Orient 2ER00001B vs. the Rolex Submariner: A Brand Duel

February 10th, 2010 Posted in Orient News | 52 Comments


We all know James Bond wasn’t wearing an Orient, but James Bond is also a fictional character, and we live in a real world. So it’s only fair to give a real comparison of these two aesthetically similar watches.

Today we’ll discuss:

The Orient 2ER00001B

The Orient 2ER00001B is part of Orient’s Diver Collection. It offers a simple design with many of the quality features of higher-end watches.

orient submariner

Let’s look at the good and the bad sides of this watch.

The Good

  • Approx. 40 hr Power Reserve
  • In-house movement
  • Stainless steel band and case
  • Rotating bezel
  • Date calender with magnifier
  • Screw down crown
  • $180 price tag

The Bad

  • Water resistance only 100m (swimming, snorkeling)
  • No automatic chronometer
  • Not worn by James Bond

Customers choose the 2ER00001B because it is, aesthetically, similar to the Rolex Submariner, and is a good quality time piece at a fraction of the cost. Sure, they’re very different watches beneath the surface; but depending on what you use your watch for, the 2ER00001B may be more valuable to you than the Submariner.

The Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is one of the classic Rolex watches. Customers have said that the Submariner is the “man’s watch” with its heavy, sturdy case and clean, simple appearance. Rolex Watches are considered status symbols, and few people can afford to enjoy their quality luxury.

rolex submariner

Here are the good and bad sides to the Submariner.

The Good

  • Approx. 50 hr Power Reserve
  • In-house movement
  • Stainless steel band and case
  • Automatic chronometer function
  • Date calendar with magnifier
  • Screw down crown
  • Sapphire crystal
  • 300m water resistance
  • The name

The Bad

  • Weak, lightweight band contrasts with the bulky case
  • $6,000 new

Customers have also noted that the Submariner is not for the everyday wearer. Like the Orient 2ER00001B, the Submariner is not the best choice for a suit and tie. However, it’s excellent for deep-sea diving or other outdoor and water activities.

It’s also bound to get you noticed, but perhaps too much notice for some.

If you have a cute dog or a tattoo, you probably get a lot of people saying things like, “Oh what a cute dog! Can all of my friends and I pet her? What’s her name? What breed is she? Where did you get her?” or “Oh Wow! Cool tattoo. What does it mean? Do you have any others? Will you show me them?”

A Rolex could lead to similarly irritating encounters or several 007 references, in which case you should brush up on the films and the world of Rolex, in general (or find a different watch).

The best watch for you

Though they have a similar appearance, the 2ER00001B and the Submariner attract different audiences; it’s important to consider which one is for you.

The 2ER00001B may be more attractive to people who like the look and quality of the Submariner, but who don’t have the extra cash to spend, don’t deep-sea dive or just find the extra features unnecessary.

orient sub 2

As with any Orient Watch, the 2ER00001B comes with a quality guarantee. The 2ER00001B would also be a good choice for people who are new to the watch world, and want to try out a few watches first. The price is right for anyone.

On the other hand, the Rolex Submariner is the choice for people who can afford it and who respect and appreciate the history of the big name. Some customers have noted that they just can’t handle wearing a Rolex because of its huge cultural image.

Whichever watch you choose, just be sure to buy real. Knock-off Rolex and Orient Watches are very common. Always buy from an authentic dealer, not a dealer in Chinatown.

So lastly, if you want a good quality, automatic watch, but you don’t have $6,000 to spend, don’t buy a fake Rolex, buy a real Orient.

Who will win this duel? Comment Below.

  1. 52 Comments | Comment and Win a Free Orient Watch

  2. By FernandoC on Feb 10, 2010

    Well put Marlee, not pretending that there could be a competition between these 2 watches. They just belong to different category both in use and precision/quality.

  3. By Steve Poorman on Feb 10, 2010

    I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a 2ER00001B. Its a good looking watch, would have liked it to have a deeper water resistance though.

  4. By Gary Walton on Feb 10, 2010

    I have read your postings the last few days and have to tell you I am very impressed with your work. I surely hope they are giving you high marks for your efforts. Your a very talented woman. I look forward to what you do next.

  5. By Steve Poorman on Feb 10, 2010

    I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a 2ER00001B. Its a good looking watch, would have liked it to have a deeper water resistance though.
    Ooops, should have mentioned great post! Can’t wait on the next one!

  6. By Dawn Shaw on Feb 11, 2010

    It appears to be a well made reasonably priced watch. It looks nice and the fact that it is waterproof is a big plus.

  7. By Rhonda on Feb 11, 2010

    I would take an Orient over the Rolex Submariner any day. I don’t understand the Bond reference. Bond wears an Omega Seamaster.

  8. By Steve Poorman on Feb 11, 2010

    Hey Rhonda, in the James Bond books James wears a Rolex Submariner. He also sports one in most of the older films (with Connery, Moore, Lazenby, and Dalton). A Seiko was featured in a few of them. Bond didn’t start wearing an Omega until the Brosnan/Craig era.

  9. By Mike on Feb 11, 2010

    If its not an Orient then its just a watch! High quality with an extremly affordable price tag. Who could ask for anything more.

  10. By Kevin on Feb 11, 2010

    Sean Connery wore the Rolex Submariner in Dr. No.

    With a water resistance of only 100m, I would not really consider the Orient a “Diver” watch.

  11. By Ken on Feb 11, 2010

    Bond did wear a Submariner by in the early movies, by production choice, until Omega came and offered them “reasons” to do otherwise. But in Fleming’s books, Bond started off wearing only an inexpensive metal watch that could double as a replaceable “knuckle-duster”, and only later graduated to an unspecified Rolex model. Fleming himself started wearing a Rolex Explorer at the same time as the Bond mention, which appears to be the source of what little description there is in the later books. After most of the books were written, Rolex came out with a military-Submariner (“MilSub”) that was worn by some members of the British Navy, adding to the Connery “Bond watch” image.

    Marlee, I think you confused “chronometer” (time-telling device) with “chronograph” (stopwatch) when you said the Orient didn’t have one and the Submariner did. So both the Orient and the Submariner are automatic chronometers, and neither has a chronograph function, automatic or otherwise.

    Without truly disposable assets, I’d certainly choose Orient. I like both the company and the M-Force I bought a couple years ago very much. And if I ever had to use it as a knuckle-duster, I could afford to replace it…Bond would be proud.

  12. By Tang L.T. on Feb 13, 2010

    its really a sturdy & reliable watch in terms of power reserve as compared to my seiko atlas. recently came out e sapphire crystal version, and i’ve bought one more jus to partner my previous non-sapphire crystal one…

  13. By Rosendo Figueras on Feb 15, 2010

    Clean comparison, Marlee. Furthermore, you should make a review about the Orient 300 meter watch. That is a very well crafted watch. I have one and is far beyond better than seikos, tag heuers and many others.

  14. By Greg Cygnor on Feb 17, 2010

    If ,money was no issue no question get the Rolex. But the Orient is an excellent watch and a good alternative to the Rolex if your bank account is a little light on the green.

  15. By Alain on Feb 18, 2010

    Hi Everybody,

    I try to find this lovely watch on Internet and its absolutely out of stock on all sites I could find…so, if somebody get a tip to find one, it will be welcome!!

    Best Regards,

    Alain (Belgium)

  16. By James Walley on Feb 18, 2010

    If you want a Rolex, and can afford a Rolex, you’re going to get a Rolex. Period. (And, by the way, who says the Rolex is “not the best choice for a suit and tie”…? I’ve seen many top business types wear that watch with their business suit, and never look out-of-place.)

    If you can’t afford a Rolex, the Citizen, along with the Invicta 8926, is a good alternative. But I might suggest an even bigger bang-for-your-buck diver: the Casio MDV-102 (the watch worn by Hugh Laurie’s main character in “House,” by the way). It can be had at around $50, is water-resistant to 200m, has a quartz movement that will be more accurate than either the Rolex or the Orient, and looks very similar to the Submariner. Granted, the resin strap is mediocre, but it can be easily replaced…and, hey, even 007 wore his Submariner with a “NATO” nylon strap.

  17. By Ignitron on Feb 20, 2010

    A watch is just like a car…the more you have to spend on it…the better quality you will get. This comparison here between these two time pieces is just ridiculous! It is like comparing a LADA Niva and a BMW X6…not even from the same planet!! So the next time you feel the need to compare two watches…do it with two cheap $180 watches or two fair priced $6,000 dollar time pieces. Just to let you know, I own a DeWITT watch that is more then $30,000 and the Rolex Deep Sea Dweller that is $9700. Cheers.

  18. By Pontus Bergdahl in Stockholm on May 30, 2010

    After ten years without a wrist watch I ordered a Orient 2ER00001B on Amazon.com. I am extremely happy with it – great looking with a solid, quality feel. Orient is not a prestige brand in Scandinavia, mostly known for alarm clocks, but what do I care – I am my own brand and don’t need to rub off multi-million glossy ad campaigns and celebrity testamonials.
    Including postage and import tax to Sweden it came to about $170, which is 1/30 of price of the Rolex in the article. How consumers can be persuaded to pay that premium for a brand is a mystery to me.

  19. By Federico on Jun 8, 2010

    Hello, I tell you that I have in my three spectacular watches, one is an Oyster Perpetual Date Just Rolex stainless steel and gold, a stainless steel TimeWalker Montblanc and 2ER00001B ORIENT.
    I can assure you that the ORIENT has nothing to envy to the above, really I realized that is a watch first. What it would be good is that they could register for power theft cases claimed by the serial number.
    Sorry if my English is not good.

    Greetings to everyone.

  20. By ted on Jul 2, 2010

    I received my Orient 2er00001b black dial over a year ago from Amazon and I love it. It is my favorite over several ETA movement watches I own … this watch does not gain or lose any time .. it is my most accurate watch! I wear it on either a Nato or a Hirsch Liberty. I removed the cyclops which makes it look just like a Rolex Sea Dweller. I have proudly worn it to several coat and tie events w/o regret.

  21. By Leandro on Jul 22, 2010

    One month ago I’ve recieved as a gift an Orient 2er Blue dial, and I have to say that I’m very pleased with it.

  22. By bjorn Van der Poel on Sep 9, 2010

    give me that watch

  23. By osvaldo on Sep 11, 2010

    Estoy satisfecho con las prestaciones de mi Oriente , en una epoca tuve Rolex.
    La diferencia para todos los dias o nadar no se notan practicamente.
    Nado aproximadamente en pisina 2500 mt y en el mar argentino unos 1000 mt , el Orient siempre se ha comportado satifactoriamente con 3 años de uso intensivo.
    La gran ventaja es que un servicio de mantenimiento de Orient deve ser mas economoco que de un Rolex, por este motivo lo vendi ademas por ser un factor de robo,

  24. By zoovido on Nov 12, 2010

    why do the blogger of this site, tell us not to buy orient at chinatown?

    i don’t think there are fake orient watch???

  25. By ApoJukay on Nov 18, 2010

    why telling us not to buy at chinatown?

    any replica of this watch?

  26. By tamuneneng on Nov 23, 2010

    how about sandoz watch? the rolex submariner look-a-like? is it better than orient? because it is swiss made and 25 jewel?

  27. By Charles on Dec 15, 2010

    i have worn many watches, i currently have a Omega seamaster, and would like to go back to having the basics. The Orient is a great basic watch but still has the looks, unfortunatly it has a low diving depth.

  28. By Djauhari Noor on Dec 27, 2010

    I like rolex submariner

  29. By Kristof on Dec 28, 2010

    Great looking watch. I own an orient Mako and couldnt be happier with the quality and compliments I get from it. I cant wait to buy one! No really I can’t wait… When do you expect to have more in stock?!

  30. By Djauhari Noor on Dec 30, 2010

    I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a 2ER00001B. Its a good looking watch, would have liked it to have a deeper water resistance though.

  31. By Karl Andersson on Jan 11, 2011

    Just looking at the two watches together it is so obvious that the Orient watch is nothing but a complete copy of the famous Submariner watch by Rolex. You can easily see it by just looking at the Orient case, bezel, dial, etc. Just another cheap copy trying to cash in on the Rolex brand.

  32. By Karl Andersson on Jan 11, 2011


  33. By Clarke Cunningham on Jan 13, 2011

    A 2ER00001B has been my daily watch for several years now. During that time, it has taken quite a beating, but has turned out to be the most reliable time piece I’ve ever owned! It’s no Rolex, but I certainly wouldn’t consider it a cheap copy.

  34. By Smaug on Feb 14, 2011

    I don’t think it is a ridiculous comparison at all. But I think a few things were left off, leaving it smelling more like an Orient promotion than a fair comparison.

    Not only is the depth rating superior on the Submariner, but also the fit & finish. The late model Submariners have better bracelets and clasps also. Not to mention smoother operating bezels and scratch-proof sapphire crystals. The date magnifier on the Rolex is also far superior to that of the Orient 2ER. The ability to manually wind the Rolex, and the fact that the movement hacks are worth pointing out. Most of these features can be attained in a watch that costs around $300. As of this writing, the last of the (now-discontinued) 2ERs are selling for $126.

    Here are some other points. The Orient’s winding rotor design is superior to Rolex’s, in my opinion. It rides on a ball bearing instead of a jeweled bushing. The jeweled bushing of the Rolex is quieter, but neglecting of service will eventually cause damage to the watch. This is probably no the case with the Orient.

    The lesser water resistance of the Orient has a by-product: lighter weight case. I would venture to say that VERY few Submariner owners dive deeply enough that the 300 m rating is never warranted. The lower depth rating of the Orient was attained by using a thinner case and crystal, and probably less beefy water seals as well. For most of us, most of the time, this is preferable. It fits under sleeves better and isn’t as heavy.

    The lesser quality bracelet of the Orient is no big issue if one intends to remove it and immediatly put it on a James Bond-style nylon NATO strap. ;)

    After all this, perhaps the best reason to buy an Orient 2ER is if you want a Submariner, but really want to find out if you like the design enough to scrape togther enough money for one. Maybe you’ll find you really like the design, but that the Orient fits the bill just fine? Or maybe it will only make you thirst more for the original? Or maybe you’ll find the design is too clunky and inelegant for your personal style. (Unless you’re name is James Bond, or you think you are, there are better choices of watch to wear with a suit. Better meaning classier. Just because a successful businessman “gets away with wearing it with a suit” that doesn’t mean it is the best or most fashionable choice.

  35. By Smaug on Feb 14, 2011

    Response to Ingitron, above:

    “The more you spend, the higher the quality” Not always.

    For instance, I would prefer a Toyota Camry as a reliable family car to a BMW 5 series any day. The Toyotas are more reliable, less expensive, and also less expensive to maintain.

    But this is beyond that. If the Orient is a Camry, then the Rolex is a Bentley.

    The difference is mainly in prestige and luxury and brand. I know, I have a Rolex Explorer. It certainly has a higher quality of finish, just as a Bentley does compared to a Camry. But does it run longer without service? No.

    The Rolex is capable of better accuracy, having been designed as a chronometer movement -2 to +5s per day is the spec. Just like the Bentley is quicker and faster and probably more comfortable than a Camry.

    But here is the real parallel. Let’s assume for the moment that the Bentley is the superior car. How much better is it than the Orient? Twice as good? Probably not, but let’s stick with that. It costs a LOT more than twice as much; just as a Rolex costs a LOT more than double the cost of an Orient. Diminishing returns and paying for a brand.

    It’s not a bad thing. It just is. Most of us will choose an Orient, Seiko, Invicta, Sandoz, Steinhart, etc. to the Rolex. Normal people just can’t afford to drop that kind of money on a watch, and if they can, it is once in a lifetime.

    I’m trying out this Orient to see how much I like the Submariner style. If I really, really like it, I will start saving up for a Submariner (no-date) and maybe I can get one 10 years from now if I’m really good about saving. ;) Then again, maybe not. Maybe they’ll keep increasing in price and always be out of reach?

  36. By Vladimir Kolesnikov on Feb 23, 2011

    Tool watch at good price

  37. By renato pestana on Apr 26, 2011

    i think i will be a proud owner 2E00001B. Considering the value for money advantage. I dont want to be fooled by the brand.

  38. By michael l on Jun 20, 2011

    I bought my orient sub to go diving at Sipadan a month ago. Not too deep, like 15 to 20 metres and it survived 5 dives. I suspect that because it has a screwdown crown and solid steel back that the 100m rating is below or far below its true rating.

    But its so pretty to look at when I drive!

    Of course, when I get enough cash, will try to get the classic Rolex but the Orient I have no complaints….maybe the strap is a bit flimsy and the bezel rocks a tiny bit, bother other wise, its good for me.

  39. By Hami on Jun 28, 2011

    I had an orient 35 years ago, and now it is time to buy one again.

  40. By Max P on Aug 8, 2011

    i have a orient watch and i would like have another one

  41. By Keith on Oct 6, 2011

    Marlee was correct about the Orient watch not being a chronometer. A chronometer, by horology definitions, is a watch that has met strict standards for time keeping within specified parameters. That said, the Orient line of watches is well respected by many WIS (Watch Idiot Savants). For the price it is unbeatable.

