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Orient is the name of a Japanese watchmaking firm that is usually known to watch enthusiasts who are in the world of JDM watch collection. Compared to Seiko who have been making waves outside their land lately, Orient until now, have been staying low under the radar for many. They have been in continuation to produce high quality, yet attainable timepieces since the early 1950s, while the firm can further trace back to its roots in 1901 by Shogoro Yoshida opening a pocket watch shop. Unfamiliar, we bet most of you guys are unsure of that Orient started in 1950 as an independent company, producing reliable mechanical in-house movements even until today. In early 2000, Orient had gone under the umbrella of Seiko Epson, as the name suggests, pursuing traditional horology of reliable and affordable timepieces, in parallel to Seiko Watches in true Japanese fashion.
Orient Watches until today, is still one of the widely-recognized watchmakers in Japan, building their quality timepieces and sticking to their “JDM” route. They have a wide variety of selections that cater to anyone with a particular theme in mind, from cocktail event elegant timepieces to ever-ready sports watches that one can take it out for some action.
|Orient Star Sports Semi-Skeleton Black Pwr Rsv Ref. RK-AT0101B|
Like Seiko’s luxury line Grand Seiko, we focus on Orient Star; their own JDM luxury line which then further breaks down to three main categories: Classic, Contemporary and Sports, and we focus on the latter.
Dating back to 1951, Orient Star first introduced the market, with their in-house chronometer “true star” timepieces that feature a dressy case blued hands, mechanical movement and timeless dial design. From there, Orient joins Seiko and Citizen in launching their divers with the Weekly Auto Orient King Diver Ref. 19410 which uses the brand’s first-ever automatic mechanism. However, Orient sports model are mainly found in their staple main Orient line, there have not been a updated single "luxury" Sports semi-skeleton watch in its current collection. Not until recently.
|Caliber F6R42 with power reserve indicator|
Fast forward 50 years, in 2019 Orient have introduced their new premium sports watch- the Orient Star Sports Semi-Skeleton Black Power Reserve Ref. RK-AT0101B, their premium Sports collection 200m all-rounder with a evergreen classic black bezel and openwork dial theme.
For a start, the Orient Star Sports Semi-Skeleton Black Power Reserve Ref. RK-AT0101B offers a SUS316L stainless steel case measuring 43.2mm wide, 13.7mm thick and 49.2mm lug to lug, making it a profound 200m sports watch. Since this falls under Orient’s premium line, the whole case gets a byzantine satin-brushed finishing while the back of the watch features full polishing. Even the PVD blackout bezel gets the satin treatment, with its intricate grooves that results in a two-tone effect tastefully.
|Orient Star's top of the line Semi Skeleton watch|
The black bezel made out of aluminum for the insert, set into its SUS316L PVD steel bezel, with the ever so essential diver’s elapsed time markers, and it rotates smoothly with 120 clicks in an anti-clockwise direction. The bezel lays on top nicely while offering tight clicky action, feeling solid as what it should be from the top of the line Orient.
Seen through its sapphire crystal, the Orient Star diver goes intrinsically with the design- a no-nonsense black background with mixture of both applied baton-shaped hour markers and Arabic numbers for the 12, 3 and 6 o clock markers. What makes Orient Star watches stands out from the others includes its fan-shaped power reserve indicator at 12’o clock, showing how much juice left on the watch. Thankfully, even while having this complication along with their signature touch of openwork to display it’s escapement, the legibility on the dial is excellent. That said, the semi-skeleton handset bears the same color-tone luminous with the hour markers, to aid the already legible dial. Lastly, the Orient Star logo with additional “automatic” is placed at the bottom of the dial, giving it a more balanced look in coherence with the power reserve indicator at the top side.
|Glows green in the dark|
The in-house caliber F6R42 is the top of the line automatic movement that solely fitted on Orient Star timepieces. The Orient Star Sports Semi-Skeleton Black Power Reserve Ref. RK-AT0101B feature this incredible horology engine. The 22 Jewels, 50-hour power reserve F6R42 Automatic runs at a daily tolerance of +25 to -15 seconds per day, beating at 21,600bph with a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock (somewhat iconic across the whole Orient Star flagship line), an openwork display of the escapement at 9 o’clock.
Pairing the watch case is the sports bracelet. Solidly made, the bracelet features the same satin finish at the top with polished sides, with a double folding clasp. The bracelet folding clasp is signed with the flagship brand logo and assuring the wearer a safe and secure fitting when strapping the Orient Star diver on the wrist.
Overall, the Orient Star Sports Semi-Skeleton Black Power Reserve Ref. RK-AT0101B feels modern, functional while having a delicate balance of Orient’s legacy in watchmaking since the 1950s. In the Orient Star line, and though it will not be cheaper than the other entry Orient divers, it is the latest “luxury” line all-rounder tool watch under its top line. The Orient Star Sports Semi-Skeleton Black Power Reserve Ref. RK-AT0101B feels sturdy and well done as anyone could ask of a JDM Sports model. Therefore, even with the solid bracelet, 200m water case clad with its unique Orient Star automatic power reserve caliber, this watch offers a lot for your money and definitely to collectors, it is one hell of a watch.