Reader Submitted Story – The Importance of Bringing a Reliable Watch to the Desert

July 31st, 2014 | 1 Comment

It’s summer time and many of you are probably headed to or still planning your annual camping trip with family and friends. And while we know that you’ve already read our “What to Wear and How to Wear It” for camping, here’s a fresh anecdote sent to us from a reader. It reinforces both the importance of bringing a trusty watch, and to always check that your rented equipment is in working condition…

So I was getting packed for my summer camping trip and aside from my tent, clothes, cooler and pair of crocs (kidding), I needed to settle on which wristwatch to bring along. You can’t be into watches without being comfortable with having a horrible, awful watch tan. So I opted for my Orient Flight, which had been getting a lot of wrist time. This was chosen over my Mako because honestly the lume is so much more impressive. The brushed case was also fantastic at concealing any and all scratches it had accumulated which was a plus because I didn’t know what I was going to get into on my trip. The screwed down crown and 100m water resistance was really all I needed in case there was an impromptu canyon dive. I mounted my watch to a random rubber strap I had lying around and was good to go.

_DSC2354

Camping and being in the Antelope Canyon area was seriously an amazing experience. Not only was the blazing 115 degree (F) heat surprisingly bearable, but there were a ton of things to do. You really forget that you’re in the desert—well, maybe only a little bit. After a tour of the famous canyons, my group and I decided to kayak on Lake Powell. The water was warm and blue and was sandwiched between the famous red canyons that sprawl across northwestern Arizona and into Utah. To think that many of these formations were carved, and are still being carved by wind and water over hundreds of years is simply amazing. Just sitting on the water as the tugboat created waves carefully moved me along was one of the most cathartic experiences I’d ever had to date. With me at the front of the double kayak and girlfriend in tow, we just sat there and paddled casually as our group of avid kayakers and campers drifted apart yet together through this picturesque part of the Colorado River.

file0001150764901

Well, that was until the capsizing started happening. It happened over and over and over. Many of our friends started asking amongst themselves, “Man, have these two ever kayaked before?” (yes, duh). Everything went over into the water, including our shoes and backpack that was in a wet bag. To me it wasn’t a big deal— no one was hurt and our phones and belongings were in a backpack that was nestled safely in a waterproof sack. My Flight watch was resilient as well. Had it not been its first time being fully submersed in water, I wouldn’t have been as happy or surprised. It wasn’t until we stopped by a little beach that we discovered that the kayak had a hole in its stern and we had been taking in water ever since we left the docks. Ten minutes went by as we tipped it over and watched as nearly 50 gallons of water spewed out as quickly as it had come in. After that, it was literally a race to get back to land. We informed management about the faulty boat— they apologized— and we were on our way. Unfortunately, the wet bag wasn’t sealed properly, and both of our phones got soaked beyond the point that a simple plunge in a bag of rice would fix. I have to admit that the loss didn’t hit me until I realized how daunting the 10 hour drive home would be.

file000898950266

Now I’m not sure if it’s a guy thing or if it happens when you realize that you’ve lost your most important piece of equipment while being 600 miles from home, but I started to bond with my watch. Yes, it only tells the date and time, but the feeling of having something that I could control gave me piece of mind. This was a time in which I finally understood what it meant for a watch to have a lot of inherent, sentimental value. This may seem a bit dramatized for the uninitiated, but you’ll know the feeling when it happens. And though this luckily happened at the tail end of my trip, we still had a day left in this burnt red of a desert.

Yes, not having a phone left me feeling a bit empty—as it would for most people in this day in age— but that void was oddly filled by what was on my wrist. And instead of stopping to take photos of everything, I was really able to enjoy myself. I could get photos from other people, after all. Having just my watch at that point was enough because more than anything, I knew I could rely on it. Here’s a really simple, gritty review: the Flight is extremely well built. The case is very solid and the screwed down crown eliminates the one vulnerability that is most likely exploited on any watch. In a nutshell, it’s a lot of watch for not a lot of money. The confidence and security maintained from having this tiny mechanism on my wrist helped me ride out the end of this truly amazing trip. No electronics? no problem.

_DSC2356

The drive home was fine with our little caravan of misfits. And although I sadly had to downgrade to my old back up phone (first world problems), I do have a watch that I know will tick and tock through thick and thin. Since then, this watch has been with me everywhere, from being wound by my furious typing at work, to telling me how much time is left on the movie I was dragged into seeing, to hiking through Los Angeles’ “natural” wilderness. It’s now my daily wearer, my beater, and a watch I know I’ll never ever let go of.

Editor’s note: The images of the Colorado River and Antelope Canyons had to be obtained online (via Morguefile), because the reader’s phone could not be revived!

An Affordable Dress Watch – The FER2400BW0 New Bambino

July 30th, 2014 | No Comments

_DSC2273 - CopyDubbed the “new” Bambino, the FER2400BW0 was an immediate hit with classic watch lovers and vintage watch enthusiasts alike. The FER2400BW built upon the foundation of the “original” Bambino and took the watch further into the mid century design arena.

The features and functionality of the BW remain the same with the “original” Bambino. Three hands for time with date at the 3 o’clock position. Beating under this beautifully domed dial, a nod to mid century classic watches, is the ORIENT in house caliber 48743 automatic movement. Protecting the dial is the domed crystal. The domed matches directly to the domed dial, creating graceful elegant lines straight out of a googie designer’s dream. Holding the movement, along with the crystal and dial is the 40.5mm stainless steel case. The 40.5mm size is a touch larger than the sizes of vintage timepieces typically are(35-39mm), making for a lovely modernization more in line with current tastes without being comically large. Making use of both polished and brushed finishes on the case adds another touch of modern tastes. Brushed sides draw the eye up top to the face of the watch, which is surrounded by the highly polished beveled bezel.

With all that in mind, what are the updates? The hands, dial markers and crown have all been changed. Each individually is small, but working cohesively, they create a truly modern vintage timepiece. At the 3 o’clock position is the crown, which has been changed to be in the onion style. It smoothly flares from the case with a moderate amount of knurling for easy grip and functioning. The crown’s lines mimic that of the crystal and dial. Moving to the dial, the tapered indices have been exchanged for rose gold tone Roman numeralsA and bars. The choice of Roman numerals and bars have the effect of adding sophistication. Placing them in rose gold tone gives them the vintage or heritage feeling. Surrounding the the Roman numerals is the railroad style minute track in black. This contrasts perfectly with the white dial and does a great job of framing the face of the watch while adding functionality of being able to see each minute hash and then further hashed at each 1/4th of a minute. The railroad track further enforces the vintage vibe from the watch while adding further visual interest, as if you needed more. Lastly matching the markers, the new hands are in rose gold tone. They are a much slimmer version of the previous dauphine hands, giving the watch a delicate look that is often attributed to vintage pieces. The brown leather band brings out the rose gold accents and vice versa. This combination, (while not inherently mid century design only, gold watches are still produced today) gives the watch an older overall quality and is perfect for someone looking for a new watch seemingly plucked from the middle of the 20th century.

_DSC2282 - Copy

_DSC2298 - Copy

A Modern Day Vintage Watch – FER2400CN0 Bambino

July 24th, 2014 | No Comments

bambino 2051 small

Wildly popular the moment it was released, the FER2400CN0 “new” Bambino almost immediately sold out. The CN took the already stellar platform of the Bambino and injected another level of vintage flavor to it. It’s easy to simply stay a “vintage inspired” timepiece, but what exactly from the CN make this true?

First off the CN uses the same case, crystal and dial (though the style has been redesigned)  from the original Bambino. The domed crystal and dial are very indicative of mid century styling, designed to give the watch graceful flowing lines. The stainless steel case is also the same and features both polished and brushed finishes, which gives the watch a modern feel and look. True mid century pieces are typically all polished for a very dressy look. The choice of adding brushed sides to the Bambino modernizes the watch in a very tasteful way and draws the eye to the face of the timepiece. These elements alone would make for a vintage looking piece, but with Orient’s new design choices, the Bambino is firmly a vintage inspired timepiece.

What’s new. Many things. Possible the first thing to notice is the cream dial color, an interesting choice and a dial shade that appeared frequently in the past and popularity has waned these past few decades, which doesn’t mean its not cool. But a clear indicator of the vintage feel. As a dress watch, the cream is a bold choice, as it gives the watch a touch of a casual feel for a dressy-casual watch. From there the hands are the next change to stand out. The wide dauphine hands have been switched out for much slimmer blue dauphine hands. The petite size of the hands give the watch a visually delicate disposition, a fitting mood for a mid century piece. In low light they appear almost black, but when hit with light, they shine a bright brilliant blue. At the tips of the hands are the Roman numeral and bar markers, which have replaced the tapered indices. Roman numerals are typically an indicator of classic dress style which is emblematic of sophistication. Surrounding the Roman numerals is a railroad style minute track, another vintage styling cue. The railroad track does well to visually stimulate your eye and draw it around the dial to each detail of the face. Moving from the dial, the crown is the final new addition. The onion style creates a great ease of operation for setting the watch and once again adds another detail of mid century flair.

Same as the previous generation, the Bambino remains on leather. A brown leather band has been paired with the CN and perfectly compliments the yellows, reds, and browns in the cream dial. Remaining at 40.5mm in diameter, the Bambino is firming a modern piece, though the heart of the watch is vintage.

