The other day I was visiting a friend and happened to be wearing my Seiko Monster, as I often do as I like it, so I wear it. He noticed it and said that it rather paled into insignificance against his latest purchase. I was intrigued and also somewhat blown away too, as he slipped back his sleeve and I got my first sight of his amazing Vostok-Europe Lunokhod 2. Wow!
Well I had to agree with his claim as it out “monstered” my monster by a fair margin! Very large and very impressive, especially as he’d gone for the bright yellow version plus the yellow silicon strap. He bought it he tells me, just because he loved the look of it and I can understand that, as I’ve done it myself on many occasions.
Now whether he’ll keep it is another story, but I have to admit it is an impressive piece of kit. Comes with 2 straps, one leather and one silicon ( I have seen it advertised with 3) and a fancy snap closure carrying case, so lots of goodies, but what’s the watch really like and is it any good?
Initial observations for me are firstly is the size at 49 mm diameter and approx 17 mm thickness, because not everyone will be able to wear it and look good and also I note the Day indicator (a segmented sub-dial @12), is small and could cause problems reading it (but that’s maybe just me). Perhaps of more concern is the Seconds indicator, a sub-dial segment @6, as it features a 60 secs fly-back hand, so I have to wonder about longevity.
However dial visibility seems pretty good despite the configuration, and the use of embedded Tritium Light Tubes on the main hands and Tube markers is commendable, and whilst I’m not totally convinced by the vertical positioning of the markers (upright “candle holders” I’ve heard them called), though it’s suggested there’s more light spread across the dial.
The rest of the specification is pretty decent – solid 316L Stainless Steel case, 3.5 mm thick Hardened K1 mineral crystal, the Swiss made bespoke Soprod TM36.03VE quartz-movement, that 31 day Chronograph, Dual time zone, Countdown Timer from 12 hrs and from 31 day, Retrograde Perpetual Calendar, Quick set Date, 300M Water Resistance, automatic Helium Release Valve and a 3 year Guarantee.
Very impressive though and my friend was right and he’s delighted, as he should be with his new purchase. Do I want one? Well I would normally say not for me as it’s really too big and I’ve never been a fan of fly-back anythings. And the price by the way is somewhere around 750 Euros I understand, so quite expensive and I would have to compare that against some of the Casio offerings, so . . . .
However it is a refreshing change to the Casios of this world and Vostok-Europe have a few other models that might interest me.
Take the Vostok-Europe model 6204212 Lunokhod II Grand Chronograph.
for example. Now this is a more conventional Quartz model but with all the standard Lunokhod features – such as the 30ATM Water Resistance, solid SS case (black PVD) plus an Anti-Reflective coated K1 crystal and a 1/20th Second Chronograph function. The pushers however on this model are more familiar to me as they are on the right side of the case, not the left. A decent size Date window @4 and a centre sweep Seconds hand (which I find more useful than fly-back).
This is also a very impressive affair and maybe more to my taste (well that’s what I thought when I started this Post, but now maybe not so sure!) – but there again it’s still big – but is it a purchase stopper? Well – for any one the quite extensive range I might be tempted . . . . . and this one priced at around 665 Euros is getting closer.
But whatever you might think price and feature wise, these are pretty good efforts from Vostok-Europe and will definitely be on any future check list. And if you’re often in wet situations (I think of 6 months in Scotland!) then the 300M Water Resistance must be an attractive feature if nothing else.
I really quite like them, but for now I’ll strap on my Seiko “not such a monster after all” – in fact it’s quite elegant when I think about it – it really is . . . .