Zlatoust Vodolaz Diver Watches
Updated 12 Jun 2009 by Editor, RussianWatchGuide.com
The Vodolaz diver watch, manufactured at the Zlatoust factory, is the largest most intimidating of all Russian watches. It measures 58mm in diameter and 76mm across including the crown and protective cap. The watch weighs more than half a pound (260 grams).
Originally designed in the mid-1970s for the Soviet Navy, Vodolaz watches are manufactured in Zlatoust, a small industrial city in Russia located on the Ay River near the Ural Mountains.
New Zlatoust Vodolaz watches commonly sold online are not reproductions and are still made at the Zlatoust factory. However, these new watches are not built to the same specifications and quality as the originals. Buyers have commented that the modern cases are plated brass, not stainless steel, and that the new movements are not the same as the originals. Water resistance is also questionable.
Nonetheless, the watches remain visually stunning and a superb conversation piece.
It may be possible to find "new" old stock from the 1970s if any still exists. The links in the "More Resources" section of this article will help you identify whether a watch is original stock or a modern remake.
Also note that other manufacturers such as Moscow Classic and Invicta also make Vodolaz watches inspired by the original design.
The watch uses a 15 jewel mechanical movement. Fully wound it will run 30 hours and has a mean daily rate of +60 seconds. Luminous hands provide night visibility. The protective grid can be detached. According to Smirs.com, the case provides water resistance with water pressure no more than 3 kg/cm2 when under water no more than one hour. It is not shock resistant.
Where to Buy
Vodolaz watches are available at a few online stores including Ebay and Smirs.
For an in-depth review and discussion of this watch, see Ed's Corner. Also check out Russian Times for pictures and comparison of original watches and modern remakes.
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