A couple of weeks ago, I posted a review of Orient's various world time and GMT watches. Today, I will focus on one particular model that I like and own, Orient Star reference WZ0091FA (which for clarity's sake I will simply refer to as "91FA").
The 91FA was part of a series of watches released at the end of 2004, a second generation to the FA line-up driven by caliber 46K40. Similarly to the first generation's black, blue, and white dial models (ref. WZ0011FA, WZ0031FA, and WZ0021FA, respectively), the newer models also featured similar colors, this time as references WZ0081FA, WZ0091FA, and WZ0101FA).
The new models were functionally identical, but their case design was improved and made more flowing. This is most noticeable when looking from the side of the watch. In addition, the rotor was decorated more nicely, and most importantly – water resistance was raised from 5atm to 10atm. All these changes make the later models better value (in case you're considering a purchase of either).
In the photo below, you can see the older model, in the small picture-in-a-picture; the more squared-off flanks and crown guard are clearly visible.
The 91FA is a beauty. The dark blue dial is striking, and the case is indeed fantastic. It is 41mm wide without the crown, 47mm lug to lug, and about 12mm thick – excellent size for a sports watch. It's not that old, really, so the overall design is just like any modern watch. This, despite the movement being fairly outdated, having no hacking and no hand-winding.
Operating the world timer function here is quite simple: the inner 24-hour ring is constantly moving with time. To adjust it to show the correct time next to each city name printed on the bezel, just use the crown in the first position, and turn it clockwise to advance the ring in 30-minute intervals (while turning it counter-clockwise sets the date).
Speaking of the bezel, I think there is something special in raw metal bezels that I always find more attractive than bezels with inserts. The combined effect of the deep blue dial and steel bezel is stunning.
The watch is made to quite high standards, fitting of an Orient Star. The dial, when inspected closely, reveals many subtle details, such as the circular tracks around the date and power reserve sub-dials, and the nicely sculptured markers. The hands and hour markers are lumed. The case features circular brushing on top, straight brushing on the sides, and polished beveling.
The 91FA is an excellent everyday wear. The sapphire front crystal and 100m depth rating are practical, however it should be noted that the crown does not screw down. The case feels tough, and always comfortable.
The 91FA and similar FA world timers continued to sell until 2008. They nowadays can be found online, at prices generally ranging from 200 – 400 USD in Japanese stores, and usually higher prices on EBay and stores shipping globally. 200-300 dollars are a great price for a mechanically good, even if slightly scratched, watch. Four hundred dollars are still good value for a watch in excellent condition, considering the look and quality of these models. You will not always be able to find a specific reference quickly, but if one waits a few weeks patiently, usually one would find the desired model.
Hello Mr. Orient.ReplyDelete
I saw on Watchuseek that you have been seeking a manufacturer for bezel inserts. I am also looking for such a manufacturer. Might I suggest that you contact me so we can share info? You can get ahold of me at writeanoia dot com, click on the contact page ... Hopefully we can get some bezels made! My project is for a specific kind of watch for a specific sort of work.
Thanks for the great write up. This particular model is now in my wanted list 😀.ReplyDelete
Enjoy the hunt, I trust you should be able to find one soon enough!Delete
I have just secured a 91FA for me at price 300usd. It was a big luck cause the seller mentioned the timepiece in the listing as a quartz model and did not mention the model number. So nobody has spotted that I guess for that price with the original bracelet it was quite a deal. Can't wait to arrive.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a good catch! And indeed many sellers make mistakes in listings, especially when dumping a lot of items at once it can happen. I hope your watch arrives safely and in satisfactory condition!Delete
I guess the bezel rotates so you can place the city you are most interested in at the 12 o'clock position? Does it rotate on the earlier generation (WZ0011FA)?ReplyDelete
I believe the bezels are identical on both generations, and rotate similarly to provide the same function of aligning the times with cities.Delete
Dont think thr older model's bezel rotates, mines fixedDelete
Interesting, and this actually makes sense as the older bezels appear smooth. Another advantage to the later models then!Delete