may be in store for 09 ? that may have a quickset date, I have no idea… pure speculation. If you wear your watch often you never have to worry about it anyway. The movement is also non-hacking (second hand keeps moving while you set the time), but you can stop the second hand somewhat by turning the hands counter clockwise (which is ok to do with this movement), however it’s not a true and precise method of stopping the second hand (hacking) and when you turn the hands clockwise again to re-start the second hand, it may jump ahead a few seconds, so some may call it a “semi-hacking” movement… heh Also note that Vostok-Europe and Vostok are different companies and in different parts of Russia, though Vostok Europe uses movements from Vostok in their watches and is a modern design watch maker. Vostok is a Russian watch company that makes mainly inexpensive timepieces, rugged, all steel, and was founded in 1942. My next watch review will be of the Vostok Amphibian Diver’s model (which is a great watch for the price around $20 – $60), though I already swapped the band out on that model.. heh. I have a backup of watches from different places I have to get photos of.. 🙂 So if you are looking for a cool design, modern looking Russian made watch that also has a classic edge, check out the Arktika, I like mine.. and I specially like the price. If you want to read up about Russian timepieces from some very cool people that know their stuff check out the Russian watch forums over at Icebreaker Arktika – the first surface ship to reach the North Pole • Decorated automatic 2432 Vostok movement with blued parts • Day & night two-color disc indicator • 24-hours counter • Date calendar • Central second hand • 31 jewels • Shock-resistance balance • Main daily rate from -10 to +30 s/day. • 31-hours automatic winding. • Stainless steel rectangular case with 12 rivets 34×40 mm • 5 ATM water resistance. • SuperLuminova indexes on the dial and hands. • Transparent back cover with engraved serial number.
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