The Vostok Komandirskie 1965 watch, released in the autumn of 2015, is a special release to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chistopol Watch Factory Vostok becoming the official supplier to the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet union and the Red Army. The first batch of Vostok Komandirskie watches was labelled “Order of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR”.
My model is the silver-coloured stainless steel body watch, the Vostok Komandirskie 1965 model number 680220, fitted with Vostok’s workhorse 2414A manual winding movement. My watch came from www.meranom.com who were also selling a gold-coloured (stainless steel with ion plating gold, similiar to PVD plating) watch with a gold face and white numerals, model number 683219. The gold-coloured model was, well, a little bit too gold for me, so I opted for the black face and plain stainless steel of the 680220. Unfortunately both models appear to now be sold out. The packaging is little bit better than usual for a Vostok Komandirskie and the watch comes in a khaki and black cardboard box, with a couple of clips to hold the watch in place with a user’s manual / warranty in Russian and English.
The Vostok Komandirskie 1965 is a mid-sized watch measuring 39mm in diameter without the crown, it is 11mm thick and has a good lug with of 20mm, which I think makes a big difference over the normal Komandirskie lug width of 18mm. The knurled crown feels quite substantial. The case is stainless steel as is the crown and the watch has a stainless steel exhibition mineral glass case back with a window of around 24mm diameter. The watch crystal is domed acrylic. The strap is good quality, dark brown leather with white stitching, 20mm at lug tapering to 18mm at clasp. The clasp has a nice detail of the year 1965 and star engraved on it, I must remember to save this if I ever need to swap the strap over.
The Vostok 2414A manual winding mechanism is a staple of Komandirksie watches. It has 17 jewels, a shock resistant balance, date wheel calendar and a power reserve of around 36 hours. The movement is engraved with RUSSIA 2414A.
The Vostok Komandirskie 1965 Special Edition watch face is a good, black colour with arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9 with a date window at 3 o’clock. The other hour indices are fairly big blocks of white and there is a 60 second marker around the outside of the dial. The lume on the hands and the hour indices is a pretty good and is an off-white / pale green colour but I’ll be damned if I can take a decent photograph of it. It features the cyrillic for Komandirskie (командирские) under 12 o’clock, a red star and another word (not sure what yet) above the 6 o’clock and “3AKA3 MO CCCP 1965” at the very bottom of the dial. It is a nice clear, uncluttered dial, the numerals are a nice rounded font reminsicent of some of the Chistopol Komandirskies from the 60s and 70s. I’ll post a picture of one when a new vintage purchase turns up. The hour and minute hands are silver coloured with a central strip of lume and the seconds hand is plain silver needle.
At the back, there is the aforemention exhibtion case back with a good view of the movement. The case back is held in place in a traditional manner i.e. without the usual ring affair of the standard Komandirksie or Amphibian, it has a normal screwdown back like that of my Komandirskie K34. There are a couple of more words of Cyrillic on the case back which I think say that the exhibition case back is mineral sapphire and that the watch is water resistant to 3atm.
I really like the Vostok Komandirskie 1965 Special Edition watch. The styling is very smart and very retro, the dial face is very similar to some older Komandirskie dials. It could almost be a dress watch, it is certainly at the smarter end of the watches I own. It feels and looks nice on the wrist. I was a little worried it would look a bit small on my 8 and a bit inch wrist, but it looks good. I think we are all just used to large watches these days. A very nice addition to my collection. I would like to see a few more special editions of this quality.