Orient Place

Orient Place

Thursday 13 August 2020

Orient Sun and Moon Watch Hands-On Review

Orient began producing watches with the Sun and Moon complication in 2007. The idea was simple and ingenious: people love the notion of a moon-phase complication for its romantic and classic looks; however, the price of a quality moon-phase watch is quite high. But then, Orient had a caliber with a small 24-hour display. So why not take that 24-hour movement, spice it up by letting it rotate a disc presenting the sun and the moon, and give watch buyers something very similar to the phases of the moon, at a fraction of the cost?

Over the last 13 years, the idea has evolved, the design changed slightly, but the concept has remained the same. Today, a visitor to Orient's website would find no less than five different types of Sun & Moon watches, each with numerous dial versions. These include the last generation of the non-hacking, non-hand-winding cal. 46-based model; a quartz version in a small case designated as ladies' watch; and three designs based on the modern F6 automatic movement – the "contemporary" model, which means more streamlined, sportier case and simpler dial, an open-heart model, and a "classic" design. It's the latter one that is the subject of today's review.

Specifically, we are looking at the classic collection's white-dial version of the Sun and Moon watch, with the Japanese reference RN-AK0005S – also known as RK/RA-AK0005S or (F)AK00002S. First presented in November 2017 alongside a few other dial variations, the model remains in production and is generally available to buy.

How It Looks

The watch boasts a collection of design elements, each being stylish and well made in its own right. It's a matter of personal preferences though whether one finds the end result attractive or not. Fans of strict symmetry may well disapprove of the dial layout; people who are willing to accept that dial elements can be happier if allowed to roam the watch face freely, are more likely to appreciate it.

The dial starts off nicely with a breguet-inspired design, where the main surface features an attractive guilloche texture. The hour and minute tracks that surround it are marked with Roman numerals and dotted intervals, respectively, and are adorned with a subtle circular pattern.

The Sun & Moon display is located at 5, and the weekday sub-dial is at 10 o'clock, both featuring wavy, circular patterns. Under the magnifying glass, all these patterns appear to be very well executed, including the stylish date window. While not every minute detail might be immediately visible to the naked eye, they do combine to produce a crisp visual impression of high quality.

The star of the show, of course, is the sun and moon disc. The sun is painted in gold tone and shines nicely against the light blue "sky". The stars sparkle similarly against the darker shade of blue representing night-time. No matter what time of day it is, they will provide a lovely dash of blue color that contrasts effectively with the white dial and adds depth to it.

Sure enough, the result is fairly busy. Most of the dial space is taken up with the sun & moon display, the day sub-dial, and the date aperture. The little vacant spot that remains has been decorated with the Orient logo. That said, Orient has plenty of clean-dial dress watches (like the Bambino), so fans of minimalist design are well looked after. This watch, by contrast, targets buyers who are not deterred by complications, and prefer dials that are a bit more, shall we say, "action packed".

The watch is not all dial though… It also has a very nice case. It's polished all around, and features a display case-back. I liked the stepped shape of the lugs; I find that the top "step" plays nicely with the bezel of the watch to create a very coherent design. This is something that you can't really tell by looking at most photos of this model.

All in all, seeing this watch in person did not disappoint at all. This model was made to be pretty and to present an attractive and elaborate dial, and it succeeds at that.

How It Wears

Like many Orients that come in for review, this one is on the larger side, being 42.5mm wide, 14mm thick, and 50.5mm long, lug to lug. With the wealth of information on its dial it didn't look too big – and, honestly it did not feel too big for my liking either. Whether a watch wears large or small often has more to do with how its size is perceived than actual wearing comfort and heft. With its curved lugs, wearing comfort was definitely not a problem.

The watch isn't too heavy either, at 94g. I'd generally say 100g is where you start to feel the heft of a wristwatch, so this is just right.

The watch is held securely in place by the attached leather strap. The strap is okay – nothing to write home about. It's lightly padded and a bit stiff, but it should soften with use. Orient has equipped it with a folding clasp, which is not top of the line but not too shabby either. For the price, it's good, works well, and makes the wearing experience just a tad more "luxurious" compared to a simple buckle.

Strap width is 22mm, so if one wishes to replace it with a different, perhaps more supple leather strap, that should be easy enough.

