Vostok Banana vs. Omega Seamaster: A Comparison of Two Iconic Dive Watch Designs

The Vostok Banana, also known as the Vostok Amphibia “Banana,” is a Soviet dive watch that has captured the attention of collectors due to its distinctive design and fascinating history. This article provides a detailed comparison of this watch with the iconic Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana,” from which it draws inspiration.

Features of the Vostok Banana

Dial and Bezel:

  • The Vostok Banana features a yellow dial with black details. The 1990 Tento catalogue shows a black bakelite bezel, but many examples have a chrome bezel.
  • The hands are flat and filled with permanent-action phosphor for visibility.


  • The case is made of stainless steel, designed to withstand depths of up to 200 meters. It has a robust and durable shape typical of dive watches.


  • The Vostok uses the automatic 2409A movement, known for its reliability and simplicity. This movement is less sophisticated than those used in luxury watches but still offers good precision.

Value and History:

  • With reference 320228, the Vostok Banana was introduced in the 1990 Tento catalogue, following the Omega. It is appreciated for its unique design and historical value, representing an accessible entry into the world of vintage watches for collectors.
Russian watch Vostok Amphibia Banana
Vostok Amphibia Banana

Features of the Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana”

Dial and Bezel:

  • The Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana” is known for its yellow dial with a grey border and a two-tone red and black bezel. This bold design is a symbol of the experimental aesthetics of the 1970s.


  • The stainless steel case has a diameter of 41 mm and a screw-down case back, ensuring water resistance up to 200 meters. The robust construction is ideal for diving.


  • The Omega uses the automatic calibre 565, renowned for its precision and durability. It includes a date function and offers superior performance compared to simpler movements.

Value and History:

  • Introduced in 1972, the Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana” is highly sought after by collectors for its rarity and quality. Well-preserved examples can fetch high prices at auctions.

Direct Comparison

Design Quality and Materials:

  • The Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana” uses high-quality materials and finishes, with a sophisticated movement that justifies its high price. The Vostok Banana, while well-constructed, uses more economical materials, making it a more accessible option for collectors.

Movement and Precision:

  • The Omega calibre 565 offers greater precision and reliability compared to the Vostok 2409A movement, making the Omega preferable for those seeking superior performance.

Market Value:

  • The Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana” has a significantly higher market value due to its rarity and quality. The Vostok Banana is much more affordable but still appreciated for its design and history.

History and Iconicity:

  • Both watches have fascinating histories, but the Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana” is considered an icon of 1970s design. The Vostok Banana is seen as a Soviet homage to this legendary design, keeping the tradition alive with its variants.

The Luminous Paste Issue of the Vostok Banana

One common criticism of the Vostok Banana is the application of luminous paste on the dial. Often, the luminescence appears irregular and hand-applied, resulting in less than optimal results. This issue can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Material Quality: The chemical components used in the luminous paste may be of lower quality, leading to a less uniform application and reduced luminescence longevity.
  2. Hand Production: Many Vostok watches are hand-assembled, and the luminous paste is applied manually, causing significant variations in application quality.
  3. Quality Control: Tolerance in quality control can vary. Some examples show good luminescence application, while others may have obvious defects.
  4. Storage Conditions: Exposure to extreme storage conditions, such as excessive heat and cold, can deteriorate the luminous paste, reducing its effectiveness and stability over time.

Identifying Fake Vostok Banana Dials

There are several ways to identify fake Vostok Banana dials:

  1. Markings Print: Fake dials often have thicker, less defined markings. Fine, detailed printing is hard to replicate.
  2. Detail Alignment: Authentic dials have well-aligned details and lines. Fakes may show noticeable misalignments.
  3. Luminous Quality: On fake dials, the luminous paste application can be even more irregular and less uniform than on originals.
  4. Internal Movement: Checking the internal movement can be a good indicator. Fakes often do not use original Vostok movements.

Modern Versions and Special Editions of the Vostok Banana

Meranom offers modern and Special Edition versions of the Vostok Banana. These models feature improvements in material quality and finishes while retaining the iconic design:

  1. Special Edition (SE): SE versions include high-quality dials and custom stainless steel bezels. They use special variations of the 2409A movement and are sold exclusively on Meranom.
  2. Classic and SE Amphibia: These versions have better assembly quality and control, with dials free from visible defects and improved materials.

These modern editions keep the spirit of the original Vostok Banana alive while offering enhanced quality for today’s enthusiasts.

russian watch Vostok Amphibia Rising Banana
Vostok Amphibia SE Rising Banana


The Vostok Banana and the Omega Seamaster 200 “Banana” represent two distinct approaches to dive watch design. The Omega stands out for its superior quality and technical sophistication, making it a high-value collector’s piece. The Vostok, while less sophisticated, provides affordable access to the vintage charm and history of these iconic designs, making it a popular choice among Vostok Banana collectors.

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