SSN-571 Watch Overview from Vostok-Europe

Posted by Craig Hester on Jun 1st 2021

SSN-571 Watch Overview from Vostok-Europe

Greetings everyone Craig Hester here with And thank you for joining us as we continue on our journey through all the watches and accessories that are available at If you are watching this on YouTube, be sure to hit like and subscribe or ring that bell. I never know where the heck that bell is, but I'm sure you can find it. I hope so. And that'll give you early notifications, but more important than that. If you really want to be in the know about what's going on with R2A watches and specials that we offer and custom watches and so forth, you want to join the closed group, Vostok Europe, Timepieces, or VET. Don't let the name for you just because it's called Vostok Europe Timepieces. It does not mean that it is not all about all of the watches and everything tied to that.

For instance like this really cool winder here that are available at So be sure and do that. And you will be in the know, you would be in the know about the watch we're about to talk about you would have already had the opportunity to get one in advance. I am so excited to be talking about this watch today. This is one I have been waiting months, really months to share here with you guys. This is one that's kind of special near and dear to my heart, because first of all, let me explain that this is the SSN 571 watch, which is named for the world's first nuclear submarine. And it is the official watch of the SSN 571 alumni association. Now, why am I particularly excited about this? Well, the reason is I'm looking at dial, sorry. I get swept up sometimes just looking at the watch, which I guess I should, that shouldn't happen to me.

This is a watch that actually grew out of a partnership that was developed by with the SSN 571 alumni association. And while I'm sitting here and just chit chatting, I'm going to show you the watches. I'm not going to talk about the different colors yet, but I'm just going to go back and forth, watches in the sub window. Well, bad joke. So it came out of an arrangement that we made with the SSN 571 alumni association. We were looking for another opportunity. We wanted to do something similar to other brand ambassador shifts we had done in the past. Like we did the Scott-Free racing. If you guys might remember the Scott-Free racing relationship that we had. And then we still have ongoing, Vostok Europe does, with Benedictus Vanagus the Dakar driver, with Big Z, the world's strongest man with Jurgis Karys, one of the world's greatest aerobatic pilots.

So we wanted to have something else based here in the US that would be a great brand ambassador-ship and relationship, that would really be a good fit for both Vostok Europe and whoever the organization was. Now, you may not know this, some of you probably will because you've watched me over the years, but we are based just 20 to 25 miles from the submarine force museum in Groton Connecticut, where the SSN 571 is permanently moored and it's free and open to the public to tour. Now, to be clear, right now during COVID, they aren't open. I just want to make sure that everybody understands that since I happened to be doing the video during COVID, I don't want to direct somebody to come see this fantastic submarine. And then they get here and they're like Hester said they were open and they were not.

But that is obviously an unusual set of circumstances, it's usually open year round. So again, the SSN 571 submarine watch inspired by and in appreciation and coordination with the veterans of the submarine service, who are the alumni association of the SSN 571. Let me read this on the back for you in honor of veterans of the United States submarine service. It's just so cool. And the thing is, it's not just a story. That's not just something we slapped on here. We really did put together this amazing relationship with the members of the alumni association. And before I go any further, I do want to give shout outs, particularly to Gary Schmidt the now previous president of the association who was the main person that I worked with,

who's been just so patient and so great to work with throughout every bit of this. Shout out to Doug Turner for helping out with the marketing, with the new PR to the new president, Bob Childs, they're just great guys, great veterans of the U S submarine service and have been just a pleasure to work with. And I wanted to get that out out of the way, before I go any further in terms of people who may not be familiar with us. If you aren't familiar with Vostok Europe, which is the brand that built the watch, even though we put together the relationship here, and set everything up with the alumni, the brand is Vostok Europe. If you're not familiar with Vostok Europe, Vostok Europe is a boutique watch brand based in Vilnius Lithuania.

Every watch is hand assembled by their full-time team of seven watchmakers there. I like to say that Vostok Europe starts with a blank piece of paper and finishes with a completed watch, or more accurately starts with a blank computer screen because they use solid works to do their designing. They do so much more than your typical, boutique size watch brand does. They do the things basically short of building their own movements. They really do everything. They designed the watch. They have their own in-house designers, they have their own in-house watchmakers. They really do a tremendous amount, when it comes to their watches, so more than you would typically get from a boutique watch brand. So that's who Vostok Europe is, and let me mention too, if their construction process is so amazing, if you haven't seen it.

The very first video on our YouTube channel is actually a video going through their entire construction process, which is a sight to behold in and of itself. Before I do a tour of the watches, I want to quickly talk a little bit about the SSN 571. Now, granted, you could go out there and, and find this information on your own. But of course it's important to note that it is, it was the world's first nuclear submarine. And one of the things that really separated, it wasn't just about the fact that it was the first nuclear submarine. It was actually used for many peaceful things. One of the things that the veterans and Gary has mentioned this to many be many times, is what they call panope The greatest achievements of the SSN 571 was the first submarine to ever, submerged, go from the Pacific to the Atlantic underneath the North pole.

