Bronze Energias from Vostok-Europe Watches of Lithuania

Bronze Energias from Vostok-Europe Watches of Lithuania

Posted by Craig Hester on Apr 5th 2020

Hey everybody, Craig Hester here with R2Awatches.com and thank you for joining us again as we continue on our journey through all the watches that are available at R2Awatches.com. Today we are talking about the Energia from Vostok Europe. One of my favorite watches to talk about particularly in this execution, which is the original marine grade bronze. If you're watching this on YouTube, you want to hit like and subscribe so you can stay on top of all the new videos that we post because we're posting pretty regularly now. New videos from R2Awatches.com and if you are watching this on Facebook, you want to join the closed group Vostok Europe Time Pieces. That's where all of the big fans of Vostok Europe and the other brands at R2Awatches.com get together and share their love of our watches. It's a great place to be.

So you want to join that. Like I said, today we are talking about the Energia, from Vostok Europe and in particular the bronze. The original bronze Energia from Vostok Europe. Two of my favorite watches ever. I love the Energia. It is arguably my favorite of all of Vostok Europe's. If you're not familiar with Vostok Europe, it is a boutique brand based in Vilnius, Lithuania. All the watches are completely designed there by in-house designers. They are all completely hand assembled. Every piece of a Vostok Europe is custom made for each individual watch. Every Vostok Europe has a story, and inspiration, something that they build the watch around and the Energia is no different. The really perfect example, I'm in a lot of ways of what goes into everything about an inspiration becoming integrated into a Vostok Europe watch. The Energia is the world's largest rocket right here of this one that I'm pointing at is not indeed the actual world's largest rocket.

It is a scale model, but this is the world's largest rocket system. It was actually built to put the Russian space shuttle Buran into space. Buran means snowstorm in Russian. By the way, it's, you might want to, you know, if you're interested, look up some of the history about the brand. Most people think because it looked so similar to the U S space shuttles that it was really just a knockoff, but there actually are a lot of innovations. It was in a way Buran was kind of space shuttle 2.0 so if you look up that on YouTube and other places, you'll find some really interesting information there. The Energia, or EnerGIA again was the big rocket system that was designed to put that space shuttle into space. And it is the inspiration for the watch we're looking at today, which is the bronze Energia.

Now, as I've mentioned before, if you've watched something, you get these watches separated from one another. If you've watched our show on a regular basis or you're familiar with other videos about Vostok Europe. By the way, if you want to learn more about Vostok Europe, there are a number of great videos on our YouTube channel and at R2Awatches.com that go into much greater detail about the brand, how the watches are built, the history and so forth. One of the things about Vostok Europe that I really like in the way that Costa the chief designer, there, approaches his design philosophy is he's picked instead of, and again, I want to be clear, I don't have any problem with watches that are designed this way. We've done watches with Pramzius the way I'm about to describe, and Tsikolia does it all the time where you take a direct inspiration from, you take something direct from the inspiration and you almost duplicate it in the watch, say, a cockpit clock instrumentation or a shape or something like that.

What Costa tends to do is he looks at the overall design of, of the inspiration and he pulls little shapes, little edges, corners, look, feel. And he puts that all together into creating something entirely new in the actual watch that comes from the inspiration. If you look at the way the rocket system and you, it's hard to tell what just the, obviously with just my model here, but the way the rocket system was created, the asymmetrical, the way the booster rockets are, you can see that in the case design of the Energia which is just an amazing case. So I'm gonna go through the specs of the watch, the individual specs and then I'm going to go into some greater detail about marine grade bronze and what makes this watch special and so forth. So the, there are two dial options in the original bronze Energia

This really cool brown kind of almost a chocolate brown or a tobacco brown or whatever brown you'd like to refer to it as. Everybody always seems to have different, you know, it's like the people who named paints. I would say that, you know, in the chocolate or tobacco and those are kind of two things to interestingly put together in the brown there, and then you have this blue teal more towards the blue than your classic teal on here. Both of them extremely popular. I would say probably the teal has edged out the brown in terms of popularity, but they both, well we can't ever keep them in stock when they come in. It's a 48 millimeter watch. Now, if you include the bump outs that were inspired by the booster rockets, it's really about a 49.

