Vostok-Europe Radio Room and Expedition Watches

Vostok-Europe Radio Room and Expedition Watches

Posted by Craig Hester on Jun 19th 2020

Hey everybody, Craig Hester here with R2Awatches.com thank you for joining us as we continue in our journey through all the watches that are available at our R2Awatches.com and other things that we're going to be talking about in videos. We've got some educational stuff that we're going to be doing in the next couple of weeks too. Today we are going to be talking about the Expedition North Pole 1 and the Radio Room with the original Vostok movements in it. And the reason you want to stick around for this video and watch it all the way through is these watches are no longer made and we have the last few available pretty much anywhere in the world. So you definitely want to stay tuned to find out about what makes these special and why you want to have one in your collection. If you are watching this on YouTube, you want to hit like and subscribe please.

Because we are loading videos on a regular basis and it is the best place to learn about all the new stuff and especially something like today where it's a couple of watches that are coming to the end of their cycle and you're not going to be able to get them anymore. You want to be sure and get that notification because once these are gone, they're gone. If you are watching this on Facebook, you want to join the closed group of Vostok Europe Time Pieces, which is where we share all kinds of information on a regular basis. I mean multiple times a day, with the biggest fans of our watches. And you can also share your love of horology in that group. It is a closed group. It is Vostok Europe Time Pieces or VET, don't let the name fool you.

We do talk about all of the watches that are available at R2Awatches.com. Okay, as I mentioned today, we are going to be talking about two watches that share the same case but have two very different stories and two very different looks. I put these together in this particular video because both of these are no longer built and I believe that we have the last stock really available in the world anywhere of these two particular styles. I do know that the, we're the only place right now that you can still get them in North America. And we are coming to the end of the stock. They are, they are not going to be repeated. And not only that, it is important to note that the movement in this watch is going to no longer be used by Vostok Europe. So if you want a Vostok Europe watch with a Vostok movement in it, and that is a different company than Vostok Europe, you want to pick up one of these because it is something that you're not going to be able to get in the future.

So let me back up a little bit and explain the two watches we've got here, and I'm actually going to give you a little overview and then I'm going to go into the specs. So what we have is the radio room, which was actually a style of watch that emanated from us originally here in the U S this was an idea that we had at R2Awatches to build radio room watches with Vostok Europe. And that has a very special story which I'm going to go into detail when I go through the specs on this watch. But it is related to these pie pieces or wedges that see on the dial. And again, this does have the 32 jewel automatic Vostok movement in it. And then the other option is this is actually considered a North pole One, whereas the other is a Radio Room and a North Pole

One case, just to be clear, this is the rose, or the Russian red with the black dial. It's actually like a deep charcoal. It's not quite like a midnight black on this one. And it also has the same movement in it, but obviously you see that it does not have the indicators on the dial. So the first thing that's important to explain as I get into the specifics of this is that, I mentioned at the beginning or early on that Vostok Europe was not going to be using Vostok movements anymore when Vostok Europe first started, they actually were in a kind of a limited partnership with Vostok. Now, Vostok is a different company based in Chistopol Russia. Vostok means East in Russian, and they still build watches today. And of course, still movements today.

When Vostok Europe first started, all Vostok Europe watches were built with Vostok movements. But over the years as the Vostok Europe brand has grown and changed and, and developed into, well what it is today, which is primarily building watches for going to extremes, um, and higher end dive and sport watches, they have just slowly moved away from the Vostok movements for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the cost on the Vostok movement has gone way, way up over the years. One when the Soviet union collapsed, they stopped subsidizing the watch industries there and they were originally, these watch industries were originally created as, as extensions of the military to build military watches for the Russian military, and then they moved into the civilian sector. and so once that subsidy went away, that had a big impact on Russian watch manufacturers as part of why Poljot folded.

And that's a conversation for another time. And then what started to happen is, the cost of borrowing money in Russia went way up, as Russia faced some financial difficulties over the years. And because of that, Vostok had to increase the price of their movements pretty substantially. Vostok Europe has now decided that it makes more sense for them to focus with, on the Seiko movements, and the Miyota movements for their watches. They're more cost effective for them and they actually have more of the functions that they're looking for in sport and dive watches. So it is important to note if you are a fan of Vostok Europe or you're a fan of Russian watches and you are interested in having a watch with a Vostok movement in it. In this case, this is the 24/32, from Vostok, then you want to grab one of these two because they are again are not well.

These particular models were finished anyway. This Radio Room and that Expedition North Pole. We're already at the end of their construction cycle. But you also will just not be able to get Vostok Europe watches with Vostok movements in the future. So that is right there, makes us instantly collectible as soon as you get it. Now I'm going to go through the story of the Radio Room. There are other videos on our R2Awatches channel on Vostok Europe. Like to go into great detail about why this is called the radio room. I'm going to try to give you just like the two minute version, so that we can just focus more on the specs of the watch and, and why you want to pick these up. Pick up one of these before they're out of stock here at R2Awatches.

