The Vostok Watch Makers company was founded in 1942 when one of the Moscow watch-making plants of the First Moscow Watch Factory was evacuated to Chistopol, a small town located on the Kama River in Tatarstan. Only defence equipment was produced during the war years, but as soon as the war was over the company started making mechanical wrist watches. However, the company did not begin using the "Vostok" brand name until the 1960s. Presumably, the "Vostok" brand was named after the Vostok space programme, as were some other soviet watch brands, namely Poljot and Raketa.
The Vostok diving watch Amphibia
The company was appointed an official supplier of watches for the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union in 1965. This year also marks the creation of the well known Komandirskie ("Commander's") watch. The experience gained through development of the army watch led to the Amphibia, a stainless-steel diving watch able to withstand a 200-metre depth (20atm). By 1980, Vostok Watch Makers was producing 4.5 million timepieces per year.
Watches sold to the military were marked "ЗАКАЗ МО СССР", meaning "Ordered by the Ministry of Defence of the USSR". These models were sold exclusively through Voentorg stores, which catered to military personnel with identification only. Today, these models have become sought-after collectibles.
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