Orient Place

Orient Place

Sunday 20 January 2019

M-Force: The Iconic Orient Diver

While Orient might be better known for its highly popular Mako and Ray dive watches, it is the M-Force line that, in my opinion, stands out as the brand's most iconic diver, thanks to some unique design elements that have remained in its DNA throughout 20 years of evolution.

Orient introduced the first M-Force in 1997. Its name, short for "Mechanical Force" was intended to both boast its mechanical movement as well as signify its robustness. The first generation, generally known as EX00, featured a lightweight titanium case with a classic Orient layout including the crown at four, date adjustment pusher at three, and a power reserve indicator.

Later that year Orient introduced a second version of the M-Force, this time in a steel case, crown at three, and an internal rotating bezel for adjusting weekday to dates, known as EX01. Both EX00 and 01 were presented with a number of different dial colors. Here below, for instance, a cream-colored dial, taken from Orient US site.

Two new versions appeared in 1998, known as the EX03 and EX04. The 03, like the 01, featured an internal date bezel, but let go of the external divers' bezel. The 04 took on a different look, resembling the famous Seiko Tuna (catalog photo):

And yet another version was introduced in 1998, the EX0X. And then another – starting a new reference prefix, EY! EY01 featured an internal bezel (this time a GMT bezel, like the white-dial model below, taken from an old sale post) which could only mean one thing…

…that's right, it meant another version with a divers bezel also needed to be released! Yep – that was the EZ00 series. Also from the same year. It seemed somebody over at Orient's design department had hard time choosing which design to launch, so they just let it all go to production, and as they say, "may the best design win". Here, for instance, is the WZ0021EZ – very pretty indeed.

Now, the abundance of versions released in those early years means you have a very good chance of coming across some M-Force or another available for sale – but, to find any particular model you might be looking for, is near impossible. Or at least, requires a lot of patience, the sort which is typically measured in months, if not years.

That early outburst concluded around the year 2000 with the EY02 models, and finally the M-Force 300m 50th Anniversary World Time LE. Then came a long decade of calm, until suddenly in 2011 Orient decided to re-introduce the M-Force moniker, with the EL line.

In between, Orient also released the only M-Force version which did not include a power reserve indication (although it was the first Titanium M-Force since the EX00), in the DV line of movements.

The latest editions of the M-Force were released in 2016 with the "Bravo" version (photo below). Then finally in 2018 the M-Force line was terminated (or, perhaps, just put on hold?...) and replaced with the Orient Triton.

My personal M-Force is a first generation EX00 Titanium. Originally purchased haphazardly as I was looking for a lightweight sports watch to take on a hike a few years ago, I got it at a very low price as it lacked its original bracelet and (so it seems…) had its original bezel replaced at some point. And yet – there's no denying this is one handsome piece of wrist gear!

The thing is pretty, and as the ad said, it sure is robust - well, at least it withstood that hiking trip safely, mountain climbing, river crossing and all… The reliable Orient caliber 46G ticks away happily and fairly accurately, and the Titanium case is superbly comfortable.

The gilded crown and pusher might seem a little out of place, but… they make perfect sense when turn the watch around :)

Even the lume is good and bright, 23 years after it left the factory. Generally speaking, despite so much going on around the dial, The watch is quite legible at all conditions, as a proper dive watch should be.

The Triton definitely has a lot to live up to as the successor of this acclaimed lineage. But anyway, the M-Force isn't going anywhere, and as rugged and reliable as it was built to be I'm expecting to see those M-Forces sticking around well into the future.

You're welcome to share your own experience with the Orient M-Force here or on our Facebook page (where you can also share photos).

Sunday 13 January 2019

And We Have a Winner!

Orient Place Blog's Photo Contest, which began on December 20th, has ended last Thursday as the final showdown between our two finalists concluded with a clear win: it was Devon Ravine's great shot of his Orient Star Classic that had to settle on a respectable second place, with two votes – leaving the top of the podium for our contest winner with four votes, Andy Lewis.

Andy's winning shot shows his lovely blue-dialed Orient Bambino V4, in the driver's seat of a 1954 Packard sedan classic Americana – which, as its name implies, is a true American classic, providing an appropriate backdrop to a real Japanese classic. In Andy's words, "I love the size and features of this watch… makes it a real classic looking timepiece for a great value"

Andy, we've sent you your reward and a letter of confirmation for your win, and hope you get it soon – and that you continue to enjoy your watch.

And now that the celebrations and the holiday season are over, we go back to Business As Usual, and here's a little teaser to the story we have coming up next week… discussing one of Orient's more iconic family of divers!

Thanks again to all who participated in our photo contest. If you enjoyed this and our other stories and posts, please follow this blog – you'll be getting the best Orient-related news, stories and reviews. You can also follow by liking the blog page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OrientPlaceBlog

Thursday 3 January 2019

Photo Contest Final Showdown

*** Edited January 10, noon CET: voting is now closed! Thanks for participating!

The Orient Place Holiday Photo Contest's first stage, which ended January 1st, yielded some great photos! So first of all it is time to thank everyone who participated, either by posting pictures of their Orient watches, or by voting for their favorite photos.

Now, we move on to the finals... As promised, this is going to be a head to head contest between our two finalists, whose photos received the most Likes, and without further ado – here they are.

Contestant #1: Andy Lewis, with his photo of an Orient Bambino:

 If you like Andy's photo best, comment "Andy" below!

Contestant #2: Devon Ravine, and his photo of an Orient Star Classic:

If you like Devon's photo the most, comment "Devon" below!

The contest will run for a week, ending on January 10, 2019, noon CET. At that time we will pick the winner, who received the most votes (that is, the most comments with his name). Both finalists have already earned our respect – but the winner also gets a small but cool reward, two original Japanese Orient Store brochures.

So come on and vote! And if you would like to stay in touch to see who wins, as well as to enjoy more Orient photos, reviews, articles and news in the future, please follow this blog and/or like our Facebook Page.