Orient'sstarred in a dedicated post here on the blog, about three months ago. The timing was not accidental, as while my interest in these unique models was sparked years ago, there was this one special chronograph that had arrived at my post office not long before. That was the baby-blue reference WZ0031DS.
It all began one day when a friend who knew what sort of watches I was hunting for sent me a link via messenger. The link was for a Yahoo Auctions sale where one lovely sample of the aforementioned reference was being offered. As the item description did not include a single word of English and the model reference was actually not listed, it's no wonder it did not show up on my periodic searches (and it's not clear how that friend came across it, but that's a whole different story…)
The asking price, as expected, was fairly high, in fact it was about the same as the watch when it was new. But I went for it, of course, because the value of the time wasted repenting a lost opportunity is usually greater than the cost of just going ahead and buying it. Bid won!
Fast forward through ordering, shipping and collecting at the post office, the amazing piece arrived safely. Let's run through the basic facts first: this belongs in theChronograph series produced in 2007, driven by a Seiko cal. 6S37 auto chrono movement, dressed up as Orient cal. 32A00.
The stainless steel case is around 41mm wide and 49mm lug to lug. The fixed bezel is 40mm wide, and the chubby case can be seen extending beyond it. The case is close to 15mm thick, including nearly 2mm of spherical sapphire over the dial. The exhibition case-back is also covered by sapphire crystal.
My WZ0031DS arrived attached to a very solid steel bracelet, taken from either WZ0011DS or WZ0021DS (the white / black dial versions; the blue actually came with a leather strap). This pushes the overall weight of the piece from 105g to nearly 180g. It's fairly hefty for its modest size then.
First impressions are, well, that this watch is very impressive! Its color scheme is uncommon, and its overall looks are quite un-Orient-like. There is something very Chopard-Mille-Miglia about it. It definitely gets everyone's attention – or at least, everyone who is into watches.
It's not just in the design – there's very substantial quality here. It is clear that Orient worked hard to ensure this timepiece is worthy of the superb movement inside it. All the elements on the dial are just so crisp and finely made.
Speaking of the movement – this specimen works well. Winding is easy, chrono pusher operation is smooth, and accuracy is satisfactory: the watch gained on average 5 seconds per day. Movement specs are +15/-10.
On the wrist, the watch feels hefty and very robust. I wonder what it would be like on a strap – it definitely needs to be on thick, quality leather if one is to complement the case properly. On this bracelet however it works well. Like most Orient Star bracelets I've tried, this one is super solid, chunky and comfortable. And I was glad to see that the watch definitely had an easier life than the bracelet prior to being acquired by me: the bracelet is well scratched but the case is very clean.
So – in summary – what can be said about this watch? This is not meant to be a real "buyers' advice" sort of review because, let's face it, finding one of these is going to be very challenging. But if you do find one – you're going to get yourself one seriously good watch. Solid, reliable, beautiful and well made, this is one of Orient's best ever pieces.
The blog would like to thank, for the excellent photography (where his name is stamped; some of the less professional photos were taken by the author)