I first came across Orient watches by chance and purchased a Bambino (as detailed in a separate post). It wasn’t long afterwards that I realised I really wanted an Orient Ray, a classically designed diving watch, available primarily, with either a black or blue face.
It looked fantastic in the photos I saw and the reviews I read, and I quickly realised it was well made and regarded amongst watch afficionados. It’s the successor to the cult Orient Mako, but unlike that eye-catching diving watch, which has a mixture of numerals and batons, the Ray has a more traditional utilitarian look with luminous dots. It’s clearly designed with both the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster in mind, but with its own unique charm, not least how it looks, for a tenth of the price of one of those so-called premium brands.
It comes with a well-made stainless steel strap, with brushed edges to the middle links, mimicing the design on other brands, as well as a nato strap matching the colour face you buy. Both are comfortable and easy to adjust.
At the price, in looks, quality and accuracy, it punches well above its weight. Although marketed as a diving watch, it isn’t ISO certified, and therefore although it claims to be water resistant to 200 metres it’s more appropriate for swimming and skin diving, rather than scuba diving, although I’ve read reviews saying people have dived wearing one, without incident. But something to bear in mind if you’re a serious scuba diver.
Like many Orients, it’s fully automatic, made with one of their own in-house movements. The glass is mineral, not sapphire, but it’s resilient enough. There are two crowns, one to change the date and time and the other, the upper one, to change the day. The latest model, the Orient Ray 2, is a similar design, but with one crown that does everything, which some people may prefer as being more traditional, though both have their followers. The new model also allows hacking.
In summary, its a well designed, eye-catching, quality sport watch, which also looks good with a suit.