Orient Place

Orient Place

Sunday 19 April 2020

Orient Place Blog's 2nd Anniversary

Happy birthday, blog! You're now two years old. Another year has passed. And while these are indeed complicated times we live in, Coronavirus and all, there are enough good things we can look back on – and look forward to.

So what has happened since we celebrated our first anniversary? First, some numbers… we've had more than 80,000 visits on the blog's second year, more than triple the traffic we had on the first year. That's fantastic and I thank all the blog's followers who keep coming back, commenting, sharing, liking – or just reading quietly which is just as great!

There was certainly no shortage of news and topics to write about, with more than 40 blog posts (almost once a week) published. Shortly after the first anniversary, we began reviewing new Orient models, many of which thanks to Orient Europe supplying us with the goodies. This proved to be some of the blog's most popular content, with the review of the Kamasu maintaining its status as our most-read hands-on review. However, the first place in the popularity contest goes to the announcement of the Orient Star Divers.

Orient Place Blog is also accompanied by an Instagram account (though it is not 100% dedicated to Orient or watches. But that's part of what makes an IG account interesting, isn't it…). You are most welcome to follow it if you're not doing so already! Here's a little collage that was posted earlier this year, a look back at some of our 2019 Instagram photos.

And of course, the big theme of this year for Orient is the brand's 70th anniversary. We've seen some cool releases take place under this theme, such as the re-issue of the King Diver and the Retro-future Camera. While new releases are currently taking a short break, we're probably going to see more new stuff later in 2020.

What next? Still no shortage of content in sight! We'll be reviewing new and old watches, discuss more topics from the brand's history, and keep you updated with any new models and announcements. Is there anything else you would like to see on the blog? Any particular models or topics you think the blog should cover, or perhaps – any content of your own you wish to share with us? Your feedback would be highly appreciated, so keep commenting, here or on our Facebook page, and keep following Orient Place blog!

Sunday 12 April 2020

Orient's Special Editions for Thailand

Tomorrow, April 13, Thai people will be celebrating the national holiday of Songkran, the traditional New Year's day.  So today, the blog would be paying respect to the people of Thailand, and we will be looking at some special Orient watches produced to celebrate the Thai culture and national events.

The first thing to keep in mind is the importance of the local language. The Thai take great pride in their unique numerals and alphabet, which are perceived as part of the national identity. Therefore, a key element in watches produced for the local market would be a replacement of Arabic or Roman numerals, with Thai ones. Note in the watches pictured below, that Orient often took the effort of changing numbers not only on the dial but on the date disk as well, as opposed to many other watchmakers that did Thai versions.

Another source of national pride and importance, is the king and the royal family. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with the current dynasty dating back almost two and half centuries and the kingdom as a whole dating back to the 13th century. Today the king's role might be more symbolic than decades ago, but he is very much revered, and the special occasions of the royal family are still being celebrated widely.

Now, we won't be reviewing all the many limited editions produced by Orient and its local distributors over the years, as there have been quite many. But we can take a look at four interesting examples.

2007: King Bhumibol's 80th Birthday

For the king's 80th Birthday, Orient and local distributor Trocadero partnered to release a number of interesting models. These included:

·         Dual-time model reference CFE04004W based on the FE caliber 46P
·         A pair of beautiful two-tone "his and hers" Orient Star models, references WZ0311ER (larger model) and WZ0361NR (smaller model)
·         A Royal Orient pocket watch
·         And this very yellow model, ref. CESAA005Y

In can be noted that Orient (or their local distributor) took the occasion so seriously, even the serial numbering of the pieces, engraved on the case back, was done in Thai numerals.

2009: Princess Bejaratana's 84th Birthday

To celebrate the Birthday of HRH Princess Bejaratana (Cousin of King Bhumibol), Orient introduced two limited edition models, practically so rare it is nearly impossible to find any information, references and details about them.

·         An elegant, two-tone Orient automatic. Nothing too unusual there…
·         A very unique, and probably very hard to find, version of the Orient Star Dynamic Re-issue. Now that's a properly royal piece!

2014: Orient Thailand Limited Edition

In 2014, Orient produced four "Thailand Limited Editions" of the Bambino, for no particular event other than a celebration of the Thai language and numerals. These special Bambinos includes one rose-gold plated version, one yellow-gold plated version, and two steel models having a white and a black dial.

2015: Princess Sirindhorn 60th Birthday

In April 2015, Orient celebrated the 60th Birthday Anniversary of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, with a couple of particularly handsome watches.

·         Reference FDB0C006V, a men's watch, nicely combining a royal purple dial and gold plated case.
·         Reference FDB0A00AW, a women's watch, again gold plated, with a dial that's mostly white with just a little touch of purple.

These were only a few examples of the special Orient editions produced for the Thai market. If you are looking to buy any of these rare models, be patient and prepare for a long hunt, as they are quite challenging to find (though possibly some might come up if you search local shops in Thailand).

Happy Songkran!

Some photos and information were taken from official publications by Orient and its former distributor in Thailand, Trocadero. Additional, super-useful and interesting information, was found on this blog