For some time I was looking for an Orient Star for myself, which would have sapphire glass with a double-sided anti-reflective SAR coating. I already had the GMT (WZ0071DJ) and Standard Date (SDV02003W0) versions in the collection, and although both watches lacked something to stay with me for a long time, I still had the desire to have a watch with this coating. The case is not as simple as it may seem, because watches with anti-reflective glass at the SAR level only offer 2 watch manufacturers – Citizen and Orient Star. Citizen’s offer in this topic is strongly stripped down and the watches rather don’t suit me stylistically, while Orient Star assembles such glasses only in a few models, in addition it is difficult to find information in which watches exactly such glass can be found.
While searching, I finally came across the RK-HJ0002L – a watch with SAR that is not in European distribution and which can only be bought straight from Japan. In addition, despite the fact that this is a model from 2018, we will not find any reviews of this watch on the Internet, and after entering the model in Google, the real photos of this watch can be counted on one hand. These are the factors that in my case encourage me to buy even more … because I like to be the first.
All this ended as you guessed. I became the owner of Orient Stara RK-HJ0002L, which in the catalog is called “Slim Skeleton” and decided to write the first review in the world of this model. To read, which, as usual, I invite you.
Because the watch at first glance is very similar to other models available both in Europe and in our country under the name Modern Skeleton, and the watch from this series (slightly older) has Tomek, I will also show you the differences between these Orient Star models.
Okay, there is not much to describe here, because I bought a used watch and it came to me from Japan in a replacement, plain, small Orient box (probably shipping from Japan was cheaper thanks to this), it does not matter to me … Orient Star boxes never knock down, and such a small one is even more practical because it takes up less space.
At first glance, the case has a classic Orient Star style, it also has a typical size for these models – 41mm wide. When we look at the watch from the side, the first major differences appear – it is thinner … much thinner. The case has a thickness of 10.6mm and it was a factor that pushed me very much towards buying this watch, because here finally the Japanese manufacturer produced a model that can be safely said that it is not thick. It is also not super thin, but it is certainly not as thick as other Orient Star models with power reserve, i.e. the Modern Skeleton mentioned above, which can boast of 13mm case thickness or the GMT model I had, which case was almost 14mm thick – all these the watches have 41mm case.
These few millimeters of difference in thickness on paper translate into a huge live visual difference, the RK-HJ0002L is a very slim watch. Due to the different thickness, there are different cuts on the lugs, which are also much slimmer and additionally more curved downwards, so the whole case looks more elegant.
Looking from the side at the case, you can also see that it has been very well designed to visually slim it down. The case narrows downwards from the middle of the height; the case back is not straight but narrowed. In addition, there is a clear indentation under the bezel, which probably facilitates the possible servicing of the watch, and in addition it looks simply very interesting.
Also from above, when you look at it, you can see that the RK-HJ0002L is a watch more refined than the classic Orient Star watches; The case’s bezel is very narrow, making the dial wider and the watch itself looks even more slender. Yes … when it comes to the case, this Orient Star looks like Asterix by Obelix on others.
The cuts, as in the Orient, are carried out without errors and the watch presents a very high level in this respect. At 3 o’clock there is a signed crown, which, like the entire case, has been slimmed down to fit the size of the design. The watch has a WR at 50m, which is quite enough for a timer with such a design, and probably helped in slimming the watch.
The watch is equipped with the Orient F7F62 inhaus automatic movement. The new Orients automatic movements have a 50-hour power reserve, and this is also the case here. The movement operates at a frequency of 21,600 beats per hour, has a stop second and the possibility of hand winding from the crown. The manufacturer declares its accuracy between -5 and +15 seconds per day. My copy does + 10s / day, so it is within the normal range, although I was used to better results in the case of the Star line.
Orient Star automatic movements have never been one of the most beautiful, but in this case it is a little different. The movement is well decorated and I must admit that it looks very nice. Here we find blue screws, pearling on the bridge and a great looking rotor. Anyway, see for yourself, the bottom of this watch already has something to show.
For comparison, also a photo of modern skeleton watch movement.
Attention, this will be long….
The dial is navy blue, this color varies depending on the angle and amount of light falling on it. In full sun it turns light navy, almost blue, while in the shade it acquires a shade of ink. Since the SAR coating on glass practically does not reflect light, all light is reflected by the dial; it creates extremely beautiful and interesting effects. At certain angles, the dial looks like it is oily, under other and with more light, it seems dry, even powdery.
The dial has 2 structures on its surface, on most surfaces it’s smooth, with a slight sunburst effect, while in the place where the indices are applied, as if underneath it has longitudinal corrugations. Thanks to these corrugations, even more is happening on the dial during the movement of the hand, because the surface reflects light differently.
On the outer part of the dial are minute indices in the form of white, painted lines. Slightly closer to the center, so that they partially overlap minute indices, there are hourly indices. They have the shape of a long trapezoid and are corrugated on the upper surface. On the occasion of hourly indices there was also one small issue – the 3 o’clock index is not perfect … it has tiny pits in the metal, which can’t be seen with the naked eye, so I don’t blame the manufacturer, the more so that the other indices are impeccable.
