When I reviewed the Vostok Komandirskie 24 Hours, I talked about how much character you get from Vostok watches for such little money. Based on that experience, I recently purchased a Vostok Amphibian 170963, a.k.a. the brown "Pamphibian."
Despite most models being readily available, Pamphibians have been quite difficult to find recently, and it was about double the price of the 24hr. I was also hesitant to buy another Russian watch based on recent events, but I found a seller located in the US. Is it still worth the money for something that has the same build quality and quirks of other Vostok watches? Keep reading to find out.
The Pamphibian's nickname stems from its dial. It features a sandwich construction with round, open numerals obviously inspired by a Panerai.
The style works well with the Amphbian case design, and I found it quite cool.
I addition to the cool sandwich construction, I was happy that I chose the brown dial version of the Pamphibain. In low or flat light, it takes on an aged, tropical look that works very well with the rest of the watch, especially when distorted by its highly boxed acrylic crystal.
I bright sunlight, and striking sunburst pattern reveals itself, making it extra interesting to look at.
The case itself is fully brushed, with finishing that was obviously done for cost cutting.
It features the same unorthodox construction as the 24hr with its separate ring to secure the caseback. I recommend reading more about it in the previous article.
The polished bezel looks attractive and interestingly rotates. As with other Vostok watches, it freely spins.
The rectangular hands are finished in a gold tone that works well with the brown dial.
Wearing the Pamphibian
The Pamphibian wears large for a 41mm watch. It is rather thick, and 22mm lugs with a broad design make it visually wide.
It's also not a watch that hugs the wrist due to its thick caseback. It is still smaller than most Panerais, however, and is still quite wearable.
The large numerals and distinct hour and minute hand designs give it good legibility.
Additionally, the lume is quite good for an inexpensive watch. I was able to confirm that it glows well throughout the night. Note, however that the white seconds hand is not lumed.
This version of the Amphibian came on an alligator pattern leather strap in a brown color similar to the dial. It features a signed pin buckle.
I've tried it on a number of different brown rubber StrapHabit straps, but my favorite so far has been a tan Distressed Canvas strap. Keep reading at the end of the article to see and shop for more looks for the Pamphibian.
The Vostok caliber 2415.01 sits inside the Pamphibian, which is the 12-hour, no-date version of this Vostok in-house movement series. It operates at an odd 19,800 vph (5.5 beats per second). Its jewels equal its hours of power reserve at 31. It features hand-winding, but not hacking.
As I've own a few other Vostoks before, I was not shocked by its wobbly crown. Although it feels pretty cheap at first, it's effective and should theoretically protect the movement.
With the Vostok Pamphibain coming it at around $200, there are definitely better watches out there for the money. The Vostoks that I've owned in the past were both around $100. With the Pamphibain, you're mainly paying extra for the looks, sandwich dial better better lume, and limited availability.
Even if the movement and build quality are nothing special, I do find this watch very cool looking and fun to wear. To me, it was worth the extra cost.
Name: Vostok Amphibian Classic with Auto-Self Winding
Reference Number: 170963
Lug Width: 22mm
Movement: Vostok 2415.00
Power Reserve: 31 hours
Water Resistance: 200m
Bezel: Smooth (spins bi-directionally with friction)
Strap: Brown leather with alligator pattern
Shop Other Straps for the Vostok Amphibian Classic 170963 Brown Pamphibian: