Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review

Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review
Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews
Image by Beau Hudspeth for aBlogtoRead.com

Without a doubt, the design of the Vostok Europe Anchar allows it to be greater than the sum of its parts. Read off the list of tech specs and it sounds like a thousand other sub-$1000 dive watches on the market. See it however, and it feels like something much more unique. Is it right for you?

Vostok Europe is a curious company that I understand as being a Lithuania-based off-shoot of the more historic Russian watch maker Vostok. Vostok Europe don’t use the traditional Vostok-base movements, but rather calibers from brands such as Seiko. I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with that, but for those wanting a more pure Russian watch experience, there are some better choices. Then again, aside from novelty, I don’t know how awesome it is to own a Soviet-era mechanical watch movement. Having said that, some of them are known for being built like a tank and equally as ugly.

Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews
Image by Beau Hudspeth for aBlogtoRead.com

A couple of years ago Vostok Europe came out with the Anchar. The name harkens to the fastest submarine ever built, and yes it was Russian. Despite the removed nature of Vostok Europe’s relationship with actual Russian watches, the brand is still very much thematically connected to mother Russia. To be frank, I wouldn’t wear most of the Vostok Europe watches even though I like their designs. Does that sound strange? However, a few of their watches really speak to me. The Anchar is one of them. Since the collection’s launch I was curious about the piece, and later getting it on the wrist, I am not disappointed. Also, the Anchar comes in a lot of styles, this piece is the reference 5105143 with a mostly black dial and bezel with gold-toned accents.

Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews
Image by Beau Hudspeth for aBlogtoRead.com
Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews
Image by Beau Hudspeth for aBlogtoRead.com

What do I really like about the Anchar? Two things really. The design and the feature set. But having both of those things together makes for a really interesting watch. It isn’t the best piece ever made for sure, even at this price range. However, the unique and well-conceived design make it worth your attention. The Vostok Europe Anchar is a big watch. Not too large for me, but for some people the 48mm wide case size will be overwhelming. The case is in sandblasted steel and it looks a bit like titanium due to the finish. The edges are soft, but the case still retains a tool-like persona. At 150 grams it isn’t incredibly heavy either.

Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The wide case and tall bezel create a sort of valley for the dial. When looking down at the watch you see three sections that all visually work together and share a special instrument style that is really at the heart of the piece’s theme. The first ring is the bezel, then you have the flange ring, and finally the dial itself. While each section is rather distinct, they work together nicely. There is a nice balance to the elements here that has just the right amount of visual interest and open space for legibility. I have the same praise for the hands which are unique looking and legible – especially that cool looking “arrow” hour hand.

Another benefit located on the dial is use of Tritium gas tubes for darkness illumination. There are tubes on the flange ring for the hour markers and tubes on the hands. The layout of the hour hand tubes makes it easy to tell the hands apart in the dark – which I really like. Plus, taking the hour marker tubes off the main dial allows them not to interfere with the hands.

Vostok Europe makes the Anchar relatively durable with the case being water resistant to 300 meters. That and some other features such as the rotating diver’s bezel help make it a true dive watch. However, I believe the piece doesn’t have a sapphire crystal. But the mineral crystal it uses does have AR coating on it. On the rear of the case is an engraving of the Anchar submarine – which was designed in the 1960s.

Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews
Image by Beau Hudspeth for aBlogtoRead.com

On the wrist the Anchar feels good. The crown is placed at 2 o’clock to keep out of your hand and you’ll notice the torx style screws in the lugs, and a mimic of that look in the crown – which was an interesting design touch. This model has a silicone strap, but leather strap versions are available as well. Overall comfort is high if you are OK with the size of the watch. There are actually a few models in PVD black cases which might make the size signature feel smaller.

Inside the watch is a Japanese Seiko automatic movement. Vostok Europe uses the Caliber NH25A from Seiko Instruments. This movement is rather durable and hardy, and includes the date. However, it isn’t the most accurate movement around a lot of the time. Seiko themselves rate the movement as being off by as much as 30 seconds a day. This is usually a liberal estimate, but even at 15 seconds a day accuracy you’ll still need to reset the time once a week or so. Also, the Seiko NH25A doesn’t manually wind (only via the rotor), which can be annoying. I think the Anchar would be much improved with a higher-grade Japanese movement inside of it. I think it would be an appreciated upgrade by the watch lover community for Vostok Europe to consider.

