8 reasons why you should own an Orient watch
November 29, 2018
Orient Watch as a company have started to make watches in Japan around 1950 and have been around for more than half a century ever since. It is now under the brand name of Seiko Epson and they have been producing excellent watches to date.
What I significantly love about Orient is that you can never go wrong with any of their popular models. In fact, I consider them the perfect entry-level mechanical watch for anyone who is wanting to try owning mechanical watches for the first time. Orient has been successful in being the “gateway drug” into the whole automatic watch addiction world.
But what makes Orient a good watch to own? What sets them apart from their competition and target market? I have compiled the top 8 reasons why Orient is also a good watch to own if you are into mechanical watches or looking for an affordable automatic watch.
1. Japanese Quality and Craftsmanship
Its no secret that Japanese made products are known to have high quality and excellent craftsmanship. From electronics to automobiles, these end products are made to last and provide its owners years of service.
The same attribute can be said of Orient watches. Orient solely designs, builds, and manufactures the entire watch basing from their Japanese quality and standards. As per Orient, their company is dedicated to precision in everything that they do which is a great testament to hear especially if you want to buy a mechanical watch from them.
At the end of the day, you would want a company that takes quality and craftsmanship to heart in the way they make watches because this will ensure that you will have years of reliable service from their timepiece. After all, you may want to start a tradition (if you haven’t yet) of passing down mechanical/automatic watches within your family and Orient watches are good ideal watches to do that for you.
2. Horology Heritage
When it comes to choosing and buying an automatic or mechanical watch, horology heritage is a main contributing factor especially if you are looking into the affordable brands. I have talked about this in an earlier article (“How to win the watch game on a tight budget in 3 steps”).
Orient is a great example of a watch manufacturer that has heritage behind their brand name. The Orient Watch company started its operations back in 1950 in Tokyo, Japan. But its founder, Shogoro Yoshida, was already selling watches in 1901. Yoshida then expanded his business in 1912 to produce gold wristwatch cases and by 1920, Yoshida established Toyo Tokei Manufacturing to produce table clocks and gauges. By 1934, Toyo Tokei began manufacturing wrist watches.
Yoshida’s Toyo Tokei company was enjoying great success not until World War II and they decided to shut down the company in 1949 due to poor Japanese economy. Yoshida’s watch manufacturing resumed shortly in 1950 under the company name Tama Keiki Company and by 1951, they decided to change its name to Orient Watch Co. Ltd.
From this, we know that Orient Watch has really focused and dedicated their business in producing timepieces ever since and that dictates heritage in horology.
3. Reliable Time Keeping
Now, I say this because of my personal experience owning and relying on my Orient Ray’s and Bambino’s time keeping functionality. Both my Orient Ray and Bambino gains about between +6 and +7 seconds a day.
For the price I paid for these mechanical watches, these are pretty decent accuracy in its time keeping. It is actually quite close to the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) standards of -4/+6 seconds a day.
But then again, all mechanical watches may differ in specs and time keeping accuracy. You would just need to make sure that you know how to properly take care of your watch and know the signs on when to send a watch for service as referenced in an earlier article I published (“The Complete “How-To’s” of Automatic Watches”).
4. Economical and Affordable
Orient watches are notoriously known to be very affordable and economical to potential buyers and owners. If you haven’t known that yet, then you will be surprised to how many mechanical Orient watches you can buy compared to one mid-level Swiss mechanical watch.
Orient is also known to be one of the “gateway drugs” into the addiction of affordable automatic watches together with the usually suspects from Seiko like the Seiko SKX series and Sea Urchin. Those who want to start and experiment with automatic watches can easily afford Orients because of its economical price tag.
But in general, especially the entry level models of Orient like the Bambino, Ray, and Mako, these watches can be found between $100 - $300. At those prices, you would not have to break the bank and at the same time, have a feel of what is it to own a mechanical timepiece.
5. Caters to Many Markets and Budgets
Quite similar to what Seiko has done with their models and lineup, Orient has also created different models and lineup to suit every budget for everyone. I think this is the right move in order to attract potential owners at all walks of life and capture the maximum amount of its target markets.
From Orient (entry-level), Orient Star (mid-level), and Royal Orient (high-end but discontinued since 2016), Orient has attracted a global following and standard for affordable mechanical timepieces. I already have a personal liking with Orient’s entry level lineup but what I am setting my eyes next is at the mid-level Orient Star lineup because of its ideal strike on design, functionality, and affordability.
Personally, I haven’t held or used any Royal Orient model but from what I have heard and read, it would be quite similar to Seiko’s Grand Seiko lineup. But since it is now discontinued, future Orient owners may have to settle with their mid-level Orient Star which is already possess’ a lot of great models for the money.
6. Use of In-House Movements
Orient Watch is proud to manufacture and produce mechanical movements in-house. Similar to Seiko, Orient watch gets a nod from watch snobs because they are considered to be pure and real watch makers for building movements in house.
One of Orient’s popular in-house calibers (Cal. 46 series) has been housed in popular entry-level models like the Mako I and Ray I for many years. These entry-level movements are tough as nails if properly maintained and that speaks volumes on the quality of movement produced in house by Orient.
Today, Orient has obviously upgraded the Cal. 46 series into the newer Cal. F6 series and added more functions like hacking and hand winding and that is a clear indication that Orient is continuously upgrading their designs and caliber functionalities and that is a win for end-consumer like us.
7. Innovative and Creative in Designs
One of the factors why Orient was known in the world stage is at the heart of its innovative designs and creativity in manufacturing watches. Orient certainly likes to be unique and identifiable in some of their designs which makes some buyers attracted and eventually buy their watches.
Now under the Seiko Epson group (since 2007), Orient continues to produce unique watches that I guess Seiko would rather shy away from. Models like the Multi-Year Calendar Rainbow Dial (ER2L003B) pictured above, strikes unusual colorful designs but still attract buyers and a following.
The unique and innovative watch design niche is what makes Orient Watch still relevant and desired by a lot of affordable watch fans.
8. More Features/Complication for its Price
Probably one of the best things about Orient Watch is its ability to provide features and complications on their watches that should not be there at its current price range. Imagine featuring an automatic movement, open heart, day and night indicator in an affordable dress watch at sub $300 price range; touches only Orient Watch can provide its buyers.
An example of this specimen is Orient’s popular Sun and Moon Open Heart dress watch in which I reviewed earlier.
Orient also likes to provide Power Indicators, Multi-Year Calendars, and GMT’s at a fraction of what the giant Swiss manufacturers ask for them in their watches.
Make no mistake, Orient will be here for years to come and continue to surprise both its lovers and haters of what they can provide in their watches at the price range they are being offered. So, have you got an Orient watch now? I guess its time to be part of Orient’s long list of believers.