Orient Place

Orient Place

Thursday, 4 August 2022

New Orient Releases, European/Global Versions

Earlier we presented the new releases launched by Orient Japan – the vintage-inspired Neo Classic Sport, and a red hot magma-inspired M-Force.

We're following up now with Orient Europe's announcement of the global-distribution versions of these models – and these include not just new reference numbers of the same versions, but new versions as well (differing in styling, technically identical).

For the Neo Classic Sport, we now have the following references:

·         RA-AA0E07B, similar to the Japanese reference presented earlier, featuring black plated steel case, with rainbow-colored markers and a leather strap, limited to 2,000 units.

·         RA-AA0E06B also similar to the Japanese reference presented, features bronze-color plated case, with orange / golden markers, and a leather strap.

·         RA-AA0E05B features a raw stainless steel case, with white and orange markers, and a steel bracelet.


For the M-Force, we now have the following references, each intended to represent some element of the Earth:

·         RA-AC0L07L featuring a deep blue dial (representing the ocean) and a steel bracelet;

·         RA-AC0L08Y featuring an orange dial (representing lava) and a steel bracelet;

·         RA-AC0L09R – similar to the Japanese reference presented earlier, with a red gradient dial and rubber band, limited to 2,000 pieces.


New Orient Model: "Neo Classic Sport"

Orient has just announced a new model that's about to join its sports collection later this month: the "Neo-Classic Sport". The model clearly takes inspiration from numerous vintage Orient divers of the 1960s and 70s, with a case resembling the old (and identical to the re-issue of) World Diver, and a lively dial combining elements of various King Diver variations.

The new Neo Classic is technically very similar to the World Map model. It features the same large, pebble-like, lugless case, measuring 43.5mm in width and 46mm in length, and 13.9mm thick. Inside is Orient's automatic caliber F6922 with 40 hours of power reserve. The crystal is mineral glass, and the watch is rated to 20 bar (200 meters).

As with the World Map, it's a dual crown design: the crown at three is for winding, setting the time, and adjusting the day and date, while the one at four turns the internal bezel. Unlike the World Map, the Neo Classic is bundled with a 20mm leather strap, rather than steel.

Of course, the highlight of the model, and what differentiates it from the World Map, is the dial design. The dial is dominated by markers. Big bold 1960s style fixed hour markers, are surrounded by very prominent minutes markers on the rotating bezel, and further accompanied by lume dots.

The result is a very unique look, which one may love or hate – but if you do like it, then honestly no other brand pulls it off better than Orient. Two references are currently being presented, each with a different style:

Ref. RN-AA0E07B is a limited edition of 150 pieces in Japan, featuring a stealthy black-plated case, black dial and strap – emphasizing the rainbow array of multi-colored hour markers.

Ref. RN-AA0E06B is non-limited, and features a bronze-colored case and brown strap. Here the black dial is mostly dominated by orange and gold hues of the different markers.

Both models are priced at around 350 USD, which seems fair enough – and judging by similar recent releases from Orient, we expect these to be good quality products and great value for money.

New Limited Edition M-Force Inspired By Magma

The current generation of M-Force watches is already familiarized itself well with Orient fans. This model was launched two years ago and reviewed here on the blog in early 2021, and has since proven itself worthy of the M-Force name.

Now, remember that the "M" in this watch's name historically stands for "Mechanical, Massive, and Maverick"…? Well, with its latest iteration Orient claim to add "Magnificent" as well! Yes that's largely marketing fluff, but looking at the new reference RN-AC0L09R I tend to agree.

The star of the show is the dial – and while the few images released aren't awfully detailed, they reveal a striking display of deep dark gradient red, combined with a kind of Grand Seiko-esque swirling texture. According to Orient, it is inspired by red hot magma.

Other than the dial, the watch generally carries the same features, movement and dimensions as sibling M-Forces: case width is 47.3mm including the crown guard construction, length is 52mm lug-to-lug, and thickness is 13.2mm. In this reference you get a black plated bezel and rubber band.

Inside is Orient's automatic caliber F6727 with 40 hours of power reserve, and the usual +25/-15 seconds per day stated accuracy – which in most cases turns out to be much better in reality.

The "Magma" M-Force is limited to 2,000 units, is priced the same as other M-Force versions, and should be available to purchase in September 2022.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Some Unusual Royal Orients

Modern Royal Orients managed to gain, throughout their unfortunately short production period, a reputation for high quality and fine finishing. Looking at vintage Royal Orients, their distinctiveness is sometimes not as clear. So this blog post is dedicated to some very unique Royal models of old (Late 1950s, to be precise) – ones whose special flair cannot be denied. 

Take these two innocent-looking pieces, in the picture above. Not so innocent when looked at more closely – the one on the left has some pretty intricate circular texture on the lighter part of its dial. The one on the right is encircled with a "wrinkled" textured gold leaf, providing a suitably fancy background for the hour markers. 

Orient did not invent these design elements. Take, for example, two contemporary high-end models from competing Japanese brands: The Citizen Deluxe boasts a two-tone, "tuxedo" dial, while the Seiko Cronos features some delicate patterns on the inner dial as well as the hour track.

Orient did, however, go to lengths to deliver some unique twists on these common themes. Here are two very rare designs, offering unusual dial designs.

Or, if tuxedo dials are your thing, here are two variations on this concept. The one on the left is presented with the then-common proportions, having a thinner outer white section, making the dial look bigger. The model on the right – the "Royal Orient Highlight" – dares to be different by giving the white a little more space. This actually makes for a very eye-catching appearance, and is the inspiration for the modern reissue fondly known as the Oreo.

Looking for yet bolder stuff? Then how about these two crazy watches. Complete with standout dials and matching straps, they take the concept of Royal Orient to extravagant extremes.

Not so bold, but very elaborate, are these astrologically themed models featuring the twelve signs of the zodiac on the circumference of the dial. Keep in mind these watches were around 35mm in diameter, so these illustrations are tiny! They do add a lot of character and interest to the dial, though.

Last but not least, and one of my favorite Royal Orient designs, is this "mystery dial" model. Here, a black disc with diagonal cuts covers the middle of the dial. Instead of a second hand, you have a rotating plate with oppositely running diagonal lines. When the watch is running, the diagonals combine to create a unique radiating effect. You can watch a video of this effect, here!


Pictures that appear on this post were taken from various sale ads and the 1999 Orient Watch Catalog book.