In fact, I'll read you real quick, perhaps her greatest achievement came in 1958 when the SSN 571 sail beneath the North pole, starting the Pacific and navigating through to the Atlantic while the Soviets were commanding space with Sputnik, the U.S saw this achievement as a technological counterbalance. Special navigation equipment had to be installed as the standard compass would go haywire, right beneath the magnetic pole. There was even a backup plan to shoot torpedoes into the ice above, should the ship get lost and have to surface to determine her bearing. The journey from the Barrow sea Valley to the coast of Greenland lasted 96 hours over1,599 nautical miles. One of the things I did notice when I was doing my research about the ship, there was a belief at that time that there would start to be, they would build these big cargo submarines, which kind of sounds silly to us today, but, who knows it could have worked, these cargo ships size submarines, and that they would go underneath the pole on a regular basis, like a shipping lane, which that's just interesting to think about if that had been developed, what that would look like today.

So obviously, you know, you can go and learn a great deal more about, um, about the SSN 571 on your own. It is an amazing piece of equipment, but what I am more excited about is getting to know the people who were involved in it and who served on the ship and, getting to work with them on this special project. So now let me quickly go through a tour of the watch, because that is ultimately what this is about, is for you to see the watches and understand them. First of all, there are nine different styles. Now we only have, I mean, you have your one, two, three, four, four, five, six, seven. We have seven of the styles here because two of them are already sold out. They were sold out pretty much at the time they got in. So I'll talk about those separately, but I did want to quickly go through the styles we have. First of all, there are two movements in the SSN 571. One is the standard bearer bulletproof NH35. Let me get that going for you. So you can see it.

Second hand sweep. There we go. So

There's the NH35 and then the VK61 Mecca quartz chronograph, which is an amazing quartz chronograph movement that is in this watch. In fact, the quartz chronograph movement in these watches, actually the movement itself actually costs more than the automatic movement, the NH 35. So this is a tremendous movement. And I'm gonna talk about that a little bit more. So we have the green with the brushed kind of pre aged plating. Let's see, we've got the light gray and the titanium. I believe this is titanium. Oh, no, there's some stainless steel. My apologies. The brushed on the stainless steel gives it a look of titanium, but there is a titanium model, which we don't have right here right now. Another stainless steel with this beautiful Sunray blue, I mean, we've got two bronze, one bronze in the chronograph version and one bronze with the green and the automatic. Then there is the all black with the beige sub dials. I particularly like this color color scheme. And then as I showed at the beginning, the orange with the light blue sub dials, this just rocks such an amazing color combo on this one.


are we on specs? Let's see. Well, first of all, you need to know that this watch comes, is one of the watches that is in the category of the higher end dive watches of Vostok Europe. If you're familiar with the Anchar, or the Lunokhod 2, or the Energia, this is going to be in that category, both in terms of specs and quality and pricing and so forth, they're gonna all be in that neighborhood. Now, some of the things that are just pretty much a given when it comes to those models is you're going to have two straps. In this case, they have the extension, the spring extension style. So you can put it over the wet suit and it'll pop back into place. They've never done that before on Vostok Europe, but I really liked that they did that this time.

And then it comes with a really beautiful contrast stitched leather strap as well. So they're going to come with two straps. It's going to come with a changing tool. Everyone of the higher end watches also comes with this Arby's receipt, just kidding. It is actually the results of the water tightness test, and they put the number of the watch and the limited edition number of the watch. And you can see that it passed and this case would be 300 meter water resistance. So these are all professional grade dive quality watches. Of course, that means it has a unidirectional rotating bezel for elapsed time. And it's at least 20 ATM, which in the case of the SSN 571, it is 30 ATM. They all have this beautiful image of the ship. On the case back, it says the world's first nuclear submarine, SSN 571 in honor of the United States submarine service.

And then the rest is your typical. It tells you that it's 30 ATM. The other thing that this one has, like all of the high-end dive watches have is this has the tritium tube technology. Now, if you're not familiar with the tritium tube technology, that's the technology where they're laser sealed glass tubes that stay constantly lit, so that no matter what lighting conditions you're in, you're going to be able to see the watch. This is not like super luminova where you charge it up in the sun, and then it shines brightly for a while, and then it fades. This is going to be, you can throw in a drawer for a year, for three years and you bring it back out. It's going to have the same level of illumination. Now, one of the things about this one is this is the second watch,