This is a 30 ATM dive watch. Anything above 20 ATM is considered professional grade dive quality. So this is a professional grade dive watch. It's about 16 millimeters thick. Actually, we can measure it. Let me zero this out. I can give you the exact measurement and we are talking a little over 16 millimeters thick. So this is a big watch. If you are someone who is into smaller timekeeping, if you're not wanting a big aggressive watch on your wrist, the Energia probably not for you. If you like big, heavy, rugged dive watches that look big on the wrists that are going to get people's attention, then you're definitely gonna love the Energia. If you don't have one in your collection, if you're a Vostok Europe fan, you absolutely have to have an Energia in your collection. K-1 mineral crystal, you've heard me talk about that many times.

It's the same system we refer to as gorilla glass. The K-1 is right in the middle on the Mohse scale between sapphire and mineral, so you get nearly the scratch resistancy of sapphire and nearly the shatter resistancy of mineral, so it is the best of both worlds for sporting time pieces. You've got an exhibition case back on this watch with the NH 35 Bulletproof Seiko movement in there, you've got an automatic helium release valve that most normal humans will never actually need to use because it's something that you use during saturation diving, but that is another indication of the caliber of construction of the watch. It is.

I got to get it there. It is a screw in crown that's part of getting your 30 ATM

water resistance in it. So that's important to note when you get the watch, if you start trying to pull the crown out and you're not familiar with screw and crowns, you're gonna be like, what the heck is going on? You have to unscrew it to move the crown into its proper positions. Unidirectional rotating bezel that is for a lapsed time function and diving. I'm not going to go into great detail about that. There are a lot of videos out there that talked to you about unidirectional rotating bezels and how they work in relation to diving. The main thing is it's a lapsed time function so that if you were to bump the bezel, it would actually reduce the amount of time you're measuring instead of increasing it, which is clearly important when you're talking about measuring the amount of oxygen that you have. It is a two strap, comes with two straps.

It comes with this really great, oh so supple, wonderful leather that comes on these, on these watches and then the really, really soft and wonderful silicon, which is what you would want to use if you're going to be using it in water sports. Let's see, other main aspects of the watch. We've talked about water resistance. It is Marine grade bronze and it is an automatic mechanical watch on this one because it does have an exhibition case back. You can see how I'm moving the rotor. That rotor winds the watch as you wear it. The big standout feature, however, of the Energia is how it handles tritium. Now, if you're not familiar with tritium, tritium is, tritium tube technology are these laser sealed? Let me get this in focus. These are they're laser sealed glass too, that have a substance in them called tritium that constantly activates the luminous material inside the tube.

They're made by a company called MB Microtech. in Switzerland. I actually, near Berne, I actually was able to visit their facility. Oh, now about three years ago. It was fascinating to go through and see the process of how they build these so tiny pieces of technology that are used for illumination, not just in watches, gun sights, exit signs, or, they're using a number of things. But in a watch, the reason that you like them particularly or want particularly in a dive watch or a sport watch is it gives you constant illumination, unlike super luminova where you have to charge it up in the sun or preferably in a UV light, it doesn't have to be the sun. You charge it up and then, you know, you set it on your dresser, it's gonna fade in a couple of hours. At most, it's brighter when it's first charged up, than the Tritium tubes tend to glow steadily,

but it does fade. Tritium you can throw it in and you can throw this watch in a drawer for a year. You take it back out, you're going to have the same level of luminosity. And one of the things I love about tritium tube watches is that they're really great for just simple, low light conditions. you know, even if you're not into into aggressive sports where you are diving, where you'd want to have that kind of illumination. I really like them when I'm traveling on a plane. It's bright enough that I can always see the time, but it's not going to bother anybody else. Same if you're watching, if you're at the movies, you know, where if you have, you have watches where you have to light them up to see the time or pull out your smartphone to see the time, you suddenly have lit up yourself in the area and you're bothering people around you.

