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).


31 comments:

  1. Great overview. I really love Japanese watches, and Orient shines with their designs

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  2. Fantastic write-up of the M Force

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  3. Great article with beautiful pictures. I enjoy your blog.
    I own an EX00 too. It's the same one as yours, the blue dial one.
    The brown strap really fits well with the dial color!
    Recent M-Forces are too big for me. I hope Orient reissues EX00 without the pusher.

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    1. Thanks! I agree that sizes of recent M-Force versions, while establishing them as highly capable and robust divers, made them less wearable as daily watches. A EX00 reissue would be great - althought very unlikely; Orient, it seems, do like 1-2 reissues per decade... as opposed to Seiko.

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  4. Great review and great blog. I own an EL series and really it's a reliable and accurate diver.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy the blog - and I'm sure you enjoy your EL :)

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  5. hi all,
    a new comer to the orient family.I am planning to buy a 2nd Generation Bambino V3, but while reading around i came across this watch (https://i.redd.it/fjc4zhoqyvy31.jpg) in watchexchange.
    in dilemma wether i should go for the ray ll or the bambino, and also i little skeptical about the ray ll.

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    1. well - let's make it simple ... are you looking for a dive watch or a dress watch? the Bambino is a great choice for the office, lots of elegance for the money. The Ray II (like the Mako and Kamasu) is a great choice for outdoors (but more versatile, as a blue one like in the photo would sure look good in the office too).

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  6. Thank you for the reply and for making it simple.

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  7. Hi, I am looking for orient ex00 model to buy. If you have one for sale, please contact me by email at uzsultanov@gmail.com, thanks.

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  8. Finally purchased my ex00 a few weeks ago straight from Japan. There is a little history behind it, so bear with me. My father bought ex00 back in 2003 for me as a gift. I used to love the watch... One day, then I was at the market buying some cloth, I took off the watch from my wrist and forgot it in the fitting room. A few mins later I realized that I forgot my watch so went back to the fitting room. You guessed it, it was gone... So it has been 17 years since I was looking for one and yeah, I just bought one.

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    1. Congrats for finding your EX00 ! It's a worthy grail, all the more so for your story. Enjoy it, and take good care of it this time :)

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    2. congrats on your watch friend , could just share how you found and sourced the watch from Japan.

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    3. Sure, I used a proxy site called "https://buyee.jp/"(no quotes). If you got to that web site, you can register your profile. That will give you access to some popular Japanese auction / shopping platforms such as Japanese Yahoo auction, mercari Japan etc. You can buy or place a bit just like in normal auctions. The cool thing is, they work with PayPal, so it is secure. The way it works is, you buy your item and pay the money to buyee.jp proxy site. They will order you item for you and guarantee the shipment.

      It sounds complicated, but once you get it, it is very simple. You can buy many other authentic Japanese items there too. Hope this helps. By the way, use Google chrome translater to translate from Japanese if needed.

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  9. It was a pleasure to find your Instagram blog and an even bigger pleasure to read full-size reviews and articles here. Thank you, it's great!
    By the way, as an Orient expert, could you please explain the difference of M-Force and Triton and the reason that Triton emerged? They seem the same technically and even visually, so... What's the sense?

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    1. Hi, thank you for the compliments! Much much appreciated.

      As for the Triton... not really sure, there was never an official explanation. The different naming could have had one of two likely purposes: one, a desire to rebrand, that sometimes marketing people get for no apparent reason other than trying to make things more "fresh". The other, an attempt to hint at the Triton being more refined and wearable as the M-Force was getting a reputation for being a beast more appropriate for people of huge wrists.

      In fact - most M-Force versions are more wearable than diameter "on paper" would suggest, and the Triton was not so different, so... more marketing than substance in this case.

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    2. Thank you, so the things are exactly what they seem to be :) As for me, I liked the M-Force name and the tradition behind it much much more than the newcomer Triton brand.

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    3. Well, now that Triton's gone and the M-Force is back, things seem to fall back into place :)

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  10. I have a EX0D, it’s a “simple” version, just 100M, non rotating bezel. But I have not found much information about this model. Does someome here know something? I really apreciate your help

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    1. Hi.. a slightly later (1998) version of 1st gen orient. It uses the same 46G40 movement like all EX models.

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    2. Any after market straps available for EX0D?

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    3. Unfortunately the chance of finding an after market strap or bracelet for the ex0d are slim to none. But you could have a strap maker craft a custom one for you.

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  11. Hello, as an expat living and working in Japan, I have had unique access to the JDM Orient market. I recently discovered your website and found it very exciting and informative. Thanks for all of your expertise. By the way, I just opened my new NOS EX00 today. It is the model with the gold bezel markings (from 1998?). It is slightly smaller than I imagined, but I am pleased to have picked it up. I have a small Orient collection that I have been working on for the last year or so, but the discovery of your website has supercharged my acquisition efforts. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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    1. Hi... Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad that you enjoy the content on my blog. And, the EX00 is a wonderful watch, it will "grow on you" over time! Wear it in good health.

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    2. BTW, I unscrewed the crown and tried to wind it today and there is no winding action. That is a hand wind model, right? Strange that it wouldn't wind as an NOS...

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    3. Actually no, it's an automatic only, like most Orients at the time. No hand winding! A few gentle shakes and it will tick away happily.

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    4. Well, I am truly glad to hear that. I had assumed that it was a model with hand winding and thought I might have to pony up for a servicing. Thanks for the enlightening information, much appreciated.

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    5. I want to know if you have been hearing about the orient mforce model SEL03005Y0

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    6. Yep, the yellow one. Among numerous variations in the EL line.

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