Accompanying the watch is a nice kit with the extra straps and changing tool. It all comes in a Pelikan-style waterproof case. The case is cool, but I still don’t understand why a diving watch needs to come in a water resistant case. Wouldn’t those be best for watches you don’t really want to get wet? The Anchar is actually a limited edition – with this piece being produced in a batch of 1000 pieces. Price via Vostok Europe’s website for this version of the Anchar watch is 419 Euros (about $545 US dollars)

19 comments
jkizzle
jkizzle

Great review! The movement bothers me a bit, but I love love love the design and the build quality seems worth the money. I'm in the market for a dive watch in this price range, but I think for the money Halios is going to be the one

vytas
vytas

The case is for extreme weather and environment traveling, to put inside your mobile phone, wallet. And if you don't understand for what it is made, don't tell others so stupid things that the waterproof box is for waterproof watch. Loser

watchkeeper125
watchkeeper125

ummm started loving watches seeing the beauty of them more then i was previously loving them.really getting involved with the articles."Watch Repair Zone"www.watchrepairzone.com

PhilMaurer
PhilMaurer

Oddly I got an email from amazon today saying these are one sale...

Apdl
Apdl

Great review Ariel

Where is that lume shot you are talking about and WHERE IS EPISODE 117

Henry Miller
Henry Miller

Dah! Is best Soviet technologies for modern watch design. Many good models for choice. Web site have fast look at famous Soviet technologies for naming of watches. Is good lesson.

I think maybe good Chinese movement would improve over Japanese one which is now used.You no pay in rubles. Now is Euros! Very good prices.

СПАСИБО - (Spa see' bah).

aBlogtoRead
aBlogtoRead

@orologidiclasse yea, it is a really cool piece.

Ovidiu Hretcanu
Ovidiu Hretcanu

I don't know how long have you waited Ariel, but surely know I've waited a lot to see you reviewing this watch (or any Vortok Europe for that matter). Thank you!

The NH25 Seyko movment not only that does not have hand-windind but unfortunately it is non-hacking too.

Also, I've heard that the pelican case it came with, is 1atm water resistant... how cool is that!

Ovidiu Hretcanu
Ovidiu Hretcanu

Thank you Ariel! I was waiting for a Vostok-Europe watch review for soo long.

vmarks
vmarks

I like watches that come in cool cases. I have an MKII that came in a pelican style box, even though Bill Yao tests the pressure before they leave him. 

How you package a product shows how much respect you have for your product.*  Yes, there are great presentation boxes for non-tool, non-diver watches, but using a rugged case as packaging for a rugged watch makes good sense to me. 

* Yes, I know this means that more money is spent on packaging, which can mean less money is spent on the product itself - life is full of contradictions.

Tekky
Tekky

When reviewing a Tritium-equipped watch, you really should include some night (or dark) shots.  Tritium is a significant feature.  Since I almost always wear cuffs, and then spend a lot of business and family time at pubs, restaurants, theatre, etc., tritium is a must-have; SuperLuminova doesn't stay lit long enough even when charged, and it doesn't get charged under shirt-cuffs.  Hence I have more tritium analog watches than I do diver watches.

cluedog12
cluedog12

Interesting piece, but the lume on the cool hour hand would be a bit tougher to read in the dark. One thing to remember with Limited Editions is that the designation doesn't mean much in most cases as manufacturers will set the edition size to ensure there are enough pieces made to satisfy demand.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I enjoy the case finishing, the handset, and all the different levels of detail, from the bezel to the rehaut to the dial. But overall I'm not that interested here. Meh.

Funny that it uses a mineral crystal. Round sapphires are abundant on watches much less expensive than this.

whythehack
whythehack

This model is a HUGE difference from the other Vostoks in design..... its just a class apart...... also, im not sure if you missed out, but when the seconds hand points to the 12 O'clock position, it looks like an anchor.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@PhilMaurer  

$759 on Amazon for the model reviewed here. Others are $652 and $572.  Loos like direct from Vostok Europe may be cheaper but I expect there will be also shipping and customs duty that way.

Beau Hudspeth
Beau Hudspeth

@Tekky I sent one to Mr. Adams along with the images above though I'm not sure where it has 'gotton off to'. :)

nateb123
nateb123

@PhilMaurer @Ovidiu Hretcanu More relevantly, it's 1 atmosphere.  As in it can take the weight of one earth atmosphere.  Literally everything that is not rubble is 1 atm lol.