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Other Watchy Bits: The Vostok Amphibia

Talk about a tool watch. In 1967, the first Amphibias rolled out of Chistopol in the Soviet Union. Chief designers, Mikhail Fedorovich Novikov and Vera Fedorovna Belova, had been charged with the task of producing a watch for the Soviet military that could withstand the pressure and temperatures of 20 atmos. But isolated from the West, the duo had to start from scratch. They did not have access to the same technologies at the disposal of more advanced Swiss watchmakers.

Off the Cuff: The Combat Issue G10 NATO from SeaPro

Today, NATOs come in a variety of forms, loosely fashioned around the original model. One such variation is the Combat Issue G10 NATO from SWC/MILSPEC (SeaPro©). Like all NATOs, SeaPro’s G10 is of one-piece construction, measuring 280mm. Unlike many NATO straps, though, the G10 is a single pass strap, eschewing the smaller second flap which normally passes under the watch and through which the longer end passes. This more common design uses a stainless-steel strap retainer to limit the movement of the watch as it sits on the wrist. However, it is a just as common a habit among watch enthusiasts to remove this second flap altogether. SeaPro G10 beats you to it.

Off the Cuff: ZENEA Ula Diver

The Ula Diver comes in a nicely sized 41mm case that tapers to 20mm at the bracelet. There is a fine polished chamfering along the outside of the gently sloping lugs that divides the brushed surfaces on top from the polished sides. The coin-edge bezel extends just beyond the case on either edge and there are faceted crown protectors on the right. The bezel insert is lumed sapphire and colour-matched to the dial.

Off the Cuff: Vanbanner LEA

The LEA is essentially a field watch (a lea is a field or grassy pasture) with dive watch specs. Its sandwich layering with its large Arabic numerals, coupled with its broad outer chapter ring designating the minutes, make for a highly legible, practical dial. It also uses a healthy dose of both C3 and BGW9 Super-Luminova on its sword hands, markers, and bezel. The 120-click, ratcheting bezel, in conjunction with the aforementioned chapter ring, also provide a functional dive calculator. In fact, the watch is equipped with a screwed-down crown and provides an impressive 300m of water resistance. Thus, as far as field watches go, it has chops.

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