Thursday, 27 August 2020
Thursday, 13 August 2020
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
Today, Orient was particularly kind to us… not only did it launch a new model, the "avant-garde skeleton", but it also released a bunch of new references under two existing line-ups, the "Modern Skeleton" and the diver-style sports watch widely known as "Kanno".
This is one of the more recognizable Orient Star models. Considering its price, it's also proven to be quite popular, thanks to the very high level of finishing (Orient uses the term Zaratsu, just like the famed Grand Seiko polishing technique). Today this is also the Orient Star with the most variations, offering now no less than 13 references – including the three new additions.
Reference RK-AV0113S features a white dial, a stainless steel case and bracelet. Ref. RK-AV0114E is said to have a green dial (looks more like teal in photos) with gold accents, and likewise comes on a bracelet.
RK-AV0115B stands out of the lot, having a bronze-plated case, black bezel, black leather strap, and black dial. Bronze plating has become a thing lately with Orient, it seems – not necessarily a bad thing, as bronze adds gold tones that are more subtle and less glitzy than actual gold PVD. Not sure if this plating actually patinates with time, as solid bronze cases do…
Like all Modern Skeleton versions, these references feature automatic, hand-winding and hacking cal. F6F44 with 50 hours of power reserve, and have a front sapphire crystal and organic-glass caseback. Case width is 41mm, lug-to-lug length is 49mm, thickness is 12mm, and the lug width is 21mm.
Pricing of the new Modern Skeleton versions is similar to the old versions, i.e. around 800 USD, with the bronze-plated version being a little more expensive at 850 USD.
The 44mm Kanno is perhaps a little less popular than its smaller, sapphire-equipped brother Kamasu, but still an important offering from Orient, and it is now added some trendy new colorways.
Ref. RA-AA0912B (also RN-AA0912B) features a black dial and pepsi (blue-red) bezel. Ref. RA-AA0913L features a blue dial and blue-orange bezel. Ref. RA-AA0914E (also RN-AA0914E) features a green dial and bezel, and RA-AA0915R (or RN-AA0915R) has a red dial and black bezel.
As opposed to the four references above, which are attached to a steel bracelet, ref. RA-AA0916L comes on a leather strap. It has the same blue dial, blue-orange bezel combination like AA90913L.
In addition, Orient will be offering two limited editions that would be available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
Ref. RA-AA0917B (which will also be available in UAE), having a black bezel and dial, will feature a two-tone bracelet as well as golden bezel rim. Ref. RA-AA0918S will feature a white dial and black bezel. Both of these references are limited to 1,010 pieces.
The unlimited editions will be priced same as existing Kannos, i.e. a little over 300 USD. No word on the pricing of the limited editions – we can expect similar price tags, with the two-tone variant being perhaps a little higher.
It's been a while since Orient presented a new skeleton model – not semi-skeleton or open-heart, but a full skeleton design. Well – the wait is over!
Actually, it's only almost over, as the new model announced today by Orient is not truly a full skeleton dial and movement like the old "DX" line was. The new "Avant-Garde Skeleton" shows more watch intestines than most semi-skeletons, but leaves enough dial to keep the watch more legible, and also look more robust, and less delicate than the previous model.
So what are we talking about here? Let's take a quick look.
It's a new line of sporty looking watches, five references at the moment. The case is 43.2mm wide, 49.2mm lug to lug, and 13.7mm thick. Front crystal is sapphire, while the back is mineral. The models differ in dial, case and bezel colors:
RK-AV0A01B (also RE-AV0A01B) is stainless steel with black bezel and crown, and the dial is black with silver-tone elements. It comes on a steel bracelet.
RK-AV0A02S (also RE-AV0A02S) is stainless steel, bezel and crown, and the dial is mostly silver-tone with only a little black elements. This one also comes on a steel bracelet.
RK-AV0A03B (also RE-AV0A03B) is all an black case, bezel and crown. The dial too is mostly black with some dark red elements. It comes on a black leather strap with red lining.
RK-AV0A04B (also RE-AV0A04B) is bronze-plated case and crown, with a black bezel. Its dial is black with a kind of yellowish, or mustard-color elements. Its strap too is black with the same yellowish stitching.
RK-AV0A05B is the limited prestige shop edition. The case and bezel and dial are mostly black, but are accentuated by the gold tone of the crown, bezel screws, and various dial elements.
Another unique element of the limited edition is found on the bezel, which has been drilled to look like a sportscar's brake disc.
Inside the Avant-Garde Skeleton runs Orient's automatic, hand-winding and hacking caliber F6F44, featuring 50 hours of power reserve, and presenting small seconds and a power reserve indicator (but no date).
The watches further feature a screw-in crown, and 10bar (100 meters) water resistance. Prices are between 950 – 1,150 USD, so even in this perspective, they are positioned somewhere between Orient's semi- and full-skeleton.
A very interesting announcement then. These are not cheap watches but they don't look cheap either, as their design is elaborate and construction appears robust and quite impressive. We hope to see these in the flesh, soon!