I posted some stories before about Orients with particular case shapes: triangular, cushion, and barrel cases. Now how about rectangles? They're angular and sharp, not soft like cushions, and harder to swallow than round watches (there's a reason why no one's making square pills!). Love 'em or hate 'em, square-cased Orients exist. Let's look at a few examples.
The Good Old Days
And by "good old days" I mean, the 1960s. Round watches were the more popular option back then, just like nowadays, but Orient did produce a few rectangular models.
In the early-to-mid 60s, it was the Olympia model that ruled the Orient line-up. Orient produced a bunch of square Olympia Calendar models, as well as Olympia weekly versions (which included the day wheel in addition to the date).
A few years later the "AAA Deluxe" joined the party. AAA's were actually made in a broad variety of shapes, and naturally, a rectangular case was introduced as well.
If you are looking to buy any of these vintage models, keep in mind they were quite petite: the Olympia cases were around 30mm, and early Deluxe models around 29mm; later models, like the one with the black dial above, were around 32mm. Narrow rectangular cases in modern watches work when lug-to-lug is longer, 40mm or more, but these older models were not that long.
In the 1980s quartz became dominant in Orient's product range, and among those quartz watches it seemed rounded cases were almost falling out of fashion. Many had tonneau cases, some almost square, and some – unashamedly rectangles.
In particular, it's worth noting the EQ line of quartz models. There were some pretty cool designs there, including this very fancy-looking piece. Do note, though, it too is a small watch, and while back then it was designated as a unisex model, today it would be clearly seen as a women's watch at 26mm.
Later, more modern models with larger cases joined – like the nice chronograph at the top of this post.
Return of The Machines
Toward the late 1990s, the automatic movement took back its position as the centerpiece in Orient's line of products. Over the next two decades, numerous designs were introduced that featured rectangular cases. Such were (shown below, from left to right) the "Galant", the "Noble", and the "Producer".
The versions featured above are only a few examples – each of these models was available in a number of dial colors, strap options, etc. They were not small watches, with the common case size around 36mm wide and 45mm long – which, for a bulky square shape, wears pretty large.
More recently, however, rectangular cases have almost completely disappeared from Orient's catalog – along with cushion cases and most non-round designs. The only two square cases now listed on Orient's global website are a couple of Multi-Year Calendars.
Pictures that appear in this post were taken from old catalogs and sale ads.