Captain’s Log – 0600 hours – Baltic Sea – My men and I have surfaced near Gdansk where we stopped for McDonald’s Hamburgers (made with imperialist swine) and some Polish beer. We are testing our Zlatoust diving watches (AKA the CCCP diver) made at the Zlatoust factory in our glorious Russian homeland.

The ladies seem to love our beautiful mechanical watches. They stare at them when we come to shore, giggling behind their peasant Gucci bags and talking about us, and our massive timepieces, in melodic Finnish when we come into Helsinki.

When we were first issued these watches, we Diversants, the creme de la vodka of the Russian Armed Forces, laughed at these things. After all, they are 3 inches in diameter and an inch thick. We laughed heartily, I tell you, making jokes to each other that they had run out of alarm clocks to issue us so they had upgraded us to the Grandfather variety. Soon, however, we fell in love with our Zlatousts.

Each piece is individually numbered so everyone, Vlad, Aleksy, Pedro, and the rest, will never mix up their watches. There are two styles, one with a large center seconds hand and another with a smaller seconds register at 9 o’clock. The front screen is removable, but we believe that the screen allows for greater depth resistance. We would estimate that these Zlatoust masterpieces can withstand up to 5 inches of water before bursting into a rain of shrapnel, but don’t take our word for it. We are busy in our submarine.

Each watch comes with a complete repair kit, namely a hard plastic gasket and a small screwdriver for attaching the beautiful faux-rubber band. Upon wearing this watch the first time, we know that our great Fatherland has truly reached the Apex of watchmaking ability, second only to the Aboriginal tribes of deepest Australia and the hissing chimps of Madagascar. By unscrewing the outer bezel, you can remove the thick glass crystal and bare the beautiful lumed face to the elements.

We will soon return to our berths and be on our way once again, patrolling these frigid waters for sea creatures and the occasional spare tire. Our Zlatousts will lie next to us as we sleep. We will rest, safe in the knowledge that if we ever sink, we will not suffer, for the 10oz Zlatousts will carry us down with the ship.

Quality: 2/5
Style: 4/5
Overall: 3/5
— John

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ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

23 thoughts on “Review: Zlatoust Diver”
  1. This is the most astonishing watch I ever seen. I live in London and would like to buy it in the shop. Where can I buy it in London. Forget Omega or Rolex, this is so original and unique. Real vintage.

  2. Looks like the Invicta Russian Divers watch or viceversa. Who ripped off who? Do you really think it will sustain pressures of 5 inches of water? my guess is 2 😉

  3. Juri levenberg provides them on ebay.The guy is serious and reliable.Go for the new black case amphibia version,more expensive, but whatever, this is the coolest watch I ever wore.Forget about the rest

  4. This is the best diver watch ever.
    I have taken to 50 feet and never had a problem.
    The best diver watch in the world.

  5. This one is the original — from the 70’s. The Invicta copy doesn’t have the protective cage and the glass is not scratch resistant (mineral crystal). If I were to get one, I would get a new Russian copy made by Amphibia. It has the protective cage and is water resistant down to 10 bars.

  6. I have concerns that this watch’s numerals contain Radium fueled zinc sulphers. Though the paperwork says otherwise, can you tell me different?

    I was concerned that watches from the 60’s/early 70’s still used this technique/ application.

  7. I am in the US and I have this watch — the paperwork it comes with is stamped “No Radiation.”

    I am selling it though… its VERY cool but it’s HUGE. So big it’s impractical to wear I think…

  8. My girlfriend bought me one for Christmans this year…I found out from a lil snooping about…I will spend the next few weeks trying to work her for early present opening! Then I will let y’allknow what I think about it.

  9. yep it is badass…for real. cant even begin to tell you all the comments I have gotten on it from complete strangers. Some of whom walked across a street to comment on it.

  10. To my understanding, these are not the true Zlatoust that were issued to Russian divers. The original watches had no markings on the face other than the numerals and had a slightly more streamlined crown cover. Invicta makes a nice, albeit similar in appearance Russian diver’s replica.

  11. I got one on ebay couple of years ago, verrrry cool will keep for ever. Not going to test it under the sea or wear it, looks good on the wall though, who cares if it is a copy, at least I won’t get radiation sickness… I hope!

  12. really good and sencivity pro diver.
    i was try watch on 150-200 ft.nothing and look
    very weird and nice. if you got this watch-all women is yours. LOL. .satif.100%
    i got 29 jewels auto swiss,same caliber movement,and will replace it soon.
    original 15 jew.movement (strela-poljot) is good,but you
    need wrist this every 24-30 hours.i think im lazy for this operation.:) i was try alot diving watches,but im
    satif.just with 2 models:zlatoust and citizen ny0054.

  13. I bought two of them used from eBay. They keep decent time and for display they are OK.
    The paperwork that comes with then claims a manufacture date of 1976, which is obvious BS.
    I will proudly display mine with my reproduction diving helmet and my old USD double hose regulators.

  14. Well, im starting to believe its kinda low qual, but hmmm.. im not sure.. it runs good. The first time i took a shower with it, it let in water. That was a 4 years ago. Now i have checked the o-ring, greased it in silicon grease. I took a shower and it passed the test. Im gonna go diving with it. Hope it stands the test. Or else, i will be sad. I like my watch.. Keep ya ppl updated.

  15. I have this Piece of technology, it is good, awesome and i love it, Its a super conversation piece, way too heavy for daily use, after further testing and examination and having worked in mechanical watch repair from 1983 to 1992- it is water proof, having only 2 points of entry, the canteen cover has an excellent gasket and the grill cover also has a gasket and as long as those two gaskets remain in good condition(avoid very hot weather) it melts the gasket, you should be water proof for showers pools and diving if needed-just like your typical seiko automatic, not sure in reality how deep you can go, but the case is solid, not stainless steel, but good

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