  42. By Eric on Oct 25, 2011

    Maybe the water resisitance is not that deep, but let’s be honest: how many of us actually dive professionally and even if you do would you really want to bring an expensive timepeice with you underwater. I’d be afraid to lose it or ruin it. I say go digital if you wanna go deep sea diving.

    Either way, the 2ER is a great deal. I’d be very happy to own one.

  43. By Sean S. on Nov 12, 2011

    Purchased a 2ER00001B recently, extremely pleased with the purchase. Classic looks which never go out of style, clean, honest and classy, like the white dress shirt for men or a black cocktail dress for women. Can wear it playing cards, at a causal dinner party, or at the office.

    Keeps good time … hey, I’m not using it when I’m piloting the space shuttle to time my re-entry into earth atmosphere, so a few seconds here or there is not going to make much difference. In line with this, never understand the big to-do people make over hacking, one, you can apply reverse torque on the crown while setting minute hand to get the second hand to stop, and two, can you turn the crown to get the minute hand exactly over a particular minute marker?

    The comparison between the submariners is NOT ridiculous, they look practically identical (the same cannot be said for a Lada and a BMW). An example of this: I was checking out the watches on 47th St. in NYC (a block containing wall-to-wall jewelers). Upon seeing submariners in one window, I thought to myself “they sell Orients here?” Putting my glasses on and looking again, I realized they were Rolexes, just as one of the salesmen was telling me “special today, $4,000.” Felt proud of my homage. And, with that kind of house money to play with, perhaps I can buy another 2ER …

  44. By Nancy Reardon on Nov 21, 2011

    The Rolex is over rated, the Orient is just as good as a Rolex. The rolex is all about status.

  45. By Rodrigo on Jan 15, 2012

    I wear an Orient and I love it is an amazing watch but other important aspect is about steel quality Rolex uses 904L and Orient uses SUS304.
    The ceramic bisel is an strong point of rolex.

  46. By Dior perfume on Apr 14, 2012

    Oftentimes you will discover long Louis Vuitton tote along with prepare yourself to

  47. By JESUS on Jun 2, 2012

    I have an Orient Submariner made in the late 1970′s or…Besides the good looking watch…it is still working and i don’t have any problem with it….nice and really good watch.

  48. By Daniel on Jun 13, 2012

    Well i one both. I like the 2ER, but it can never compete with the real sub! You are only fooling yourself.

    but it one of the best homages! A poor mans James Bond watch!

  49. By Simon on Jun 15, 2012

    The Orient 2ER00001B

    by “BAD” stands:
    (excuse my bad english)

    “NO Automatic”

    it IS a AUTOMATIC-watch! I have this Orient – watch

  50. By gerry b. remoroza on Aug 24, 2012

    i have one invicta and it looks the same…

  51. By Richard on Dec 13, 2012

    There is no doubt that the ORIENT 2ER0001B is both fair exceptional timepiece as an excellent homage to an entire masterpiece like the Rolex Submariner. Good and interesting Review.

  52. By Nathaniel on Dec 15, 2012

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the
    rest of the site is really good.

  53. By Bob on Mar 11, 2013

    I have owned an Orient 2ER for about six years now and it is a superb reliable watch. Very accurate for an automatic mechanical movement, very nicely finished and it has received many compliments from people whom have noticed and liked the watch and its clean, functional appearance. I will wear a gold watch for fancy meetings or formal events (a diving watch is a bit snug with French cuffs!) but otherwise it will be the 2ER on my wrist. For the mere $130.00 or so it cost me and when one considers the excellent fit and finish for such a modest price it has been an exceptional value. I have other far more expensive watches yet for me the 2ER is wonderfully practical. All due respect to those having dropped six grand for the big “R” but “snob value” to me doesn’t cut paying an extra $5870. Let’s not kid ourselves, Rolex is a mass produced watch too; a fine product and fancy name… but for far, far less the Orient’s quality delivered per dollar certainly impresses me.

    If I’m going to be diving I wear a diving-specific watch (bright numerals, timers and markings) so the difference between depth ratings here is largely meaningless. I probably wouldn’t wear a Rolex Submariner diving, either, again favoring a watch made specifically for diving and which won’t make me hyperventilate if it gets scratched on coral. For sports and snorkeling either watch will do fine.

    There’s a saying I used to tell college (and other) friends anxiously wanting the most expensive car to get dates. My reply has been “If someone is dating you because of your car they aren’t dating you… they’re dating the car!” Something to keep in mind whenever spending big money tempts where something practical can do as well.

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