Orient Place

Orient Place

Sunday 6 March 2022

Orient Star Ladies' Classic Semi Skeleton Hands On Review

Yes, that’s right. After almost four years of activity of Orient Place Blog, and having often posted updates of new women's model releases by Orient, we're finally going hands-on with a ladies watch.

The watch at hand is the Orient Star "Classic Semi Skeleton", reference RE-ND0004S (or, RK-ND0004S in Japan). Note there is a new line of Classic Semi Skeletons, that we've mentioned before; the model we're looking at now is the older version – the classic classic semi skeleton, if you will – which of course is still relevant and on sale.

The Classic Semi Skeleton is immediately recognizable as an Orient Star, and not just because of the logo. The case shape, curved silvery dial with roman numerals, and of course that "open heart" aperture, are obvious giveaways. It essentially an Orient design in a smaller package, which makes sense as Orient often likes to have its ladies' models function within his-and-hers watch pairs.

The smaller package, in this case, is 30.5mm wide, and 36.6mm long lug to lug – same as the newer Classic Semi Skeletons. This is indeed a very "classic" size for women's watches, whereas many brands nowadays offer larger diameters, which are considered as more modern or sportier.

While small, the watch retains the familiar Orient Star attention to details. The small crown is signed, as is the folding clasp. The leather strap is supple, and very similar in style to straps provided with the larger watches – though probably a little less padded, to keep in proportion with the 14mm lug width.

Diving into the finer details does not disappoint either. The dial features a well made pearlescent texture and fine black print. The parts of the movement visible through the open heart are nicely polished. Nothing seems too coarse or neglected.

The exhibition case-back reveals the tiny automatic movement, caliber 55C40. The movement itself is not particularly decorated, and I doubt any decoration would be visible to the naked eye anyway – and at this price point, it is absolutely fine. The golden rotor is lovely though, and is probably what makes checking the backside of this watch worthwhile at all.

Speaking of movement, this is where the biggest difference between "his" and "hers" models lies. Orient usually boasts very decent accuracy, with most Orient Star models testing to do around 6-7 seconds per day (and an official +25/-15 range). Caliber 55C settles for a stated +40/-30 seconds per day, and since there's no second hand – its actual accuracy does not matter much.

On one hand, this could make sense considering many women would view their watch as jewelry more than a time-telling device; on the other hand, the same can be said for many male watch-owners. I suppose women who are true watch aficionados will see this as a downside. Of course, this can simply be attributed to constraints resulting from the smaller size of the watch.

Okay then, technically it's all fine, the quality is there. But what do potential buyers think about the watch? I turned to my wife for some answers. It was interesting to learn how different her view of the matter is.

While she appreciated certain design elements, and took my word for the watch being of high quality and very reliable, she takes a more holistic approach. Viewing the watch as a whole, what the missed most was a bracelet; it then occurred to me that of the different watches I got her over the years, as well as ones she got for herself, she only keeps using the ones with a bracelet. Preferably a shiny one.

I wonder now, if women who view the watch more as jewelry, tend to prefer a bracelet over a leather strap; and if those who prefer a leather strap, are more likely to tend to the functional side of the watch, and may care more for the lack of a second hand?

Another point she made was, if she wears a watch she wants to be able to keep it on, everywhere – including the swimming pool, for instance. Clearly a leather strap limits the "go anywhere" option.

This OS Classic Semi Skeleton is officially priced at around $450 USD, and can usually be found at around 350. That is a good price for a well-made automatic watch from a reputable brand.

If you are looking to get yourself a classically styled mechanical watch, then this Orient Star makes a very compelling proposition.

If you are buying this watch for your significant other, you may well be in the right direction, just make sure she will be fine with the strap option, and that she does not mind reading the time to within the nearest minute only. Otherwise, your best option would be the Orient Star "Standard" ladies' watch, a sportier line of models ranging between 33.5-34.5 mm wide cases, all of which equipped with steel bracelets and featuring a date wheel and a second hand.

The blog would like to thank Orient – Epson Europe for providing us this Orient Star Classic Semi-Skeleton watch for review. 


  1. Thank you for the review.

    They do look FAB and thankfully I've ordered one on a bracelet for mum!

    That standard +/- accuracy tolerance is dreadful though, especially in view of what these cost even with a healthy discount.

    Did you put it on a timegrapher by chance? Certainly be interesting to know what the actual accuracy is over a few days.

    1. Well, I didn't bother with a timegrapher, seemed that would be missing the point with this watch 🙂

  2. Oh, I dont know.

    Orient trades on its quality and affordable automatics. Orient Star, even more so on their quality.

    At AUD$800 recommended retail and even $450 more realistically, I think anyone who owns one has good reason to expect it to be reasonably accurate. Yet Orients specifications on this movement are, from what I can tell, actually worse than any other current orient automatic.

    Possibly worse than any current automatic in that price.

    I think it would be an interesting exercise to see if it's accuracy is better... or preferably, much better... than they suggest.

  3. An interesting review, thanks. I depend on my watch to tell the time so the accuracy gives me major concern, maybe setting it on a timegrapher would've completed the article. I love the bracelet strap and the classic look of this timepiece is right up my alley. The mineral glass would worry me somewhat. I've considered this watch for over a year but I will probably never pull the plug because I don't enjoy constantly resetting the time.