now I'm actually going to be showing you a chapter ring from a Lunokhod 2, but it's the same technology and the same configuration. This is the second watch that Vostok Europe has done the stand-up tritium tubes and the little candle light reflectors. If you'll look, you can see it's the same thing on here. See if there's one that maybe show it a little more clear. I know they're all about the same in terms of trying to see it through the glass. Um, so they stand up to give you 360 degree elimination. Most of the time, treating them tubes, lay flat on the dial, and that hides almost half of the elimination by standing them up. Then you're getting 360 degree illumination, which makes them far brighter than if they're laying down flat. And as far as we know, Vostok, Europe is the only company in the world that's doing stand-up tritium tubes. I haven't seen another watch has been doing them. The other thing about this one, it's not quite as big as most Vostok Europe watches are these days. I like to bring out the caliper, and I'm going to show you that this is is 45.4 45.5. The actual official spec say 45.7. So call it 46 if you want. But for a Vostok Europe, that's actually not that big of a watch here. I'm going to put one on my wrist

So you can see what it looks like. I have about a seven and a half inch wrist. So I do not have a big risk by any means. This particular one wears extremely comfortably for me. We purposely went smaller. So the veterans of the SSN 571 who may not be into 48, 49 millimeter watches would be comfortable with wearing a watch that was closer to the 45 range. Now I mentioned the Mecca quartz earlier. This is the VK61 Mecca quartz. Now, what does that mean? That means that there's a module in this watch. You have a quartz watch that basically runs everything, but then there's a module in here that's actually driven mechanically for the chronograph. Now, what does that do? Well, first of all,

When you start the chronograph,

You can see that it doesn't tick like a quartz does. It actually has a nice, smooth, better than a lot of automatics, a nice smooth action then the other thing is,

when you reset it, it

instantly flies back and has an instant fly back. Whereas a lot of quartz watches, or anything that's not mecca quartz actually you get that motion where it goes, as you know, it turns back around, counter-clockwise. And it can take a couple of seconds. The downside of that is if you're trying to measure things, wrap in rapid succession, you're not able to do that as easily with that style of quartz chronograph. So that's why Vostok Europe is using the VK64 in this particular watch, excuse me t's the VK61, I believe in this one, not the VK64. Yeah, the VK 61. And this particular watch and the difference between the VK61 and VK64, is that in this case, you do have the constant secondhand, which you don't have any other, every one of them comes with this really cool little brochure.

It talks about from what I talked about earlier about PANOPE- Pacific to Atlantic under the North pole, it gives you a brief history of the boat. Some really great photos we actually were able to go over. This was really cool too. We were able to go over to the submarine force museum, and we were able to go into the archives of which is not something that's open to the public and scan in some really, really cool photography, to use with our supporting materials for the SSN 571, every Vostok Europe high-end dive watch comes with an amazing Pelican case, and it's no different for the SSN 571. This has the place for your extra strap, the place for the watch, it comes with the extra materials. Often we're able to send a little set of stickers as well. These are amazing dry boxes, they're made in the same facility as Pelican cases are made. Just want to see, to just listen to this

Just shows

You how well-made this box is. So that is one of the things that's going to come with your SSN 571. Let me see. We didn't do the thickness. It is,

Almost 16 millimeters thick. Let me talk about size a little bit more. I know there are some of you who are like really only into big watches, you know? Well, first of all, again, we needed to make sure we weren't going to oversize them for the veterans of the SSN five 71. The boat, um, was decommissioned in 1980. So this is not a bunch of young guys. Okay. So we needed to make sure they were going to be comfortable wearing the watch. The advent of the really big watches is a relatively new thing. Now I'm sure there's, some of them are going to be very happy wanting a larger watch. So we kind of compromised with the almost 46 millimeter, but I do want to let you know, with 16 millimeters thick that by no means, is this a tiny watch?

I mean, if you're still into big watches, I don't think you're going to be disappointed with the size of the SSN 571. I just really think that it's a good all around size. It's a good fit for a lot of different options. Now let's make sure one thing is clear. This is a sport watch. This is not a dress watch. So there's no question when you're wearing this, you're going to be wearing a sport watch, for sure. So screw in crown, not surprising 300 meter water resistant screw in crown. It does have the gorilla glass system, this one has, I believe it's a four millimeter thick gorilla glass, or K1, mineral, crystal. What makes a K1, a K1? If you use the mohse scale, the mohse hardness scale, the K1 is right in the middle between Sapphire and mineral. Sapphire is a nine, mineral is a five, K1 is a seven. So you get the best of both worlds with your crystal on this watch.

And I believe that really is the highlights. Like I said, I've got seven of the styles here. I'll show you the pictures. There's a bright white, and I didn't have to show here. And then there is a kind of lavender blue sub dials on a titanium. So there you have it, everybody. This is the SSN 571 from Vostok Europe built in cooperation with the alumni association and veterans of the American submarine service. And I am so proud and excited to been able to do this with them and look forward to working with them for many years to come until next time. I'm Craig Hester, keep watching