Rolex Submariner vs. Orient Ray: Another diver duel

November 2nd, 2012 Posted in Watch Comparisons | 19 Comments

We all know Rolex is one of the most well-known watch brands around the world. We all also know that Rolex watches are quite cost-prohibitive. But did you know that Orient offers some really great and affordable alternatives to these very costly timepieces?

It’s true, and today we’ll take a look at a diver watch comparison to prove it: the Rolex Submariner versus the Orient Ray. Check them out.

Rolex Submariner

First introduced in 1953, the Rolex Submariner diver watch set the bar (quite literally) for water-resistance at the time. The first Submariner boasted 100m water resistance, which marked a huge step for watchmaking moving forward.

In years following, Rolex patented the triple seal “Triplock” winding crown, enabling the Submariner to remain water resistant up to depths of 300m. Submariners are also recognized for the intense amounts of lume on their dials (an essential feature of any diver). This lume is complemented by other features on the watch face such as the Submariner’s signature hands and a cyclops window over the date calendar.

The Submariner is perhaps the most iconic watch design in the industry. But it comes at a pretty significant cost. Upwards of $8,000 may be better spent on a more affordable timepiece.

What do you think? Let’s check out Orient’s diver watch.

Orient Ray

Fast becoming a favorite diver among Orient enthusiasts, the Ray is admired for its diver qualities, sporty yet clean look, and solid materials. With 200m water resistance and a significant amount of lume on the indices and watch hands, the Ray is certainly an equipped diver watch.

Often pinned as the “new Mako”, The Ray offers all the favorite features of the Orient Mako but slightly improved and upgraded. Some notable differences include more lume and larger watch hands.

Another favorite feature of the Ray is its day/date calendar. Not only does this feature offer convenience, it’s also bilingual as all Orient watches are, when applicable. Complete with an Orient caliber 46943 mechanical movement, Ray has been called the “best looking Japanese diver watch” by a recent reviewer.

Part of the Ray’s popularity also lies in its affordability. And at $230, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment.

What do you think? Would you rather wear a Submariner or a Ray? Leave us a comment!

  1. 19 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Eric on Nov 2, 2012

    Sapphire. Pretty please.

  3. By Michael Walker on Nov 2, 2012

    Please! Are you guys kidding? I love Orient watches and own a few, BUT…. You can’t honestly compare these two watches! Compare a Royal Star to these high end Swiss watches.. then you can set in the ballpark with Rolex! or Omega! I tell ya what put a Sapphire crystal in your lower watches with hackable movements and they would EAT Tag Heuer Aquaracers for breakfast all day long!

  4. By Kevin on Nov 2, 2012

    I actually gravitate toward attractive, well-made, less expensive watches. Though I don’t work in a job that puts nice things in danger, I often bump up again things, and would be terrified to damage something expensive. That’s why I’ve enjoyed my Orients – they look amazing, but are affordable enough that I don’t live in terror of actually wearing them!

  5. By Michael Walker on Nov 2, 2012

    Pepsi Mako! Sexy!

  6. By roger on Nov 4, 2012

    both great watches. same as previous poster want to wear a watch i would afraid to damage/lose/break.

  7. By seb on Nov 4, 2012

    Oh great ! Now I have to learn how to swim.
    (Otherwise, how can I pretend that I NEED the RAY ?)

  8. By karthik on Nov 4, 2012

    over all the watch is good in all aspects except the glass on the watch should be made of the sapphie crystal which most of them prefer for their expensive watches,more add up cost can also be appreciated if sapphire is used.EXCELLENT TIME PEICE..

  9. By Mike Santos on Nov 4, 2012

    I had a Rolex Datejust, finally sold it. Rolex has to be one of the most overrated watches in the world.

    I am a big Orient fan and looking forward to building a small collection, love the Rays, the saturation diver and the M Beast.

    3 musts for my collection!

  10. By amber on Nov 5, 2012

    i have no money to get my fiance a christmas gift…this would be great. The economy really sucks.

  11. By Rubén on Dec 23, 2012

    The Ray is the best DIVER. Beautiful, good and cheap.

  12. By Ernest on Feb 6, 2013

    Well, i think it’s not right to compare those two pieces as price differs few hundred times. I’d prefer comparison on convenience and time-keeping accuracy, usability etc.
    As to crystal – who knows what’s better for everyday or sport use. Sapphire wold not be scratched easily as opposed to mineral but would break when the mineral gets just scratched (plus mineral is easier to be replaced).
    So, not having 8000 for Rolex, I really like my Ray – easy to read, nice looking (owning orange) and pretty accurate (compared to my previous mechanics and swiss based on ETA).

  13. By Luis Reffreger on Feb 12, 2013

    You can´t beat Orient at that price. Rolex is luxury brand, Orient made real watches for real people!

  14. By Kevin on Sep 18, 2013

    Love my black orient ray with nato strap.

  15. By James Rodgers on Sep 22, 2013

    I own both rolex sub and orient ray as well as ray raven. No question that the Rolex is vastly overpriced and the orient rays are vastly underpriced. The Rolex is not 400 times the watch of the Orient Ray. Just look as the above specs to see the little differences in crystal and water resistance.
    Both have accurate in-house movements, both have stainless steel construction, both have water resistance higher than most humans dive, both have metal bracelets.
    I like to think that the Orient Ray is the rolex submariner that a modern designer would outline minus the brand tax and pseudo-Swiss panache.

    Rays rock!

  16. By Bert h Malcom on Jun 1, 2014

    I’ve had a lot of automatic watches one of the important thing is keeping the time,that’s job one,second is quality.Most people can’t afford too spend a hundred up too a thousand dollars and if watches work as good as they look with these prices,when I pull the trigger on the next automatic watch it will be orient Thank you Bert H Malcom

  17. By Christopher on Jun 23, 2014

    Fantastic almost similar features except for
    the price difference.
    It unbelievable that Orient Ray can so closely match the Submariner.

    Good Work Orient.

  18. By john on Aug 17, 2014

    I personally think that the Orient Ray is better looking than the sub as I prefer the taper between the case and the bracelet. I also prefer the thinner bezel. However it is nonsense to compare in any other terms than cosmetic as the sub is vastly superior in construction and movement (and I’m an Orient fan boy).

    However, I know which one I’ll be asking my wife for this christmas…

    I’d say both watches would never be at risk of actually being taken diving though, its only desk divers like us that frequent these webpages!

  19. By Joko Senggono on Sep 13, 2014

    Orient Ray is one of the best diver watch on the market

    i prefer mineral crystal for diver watch than sapphire
    sapphire is more scratch resistant than mineral, but
    mineral is more shatter resistant than sapphire

    for overall design i love orient ray with navy blue color
    it’s a beautiful watch

    for the price, orient ray is absolutely unbeatable vs rolex

    so, what are you waiting for?
    add orient ray for your collection now !!!

  20. By John on Sep 18, 2015

    I own an orient ray black, but not a sub. I compared my ray to a colleagues tag diver and was amazed that it easily matched it. His tag had better bezel, but bracelet was nowhere near as nice surprisingly. Okay it was hackable, windable and had the diver extension. I would not pay extra for these though and am happy I dropped £80GBP whilst he sunk £1000GDP. Id rather have a nice diver, dress and aviator from Orient with change than a single high end watch I was afraid to wear. The only problem with Orients is you have people constantly thinking you’ve spent a fortune on it.

19 comments | Tell us what you think!