As a seasoned watchmaker with decades of experience in the field, I’ve found out that buying watches in the mid-price range can be the most challenging.
This is because, in this price range, you tend to get a vast selection of brands to choose from – with quality varying drastically between the brands, but not too much difference in the prices.
The expensive models of some of the low-end brands along with the low-end models of the legendary Swiss brands fall in this price bracket. However, the quality of the timepieces can be astonishingly different even if it’s a $50 difference in their prices.
This is why it is vital for anyone looking to buy a watch in the sub-$1000 price range to choose their products only after they have thoroughly learned about the brand they are going for.
So in case you’re looking for a good quality, affordable timepiece – Orient is a great mid-range brand which I highly recommend taking a look at!
In order to help you get a better understanding of the brand, I’ve reviewed a few of their most popular range of watches.
Orient Watches Reviews 2019 – A Brief Overview
Established in the year 1950, Orient is a Japanese manufacturer of premium watches with a solid reputation for producing high-quality mechanical watches at astonishingly affordable prices.
Although Orient is well-known as a maker of self-winding and hand-winding mechanical watches, they also produce some pretty good quality quartz and solar-powered models.
At present, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Seiko Group, but still produces all of their movements in-house in Japan.
Apart from their superior quality movements, Orient is also known for their classy and sophisticated designs that come with a fantastic balance of formality and playfulness.
Being in the industry for nearly seven decades, their collection is pretty extensive, with a broad range of designs to choose from!
Orient has always been one of my favorite mid-range brands ever since the first timepiece by the brand was gifted to me by a friend. At present, I have five watches by Orient in my collection, and I’ve also had the chance to get an in-depth look into several other models by the brand.
Orient Bambino Review
When it comes to budget dress watches, it’s hard to beat the value-for-money that Orient’s Bambino Collection offers.
With simple and classy designs, the Bambino Collection by Orient is undoubtedly one of the best mechanical movement watches that you could get yourself on a budget. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Bambino Collection and I have recently added the Bambino V5 (Gold and White) to my collection.
The Bambino V5 is the fifth iteration of the original Bambino Series by Orient, and from the looks of it, it just might be the best so far!
Similar to the previous versions, the Bambino V5 features a 40.5mm by 12mm thick case, which I believe is just the right size for a dress watch. It also comes with a domed crystal and dial and is available in three different color combinations.
This model also features glossy Arabic numerals along with hands that are just as shiny. The domed mineral crystal featured on the case also looks stunning with the polished finish contrasting nicely with the matte brush of the case sides.
The dial of the watch also features a sunburst effect which imparts a nice shine to it, allowing the dial to illuminate fully in the light. Overall, the design is exceptionally gorgeous, and is bound to catch quite a few eyes!
Orient Star Watch Review
The Orient Star Collection is, in my opinion, their best collection – featuring some of the most sophisticated watches you can get in this price range.
The Star Collection by Orient is priced slightly higher as compared to their other collections and integrates some of the most high-tech features and movements in the designs of these timepieces.
I already had a watch from the Orient Star collection in my possession, but for the purpose of this review, I decided to get myself the Orient Star Classic (Silver and White). It is one of their most popular models thanks to a versatile design which will allow you to wear it to almost all kinds of events – formal or casual.
The Orient Star Classic features a sunburst dial alongside a domed crystal for that shiny, sophisticated look. It also comes with dauphine hands and polished hour markers that contrast nicely against the white dial, which makes it pretty easy to tell the time in all kinds of lighting situations.
The case size is a decent 38.5mm by 13.1mm, and comes with a domed crystal and onion crown for vintage and classy look which you can rock in pretty much all types of events.
Orient Mako II Review
The Orient Mako II is undoubtedly the most popular watch in Orient’s Sports Collection, and it also happens to be one of my personal favorites in the sub-$500 price range.
This model by the brand features a 41.5mm by 13mm stainless steel case and comes with polished sides, crown and the pusher. It is one of the most robust casual diver watches by the brand with a design that is bound to impress at first glance!
Orient Ray II Review
When it comes to the field of accessories for extreme water sports such as kayaking and scuba diving, the Orient Ray II outperforms almost all of its competitors.
The dial of these watches (which is my most favorite part) has an amazing reflective starburst patterned background. This makes the watch easy to read when deep under water. And along with the minimal text and framed feature windows, they will help you get a clear picture of dive time whenever you want.
The “scalloped-edge unidirectional diver’s bezel” is quite thin in design. It is designed with a round luminescent pip at the 12 o’clock mark and holds its position really well even under a lot of deep water atmospheric pressure.
It might give a slight wiggle when excessively forced, but assumes its rightful position afterwards.
Orient Mako XL Review
When it comes to design, the Orient Mako XL has one of the cleanest there is. It is simple yet elegant, and has just the perfect amount of marks and texts on its dial.
These watches have a bezel rotation which is quite firm and is made of much higher-quality than the standard bezels that are found in the market.
However, since the bezel is marked 60 instead of the usual triangle, this layout might just disorient you at first. But you will get used to it soon enough.
Additionally, the hands and dial marking are provided with a very sharp look. But the lume disappoints me a bit; it’s not as bright and fades rather quickly.
If a mid-range, high-quality and attractive mechanical watch is what you’re looking for, Orient is the brand for you.
In my experience of dealing with dozens of different mid-range brands, the bang-for-buck that Orient’s timepieces provide is definitely unmatched. Besides, they are one of the few affordable brands that actually produce their movements in-house.
Overall, a great value-for-money brand – highly recommended!