Brand/Model: Orient 60th Anniversary Manual Wind
Movement: Japanese manual wind
Material: gold plated stainless steel case, leather strap
Complications: date display, power reserve indicator
Price: MSRP $600 USD (sold out)
Plenty of photos follow the review. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
A couple of years ago, Orient Watch Company celebrated 60 years in the watch making business. Started in 1950, Orient has always been known as a maker of good quality manual wind and automatic watches, with all movements made in-house. Seiko held a 50-percent share in the company for a number of years and recently, Seiko took over the other 50-percent, so now Orient is a fully Seiko-owned company.
Orient is better known in Asia and the Middle East than in the United States, but in the last several years, the company has made a concerted effort to market their watches in the U.S., to a mixed degree of success. They have gone overboard with giving each model of watch they make a name, which was patterned after the unofficial naming of such watches as the Seiko ‘Orange Monster’ or Seiko ‘Sumo’. Just concentrate on delivering a quality product with good looks and you’ll do fine.
Regardless of their naming schemes, Orient still produces a quality product with unique design characteristics, the most famous being the power reserve indicator. For some reason, the company puts this complication on their watches quite often, which is fine with me.
Some people don’t care for a power reserve indicator and see little value in it. I for one, equate this feature to a gas gauge on a car. You know how much reserve power your watch has, so you will know approximately (in hours) how long it will continue to run, just like knowing how much gas is in the tank so you will know how far you can drive your car before running out of gas.
The Orient 60th Anniversary model came out in mid-2010, released in a limited edition of 3000 total watches; 1500 pieces each in stainless steel and gold-plated stainless steel. I usually don’t care for all-gold watches, but since this is the only all-gold watch I have in my collection and it is a true dress watch, I am glad I have it in the fleet. But I will be honest, I probably wear it only once or twice a year.
This Orient 60th Anniversary starts with an all stainless steel case, covered in 22K electroplated gold (it’s stamped this way on the case back). What strikes you right away about this piece is its classy, expensive look and somewhat retro dial design.
The case measures 39mm without the slightly larger than normal winding crown; 41.9mm crown included. The crown is finely signed ‘Orient’ in cursive script. Lugs are 20mm, thickness is 11.7mm.
The case and case back are fully polished with a fixed polished bezel surrounding the crystal. The case back is a snap-on type (demerits here from me) and is engraved with 60th Anniversary script and the individualized watch number.
The watch is marked only as ‘water resistant’, so best not to get this gem of a watch wet.
The crystal is sapphire and slightly domed and is of a ‘high dome’ design (looking at the watch from the side, the crystal looks thick and extends up from the bezel). It’s the sort of crystal that distorts the tips of the watch hands so they look bent down at certain angles. Of course the hands are straight, but the refraction through the edge of the crystal plays tricks on you.
The dial is a white/silver shade with applied thin gold markers at each five minute mark (double markers at the 12), with small black hash marks for the remaining minute markers. The dauphine-style hour and minute hands along with the seconds hand are simple gold, with no luminous anywhere. This watch does not glow in the dark, which is acceptable given its function as a dress watch.
A quickset date is located at the expected three o’clock position, with a gold frame around the date wheel. The date wheel is black on white and alignment within the window frame is good.
The power reserve indicator sits under the 12 position and reads up to 40 hours, sweeping to the left as the watch is powered up. The scale is slightly raised off the dial and is ridged (a very subtle detail) running from 0 to 40 and is marked off in 3-1/3 hour increments. During operation, the scale is accurate and gives the wearer a good idea of how much run time remains. To match the rest of the dial’s presentation, the power reserve indicator hand is a simple gold pointer.
Under an 8X loupe, the dial shows no imperfections, with a clean build and no obvious dirt or other distractions. Nice overall quality, especially at this price point.
Inside the Orient 60th Anniversary beats an in-house manual wind movement (Cal. 48N40) running in 21 jewels and beating at 21,600 vph. The movement hacks, which is a nice touch, since not a lot of manual wind movements incorporate this capability.
Another nifty feature is the overwind protection. Orient has installed a clutch mechanism to prevent the watch from being overwound or otherwise damaging the mainspring (always a concern when winding a pure manual wind watch versus an automatic movement). You merely wind the watch until the power reserve indicator indicates a ‘charge’ of 40 hours and you’re good to go!
Performance has been fine, with testing in my atelier showing the watch running at -7 seconds over 24 hours and a good power reserve of 45-1/2 hours. There’s something elegant about a manual wind movement in a dress watch.
The strap on the Orient 60th Anniversary is a quality dark brown croc-look leather, slightly padded with plenty of holes for the buckle, so this watch will fit a small wrist. My wrist is about 6-3/4 inches and there are four more holes left to go smaller. The strap measures 20mm at the lugs and tapers to about 17.6mm at the signed gold tone buckle. Just like the watch itself, the strap is understated and elegant, a perfect complement to the overall design.
Presentation shines with the Orient 60th Anniversary. A rectangular black cardboard outer box is signed ‘Orient 60th Anniversary’ as is the inner box, which is a dark-finished solid wood creation that is padded and signed on the inside. A beautiful presentation for a beautiful watch.
If you want a dress watch that honestly looks like it cost at least $1,000 USD, want a unique piece of Japanese horological history or just want a reliable, classy watch for not a lot of money, the Orient 60th Anniversary in either stainless steel or gold tone stainless will certainly fit the bill. The tough part is finding one, as all 3,000 pieces appear to be sold out, but occasionally, pieces do show up on the used market. Keep your eyes peeled for one and you won’t be disappointed.
Cons: lack of lume could bother some, could be a bit dainty for those used to massive tool watches, snap-on case back a pain at service time
Verdict: a beautiful mechanical watch from a long-standing Japanese watch company that celebrates their heritage and will bring joy to everyone that owns one, the Orient 60th Anniversary watch is a real gem
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.