So the Radio Room is based on a Vostok clock. Well it's actually originally based on the radio room clocks that are in ships worldwide. Vostok makes Radio Room clocks. And that was part of why we decided we wanted to have a Radio Room watch from Vostok Europe. And of course, all of those have been with Vostok movements. And they, that made sense because of the fact that we were emulating a Vostok clock. Where it comes from is the Titanic disaster. When the Titanic went down, there were no, you know, we all know there are so many things contributed to the Titanic disaster. It's probably easier to list what they did right then to list what they did wrong and what caused the loss of, the great loss of life and so forth. But one of the things that added at least to the loss of life was the fact that, well two things, they didn't have a 24 hour rotation in the radio room, which is now law and they had a hard time getting their SOS out because of the chatter on the radio, people just talking to each other or other chatter or whatever.

So in 1912 after a, and by the way, the first Radio Rooms for Vostok Europe came out in 2012, the hundred year anniversary of the radio room act, the international radio, international maritime commission, created the Radio Room act and the Radio Room act created these radio silence periods, now in the beginning there was only one at the top and the bottom of the hour. Then later they added the ones at the other two locations here. So these three minute periods, these wedges that you see here on the Cardinal positions of the dial, that is the time period that if you are a Radio Room operator on an ocean going vessel, you cannot talk. You can't go on the radio and with anything except emergency flash traffic and SOS. You can't just go on on there and say, Hey Charlie, let's get a beer

when we get into port. You can't talk about, you know what, your cargo is, and when you're going to arrive or anything. Those three minutes are radio silence periods, one every quarter hour. And that way they know that somebody that the most you're going to be away from being able to get an SOS out through the chatter on the radio is 12 minutes. So that is the inspiration for this watch the ah, again, original clock by Vostok was what we used as the jumping off point. But we did some things to make this a little more fashion forward and create something a little, that fit more for the modern watch wearer. For one thing we did, we went into, we did different color combinations. We did a lot of color combinations on this watch.

This one is actually quite close to the original Radio Room because the original Radio Room is red and white, so this was the red and black, a red and black version that we created. And I think this may have been the only, there might've been one other red and black version. And as I mentioned, this is in the Expedition North pole case. So that is a 47 millimeter case, but I always like to double check, a little over 47 millimeters and it is 17.5 millimeters thick. This is a 20 ATM watch, 20 atmospheres or 200 meters. That means it is a professional grade dive quality time piece. It does have the K1 mineral crystal system. That's the gorilla glass system. That means that it fits right in the mohse scale between Sapphire and mineral and it, that means it has nearly the scratch resistance of Sapphire and nearly the shatter resistance of mineral.

So you get the best of both worlds for a sport watch, and then as I mentioned, it has the 32 jewel proprietary. Well originally it was proprietary. It's not anymore. Originally it was only used by Vostok Europe of course, because Vostok Europe was moved away from buying them. Vostok has made these movements available to other manufacturers. But it is the 32 jewel automatic mechanical movement by Vostok of Chistopol Russia. It isn't one of the things I've always liked about this movement. It is a nicely decorated movement. And by the way, I'm going to, in just a minute I'm going to cut to a video where I went in more detail about this movement and how it works and we'll share with you some details in a separate video that'll cut to, and you'll notice that I'm not in the same clothes and I'm in a different studio, so it'll be obvious to you that that's the video that's rolling. In fact, you know what? I'm gonna go ahead and cue that up now.


Greetings fellow Watch Comrades. Craig Hester here, president of the Detente Watch Group. We're here at Evine Live, taking a few minutes out of our day to talk about the Vostok proprietary movement used in Vostok Europe watches. Now Vostok is a different company from Vostok Europe. They are based in Chistopol Russia. They are the oldest and largest continuously operating Russian watch manufacturer and they still make movements to this day for Vostok Europe. We're talking about a few of the things that make the Vostok movements special today. And one of them is the fact that it is a bi-directional automatic movement. First of all, what makes it an automatic movement? If you're not familiar with that, this is what's called the rotor and that rotor is a counterweight that as you wear the watch on your wrist, it moves and that movement then winds the mainspring of the watch so that it gets wound up.

Most automatic movements are what you would call unidirectional, which means there's one direction that you spin the rotor to actually wind the watch. Now, what is bi-directional? That means that either direction that we move this rotor,, it will wind the watch to drive the main spring. One of the questions we get asked all the time is, how should I put this on my watch winder If I want to wind it? Well because it's bi-directional and either direction will wind the watch. It's actually best if you have a watch winder that you can program to go one way and then the other that you use that function. If you look right here, you'll see that these are these, there are these ball bearings that the rotor sits on. That's what it rolls back and forth on throughout the life of the watch because of the fact that the watch will wind any, the movement will wind in either direction.

