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Paumanok

Discovering my watch is an automatic after 6 years of ownership.

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So I'm going to start this off with a story, which may just date myself, but so be it.

Towards the end of highschool, into college, I was getting into mechanical watches. I had heard about Vostoks and their cheap, "good enough" attitude and design and loved them right away.

My aunt has always had a touch and go relationship with my parents, some years they'd be best buds, others they'd be fighting. So it goes...

This particular year, my aunt asks me what I want for christmas, so I ask for a Vostok Amphibia. Cheap watch, wont break the bank, but its something I'll use and cherish.

Weeks go by and my Mom doesn't have faith in my aunt, asks what I asked for and I just visually describe the watch over breakfast.

Christmas comes, my aunt pulled through and got me a new Russian made Amphibia, but whats this? My mom somehow found by a visual description almost the same watch, but soviet. Two Scuba Dudes about 30 years apart. I've enjoyed both these watches for the past 5 or 6 years.

Now the big difference between these, or so I thought, was the new one was an auto, and the old one was a manual wind. The old one was considerably thinner than the new one, so I never second guessed it. About two months ago, I start getting into repair in order to replace the mainspring on the older one, as after a little bit of hand winding, it feels like it releases tension and continues winding. So I pop the back off and expect a standard 2414 movement, but instead I'm greeted to something else .

I think what happened was the last person to open it up, over tightened the case and compressed the gasket, stopping the weight from swinging. Moving the gasket frees up the weight, but after years of sitting its quite sticky and I think it's going to get a well deserved cleaning after a few more practice movements. I guess an new gasket is also in order.



 

IMG_20190203_163245.jpg

photo_2019-02-16_10-19-51.jpg

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@Paumanok Nice starter collection ........ :)

There aren't many Vostok fans on this forum, but for learning how to repair- / service-watches in general (this will include your Vostok movements) you came to the right place !

As for your two divers; it is hard to see from your pictures, but one seems a CCCP dial in very good condition. These are very sought after ! However, from the pictures it is hard to tell whether the rest of that watch is fully original.

The back seals are very hard to compress. You also describe that the old one had a considerable thinner case than the newer automatic. This isn't the way it supposed to be and therefor it has either the wrong back-lid or the automatic movement sits in the wrong housing, even though it appears to be a 020 or a 420. I'm not sure about the hands either, but that is something worth checking.

For the CCCP diver (since they are so sought after) it is worth to dig deeper. I would recommend to become a member of the WatchUSeek (WUS) forum, the Russian "department". There are truly experts in the "Q&A Expertise thread: Is this watch legit or a franken? Part 2" who can tell you what is original, what's not and how it supposed to be.

Here is a direct link to the last page of that Q&A thread: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/q-expertise-thread-watch-legit-franken-part-2-a-4514699-240.html

The more detailed pictures you can provide, the better they can provide you with information & help ...... and very helpful they are !!

I'm there too, learning every day more about these amazing watches with their rich history  :biggrin:

Looking forward to see your watch featured on WUS and learn more about it !!!

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[mention=5758]Paumanok[/mention] Nice starter collection ........
There aren't many Vostok fans on this forum, but for learning how to repair- / service-watches in general (this will include your Vostok movements) you came to the right place !
As for your two divers; it is hard to see from your pictures, but one seems a CCCP dial in very good condition. These are very sought after ! However, from the pictures it is hard to tell whether the rest of that watch is fully original.
The back seals are very hard to compress. You also describe that the old one had a considerable thinner case than the newer automatic. This isn't the way it supposed to be and therefor it has either the wrong back-lid or the automatic movement sits in the wrong housing, even though it appears to be a 020 or a 420. I'm not sure about the hands either, but that is something worth checking.
For the CCCP diver (since they are so sought after) it is worth to dig deeper. I would recommend to become a member of the WatchUSeek (WUS) forum, the Russian "department". There are truly experts in the "Q&A Expertise thread: Is this watch legit or a franken? Part 2" who can tell you what is original, what's not and how it supposed to be.
Here is a direct link to the last page of that Q&A thread: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/q-expertise-thread-watch-legit-franken-part-2-a-4514699-240.html
The more detailed pictures you can provide, the better they can provide you with information & help ...... and very helpful they are !!
I'm there too, learning every day more about these amazing watches with their rich history 
Looking forward to see your watch featured on WUS and learn more about it !!!
To be honest Ive been curious if it's a franken for a while as I've never seen the gold hands+gold dial accents. If it was just hands I'd assume it was hands from a kommander thrown on, but the dial accents on a scubadude dial would be a lot more work.

I also considered the case back being too small. I'm pretty sure the gasket has deformed though, due to how it's nearly impossible to position without running against the weight.

Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk

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Whether it's a Franken or not, that's not so important. If the dial is good, that's already a good starting point, all the rest can be sorted out.

The housing appears to be a 020 or 420, which I can't see from your pictures and the bezel seems original. Provided the experts say different, but for an automatic movement the housing should be a 420. Here is a picture to determine the differences between the two housings ..... both obviously should be Stainless Steel, otherwise it's a 92 Komandirskie housing.

998263843_020-420cases.jpg.45e993af8addc45f53bc9572e6045bb0.jpg

Is the bridge of the automatic works stamped with RUS or SU?

If you provide a picture of the case-cover, I can tell you whether it's the proper one ..... it should be the same lid as on your new diver, with the identical cyrillic inscriptions, preferably with additionally a serial number stamped in it.

So not to worry ..... everything can be sorted out. The dial is your starter, provided it's good !

