Is Orient a Good Watch Brand? A Closer Look
Orient watches have been gaining more attention lately for their reputation of delivering quality mechanical timepieces at affordable prices. But are Orient watches really good when closely examined? In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at Orient as a watch brand to determine if they live up to expectations.
We’ll evaluate Orient’s history, watchmaking expertise, materials and construction quality, accuracy, design, and more. By reviewing all aspects of Orient watches, we aim to answer the question – is Orient actually a good watch brand for the money? By the end, you should have a better understanding of whether Orient is considered a good watch brand and if its watches live up to expectations.
Orient is a well-known Japanese watch brand with a rich history that dates back to 1901. The company was founded as the “Yoshida Watch Shop” by Shogoro Yoshida in the town of Ueno, Tokyo. Initially, it started as a small shop that sold imported pocket watches.
However, In the 1950s, they shifted their focus to wristwatches and changed the company name to Orient Watch Co. In 2009, Seiko Epson Corporation (now known as Seiko Group Corporation), a well-established Japanese watch company, acquired Orient Watch, further solidifying the brand’s position in the watch industry.
Over the decades, Orient has developed a reputation for making affordable yet high-quality mechanical watches. While they may not have the prestige and name recognition of Swiss watch brands like Rolex or Omega, Orient has quietly built up a loyal following among watch enthusiasts.
Orient emphasizes in-house production and watchmaking expertise. They produce their own movements rather than using off-the-shelf. The movements are designed and assembled in-house at Orient’s factories in Japan, demonstrating a high level of vertical integration. This gives Orient greater quality control compared to brands that source pre-made movements.
The level of finish on the movements is also impressive for the price, with details like decorated rotor bridges. This attention to detail in their movements shows Orient’s watchmaking capabilities.
The materials used in Orient watches match more expensive brands. Sapphire crystal, for example, is extremely scratch-resistant and found on most Orients. Solid stainless steel cases and bracelets give durability.
See-through case backs allow you to see the in-house movements. Hands, dials, and other components are attractively finished. The quality materials that go into Orient watches are remarkable considering their affordable prices.
Of course, the accuracy and precision of a watch matters. Orient mechanical watches achieve a high standard of timekeeping thanks to quality control testing. Each movement is fine-tuned and observed for accuracy in different positions.
The average precision for Orient mechanical watches is -15/+25 seconds per day, which may vary depending on the specific Caliber. And Most Orient watches offer approximately a 40-hour power reserve, which is ‘in our opinion’ sufficient for most people. However, it is important to note that the power reserve of the watch tends to decrease over time.
Stylish and Diverse Collections
In addition to technical merits, Orient watches are praised for their handsome, versatile styling. Design motif like multi-faceted indices give the watches character while sunburst dials and well-finished cases project a sense of luxury. Some of Orient’s most popular collections include:
– The Bambino Series – Known for its domed crystal and elegant dress watch styling.
– Mako II – A modern diving watch with 200m water resistance.
– Ray II – An affordable but rugged automatic dive watch.
– The open-heart Orient Star Contemporary line, offers a view into the movements.
Diverse collections range from classic dress watches to rugged dive watches with 200-meter water resistance. Straps and bracelets are also well-made with details like contrast stitching. Overall, Orients offer looks that belie their affordable prices.
When all these qualities are taken together, it’s clear that Orient watches represent excellent value. They offer impressive specifications at accessible price points. Orient’s typical retail prices range from around $100 to $1500.
Comparing Orients to Swiss and European brands costing several times more, the quality and features are comparable. You get in-house automatic movement, durable materials, attractive styling, and reliable timekeeping for just a few hundred dollars.
Some examples of popular models demonstrating the Orient’s value:
1. The Orient Ray II dive watch can be had for around $210 with an in-house automatic movement and 200m water resistance.
2. The Orient Bambino Version 6 retails for approximately $250 with a domed crystal, in-house movement, and dress watch styling.
3. Top-tier watches like the Orient Star Contemporary with an open heart design retail for around $600.
Downsides and Areas for Improvement
While Orient offers excellent quality and value, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:
– The bracelets and straps included with some entry-level Orient watches may feel a bit cheap and rattly. Upgrading to an aftermarket strap can help.
– As an affordable brand, you make some sacrifices in terms of luxury finishing and decorations compared to more expensive Swiss watches. The movements perform well but don’t have lavish adornments.
– The brand lacks prestige and name recognition like Seiko and Citizen among the general public. Enthusiasts appreciate Orient but it doesn’t have luxury cachet.
– Over a period of time, Orient watches do not retain their resale value as some other well-known Swiss brands’ watches.
While these factors shouldn’t deter most buyers, they are worth keeping in mind. But overall, these are minor tradeoffs considering the quality you get at Orient’s very reasonable price points. For shoppers wanting a mechanical watch on a budget, Orient remains a top choice that outshines many competitors.
Are Orient Watches Good? Our Verdict
Based on their decades-long history, in-house movements, quality components, and affordable prices, our verdict is clear: yes, Orient watches are good!
They may lack the prestige and name recognition of high-end Swiss brands. But for shoppers who want a solid mechanical watch without breaking the bank, Orient is hard to beat. Their combination of quality, value, and style makes them a compelling choice for an affordable automatic timepiece.
So if you’ve been wondering “Is Orient a good watch brand?” or “Are Orient watches good?”, we think the answer is a resounding yes! Orient delivers quality and value that punches far above its weight class. For watch lovers on a budget, Orient is definitely a brand worth considering.
FAQs – Answering Your Burning Questions
Orient and Seiko are both known for making excellent quality affordable watches. Orient focuses more on mechanical watches while Seiko produces quartz watches as well. But in terms of quality, Orient watches are comparable to Seiko’s timepieces.
With proper care and maintenance like cleaning and servicing, an Orient watch can potentially last decades. The mechanical movements are robust and designed for longevity when cared for.
No, Orient is not considered a luxury brand. They are positioned as an affordable mechanical watch brand. Orient does not have the prestige or brand recognition of luxury Swiss watchmakers.
Generally no, Orient watches do not tend to appreciate significantly in value over time. Their relatively affordable original prices limit their potential as an investment. Some rare vintage Orient models may be an exception.
Orient can be a good brand to collect for those focused on affordable, quality mechanical watches. Orient offers excellent value for money and has many fans. But the brand lacks the prestige and legacy of top Swiss brands preferred by serious collectors.