Bottom line then – a very wearable watch, and its sporty nature and packed dial mean it does not feel too big for its own good. You can see it below on my 7.3" wrist; and as I usually like to mention when discussing watches of these dimensions, if your wrist is smaller than 7", or if you prefer smaller watches, it's best to try the watch on before buying.

How It Functions

Crown operation on this watch is fairly standard and easy. The crown does not screw down, so it's just a matter of pulling it out to the third position to set the time; pushing it to the second position to adjust the day and date, turning clockwise or anti-clockwise; and pushing it back in to wind.

Thankfully (from purely a convenience point of view), there's no need actually to set the moon phase here… the sun and moon disc is just a visual illustration over the 24 hour mechanism and is thus synchronized with the main time.

The movement you're winding in this case is caliber F6B24. Power reserve is 40 hours, and accuracy specification, as with all F6 movements, is +25 / -15 seconds a day. Also as with most F6 movements tested by the blog, the actual accuracy we've measured for the sample unit we got, was +7 seconds a day.

As far as legibility is concerned, there's really nothing to complain about. In the daytime, there's plenty of contrast between the hands and most dial elements. Despite the dial being so busy, there's never really a situation where the hand would "hide" somewhere. Telling the time is always easy.

Nighttime is also a very simple affair – simply, you won't be telling the time in the dark. There's no lume here, which is typical of a dress-watch design. Plus, using fatter hands with room for lume would simply not fit the style of the watch.

Everyday usability is fine, as long as one keeps in mind this is not a tool watch. Water resistance is limited to 5 bar, and it's one of those pretty watches you'd want to keep shiny and bright, not dented and scratched. Front crystal is sapphire though, just in case...

The Bottom Line

This version of the Orient Sun and Moon is officially priced at around 450 USD. Many online sellers nowadays offer it at closer to 350 USD, but you can find it at even lower prices. For instance, Long Island Watch, which is a reliable retailer, now present a sale price of $270.

What you get for your money is an utterly charming watch, which offers a very satisfying combination of reliable mechanics with looks that are slightly quirky, but never boring. And that really is what I expect to get from an Orient. The quality and attention to detail make this a watch that should make most buyers happy, even at 350-400 USD, let alone if you get it at a better price.

Needless to say, no watch can satisfy everybody, and neither can the Sun and Moon. Many would find that its design clashes with their striving for simplicity, or conflicts with their obsession with symmetry. Some might wish it was a bit smaller. But if you like what you see in the photos and you're okay with the case dimensions, you will not be disappointed putting the Orient Sun and Moon on your wrist.

The blog would like to thank Orient – Epson Europe for providing us this Orient Sun & Moon for review.


  1. Thanks for the great review!
    Hadn't I have the real deal I would have surly buy this one.

    1. Yep... your moon phase is a wonderful watch!

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  3. Great review, I couldn't agree more. I picked mine up off of Amazon for $200 USD. I wish Orient posted as nice photos as you did because when you see it up close, its way nicer than the Orient website lets on.

    I do wish the other color variants had a matching date wheel. I bought the white specifically for that reason. The rotor is decorated but it is very subtle. On mine, the only defect is that the 12 position is a bit off of center between the lugs. Do you see it in yours?

    I have a 16 cm wrist and it is big on me. But on the smallest setting it doesn't flop around.

    For the price, I don't see anything that has the specs, whimsy, heritage, detail, and build quality as this watch!

    1. Thanks for the feedback!

      I agree that Orient (just like Seiko, by the way) don't really produce very attractive catalog photos for most models. They'll do a good pic for one reference for the advertisement, and that's it...

      Also, agree on the date wheel. I really have a thing for matching date-wheels. Something that you'll see even big brands and very expensive watches sometime getting wrong.

      And, no, haven't noticed any issues of misalignment on mine.

  4. This is an amazing watch, especially for its price. Ít's a dress watch, but due to the colours of the sun & moon dial, it doesn't look odd with casual clothes either. The gold version is also very beautiful. I didn't like that variety first, but when I looked at it in real life, I became absolutely amazed by the subtle beauty and finesse of its dial. The gold version is a really elegant dress watch, and as such, it is only suitable with a formal suit and a tie. But then it becomes a real gem of a watch that draws the attention of everybody in the party by its sophisticated look and fine colours. That's an amazing, unique timepiece to wear with a formal suit, or else, it could be the favourite of your watch collection.