Vostok Commander Watches
Vostok Watch Factory is a Russian watchmaker based in Chistopol, Tatarstan, Russia. The company produces mainly rugged military and amfibia mechanical watches. It also makes clocks and watch movements for other watch brands.
The Vostok Watch Makers company was founded in 1942 when one of the Moscow watch-making plants of the First Moscow Watch Factory was evacuated to Chistopol, a small town located on the Kama River in Tatarstan. Only defence equipment was produced during the war years, but as soon as the war was over the company started making mechanical wrist watches. However, the company did not begin using the "Vostok" brand name until the 1960s. Presumably, the "Vostok" brand was named after the Vostok space programme, as were some other soviet watch brands, namely Poljot and Raketa.
The company was appointed an official supplier of watches for the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union in 1965. This year also marks the creation of the well known Komandirskie ("Commander's") watch. The experience gained through development of the army watch led to the Amphibia, a stainless-steel diving watch able to withstand a 200-metre depth (20atm). By 1980, Vostok Watch Makers was producing 4.5 million timepieces per year.
Watches sold to the military were marked "ЗАКАЗ МО СССР", meaning "Ordered by the Ministry of Defence of the USSR". These models were sold exclusively through Voentorg stores, which catered to military personnel with identification only. Today, these models have become sought-after collectibles.
At turn of the 21st century, Vostok launched a line of 1940s-style replicas called the Kirovskie K-43 collection. Vostok also began producing a "luxury" line of watches called Kremlevskie. Both lines are made of stainless steel, produced in limited quantities, and aimed toward a more affluent consumer.
In 2004, Vostok Watch Makers began supplying movements to the Koliz Company of Lithuania, makers of the Vostok Europe brand of timepieces.
In 2006, Vostok Watch Makers began marketing another line of watches branded "Amphibia". This brand, like most other Vostok products, features the familiar 31-jewel automatic (No. 2416B) movement. These watches feature "diver" styling with polyurethane or stainless steel bands. An updated version of the Komandirskie debuted in summer 2007, and a special anniversary edition of the Amphibia (called the "1967") appeared in early 2008.
Despite the introduction of the new lines of Komandirskie and Amphibia, the "classic" models (mostly designed in 1960s and 1970s) of these lines were still in production (as of 2014).