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Thread: How water resistant are Vostok Amphibia watches?

  1. #1
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    How water resistant are Vostok Amphibia watches?

    I've been curious about Amphibia watches for a while so I decided I would get one to play with. One of the main things that interested me was the different approach to making the case water resistant (please excuse the Hodinkie link but it explains it better than I can) https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/vostok-amphibia

    I bought one of fleabay that looked in good condition but needed some movement work, so I wouldn't feel bad when I tried to destroy it in the pressure tester
    I uncased the movement because having had a quick look when it arrived I thought it would be interesting to try and repair.

    The watches are marked as being 200m water resistant, and right enough I wound the tester straight up to 20 bar without any problem


    I then started to take the pressure up 5 bar at a time giving the watch a couple of minutes at each step to settle and so that I could look for any leaks.
    Much to my surprise this continued up to 40 bar ! (approx. 400m) where I decided to stop as a sudden catastrophic fail at that pressure could potentially damage the pressure tester and at 5k they are not cheap to replace (yes I know I'm a coward )




    I left the case sitting at 40 bar for over 15 minutes without any sign of a leak. Not bad for a cheap Russian toy If I remember correctly the current SCUBA world record is around 332m


    PS I take no responsibility for anyone else's watch letting water in.

  2. #2
    Master ed335d's Avatar
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    Interesting!

    Did you replace the gaskets, or use the ones it came with?

  3. #3
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed335d View Post
    Interesting!

    Did you replace the gaskets, or use the ones it came with?
    Just as it arrived with me

  4. #4
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    awesome stuff! I half expected this thread to end at 50m with a crack and a bang. I need to get another Amphibia, I've had maybe half a dozen but none have hung around long... so obviously I need to get another one to sell on.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    They really are a design marvel.
    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  6. #6
    Craftsman SSTEEL's Avatar
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    Interesting :) Do you have any further info/photos of that pressure tester? Is it a wet, and dry tester, or only a dry tester? If the latter, how does it detect a leak?

    I found some info on this Roxer, what confuses me is it operates completely different to my Bergeon 5555/98 whereas you can dry test it above the water line, and then retest, and whilst under pressure, lower watch case into the water, then slowly release the pressure, which, if any leaks present would show in the form of a steady flow off bobbles from the leaking area.
    Last edited by SSTEEL; 10th July 2017 at 13:46.

  7. #7
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSTEEL View Post
    Interesting :) Do you have any further info/photos of that pressure tester? Is it a wet, and dry tester, or only a dry tester? If the latter, how does it detect a leak?
    https://www.roxer.ch/en/products/wat...atator-40-125/

    it is an older 125 model a wet test,
    the dry testers measure deformation of the case/crystal, because the amphibia case is designed to compress under pressure it makes the dry tester unreliable for these watches

  8. #8
    Craftsman SSTEEL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animalone View Post
    https://www.roxer.ch/en/products/wat...atator-40-125/

    it is an older 125 model a wet test,
    the dry testers measure deformation of the case/crystal, because the amphibia case is designed to compress under pressure it makes the dry tester unreliable for these watches
    Thanks for that, I didn't realise how these wet testers worked, basically full the tank with water, lower the watch case (without movement) into the water, seal up, and then pressure added? How does air get into the case whilst the cat is submerged?

  9. #9
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSTEEL View Post
    Thanks for that, I didn't realise how these wet testers worked, basically full the tank with water, lower the watch case (without movement) into the water, seal up, and then pressure added? How does air get into the case whilst the cat is submerged?
    When you crank the handle on the side of the machine it increases the pressure in the tank, if the watch case starts to fill with water then there is a leak. The bergeon tester relies on the higher pressure inside the case escaping as a stream of bubbles to show a fail when the pressure is released in the chamber.
    the real advantage of the wet tester is that it can go up to 1250m most of the air/dry testers can only get to 100m

  10. #10
    Craftsman SSTEEL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animalone View Post
    When you crank the handle on the side of the machine it increases the pressure in the tank, if the watch case starts to fill with water then there is a leak. The bergeon tester relies on the higher pressure inside the case escaping as a stream of bubbles to show a fail when the pressure is released in the chamber.
    the real advantage of the wet tester is that it can go up to 1250m most of the air/dry testers can only get to 100m
    Thanks again, I will look into these as I have many Omega's in for servicing that require more BAR testing than my current set up, I have the 5555, and a Calypso which does unto 10ATM, but really need to invest in one of these Roxers.