Specifications for the Bambino
ORIENT Caliber 48743 Automatic Mov’t
Stainless Steel  Case
Date Window
Water resistant to 30m
Diameter: 40.5mm without crown
Thickness: 11.8mm
MSRP: $260 at OrientWatchUSA.com

bambino 2049 small

bambino 2052 small

bambino 2078 small

What to Wear and How to Wear It: The Best Watches for Camping

July 22nd, 2014 Posted in What to Wear and How to Wear It | No Comments

We feel that there are all different kinds of instances in life that require a trusty timepiece (because why not?). This is just one of them. Introducing “What to Wear and How to Wear It”, where we provide some personal suggestions about what to wear, when and (most importantly) why.

Need some time for a vacation to recharge the batteries? What’s a better way to do that than hiking or camping? Breaking away from city life and exploring mother nature is an incredibly rejuvenating experience, but one that should be taken with the proper tools. So don’t forget to take your watch because it is easy for a phone battery to quickly drain away whereas an automatic mechanical watch won’t. An important feature for a watch to have while exploring the wilderness would be high water resistance in order to protect the mechanical movement from sudden rain showers, fishing or when crossing creeks. Pairing it with a rubber strap will provide additional benefits due to its light weight (every ounce counts when you are carrying supplies through the woods) and the fact that it’ll be easy to clean the dirt off once you get home. Stainless steel will get too sticky from sweating during those hot summer months. Also, if you are planning on staying out after dark, a bright lume is critical during the moments before you set up your campfire and after you put it out.

Some great options for camping:

blue ray on rubber 8581 PSed - Copy

Ray Rubber FEM6500CD9

Many of the features that make this a great diver watch make the Ray Rubber a great watch for the woods, the 200m water resistance is more than enough for crossing creeks and fishing in a lake. The rubber strap cuts down on weight that could be used for more supplies and the lume will keep you on time long after the sun goes down and you are heading back to your campsite.

OrientM-Force 2013 SEL03005YO.Still002

M-Force Air Diver SEL03005Y0

If you are going to be roughing it even longer, take the M-Force Air Diver. With its three ISO Certifications for water resistance (200m), shock resistance, and anti-magnetism, the Air Diver can take whatever you throw at it. Long after your cell phone dies, the Air Diver will still have plenty of juice left, and thanks to the handy power reserve indicator you can tell exactly how much is left. If you are starting to run low, don’t forget that is also hand winding!

side shot

M-Force Beast Ti SDV01001B0

If you want the three ISO certifications (200m water resistance, shock resistance, and anti-magnetism), but a bigger case and less weight, check out the M-Force Beast Ti. The case clocks in at 47mm and it has lume that’ll light up the night sky. Important to note is that the titanium case is highly resistant to corrosion, which is a killer feature when dealing with all the elements that you’ll come into contact with out in the great outdoors.

The Return: The Exclusive (and Elusive) Yellow Mako

July 17th, 2014 | No Comments

_DSC1932 - CopyIt’s been 10 years since the Mako was introduced to the world and USA. Since 2004 the Mako has been the top selling model for Orient in the world and USA. To celebrate the Mako’s continued success in the USA, Orient rereleased a yellow dialversion, exclusive to the American market.  Use code ’10years’ at check out to get it for the special price of $140 shipped. The Mako is the watch that anchors Orient’s dive collection and is by far Orient’s most important timepiece, but why is that? What makes the Mako special?

To put it bluntly, it’s versatility is outstanding. The Yellow Mako is a watch that can be worn daily for years and styling still look fresh. In today’s world of watches, especially those of diver watches, case sizes are getting out of control. But the Mako’s 41.5mm case is a great medium size, it is big enough that none-watch people won’t call it a ladies watch and it’s small enough that it doesn’t look comically large on your wrist. This case size isn’t a trend, it’s the standard, it won’t go outdated.

_DSC9694 - CopyThanks to the automatic winding ORIENT in house caliber 46943 movement, you’ll never have to worry about winding the watch, strap it on and go about your day, its taken care of. No daily hand winding to do or battery to replace. The 46943 caliber comes directly from the original 469 caliber, which has been produced since 1971. Featuring the day and date complications, which besides the time, are the most widely and needed complications on a wristwatch, this is the information you need on your wrist on a daily basis.

Many watches out there have such low water resistance that washing your hands can be a bit too adventurous for them. Not the case with the Mako, sporting a 200m depth rating, you can take the Mako to the beach for snorkeling, yet the styling of the watch doesn’t scream that this is a tool watch only meant for the depths of the ocean. It’s classic divers sports design which transitions smoothly from the wetsuit to the jeans and t-shirt and even to a suit in a pinch. The bracelet or strap on the Mako has the power to transform the watch, from the diver’s companion to a sporty daily wearer on bracelet.

200m depth rating
Stainless steel case
solid stainless steel bracelet
screwed down crown
screw caseback
ORIENT in house caliber 46943 automatic movement
day and date
41.5mm case