Orient Place

Orient Place

Sunday 23 October 2022

Orient "Stylish and Smart" Disk

A few years ago I was reminiscing about how it started, "it" being my deep dive into the history of Orient. I can add one more detail to the story now…

As I mentioned in that post I linked above, I was already collecting watches for a while before my interest in Orient got reignited. The trigger for this renewed interest was, of all models – no other than the humble Disk.

The Disk was introduced as part of Orient's early 2010s "Stylish and Smart" collection, which consisted of fun, mostly colorful and unconventionally designed watches. 

At the time I was hoping to add this sort of unassuming, inexpensive watch to my collection, so I hurried (well, not hurried. But eventually went) to the local Orient AD, just to find out they actually had no Orients on display, and the salesperson – of a shop belonging to the official brand importer mind you! – tried to talk me out of this watchmaker's products altogether.

Well, me being me, and that salesperson being as obnoxious as he was, the result of the brief conversation was the exact opposite of what he'd pushed for. I decided I was going to get an Orient, and that it was time to dive a little deeper into the Japanese brand's line-up and see what they've been up to.

Anyway, back to the Disk watch. The first batch of Disks was released in late 2011. Six references were presented, all sharing one key feature: the hour hand was replaced with a rotating disk that had an arrow-shaped cutout. That cut-out actually served as the "hand", pointing toward the hour markers, which were similarly cut out instead of applied on top.

Technically, this was very simple, but quite innovative. The color under the cut-outs added some style, thus fitting the "Stylish and Smart" tagline. The six versions presented differed in their dial color schemes, as well as the case and bracelet or strap colors.

Another notable feature shared by the different models was the tinted case-back crystal, which revealed the movement – in this case, as in all later men's Disk models, Orient's automatic caliber 48743. This movement did not feature hand-winding and hacking.

In 2012, Orient released a couple more versions aiming to be even more playful in their use of color. The "Rainbow" Disk had a multi-color plate under the dial, so that the hour markers were in all the colors of the rainbow, and the hour "hand" would change its color to match, as it rotated. The "Tricolor" Disk was a bit more restrained: its hour hand would simply switch from a red rectangle and blue triangle to a blue rectangle and red triangle, gradually as it moved around.

The overall construction of the watch was similar to the first models. All of these versions featured the same 41.4mm wide case, stretching 47.4mm lug to lug, and having 11.3mm of thickness. The lug width of all these models is 22mm.

In 2012 Orient did the sensible thing and presented the women's model of the Disk. Five references were released, featuring different color schemes. Some of the designs were unique to the new references, and some were made to match the men's watches, as "pairs". A new men's reference, WV0821ER, was introduced as a white-dial version of the Rainbow, creating an additional pair.

Technically similar to the original model, the women's Disk watch was smaller in size (measuring 29mm across, and 35mm lug to lug), and used the smaller, no-date automatic caliber 55542.

The final batch of Disks arrived in 2014. This time, the twist was in the shape of the hour markers. These were cut out as numbers, instead of simple sticks. The hour hand was also changed, now made of three squares.

Four references were presented under the new "Typography" Disk line-up, three men's and one women's.

All these models were originally sold as fairly inexpensive models, generally under 200 USD. However, as the Disk model was discontinued, and is gradually becoming harder to purchase, online prices are going up, and I'm seeing both NOS and pre-owned ones asking for much higher prices. I think a new or "as new" Disk at no more than 200-250 USD, can still make a nice addition to one's collection.


Pictures that appear in this post were taken from Orient website and catalogs.

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