On WUS there are real experts, knowing many of the common features .....

https://forums.watchuseek.com/f10/

Edited by Endeavor

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The automatic and the manual wind vostok do have different case backs. The manual wind is flatter.the auto back  sticks out more to accommodate the swing weight...they can be interchanged..but ......

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Watch out when you remove the balance jewels for cleaning the shockproof spring is a real PITA to refit.

The russian movements may not be the prettiest, but they are solidly built that's for sure.

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2 hours ago, Tmuir said:

Watch out when you remove the balance jewels for cleaning the shockproof spring is a real PITA to refit.

Of course the remark is off topic, but perhaps this may be of some help as with the right technique I don't perceive them as a PITA, more on the contrary :jig:

 

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Watch out when you remove the balance jewels for cleaning the shockproof spring is a real PITA to refit.
The russian movements may not be the prettiest, but they are solidly built that's for sure.
I've removed and refit the springs already. I've lost one but Ive gotten the hang of it since. Just taking your time makes a huge difference.

Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk

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Here's a case comparison, case back, and bridge shot. The bridge says RUS, but the dial says CCCP so that's a little worrysome that it leans more frankenwatch.

I measured the case thinkness and it seems to be about 3mm.IMG_20190218_214448.jpegIMG_20190218_214527.jpegIMG_20190218_214724.jpeg

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12 hours ago, yankeedog said:

The automatic and the manual wind vostok do have different case backs. The manual wind is flatter.the auto back  sticks out more to accommodate the swing weight...they can be interchanged..but ......

So the caseback on the older watch is definitely more pronounced than other manual wound Vostoks I have, albeit those are the kommandirskies which may be even thinner.

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It seems an automatic movement in a 020 hosing with the correct (old numbered) case case-back for a 2409 or 2414 movement.

What's missing on this case-back is the word "automatic" (which should be present on your new diver);

Caseback.thumb.jpg.6ce164f3cda1e08ed68e61dac33e87d9.jpg

To be honest I never measured the differences between the two, but by eye there seems to be some differences and that may be your problem. Of course your rubber-gasket can be out of shape and new come cheap, but they don't compress a lot and therefor I don't think a new casket will solve the problem of having the incorrect case back in the first place. Try the case-back of your new diver to confirm proper working. eBay is cramped full with cheap Vostok parts.

Of course with caution and with many escape clauses, but it seems a Franken. Having said that, you have many good parts;

the dial, the hands are special, a good 020 case with an original numbered case-back and an automatic movement which may or may not belong to the dial. In the transition period a lot of Vostok watches were made out of parts available, sometimes a mix of old & new. From that period dials often don't carry a "made in" print on the bottom. Your dial is CCCP, so no confusion there.

In time, and when gained more knowledge, you can try to make it all original or ...... with the correct case-back just enjoy the watch. After-all, there is already a story attached to the watch which is, or may become, more valuable than a "correct" watch.

You know where to be if you like to learn more ....... ;)

Suc6 .....

 

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Here some pictures of a bit more convincing Amphibian if found on eBay. For as I know, it has the correct Amphibian hands, on the old cracked dial it says 21 jewels = automatic (they didn't count the 10 jewels in the reversing wheels of the automatic-works, which were in the beginning steel rollers), the movement is a SU with the correct color anti-shock springs and the back-cover has all the right inscriptions.

I'm not sure about the bezel, looks new. Your watch has a bezel of the correct time period. The lume at the hour-markers is questionable as well. Your dial seems to be in a much better condition and the color of the lume on your dial represents more correct the age of it. Not clear to see, but it looks like your dial also says 21-jewels (?).

538555486_ScreenShot2019-02-19at09_55_09.png.9986bfb3399e43720215151883451725.png

1274222301_ScreenShot2019-02-19at09_55_42.png.d29dc1b69606fb0fb33f0774c19dd226.png

1617254084_ScreenShot2019-02-19at09_56_20.png.1efe0699554b65a135d076a2a197dab9.png

Experts on WUS may spot something more "off" (like the font of the date numbers?), but to me it's more in the direction, however still not 100% convincing and questionable. If I had any interest in this watch, I would for sure present it on the WUS forum and see what they have to say.

 

 

Edited by Endeavor

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An update: It appears the actual case is fine, as when I swapped my new caseback and non-shrunk gasket onto the old case, the weight swung freely.

This was also useful as it appears there was some corrosion on my new model where the caseback met the gasket, but did not intrude into the movement. I guess I'll be ordering two gaskets and possibly two casebacks for both watches. I'm excited to know that the older watch wont need to be completely re-cased.

Also WUS seems to have a minimum post policy for pictures and links so I couldn't ask for help on the appropriate thread. My post also needed to be checked by a moderator before going live.

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7 hours ago, Paumanok said:

Also WUS seems to have a minimum post policy for pictures and links so I couldn't ask for help on the appropriate thread. My post also needed to be checked by a moderator before going live.

Only the first few post, to shift out the one-day-flies or the hit-and-runners. The end result is very much noticeable.

A few pictures, front, back and movement are good starters. You can add more later if asked for. Anyway, it's all up to you ;)

Suc6 and thanks ..... B)

Edited by Endeavor

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I'll keep trying but I'm not sure if my post was approved. I'm glad there's some overlap between these forums but to be totally honest I like the vibe of here a lot more. To me the best comparison is walking into a mechanics shop for advice vs walking into a luxury dealership. Or hell, walking into a mom n pop horologist vs walking into a watch store at mall. But the sheer number of people who obsess over details at WUS definitely makes it a solid resource.

Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk

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