Orient is Japan’s largest producer of mechanical watches. Orient designs and produces their movements in-house. This movement design and production style is truly rare in the watch industry and sets Orient apart from a vast number of watch companies. Orient was recently acquired by Seiko, but runs as an independent subsidiary. Orient has recently expanded into the United States with offerings from a number of their lines (Orient Authorized Dealer). Orient names their watches with a letter and number combination. However, some of their models have been given a proper name by the watch community. The Orient CEM65001B has been given the name “Mako” and it has stuck (explanation of what these letters/number combos mean). Now one of Orient’s authorized dealers even puts that name on their website. Now, with that short introduction, let’s get on with the review.
Case and Crystal
At 41.1mm without and 45.6mm with crown, the Orient Mako will fit almost any size wrist comfortably without being too small or big. The case is stainless steel with brushed uppers with polished sides, crown, and pusher. The crown is at the traditional 3 o’clock position and is smartly protected by the case. The crown adjusts the time and date, but there is a separate pusher that controls the day complication. Both the crown and the pusher for the day screw down, making this watch ready for diving. The crown and pusher screw down very smartly and give you a solid feel with smooth threads. With 200m water resist, this is considered a dive watch. The bezel is 60-click uni-directional. The bezel arrives rather stiff, however in a later post, I will explain how to adjust this so it rotates more easily. There are minute markers on the bezel from “0″ to “10.” The bezel has a beautiful black shine to it and the numbers and minute markers are in silver. The bezel’s edge is of the coin edge variety with slightly bigger indentions every 10 minutes on the 5′s (e.g. at 5, 15, 25, etc there is a larger indention in the outside of the bezel). This design makes the bezel easy to grip in any condition. The lugs curve downward to hug the wrist and this does a great job in keeping this watch centered on the wrist. The lugs do not extend far from the case. The lug-to-lug measurement is 47.1mm, which is a great size for smaller wrists and not too small for larger wrists. I think Orient really hit a home run with the size of this case.
The crystal is a flat mineral crystal that sticks up above the bezel by about 0.5mm. It has no AR coating and no date magnifier.
Dial and Hands
The dial is listed as black, but is actually a dark gray, which appears black in most lights, but in direct sunlight or other bright lights you can tell it’s actually a dark gray. The dial has cutouts for day and date. There are applied numerals at “12″ “6″ and “9.” Other markers are applied stick markers that come to a point at the end. All the numerals and markers are filled with luminous material that does a great job keeping bright throughout the night. The hour and minute hands are sword style with luminous material. The seconds hand has a red tip, pointer style. The second hand has no luminous material and is a flaw, in my opinion. The second hand could easily be coated on the end with luminous material for easy night viewing or deep water viewing. There is a chapter ring that has a dash for every minute, which is a nice touch as it moves these hash marks from the dial and gives the dial a little cleaner look than being directly on the dial. This also gives the dial a larger feel because the chapter ring is black to match the black dial, making the whole thing look continuous. Orient’s logo, name, and “Automatic” are top center with “Water Resist” and “200m” at center bottom. For me, this is the right amount of text on a dial, not too much, but still gives all the important details. Overall the dial and hands give this watch a traditional diver’s utilitarian feeling with excellent legibility.
The Orient Mako comes with either stainless steel bracelet or rubber dive strap. I recommend going with the stainless steel bracelet and will focus this review on the bracelet, not strap. The bracelet is an Oyster style bracelet with hollow end links and push-button with safety fold clasp. The end links do not extend the lug length any and the bracelet can fall directly down from the spring bar. This makes the bracelet very comfortable in daily wear. The links themselves are solid stainless steel with pin style connectors, not screws. The pin style is common and has performed well. The bracelet is oyster style with 3 links across. The bracelet is brushed stainless steel on the top and bottom, but has polished sides. The polished sides match the polished sides of the case itself and goes very well with one another. This continuation of the brushed top and polish side gives the Mako a more refined dive look. The clasp is stamped with Orient’s name and Logo and has 3 micro-adjust. The micro-adjust total adjustment is shorter than 1 link, so there could be a sizing issue with finding the exact size for your wrist. Overall the bracelet is a solid performer and feels thick and solid. The lack of another micro-adjust hole in the clasp bothers me, but won’t bother most people. I’m directly between adding 1 link and being on the smallest microadjust and removing 1 link and being on the largest microadjust hole. This problem occurs because the micro-adjust don’t adjust the length of one link and will rarely be a problem for people, even though it is for me. I should note, the bracelet does not have a diver’s extension.
Movement and Accuracy
Orient uses their Caliber 46943 in the Mako. This is a robust movement that beats at 21,600 bph. It has a quarter-section rotor that winds the automatic movement bi-directionally (the rotor winds the movement when it swing clockwise and when it swings counterclockwise). The quarter section rotor is not very common in mechanical watches, with the typical being a half section rotor. The rotor size means that the Mako’s rotor is lightweight and easy to move and winds the system very efficiently. I have tested 3 Makos and the accuracy ranges: -7 sec/day, -2 sec/day, +0.5 sec/day. All of these are from the factory accuracy, without regulation at all. They are good numbers, except I would like to see the -7 sec/day be a bit better. However, -2 and +0.5 are incredible for this class of watch. This is well within COSC specs, although I should be clear that the Mako is not a COSC certified watch. The movement is held in place with a metal movement ring and is truly built to last. The movement does not hack or hand wind, which I find annoying, but really is more of an inconvenience than a flaw. However, those of you that like to set their watches to the second to atomic clock time would be annoyed with the lack of hacking.
The Orient Mako is a solid watch that exudes quality from the moment you pick it up. There are a couple flaws, namely the bezel is hard to turn from the factory and the bracelet lacks the proper amount of microadjust. The lack of hacking and hand-winding will be considered by some a flaw, but these are movement design choices made by Orient and are not flaws. My Makos have been in salt water, fresh water, swimming, boating, etc and have held up perfectly. I would like for Orient to put a sapphire crystal on this watch, but I know that would increase the price out of the ultra-affordable range into the affordable range and they would lose some customers. At $190 new and with frequent discounts putting this watch around the $100 level, anyone would be very hard pressed to find a better 200m rated dive watch, or any type of watch, that compares to the quality of the Orient Mako.
|Power Reserve:||Approximately 40 Hours|
|Movement:||Orient Caliber 46943|
|Clasp:||Fold-over with Double Push Button Safety|
|Case Material:||Stainless Steel|
|Bezel Material:||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material:||Stainless Steel|
Some other colors: