Orient Watches: The Best Kept Secret in the Watch World?

February 5th, 2010 | 15 Comments

Thanks to James Bond, Rolex is a household watch brand name. Rolex is no doubt an excellent watch company, but it’s also not the only watch company worth talking about.

A little bird once told me that Orient Watches are the best kept secret in the watch world. Of course, little birds don’t wear watches, so I wanted to see about Orient for myself.


Today we’ll look take a closer look at the Orient Watch Company:

Orient Watch History

The origins of Orient Watches date back to 1901 at a wholesale watch shop in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, Orient has made a lot of progress in the watch world.

Here’s a list of Orient highlights during the past 60 years:

Tama Keiki Co. began producing wristwatches at a factory in Hino, Tokyo, Japan.

Tama Keiki Co. changed name to Orient Watch Co., LTD. and released the “Orient Star.”

First automatic watch, “Super Auto,” released.

First digital watch, “Orient LCD Quartz,” released.

The “Chandor” luxury watch was released for overseas market.

Power Reserve indicator was re-developed and released.

“Professional Diver” released

Orient entered U.S. market

Orient Automatic Watches

Orient specializes in automatic watches.

What’s special about an automatic?

An automatic watch is automatically wound based on the movement of your wrist and arm.

This works because your wrist movement causes the rotor to pivot freely in the center of the watch movement. The rotor swings back and forth (like a pendulum), which winds the mainspring.

The mainspring provides the power in an automatic watch.

So, unlike quartz watches or other mechanical watches, in order to “re-charge” an automatic, you must wear it.


What’s special about an Orient Automatic?

Orient makes all of their movements in-house. These days, this is a rare quality because it’s cheaper to purchase outsourced movements, so many companies choose to go that route.

But Orient isn’t about being cheap; they’re about creating a long-lasting timepiece with a unique aesthetic to match.

Because of this, Orient is considered a luxury watch company with the ability to deliver solid watches at 1/3 of the price of comparable watch companies.

Orient Watches’ Europe recognition has added to the Swiss vs. Japanese debate, and sheds a new light on Orient Watches as the company moves into Swiss territory.

Orient Watch Collections

The three more popular Orient Watch collections include: Executive, OrientStar and Diver.

The Executive Collection offers a range of styles designed specifically for the business world.

For example, the CDH00001B is especially handy for travelers because it’s able to switch between two time zones of your choice.

orient exec feb 4

Here are some other details to note on this watch:

  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 40-hr Power Reserve
  • Skeleton caseback
  • 50m water resistant
  • Genuine leather band

Though it’s a little pricier than some of the other Executives, its special features make it worth every dollar to the right wearer.

The OrientStar collection dates back to the early days of Orient. The “Retro Future” designs are reminiscent of 4 industrial motifs from the 1950′s: automobile, airplane, car and manual camera. The designs also bring to mind Fritz Lang’s film, Metropolis.

We’ll take a closer look at the YFH02001B “Camera Concept” because it shows us the intricacies of tiny machines like the watch and the camera.

retro future

Here are the specs:

  • 40-hr Power Reserve Indicator
  • Skeleton caseback
  • 100m water resistant
  • Solid stainless steel band

The OrientStar collection, which includes the YFH02001S, captures both Orient’s history and watch history, in general, by including features and styles found on antique watches, and creating a contemporary time piece for today’s wearers.

Orient’s Diver collection includes 4 main models with varying features and water resistance.

For your reference, here’s a small list of what your watch can do in the water depending on its water resistance:

  • 50m- swimming
  • 100m- snorkeling
  • 200m- diving without Helium
  • 300m- deep-sea diving, oilfield drilling

The CEM75001B Diver, for example, is water resistant up to 200m.

diver feb 4

Some other qualities of the CEM75001B include:

  • 40-hr Power Reserve
  • Stainless steel case and band
  • Unique arrow watch hands

Other Divers include the ever-popular Orient Mako and the 300m water resistant CFD0C001M.

Don’t forget to check out these and Orient’s other watch collections, including the Urban, Racing and Ladies designs, to get a complete feel for Orient Watches.

Is Orient the best kept secret in the watch world? Comment Below.

  1. 15 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Steve Poorman on Feb 5, 2010

    I’d say one of the best kept secrets. In house movement + great designs = awesome watches.

  3. By Steve Poorman on Feb 5, 2010

    I’d say one of the best kept secrets. In house movement + great designs = awesome watches.
    P.S.: Wanted to mention solid post!

  4. By Peter Gravelle on Feb 6, 2010

    Love your watches. The quality for the price is amazing. Continue the good work.

  5. By Chris on Feb 7, 2010

    I agree. Even in the electronics design world you often find higher quality in products that don’t have excessive outsourcing of components. Its less work & usually less goes wrong when everything is from one source… I’m liking the way you guys think!

  6. By Dave on Feb 12, 2010

    I am a fan of automatics, seiko, omega and especially 50′s -70′s era watches. The orient 300m is one of my current favorites. Only found out about them this year. Saw another recent Orient with a 70′s style cushion case that is on my list too.

  7. By Alan Davis on Feb 12, 2010

    I got the Mako Blue Diver and the Men’s Power Reserve Skeleton for my son, and the Ladies Semi Skeleton for my daughter.

    My son found the right word for Orient watches–Fabulous!

  8. By luis garcia on Sep 11, 2010

    it is definitely the best watch i ever had its well worth every dollar i paid.Its orientagously fabulous.

  9. By Daniel M. on Nov 19, 2010

    Orient Watch is “the Next Big Thing,” at UNBELIEVABLE prices! CHECK THEM OUT!

  10. By George on May 2, 2011

    I wonder – why there are no more expensive Orient watches on this site, such as Orient Star, Royal, etc? I love ones that are presented here, but there are so many more even finer watches at still very good prices.

  11. By Ashley on Oct 26, 2012

    Orient – any fool knows omega or rolex – real watch people know Orient.

  12. By Pat Murphy on Nov 6, 2012

    I have two Orient watches and would like an Orient Star but you cannot get them in the UK.
    I keep looking on the net but I am unsure about warranties and authenticity etc. The retrograde collection look stunning so I may have to risk my money on one from Singapore.

  13. By LongBike on Apr 26, 2013

    Orient watch serial number checkdate, if possible

    LH L469617 5A07A
    Thank you

  14. By Christopher Clark on Jun 12, 2014

    I own the cem75001b and sel03001b0 and I love them both ! I have plans on buying a few more in the near future, two for me, and one for my wife.

    I am not writing this for the free watch; you can keep that ORIENT. I am writing this because at these prices, I finally found a company that’s sells very beautiful watches I can afford with my middle class money. No wonder it took me so long to find ORIENT!! I did not know ORIENT reached the US market in 2008. That being said; WELCOME ORIENT ! THANKS FOR COMING !


  15. By vaios on Sep 23, 2014

    ordered mine today orient symphony black dial 116 dollars cant wait to see it.If I like it I will buy more

  16. By john on Mar 7, 2016

    Orient watches offer fantastic value and I own 3, just to point out though that Ian Fleming refers to Rolex Submariner in his novels but Rolex would not sponsor the films so early Rolex Subs (the infamous one) was the directors I think, but most people under the age of 30 would probably associate 007 with the Omega Seamaster…

15 comments | Tell us what you think!