With tritium tubes, you look down in any lighting condition, you're always going to be able to see the time. Now, one of the things that I love about Vostok Europe is how they, how innovative they are in a number of things when they're constructing their watches and Vostok Europe wanted to get the maximum amount of illumination that they can out of the tritium tubes. Now, most tritium tubes of watches just lay flat on the dial, which means you're hiding about half of the illumination when it sits flat on the dial. and there really isn't much else that's done in terms of how they're configured on the dial. Sometimes even below the dial, if it's on a sandwich style situation, especially like the Gaz Limo where it's for, because you want it to look dressy. What Vostok Europe did in the case of the Energia is if you get right in here and you look with me, you can see there are these V shaped reflectors that the tubes are in.

It's kinda like that if you're really going to date myself here, but back in the 70s when people had those, oh my light here. When people had those V-shaped reflectors that, trying to give themselves a tan, which we all know actually now would be a terribly unhealthy thing to do. But the idea is that the tube is reflecting off of both sides of those reflectors and generating more luminosity out from the watch. They also were the, they're Lunokhod 2 where they have the standup tubes that give you 360 degree elimination. So I just love the way Vostok Europe doesn't just say, well, we're going to use tritium. They're going to use tritium in creative ways. Now I'm going to get into some of the aspects of this in terms of the quality of construction. And as I've said many times, I have no problem taking a Vostok Europe watch completely apart right in the video.

So you can see every aspect of the watch because there's just the quality of construction throughout, from crystal to case back is, there's nothing to hide there. There are no chintzy parts in here. Everything is grade A quality. All right, so look at this case. First of all, this is the interior case. You're at 5.5 millimeters thick. That's a lot of bronze people. A marine grade bronze, that's a ton of bronze to put in this watch. Most watches are going to be much thinner on that case width, to the edge, first of all it would, it would be less expensive because look at how much bronze, cause that's solid bronze all the way from corner, from this edge to this edge that is solid bronze. So think about how much bronze is going into the case of this watch.

And then the bronze that is in the material where it connects, the watch to, excuse me, connects the strap to the watch. And that's another thing to just show about quality of construction. It's just off the hook. So this is the bar that holds the strap in place. I'm chuckling because just when I look at this, even though I've seen this for several years now, I'm just blown away. You know, most watches just have a simple pressure pin that holds the strap in place. And if they have a bar, it's certainly not a bar like this. This bar is

4.2 millimeters thick. That's how thick the bar that holds the strap in place. If that doesn't show you how committed Vostok Europe is to quality construction. I don't know what will, I mean I can, you know, I can actually talk about the fact now this is a crystal from an Expedition North Pole as opposed to from the Energia, but it's the same. They're basically the same. This is nearly four millimeters thick on the crystal to show you how strong and how much depth there is on the crystal to give you so much of a cushion in terms of if the crystal get takes a lick, four millimeters thick, there are bracelets out there that aren't that thick. And then it is important to note that this strap system requires you to have a changing tool when you were changing the strap out.

Okay. And I went ahead and took the strap. I'm not gonna do it on this side right now. I went ahead and took the strap off on the other side. You can see where the strap connects. But one of the things I like to show is how these little circles that give it the split lug appearance actually are not connected to the case. And that's really cool because one of the reasons, sometimes people will shy away from the split lug watch, and I fully understand it, is if they're worried about whether they would be able to get original manufacturer equipment on a replacement strap or not, because you can't, you know, getting a strap that would fit on the configuration of a split lug is not something you're gonna easily buy on the open market. Vostok Europe fixed that problem by having these little circles not be actually connected to the case.

