10 August 2009

The Mystery of the Orient

Orient's Professional Diver Automatic Watch 2ER00001B

Suggested Retail Price: $180.00

Movement: 21 Jewel Orient Japan

Size: 39mm diameter

The Orient Professional Diver Automatic watch might just be the perfect watch for Goldilocks. It’s neither too large and clunky nor too small and “frou frou.” At 39mm, Goldilocks might have decided that it’s “just right.”

Some buyers might like it for its more-than-coincidental similarity to the legendary Rolex Submariner, with its black face and dots and bars indicating the hours. However, others are likely to eschew it for the same reason – there is simply too much similarity to the famous Swiss watch. Still, the fact remains is that it is a good looking watch with traditional diver styling.

The case, band and back/bezel are all of stainless steel. While the case sides and back are highly polished, the top of the case and strap have a brushed finish. The bezel, which is clearly marked, turns in a counter clockwise direction and has a positive feel. Orient’s Diver watch is topped by a mineral crystal with an external magnifier to make the date easy to read. The bracelet style band features a safety catch which stays fully secured and looks as if it would stay latched through virtually anything.

Orient bills it as a true diver’s watch and it is rated as water-resistant to 100 meters (328 feet), thanks to such features as a screw-down crown and a screw-down stainless steel case back. And the bezel can be securely set so that the diver knows exactly when it’s time to head for the surface – it is a very good watch for the casual diver.

Along with the watch comes an instruction book that is so thick it’s almost frightening. As it turns out, the bulk is due to the inclusion of instructions in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. Even without the benefit of the booklet, the Orient is a straightforward watch to set, and that’s all the crown does. This is a self-winding watch only. Turning the crown will not build up the watch’s reserve. If it stops, you need to shake it for a few seconds to start it. When it comes to setting the watch, the first step is to turn the “screw-down” crown counter-clockwise. Then comes the opportunity to pull the crown out to the first detent to set the date. Another pull and you’re ready to set the time. If it’s after noon and you’ve just set the date, you’ll need to adjust the time by 12 hours so that the date changes appropriately. Hold the crown out and the second hand can be set to ensure total accuracy. This feature was particularly useful for setting and then checking the Orient against the atomic clock at www.time.gov. During a 24-hour period, the Orient remained within a second of the official time. With the date and time set, the crown needs to be pushed in fully and then turned clockwise until it seats fully – otherwise the watch will not be water resistant. On occasion the crown would stop turning before it was fully home. In those instances, backing it up slightly and trying again invariably succeeded.

Overall, the Orient 2ER00001B is a good looking watch that was comfortable to wear. It was easy to set and kept extremely good time. The most amazing part is that it costs only $180.00. No one is going to mistake it for a Rolex or a vastly more expensive Swiss or German watch, but then again, very few people will mistake it for a watch that costs less than $200.00. For more information about this and other Orient watches, go to: www.orientwatchusa.com.


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