With the Orient Mako celebrating its 10th birthday this week, we take a look back at its brief, brief history.
While there is no exact birthday date for the EM65 (or the “Mako”), the model was put into production in February-March of 2004. Due to the lead time of production, the first batch of Makos rolled out worldwide in the winter of 2004. It housed the famous 46943 movement that had been production since 1971 and which still is in production today. The Mako was originally offered in 8 styles and 3 dial colors: black, blue, orange and blue with a two-toned bezel (often called a ‘Pepsi’ bezel) on both an oyster styled bracelet with safety clasp and a long rubber diver’s strap. In 2009 however, a limited edition model in yellow was produced exclusively for the US market. From its initial release to today, the EM65 has been the top selling mid range watch (which sits between the Standard Line and Orient Star) from the brand, worldwide. It has also been the #1 selling Orient model in the US market.
So what’s behind the “Mako” name? This is also somewhat of a mystery. Puritime, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Orient Watch in the US, started distributing the premium line ( or mid range line) in 2006. A quick Watchuseek search shows that the term “Mako” was already being used in mid-2007. Legend has it that the “Mako” name came about on the forums and is based on the circular dolphin logo that appears on the rubber diver’s strap. A forum member pointed out that the dolphin actually looked like a shark, and thus it was christened as the Mako. It is also important to note that this was the event that perhaps started the nicknaming of Orient watch models.
Sure there have been similar models that have been released alongside the Mako (the Dolphin and the Ray ring a bell), but there always will be the Mako. And with a new EM65 model possibly in the works, the original Mako will forever be considered a classic.