So once you take the strap off, you could actually put a standard strap in the gap and have, we've seen people who've gotten custom straps, I'll give a shout out to Constantine, who's our the Strap Lord, who's a great person to go to. If you want to get an additional custom made strap for your watch. So that is another one of the really nice touches that Vostok Europe did on this watch. Now I haven't spent a lot of time talking about, talking about bronze. We do have a video on, our channel on YouTube on R2Awatches.com channel on YouTube that goes, does a really deep dive into bronze watches and what bronze means for a watch and why it's important. I'm just going to quickly state here that this is marine grade bronze. That means that it will patina over time and that patina actually strengthens the metal and is actually, bronze is not a single metal.

It's a metal that's put together by doping different, alloys together. So it's actually a different metals together. So it's actually an alloy, usually the base is copper, in this case Vostok Europe actually uses phosphor bronze, which that then phosphor is the additional, doping alloy that's put in there with the copper as opposed to say zinc or some others that use aluminum. That gives you that rich red color that you see in the bronze as opposed to say a yellow gold color in bronze. When we say marine grade, that means that this is designed to handle pretty much any water situation. This is the kind of bronze that's used on, you know, on ships, for seagoing ships, and so forth. I mean, this is a very, very serious, nautical alloy that is, it has been used for many, many years, well since the bronze age, and is really perfect for something like a dive watch.

So that is the material that is in these two again with both the brown and the teal. Now, the other big aspect of this watch that I really like to share, give me a second here, is the packaging. The packaging on the Energia. and quite frankly, all of the top end dive watches from Vostok Europe is just off the hook. I'm gonna drop this and I'm, I'm taking it in here and show you. First of all, this is a true Pelican case. That means that this is actually made in the same factory that Pelican cases are made. This is a very, very thick heavy duty, let me get the back out of here, heavy duty Pelican case. This is water resistant to 10 ATM. So you can use this in any kind of water situation if you want to take out the insides, which I'm gonna have a struggle here with doing of course, cause I want to do it when one month tomorrow I've got the video going on,

I just pulled this one out of the box. If you want to take the inserts out, this is a great box to use for boating, hiking, kayaking, anything where you're going to be in a water situation. Now these were custom made for Vostok Europe. And what is so cool about this packaging is it's designed where the watch is going to come when you first get it, the watch is going to be here. Then the additional straps, the manual, the changing tool and so forth. It's set up for the one watch. But James Bond style, hidden in there are additional pillows. So you can convert this to be a four watch carrier for portability. And behind here you can flip this over and put in more straps. Just so clever. I mean it, it's a way to get both the original packaging for the watch, which in and of itself is just amazing because it is a true, I think we have this at $129 I have to like, it's like it's a huge value in and of itself.

And so this is gonna come with the watch and it gives you a four watch holder. So those are the basic elements of I'm sure I've left something out. I always, as soon as I get done with these videos, I always go, I should've said, but that's why we're doing more and more videos. We're going to regularly come back to watches. We're going to talk about different elements of the watches. Sometimes I may focus more on a particular thing like we did one where we focused on the new bracelet, which is available on the stainless versions of the Energia. One other thing I will mention, this is the first Vostok Europe that has a tritium tube at the top position. That is the marker for the unidirectional rotating bezel that is actually encased in Sapphire because you can't have a tritium tube exposed on the outside of the watch by law.

But this, so this is a Sapphire iron case tritium tube. So we didn't have the issue where for the elapsed time with it being super luminova that would fade while the other tubes were staying bright and that fixes that problem. So this is it. The Vostok Europe Energia bronze, the original two, one of, some of the most popular watches in the Vostok Europe collection. Remember, they will patina, it's going to get darker. It's going to get kind of, there'll be greens and blue hues in there. If you don't like patina, you can always polish it, but be sure and use a high quality polish, not just something you get at any discount store. You want to get true jewelry, polish if you don't like patina. But if you love patina, these will patina, rich and beautiful. I'm Craig Hester with R2Awatches.com. This has been the Energia bronze, the original Energia bronze from Vostok Europe. And hey, until next time, keep watching.

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