There are moments in every person’s life when he has to think about what is more important to him, what to spend his time and money on, and what to put aside. This is the period in my life that I have been going through for a good half a year – two small children, the purchase of a flat, renovation and moving to it made the hobby of watches fall into the background for me.
Due to a very limited budget, my collection only includes watches that I cannot imagine not having in my box. The Aquatico turned out to be a positive surprise as it gained more and more in my eyes with time and is now the watch that I most often wear in my free time from work. If only Aquatico on the basis of this case and bracelet releases a model with a different, more spatial dial, I will blind buy it, because the watch will be the proverbial 10/10 for me then.
I was drawn into the return to the watch world by an email from Ms Katie, a representative of Orient brand. She noticed our reviews of the Orient and Orient Star watches, which we have already blogged for a few, and contacted us. We got a proposal to review one of the newest models. Nothing motivates you more than the fact that your work is noticed and appreciated by a third party 😊
And so, having the opportunity to choose which watch I would like to see live and be able to describe in the review – I chose – limited to 850 pieces on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the company – model RE-AT0205L.
A week later, the watch was at my place, and I was able to start writing down my thoughts on this model and share them with you in a review.
And from the start I was pleasantly surprised. The box of the RE-AT0205L model is completely different than the ones I dealt with in the case of other Orient Star watches. Different, ie much better. In a navy blue, oblong, carton box there is … and how – a navy blue oblong box trimmed with leather. The box is suitably heavy and, when held in the hand, gives the impression of being solid. I don’t know if it is real leather, but the smell of the box is definitely not associated with artificiality and plastic, on the contrary, with good quality materials.
Inside, the box is lined with a soft material, and the watch is attached to it with metal holders. In such a box, the watch can easily be given as a gift, without worrying about the first impression.
The stainless steel case is 40.4 mm wide, 46.6 mm long from lug to lug, and the entire watch, including the glass, is 12.8 mm thick. The watch on my 18.5 cm wrist looks perfect, but it should be noted that its dimensions – especially thickness, disqualify it as a suit watch. The design itself is typically casual and it is the semi-formal stylizations that will suit the Orient Star RE-AT0205L.
Each visible surface of the case has been polished to a high gloss. The finishes are very careful, the case itself has been designed so that the 3 elements that compose it clearly stand out from each other, despite the same surface finish.
Both when looking from above and from the side, we can clearly see where the large bezel begins and ends. In the entire thickness of the watch, it is as much as 3mm, in addition, its diameter is slightly smaller than the case itself, and in the lower part it is profiled at a sharp angle towards the case, which causes the effect of a clear separation of these 2 elements from each other.
The effect of the size of the bezel is intensified by the glass, which has been profiled at the edges so that it gives the impression that it is an extension of the bezel. It looks really interesting, the effect is visible especially from the side, someone thought it very well. I like when the watch has such flavors
The actual part of the case itself is relatively small, only 5mm thick and a large part is rounded towards the bezel to increase the aforementioned effect of the drop between the case and bezel. The ears are short with a gentle rounding between the side and the upper surface, which rounding runs along the entire case under the bezel.
The rest of the thickness of the watch, about 3mm, is the caseback, about which I will talk more in a later part of the review.
When discussing the case, I must also mention the crown, which literally looks like … a miniature crown 😊. Probably no watch I have met so far has had this item so perfectly matching its name. The large crown has large cuts and widens upwards, making it very easy to take off and use, the pilot watches crowns have similar properties. There, the crown are even larger and widen even more so that pilots can handle them even with gloves. Setting the time on this model is pure pleasure, there is no, even minimal play, and the setting hands stay exactly where you set them; after pressing the crown back, they do not vibrate even by a hair.
However, the most characteristic element of the crown is probably the blue filling at the top, where the manufacturer’s logo is usually engraved. I don’t know what exactly this filling is, but it shimmers nicely under the influence of light, and is another element of this watch that distinguishes it from other Orient Star models, or from other watches on the market.
The width of the watch between the lugs is 20mm, it is rather a standard value for a case of this width, guaranteeing good proportions.
Of all the brands available on the market, Orient is probably the manufacturer that offers the most watches with an Open Heart dial. This is a characteristic feature of this brand – they can make nice open heart watches, which is not so simple at all. Swiss brands do not always get it, especially in the budget for which you can buy Orient Star watches, because at the prices of Orient watches, a Swiss watch with an automatic mechanism, we will not find it at all, let alone an open heart dial. This means that if I’m looking for an Open Heart watch, I always look in the direction of the Orient brand, so far I have liked no Swiss watch with a hole in the dial so much that I would be willing to buy it, and Orient Star watches in this style together with Tomek we’ve had a few and have never disappointed. Tomek still carries his copy of the modern skeleton model and despite the large rotation in his collection, he has a permanent, honorary place for him 😊
The dial in the RE-AT0205L model is navy blue, has a delicate sunburst effect, and navy blue paint has been mixed with small particles of glitter, thanks to which it shimmers like a starry night sky when exposed to the sun. In the description on the manufacturer’s website, we can find out that the appearance of the dial is inspired by the protoplanetary nebula. If we throw this slogan into google photos, we will quickly find out that the dial can actually be associated with this phenomenon, because in addition to navy, green appears on it. However, it is not constant and in the standard lighting, a green glow is visible on the periphery of the dial, with strong lighting, the glow can move along with the wrist movements and in low light the dial is simply navy blue, without a gram of green. I suppose it is due to the glass or some kind of anti-reflective applied to it – nevertheless it looks very effective and realistic, just like a real green fog and can catch the eye for longer than just a glance verifying the current time. This is the first time I see something like this on my watch, good job Orient! 😊
And this is what the photo of Nebula “Godzilla” looks like, taken with the Spitzer telescope – photo from the NASA website
Oblong, polished, silver-colored hour indices were applied to the dials at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. They are not high, but they stand out clearly above the dial. The remaining hourly indices are in the form of Roman numerals painted on the dial with matt silver paint.