Under the 12 o’clock index is the hallmark of Orient Star watches – power reserve indicator. In this model it’s a short tip showing on the painted arc values from 0-50h. In addition, the scale also has an additional, applied steel arch attached to the dial with 2 blue screws at its ends. The arch itself has polished sides and the upper surface is corrugated. An additional taste on the watch is the fact that the arc hangs with a piece of its surface over the hole, showing the work of the movement, located on the left side of the dial.
Since we are at the hole, the one in this watch looks very dignified. The open heart of this watch has the form of 2 holes – larger and smaller, which partly overlap. The holes have a steel frame whose sides are polished and the upper surface is corrugated.
The opened movement makes a great impression, which is influenced by pearly decorated bearing of the balance, as well as the ruby from this bearing. Thanks to the hole in the dial we can constantly watch the working balance, which catches the eye more than the flowing second hand.
And since we’re at the second hand … the Slim Skeleton model has a small second hand at the bottom of the dial. A small, though strongly extended by counterweight, pointer indicates the passing of seconds on the scale, which has the form of an imposed steel circle with painted markings. The circle of the second scale like the other, imposed elements of the dial is polished on the sides and corrugated from above. For about 1/3 of its surface, the circle hangs over the hole through which we can watch the working movement, it gives a great spatial effect on the dial and you really want to watch it from different angles.
Hands – minute and hourly are long and narrow, just like all applied elements of the dial are silver, on the sides they are polished, and from above they have longitudinal corrugated. The uniform color of the applied elements of the dial and tips means that sometimes I have a problem reading the hour and I have to look at the dial longer. The watch has no luminescent mass applied anywhere … and it’s good, because it would spoil the whole project, it doesn’t fit here completely.
The uniformity of colors, however, has its advantages, makes the whole watch is practically two-colored – and thanks to this it looks very prestigious … I can’t call it anything else. The combination of garnet and silver and the overall shape of the case in this watch makes it look very prestigious, like a watch for a president or other high-ranking official. I know that many people don’t associate the brand with prestige in any way, but if you remove the Orient Star badge and insert any Swiss brand logo, it could easily cost 4 times as much as it costs. Unfortunately, this effect cannot be shown in the pictures because everything is done with the help of light and movement of the hand.
Regarding the differences between the Modern Skeleton model, I think you can see them without any problem – all the elements of the dial are slimmer, Modern Skeleton has a lume on hands and indices, and a chapter ring that is not on the Slim Skeleton model. In general, the Slim Skeleton model is more elegant, sophisticated, has its interesting tastes, but they are more hidden. The Modern Skeleton model is more sporty, flashy and direct. The dial in the Slim Skeleton model due to the lack of chapter ring and narrower bezel seems much larger than in the Modern model.
The case back is a steel rim with glass in the middle through which the movement can be seen. Basic information about the watch was engraved around the glass. Watch case backs are essentially the same, but what you see through the case back on the Slim Skeleton model is much nicer.
And here the surprise … I’ve had contact with several Orient Star bracelets, they all look very similar and are well made, but I like them on average.
Here it is different, the bracelet of this model, as in other Orients from the Star series consists of 5 elements at each link – 2 external brushed, 2 closer to the center, which are narrow and polished, and the middle, widest, brushed from above and polished on the sides element, while the arrangement of these elements and their width are different. First of all, 2 closer to the center, the narrowest, polished elements are not connected with the middle element, only with the outer ones. In addition, all these external elements are narrower and the middle is wider – the effect? The bracelet of this model looks sensational, it looks slimmer, again – more prestigious.
Having a watch on my hand, I often watch it because I liked it very much. I didn’t think that I would ever like Orient Star bracelet so much.
The bracelet tapers nicely from 21mm between the lugs to 18 at the clasp.I have always liked the strongly tapering bracelets. The clasp is a classic button latch that has micro-adjustment of 3 holes.
I have the impression that finally Orient Orient managed to create a project completely consistent in every respect. All elements of the watch harmonize perfectly with each other, including its size, which in my opinion was the biggest problem with Orient Star watches – their thickness. The watch on the hand looks great and just as I generally didn’t like the Open Heart dial, it fits here perfectly.
We can buy the watch on Ebay or on Japanese websites selling watches – its price is now including fees over PLN 5,000. Due to recent exchange rate fluctuations, when I bought it, the new one cost a little less and my used one a lot less. Nevertheless, I think that even the current price for this particular model is not excessive and the watch is definitely worth it.
It cannot be denied that it will only be bought by people for whom the inscription on the dial does not matter so much, and more important is the aesthetics and general reception of the watch (the WOW effect in this watch is very large), because it’s the amount for which you can already buy a watch from one of the well-known Swiss manufacturers and the vast majority of consumers will go in this direction.