    Thanks for your time mate.

  11. #11
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Great post and thanks for sharing. They really are fantastic little watches for the money.

  12. #12
    Master
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    No doubt some people will still be afraid to wear one in the shower....

  13. #13
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Really interesting - thanks for posting this.

    When you take into consideration the elegant and highly effective design these really are astonishing value for money.

  14. #14
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Another result for the best, cheap diver you can buy. I love Amphibias

  15. #15
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    And you could have got one dirt cheap as I offered it up to the Fundraiser cause. MakeColdplayHistory won it and passed it on.



    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  16. #16
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Very impressive Ian
    Good luck everybody. Have a good one.

  17. #17
    Journeyman
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    I love posts like this. But what's with the finger condom?

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    Thanks go sharing, great post. I've never had an amphibia either, something else to have a nosey at...

  19. #19
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gee_cee View Post
    I love posts like this. But what's with the finger condom?
    was about to re-case the movement at that point, and it helps to keep my grubby prints of the dial and movement.

  20. #20
    Craftsman williemays's Avatar
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    I'm really enjoying this Amphibian 420SE from Meranom. The case design including caseback and crystal are really interesting. Glad to know the design works so well, too!

    Last edited by williemays; 14th July 2017 at 17:51. Reason: Replacing Photobucket image

  21. #21
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Great little thread.

    I must admit, I felt my Vostok felt as flimsy as anything and I wouldn't have trusted it near the washing up, but it seems the unique design really is capable.

    I'll have to give one another go!

    M

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Cool test! Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    Nice test Ian, the Vostocks are the Russian equivalent of EPSA's Super Compressor cases, built with a locking ring, less critical tolerances and no apparent loss of performance. As Boney M once said, "Oh those Russians"

    Quote Originally Posted by SSTEEL View Post
    Thanks again, I will look into these as I have many Omega's in for servicing that require more BAR testing than my current set up, I have the 5555, and a Calypso which does unto 10ATM, but really need to invest in one of these Roxers.

    Thanks for your time mate.
    Get one made, mine goes up to 300bar and will do 400bar with additional clamps.





    Bry1973 who is a poster here made it and it works beautifully. I've replaced the pump seals once in the time I've had it as it slowly dropped pressure and I couldn't be sure if it was the seals or the watch leaking. I think Bry once tested a G-shock in this to 100bar with no ill effects!

  24. #24
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    I've regularly scuba dived with mine, great little watches.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  25. #25
    Master alfat33's Avatar
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    I have a really old Soviet era one that I've been debating whether to take swimming. I'm even more tempted now...

  26. #26
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gee_cee View Post
    I love posts like this. But what's with the finger condom?
    These little finger Jonnys come in boxes of 140, they're a must when touching anything such as the edges of a dial or movement when reassembling a watch. They do look a bit funny if you're not used to seeing them!

    Paul

  27. #27
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thewatchbloke View Post
    Mine goes up to 300bar and will do 400bar with additional clamps.

    I don't suppose if I sent you a Vostok Amphibia case you'd test it to destruction just for sh*ts and giggles? :D

  28. #28
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampoc View Post
    I don't suppose if I sent you a Vostok Amphibia case you'd test it to destruction just for sh*ts and giggles? :D
    Sent you a PM

  29. #29
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animalone View Post
    Sent you a PM
    This could be fun...

  30. #30
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    If anyone is interested this story continues in another thread
    http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...Results-are-in!

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