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JonnyMum

Vostok robustness (years)

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How many years has your Vostok watch been working flawlessly? When did you have to repair it? I am not counting adjusting the speed of the watch as a repair. Please, pick the first option, from top to down, fitting your experience with your oldest Vostok.

Please comment what broke, if it broke! (broken glass, arrows coming off, bracelet getting in pieces, mechanic problem, crown coming off etc)

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I had 7 Vostok watches (incl i VE) and all but one had problems within the first 2 years. Most problems concerned auto-winder lubrication.

VE K-34 (1) - reverser not locking, jammed one-direction clutch near the winding gear (already when it arrived - sent back)

VE K-34 (2) - badly made reverser, jammed within 2 years, after lubrication makes a jarring noise from time to time when the rotor moves fast.

Kremlyevskie - worked OK, I've relubricated the reversers, but perhaps I overreacted...

Amphibian (1) - jammed reverser after 1 month

Amphibian (2) - the movement stopped working after 5 minutes, the watchmaker said the escapement locked, but he did not know why (touched it and so far it works fine)

Amfibia 1967 - unscrewed rotor (after the first day)

VE - damaged screw in crown (no good reason, replaced under warranty), reverser stopped locking after 2 years (needed re-lubrication only), badly lubricated barrel wall (balance knocking when wound fully)

In my case - a disaster. I also think some of non-locking reverser cases might be overlooked, as such winder actually can wind the watch during the whole day...

The accuracy? more expensive watches (K-34, Kremlyevskie, 1967) acceptable, VE - fine on my desk, bad on my wrist (occasional knocking due to bad barrel lubrication), Amphibians - circa +1min/day (whether that is or isn't acceptable - judge yourself...).

That's all folks!

 

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Lubricating reversers is easy, but if you want to do it most properly, you have to take the rotor off and the small piece of metal that holds them in place, then remove the reversers, clean them to remove original oil and lubricate them. However I just don't care (mostly because I don't wear them every day and I personally think the problems are due to insufficient - rather than bad - oil), so I just add a tiny drop of oil on one or two jewels in the reverser without even taking the rotor off (jewels can be seen in the holes where the brass gear meets the steel cap of the reverser). Usually it helps in both locked and non-locking reversers. I don't exactly remember the type of oil that should be used, but there was an article about servicing the 2416B, it's stated there.

 

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I'm not voting in the poll because I fit somewhere in the middle of all of this.

I have purchased 4 new Vostoks. 3 of the 4 worked perfectly well (though some were better regulated than others, I think they were all within spec). One -- an SE -- had a rotor that came off. Not from the screw, but from around the screw post (?). I would snap it back on, but a moderate jerk -- even a sudden movement on the wrist -- would make it fall off. I just took the rotor off and made it a hand winder. Then it was stolen. Ha-Ha, thief. The other 3 I've owned have all performed well enough. I'm not horologically inclined enough to know whether there's an appropriate amount of lubrication from the factory (an issue I hear about with modern-ish Vostoks).

I have owned probably a dozen vintage Vostoks, from just post-soviet to early 1980s models. One needed a service and got gummed up, but when I replaced the balance wheel, it worked great. Another was a handwind dirskie tankist that my (loveable but) oafish father-in-law destroyed by overwinding. The rest all worked very well, and I'm sure a number of them had not been serviced in decades (if ever). I think one or two lost lume, and a number had either really stiff or really loose bezels.

 

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I have had more than 10 Vostoks and all them are ticking safe and sound. What's best of them: precision. They are precise, really precise, near to COSC standards (mine). I had a serviced and checked Omega Speedmaster cal 1152 (Valjoux 7750) and my Vostoks were far more precise than my Omega.

Only had a slight problem with rotor not winding properly (jammed reverser, who knows) sent it back to be repaired under warranty and has been reliable ever since. And swims with me almost every day at the beach. still loking fresh.

 

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From my experience, the 24xx movement is capable of doing his job for more than one decade faultless. My VE K3 from 2004 (with a lot of use and abuse . . .) still runs fine, accurate and with almost 40hrs power reserve. Also, all of my Amphibia SE (round about 10) seem to be mechanically healthy, but they are more new with occasionally use only. And most of the old fellows (Komandirskie 3AKA3 MO, Amphibia Antimagnetic . . .) doing quite well for their age, requiring cleaning and lubrication only . For sure one dozen of these is floating around in my boxes, and I only remember 1 broken mainspring and 1 broken winding gear .These are the good news.

The bad news are, that in my collection 6 of the more expensive modern Vostoks (5 VE and my Amphibia 1967) were lemons. All of them with badly lubricated mainspring barrels and 3 with autowinder trouble . Also 2 broken winding rotors within a few weeks of use. No idea why they did not have these problems in the old times, with the traditional lubricants. Today, with all the improvements, synthetic oil etc., it should not be an issue. Careless assembly ?

Luckily the 24xx is rather easy to fix and spares are available.

 

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I own 12 watches powered by a Vostok movement (VE and regular Vostok) with the oldest one I bought new celebrating it's 8th birthday this year and the oldest one I have is a Neptune from the 90's. I had to send 2 watches in for repairs: one watch that was damaged by the seller (wanted to set the date for me when he sent it, wasn't patient enough and tried to speed things up by setting the time very fast and very rough, damaging a part in the keyless works) and another one (the VE Energia) that is infamous for having a large amount of play on the minute hand caused by the gears that are used to move the hands off center compared to the standard 2416b. A movement swap has reduced this play to acceptable levels.

Accuracy for most of mine is good, most of them are under 10 seconds/day with all of them under 30 seconds/day. Only the old Neptune runs about +45 seconds/day, but considering its age that one is overdue for a service but I only wear it sparingly anyways.

 

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Mine broke in less than a year. It became super fast for no reason, no shock, no nothing.

I opened it and inspected the balance wheel, all seem fine, but I'm no watchmaker. I contacted vostok but didn't hear anything back.

A new movement is on the way. I might just have been unlucky.

 

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