OK. So this isn’t a GMT, but it has a 24 hour dial and, technically, shows two time zones, so it appears to fit the bill. Like many Vostoks, this piece feels like something that fell through the cracks in the 1980s – something post-Communist and pre-Mafiya that would be worn by mid-level bureaucrats and farmers alike, and perhaps the occasional cosmonaut during his long, post-outer space stint as a Moscow taxi driver.
That said, this is one of the nicest 24-hour pieces for less than $50 you can find.
This manual wind watch uses a 17-jewel Vostok movement to drive a red seconds hand, twenty-four hour hands, and a patented Vodka-headache-inducing Vostok quick-set date, a process that causes grown men to cry into their blini.
Then screw down crown has an excellent action, although it took a moment to figure out where to set it to wind the watch. Otherwise, the watch has held on for about 30 hours before petering out and, all issues with the bloody “go to 11, then go to midnight, then do it again and again ad-nauseum” quick date setting system aside, was a surprising pleasure.
Like most Vostoks, the bezel is pressure fit and does not lock or click. This feels cheap and is dangerously loose. The metal, which is clad in some sort of chrome coating, is embossed with metal numbers at the 10s and the 5 minute intervals are indicated on an inner plastic ring set into the bezel. The bezel is otherwise unmarked, another strike against it’s value as a second time-zone indicator.
The face is actually quite attractive and well-designed but the lume is sub-par and the leather band, while a nice touch, is standard and soft. The face is marked “Made in Russia,” in English, which kind of kills the charm of having a Vostok. Who didn’t love having “Zdyalano w CCCP” on their wrist in Cyrillic?
For under $50, this Vostok is a worthy contender in the realm of 24-hour watches. Is it perfect? No. Like all Vostoks, it is a testament to Russian ingenuity and the old habit of cutting corners. They did the best with what they had and faked the rest, it seems. Don’t we all?
Looking for a GMT…
Falcon Combat 24-hour Watch