It will give you a more even wear on the ball bearings. One other point that we haven't talked about in this movement is you can actually manually wind the Vostok movements from Chistopol. Not all automatic movements can be wound as well by hand, and it's a good idea if your movement completely winds down, you set it on your dresser and two or three days go by, you come back and it's completely without any energy. It's a good idea to give it 10 or 20 turns at the beginning to get it up and running because you may not give it enough energy when you're wearing it on your wrist if you don't do that for it to keep proper times. So we hope this little bit of information about how the Vostok movement works and we hope that this helps in your enjoyment of your Vostok Europe time piece.

So as you could see in that, you know that that went in really more not into the actual complications that are in this movement. But that tells you a lot about how the movement works and so forth. What's really cool about this movement, first of all, I always loved the way it was decorated. It has the really nice, giache on the road or it has the blued screws. And then it also does give you some additional complications. In this case, it gives you, in fact, I've been looking at, we've been looking at Radio Room so long, I'm going to pick up the rose tone here. It gives you a 24 hour indicator and it's important to note that that is slaved to the 12 hours. So it's only if it's not an independent secondary time zone. It gives you the time on the 24 hour scale for military timekeeping.

And then there's a day night indicator. And I've always liked the way that Vostok Europe does their day/night indicators. First of all, I do not like the sun and moon versions. I think that's way over done. But the day night indicator on here, you can see that as it, while it's white, it's daytime. And as you move through the day and get back in tonight, you can see that that half circle starts to become black. And then that's a night indicator. Now people always, you know, make jokes about, well can't you just look outside and see if the sun is shining? Um, why do you need a date night indicator? Well the day night indicator was actually originally created for sub Mariners. You can't look out the window on a submarine and know what time it is. Now of course they are on a 24 hour clock. So you do know where you are in terms of being on a 24 hour clock.

But it was a quick and easy way to look down and see whether you are were day/night. And I have a cousin of mine actually was in the Navy and he was a sub Mariner and he did tell me that it can become, you can lose track of day and night when you're in a submarine for extended periods of time. So that's why that complication was created. So I think that's pretty much the basic specs of it. It is, yes, again, 200 meter, they are all surgical grade stainless steel of course, Vostok Europe will not do anything with base metal, meaning like pleaded grant brass or something. They're only going to use top quality materials like stainless steel, surgical grade, stainless steel or titanium or bronze, so forth. Both of these are our black or excuse me, their PVD plated one is black PVD plated and one is rose, or what we'd like to refer to as the Russian red plating.

And that is grade A plating. So that is the best plating that you can get. It doesn't matter what kind of watch you buy. This is top grade PVD plating. So it does last and last and last, and I've worn Vostok Europe watches with PVD plating for many, many years and it is very, very high quality plating. Now, because these are the last ones of these that we are ever going to have, we put together a special package, that we're, you'll find at R2Awatches.com that normally this watch would come in a regular Vostok Europe, the regular Vostok Europe box, the standard one that you see. We've decided to upgrade where these are going to now come in with a few, we have less left. They're gonna come in the dry box from Vostok Europe.

I'm going to put this together here and just show you real quick. and it will, and they're both going to come with at least one additional strap. The Radio Room version is going to come here and we can do this. The Radio Room version is going to come with the black leather that you see on it. Then we're going to add a leather strap with the white Stripe down the center, which just looks fantastic with this watch by the way. And then the black silicone and that's all going to come in the Vostok Europe dry box. The rose we actually pulled out something from the vault. These are leather deployant clasps that were originally for the Caspian sea monster. And I will tell you this is a 24 millimeter lug width on this, on these expeditions. This is a 25 millimeter strap, so it's a little snug.

You kind of have to, I have to finagle a little to get it in there, but it works just fine. It's a beautiful strap. It matches really well with this particular watch and it does give you the deployant clasp, which in leather is something that Vostok Europe doesn't do very often. And then it will also come with the original Expedition North Pole strap with the rivets and the triple layer. The triple set of the leather on it, which I've always loved. The way they do these actually this really good, this strap is a perfect one to show you that because what you're looking at here is this is one layer of leather. Then there's the other layer of what level of whether of leather, where the money, a little bit of water guys, the underneath where the strap or the Stripe is, and then the other side and it is a double Tang buckle for extra security. And then it has these rivets that go next to the case that are just really add such a cool look.

So if you pick these up, now you're going to get them with the dry box and a full kit with additional straps. The most important thing to note though, guys, is once these are gone, they're gone and they won't be back and Vostok. Europe is no longer going to make be making watches with Vostok movements. So if you've thought about picking up one of these, I thought about picking up a watch with a Vostok movement. If you thought about getting a Radio Room and you haven't before, and you've looked at these for many years, this is the time to grab it because these are, when they're gone, they're going to be gone. So I'm Craig Hester with R2Awatches.com this has been the Expedition North Pole One and the Radio Room and the expedition case with the 32 jewel Vostok movement. No longer going to be made. You want to grab it today and until next time, keep watching

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