Inside Vostok-Europe with Igor Zubovskij
Updated 7 Feb 2009 by Editor, RussianWatchGuide.com
Igor Zubovskij is Managing Director of Vostok-Europe, one of the most popular Russian watch brands. He's also extremely knowledgeable about Russian watches. We had the opportunity to ask Mr. Zubovskij a few questions about Vostok-Europe and other Russian watches.
RWG: Which Vostok-Europe watch is the biggest seller?
IZ: During 2007 and the first half of 2008 our best sellers worldwide were the Arktika and N1 Rocket models. As an example of the success of these models I'm happy to tell you that our 2426/2205091 model, the one with the brown dial, was awarded "Watch of the Year, 2008" in Portugal in the category "Watches Under 500 Euros".
What is your favorite watch in the Vostok-Europe catalog?
That's a difficult question. All our watches are like babies to the VE team and each model was born due to efforts of every team member. So it's almost impossible to say who is the best from the family of watches. Nevertheless -- and honestly speaking -- we love our latest models.
Are replica (counterfeit) watches a problem for Vostok-Europe? Has anyone been illegally copying your watches?
We found several copies of our watch designs made in Russia and in South Korea. The models copied were Arktika, N1 Rocket and Expedition Trophy-2006. They made rough copies from our original watch cases and used them for their own brands. Nevertheless, if we ever do find fake watches with the VE logo on the dial, we will take it to mean that we have become one the most famous and prestigious brands in the world. I hope that it will happen soon!
Why should someone buy a Vostok-Europe watch?
Vostok-Europe is a cost-effective brand. We offer good quality automatic watches at very reasonable prices. Moreover, we don't sell just watches, but in accordance with our slogan "Soviet Techno Design", every one of our watches has a link to an industrial or scientific breakthrough during the Soviet era which made a significant influence to human history. Every model line was designed according to its Soviet techno prototype: N1 Rocket, Nuclear Icebreaker Arktika, Space Launcher Energia, etc. We think the combination of these factors makes our watches really attractive to people who want to buy not just a time calculator but a real timepiece that is different from all other brands on the market.
Where are the best places to buy Vostok-Europe?
It depends on which country you are from. Every one of our distributors can offer you the best selection of our watches and quick and reliable service at the same prices. In the USA, our distributor is Détente Distribution Co.
What other Russian watch brands do you like or recommend?
There have been several famous and really good watch brands and manufacturers in Russia. One of the first was Poljot. Unfortunately, most of these companies don’t exist anymore. Nevertheless, our good friends and colleagues at the Volmax company carry on the tradition of the former Poljot factory and their Aviator, Buran and Sturmanskie watches are the best examples of it.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who may be interested in buying their first Russian watch?
There are thousands of Swiss-made and millions of made-in-China watches on the market now. However, Russian watches are different from all of them because of their movements, design, prices and presentation. Russian watches are for people who want to be different, so my advice is to buy a Russian watch if you don’t want to be the same as everybody else.
What can we look forward to from Vostok-Europe in 2009? Any new models?
During 2008 we renovated and changed more than 50% of our collection. This year we'll continue this process and are preparing some surprises for our customers. The first of them will be launched very soon, at the beginning of March.
What watch are you wearing right now?
I'm wearing my favorite watch now. It's a Maxim Gorky with black PVD plating (ref. number 2432/5802087). However, I'm afraid that I'll have to change it to a new one very soon –- as soon as our new "surprise" is ready.
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