like i said last week, i’m a bit obsessed with diver watches and today i’m showing you another option…and…drum roll please… this one is only $215. that’s right, that’s not a misprint. i haven’t missed a “1, 2 or 3″ in front of the $215. but wait, if you order now (i sound like one of those late night infomercials), you can get 30% off, so the final price will be $150. think about that. if you skip out on just one nice dinner with your significant other, you can buy this self-winding mechanical watch today!
a bit of history
the orient watch company was founded in 1950 with a focus on manufacturing high quality, lower priced mechanical watches. over the last 60+ years, the company has produced a wide range of watches including divers, racing, executive and modern styles. today, the company is headquartered in tokyo, but orient products can be found in over 70 countries.
about the orient ray
the orient ray is an updated version of orient’s best-selling mako line of diver watches. this updated version retains many of the key elements that made the mako a wonderful watch, but includes updates to give the watch a fresh look. a few key changes include a more pronounced and legible bezel, a dial with luminous dots to indicate the hours rather than numerals and dashes, and an updated bracelet. the ray’s bracelet style is similar to what you would find on an omega speedmaster pro whereas the mako had an oyster style bracelet similar to what you would find on a rolex submariner. the combination of these 3 things really give the ray a more modern look.
the case of the ray is made of stainless steel and is a size 41mm diameter with a thickness of 13mm. the bracelet is also made of stainless steel and there is little bit of polished metal on the ends of the center links, whereas the mako had an all-matte finish. the dial is a rich blue, almost navy if you will, as is the uni-directional bezel (you can also get it in black and orange). at 3 o’clock, there is a day and date aperture which i know many of you enjoy. one subtle nuance of the orient’s day window is that the day can be displayed in either english or spanish, which i think is a really cool feature not found on many watches. the way orient does this is by using a double pivot mechanism. so for example, if today was monday and you had the day setting as “MON”, then at 1:30am, the day would change to “LUN” (the spanish word for monday is lunes), then with the second pivot which occurs at 3am, the day would change to “TUE” to represent tuesday. so that by the time you wake up in the morning, the correct day would be displayed in the correct language.
you will notice that there is a crown with protective “shoulders” or crown guards at the normal position, but there is also a pusher situated at 2 o’clock. the crown is a two-step screw-down that allows for the changing of the date at step 1 and the changing of the time at step 2. the pusher is used only to change the day window. the glass on the ray is a mineral crystal as opposed to sapphire which is found on many watches today. i assume that this was one of orient’s ways of keeping some of the production costs down, but i’m not positive of this.
as i mentioned previously, the movement is an automatic, in-house built movement dubbed the orient caliber 46943, with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. and given that this is a diver watch, the caseback is a solid one and the watch is water resistant to 200m.
the bottom line
this is a beautiful watch and a great value at a price of $215. i cannot emphasize that enough. although it shares very similar looks to the quintessential rolex submariner, no one is going to mistake this for a sub. and that’s perfectly ok, because it’s not meant to be given that it’s thousands of dollars less. that said, i would highly recommend this watch to anyone looking for a diver. and the great thing about diver watches is that you could easily swap out the metal bracelet for a nato or leather strap and it gives the watch a completely different, but equally awesome look. just have a look at the picture!
p.s. if you’re interested in watching a video about the ray or want to buy it now, you can do so here. enjoy!