Between the hourly indices, the minute indices have been painted in the form of short thin lines with the same paint. A power reserve indicator is placed under the 12 o’clock index, another feature which makes Orient Star watches recognizable. Most of the models of this brand have a power reserve indicator. In this case, the indicator is very discreet – a small silver, matte needle indicating the spring’s charge level on a delicately embossed scale on the dial with 3 tiny markings 0, a dash in the middle and a 50, which means that the spring is fully loaded.
At 9 o’clock there is the aforementioned open heart cutout in the dial, the cutout is as discreet as possible without giving the appearance of a rough hole in the dial. The cutout is secured with a thin, practically invisible silver ring, it looks clean and tasteful. Yeah, the Orient knows how to do it.
Above the 6 o’clock index, the manufacturer’s logo and information about the use of an automatic movement in the watch are painted in silver.
The last element of the dial that I must mention is an additional level in its inner part – it is slightly lowered in relation to the outer part with indices, but it is such a delicate difference in levels that what you can see from a distance is only a circle in the line of its lowering.
Thanks to all the techniques used, the dial, despite having so many elements, seems clean and legible. It does not give the impression of being overloaded at all, I’m sure that this was the intention of the creators of the watch, that despite the additions it is to be still classic.
The hands have a shape that reminds me of those on large clocks placed in town halls. The hour and minute hands are silver with a satin finish, which goes well with the painted hour and minute indices. Both have the ideal length – the hour hand almost reaches the hour indices, and the minute hand reaches the minute indices to such an extent that when they are on the same line they look like one whole. The second hand is slightly more copper colored and has been polished, which matches well with the 4 applied, polished indices.
From the top, the watch is covered with a slightly doomed, but strongly protruding mineral glass. As I mentioned when discussing the case, the glass is so profiled at the edges that it looks like an extension of the bezel Glass generally feels thick and does not have a bubble effect at the same time. It’s hard for me to say why Orient Star used mineral glass in this model. It’s not a manufacturer that saves on such things, and all the models of this manufacturer I had previously had sapphire glass. It probably has something to do with the design or the effect they wanted to achieve on this watch. In the case of a diver or tool watch, I would be a bit worried about it, but considering that it is a typical casual watch to wear to the office / meeting, it does not matter that much.
Attention! The watch does not have a luma at all, you simply cannot see it in the dark, for me it is not important in the case of a casual stye watch, but for someone it may be important information.
The watch is equipped with the F6F42 automatic movement – with a 50h power reserve. It is worth mentioning that, like all Orient movements that I have dealt with before, the spring tightens quickly when worn. So it will be an ideal automatic movement for people who are less busy, working for example in the office at the computer. Orient Stars are the fastest winding automatic watches I know, maybe that’s why so many models from this manufacturer have a power reserve indicator so that the user can watch and admire how nicely the reserve is being charged 😊 The movement has a stop-second function and can be hand winded from a crown. The F6F42 has a frequency of 21,600 beats per hour. My copy does a decent +8 seconds a day.
The caseback is a highly convex, polished, steel rim in the center of which a glass is placed through which we can observe the movement. The movement itself is not particularly beautiful, but thanks to the pearls and the gold-colored logo and name of the manufacturer applied on the rotor, it is not ugly either. The steel rim around the glass is engraved with information about the watch, including the limited number of the watch.
The main color of this watch is navy blue, it starts from the box, through the dial, to the crown and ends on the strap. So the strap is made of natural navy blue calf leather, which is additionally trimmed with navy blue threads. It has a width of 20mm between the lugs and tapers nicely to 16mm on clasp. This is a big plus because I don’t often see such narrow leather straps in the case of those factory-mounted on the watch. The strap is medium soft, it could be a bit more, because only when it fits down a little and bends in line with the wearer’s wrist, it is comfortable to wear. The strap has a butterfly clasp, thanks to which it is fast and convenient to fasten it, but in my case the buckle is bent too quickly, which means that its inner part, under the belt, sometimes sticks to my wrist. It was much better when I straightened it a little. It is also very possible that people with smaller or more rounded wrists than mine will not have this problem.
The watch in Polish distribution can now be purchased for about PLN 2,500. Is it worth it? In my opinion, the very “nebula effect” that we can experience on the dial, and that we will not see anywhere else, makes it so.
Would I correct anything about it? I would definitely change the strap for a more comfortable one … but I don’t like 90% of the straps with which watches are supplied by mass manufacturers. Probably just changing the clasp to an ordinary buckle in my case would significantly improve the comfort of wearing.
In addition, it’s nice if the watch was at least 1mm thinner. In real life it is not overly thick, but if its thickness was less than 12mm, it would look much better in my opinion.
However, the plus is, as always, in the case of this manufacturer, the flawless execution of the case and dial, very good to use, in-house movement, limited to 850 pieces and we already have a recipe for a watch that may not be available for sale for too long, and with time it will probably be kept the price very well.