Orient Place

Orient Place

Sunday, 23 January 2022

The Orient Jupiter

Some names that pop up repeatedly throughout Orient's history bear much weight, like King Diver, M-Force and Royal Orient. Others seem to just float about, light and foamy, without drawing too much attention. Such is the name Jupiter.


Because it is such an unassuming side note in Orient's chronicles, not much has been written about it. But still, there were enough nice Jupiters produced over the years, it's worth mentioning a few of them.

We'll start off, rather surprisingly, with the most recent of them. The relatively-modern Orient Jupiter was a rather faithful rendition of one of the 1950's model – in fact it was so faithful, Orient even modified one of its then-current automatic, time-and-date movements, removed the date wheel and rotor, and squeezed it into the authentically small 34mm case of the reissue.


Honestly, other than its minute dimensions, this is a lovely watch. Now in hand-winding guise, a "19 jewel" text decorates the dial instead of the usual "automatic", and the crown's "ghost-position" in-between winding and setting the time reveals its movement's origin.

Orient produced two versions of this Jupiter: the gold-plated reference Tn33502G, and stainless steel Tn33503S.


The original Jupiter of the mid 1950s was not much different, if we can imagine it being clean and shiny (not many photos now exist of shiny 1950s Jupiters…)

Also measuring 34mm across, with a simple yet elegant dial, this was positioned below the Orient Star models of that era. And speaking of Stars and Jupiters, Orient must have been looking to the sky for names then, as that was also when an even more obscure model by the name Mars Orient was produced.

The original Jupiter with its T-type movement was replaced in the early 1960s by a new "showerproof" model, containing the newer N-type caliber, still with no date function.


Between the 1950s and 1990s, the Jupiter name was occasionally attached to different models, both automatic and quartz. Among those were a diver, some dressy models, and even a couple of curious looking moon-phase models having a fairly un-orient-like design – which might have been the reason for branding them "Jupiter" (with no mention of Orient on the dial).


So this was a brief review of a name of no particular importance in the history of Orient… but still, one that might yet be of interest for a collector of inconspicuous old watches.

 

Pictures of the various watches that appear on this post were taken from various old sale ads.