The Orient Mako has a great reputation among watch fans and it deserves to be a more widely known brand to the public at large. This watch, the "entry level" Orient, does many things well and is a wonderful introduction to the brand.
Orient is a small Japanese company that is partially owned by Seiko. They've been around for more than 50 years, and their claim to fame is that they are a mechanical watch producer that designs and makes 100% of their movements in-house. The in-house designation is significant as it means the company does more than just buy off the shelf designs but rather is directly involved in creating and tuning the mechanical heart of their product. Rolex is know for their in-house work, but even such costly brands as Omega, TAG Heuer, and Breitling have most of their movements made for them by other companies (ETA for the most part). To have a finely crafted automatic watch in this price range that has been designed and manufactured by the seller is rare to say the least. The watches are also hand made, and in Japan as well.
As mentioned this is an automatic watch. The watch cannot be hand wound so you need to shake it to start it, and then it winds itself as you move your arm during the day - no batteries needed. The timekeeping is a tad less precise than a quartz, and for this movement (Orient's 469) the manufacturer states you can normally expect to lose up to to 20 seconds slow or fast each day. (More on this later.) Two related points: if you want to keep reasonably accurate time, you need to reset your watch every week or so, and if you are utterly sedentary during the day (i.e. drive to work, sit at a desk, drive home, sit in front of the TV) the watch may not get enough winding to stay working. You hardly need to run a marathon, maybe 15 minutes of walking total throughout the day will probably keep your watch (and yourself!) functioning well. The power reserve for this movement is roughly 40 hours, which I believe is accurate based on my own tests. (This is the time the watch will take to stop after you take it off when it is fully wound up.) The watch has a day and date complication, with weekday available in Spanish and English. The date complication is not "quick adjusting" so the day and date should not be adjusted from the hours of 9 PM to 4 AM as the gears are in the process of slowly rotating both day and date dials in that time frame.
Minor annoyance for precisonists: the second hand cannot be "hacked" - that is, when you set the time by pulling the crown out, the second hand continues to turn. That means getting an exact time sync is a challenge, as you will be always be fast or slow by however many seconds the third hand is away from 12 o'clock when you push the crown in. Unless you are leading a commando team on a raid, this probably will not be a major issue, but more expensive Swiss movements like those by ETA do offer the hacking feature as do some pricier Seikos. This and the accuracy issue is the biggest negative differences between quartz ownership and owning an automatic.
As to accuracy --- Orient avoids building your hopes up as the manual tells you to expect +25 to -15 seconds of time loss of gain per day. However, over 3 weeks of testing, my Mako keeps time to within +5 seconds per day. This is phenomenal and is within the realm of COSC standards (the expensive and prestigious Swiss timekeeping standard that watches that cost twenty or more times as much as the Mako are tested to). For a watch costing less than a cell phone to meet this standard over time is pretty amazing! You may or may not get this accuracy - anecdotally, many other web reviewers seem to have encountered this level of accuracy in their tests, so I think Orient is on to something here...
As for durability --- the face of the watch is mineral crystal, not sapphire. The bracelet is solid filled links, and feels and looks costly. The watch itself is water resistant to 200 meters, and features two screw down crowns (one for time setting, one for setting the weekday.) The bezel is steel, and turns relatively easily; it is scalloped, not coin-edged (i.e. needs your thumb not your fingernail to turn). Lume is on the dial numbers, the hour and minute hands, and at the 12 o'clock position of the bezel. The lume is decent, but not as good as say the Seiko Monster series - it will last for maybe 4-6 hours of light after sustained exposure to bright light. Warranty is one year through the manufacturer. Packaging is mundane, the manual barely adequate. The watch will probably need a lube and tune up once every 3-5 years, my estimate.
The watch is attractive and understated in style, especially with its black face. Unlike other inexpensive mechanical watches in its price range (cough, Invicta) the Mako does not strive to slavishly imitate the Rolex Submariner, but instead has its own aesthetic going on. The watch case is 41 mm, and the face of the watch itself is the standard 30mm diameter. On my 7.5 inch wrist, this sizing is adequate, but if the watch were slightly bigger it would probably look nicer, at least according to current fashion. (The newer and pricier Mako II aka "Hogrider" is indeed bigger by 5 mm but for roughly 33% higher cost). The neatest thing about this (or any other good automatic) is watching the sweep of the second hand. The watch mainspring beats 6 times per second (21,600 bph), and the second hand has 6 distinct stops between each marked second on the face. This slow majestic sweep is far more elegant that the clunk-ka-chunk precise once per second movement of a quartz analog. The back of the watch is a solid screw-down design, enhancing durability but without showing the movement inside as "exhibtion" casebacks would. (This is the one point I prefer about the Invicta 8926, though arguably looking at the blah Citizen Miyota movement on the 8926 has pretty limited appeal...)
The watch itself is superbly made. Everything feels solid, from the bracelet to the crown to the bezel. There is an Orient logo on the face and on the bracelet that is not problematic due to its subtlety. This doesn't look like a Rolex, but the level of quality is immensely impressive given the price and few observers will think this is a cheap watch by just looking at it.
All in all, for a dressy though sporty office watch, you can't go wrong with the Mako in black. As a stylish "beater", this would also be a good choice, as it is sturdy, handsome, and yet inexpensive enough that if you somehow did damage it, you wouldn't be crying the same tears that you would if you mashed up your $4,000 Omega Planet Ocean. If you were actually using this for diving, you would probably want either a different color face on your Mako or probably something with ISO Diver certification like the more expensive and less accurate Seiko Orange Monster.
The Orient Mako is a great watch, and hopefully at its low price point and high quality will help Orient establish itself firmly in the US market. Try one and see!
on May 4, 2010
This is a great watch to try if you want to go with a reasonably priced mechanical. Sure, it will not keep time as accurate as a quartz watch, but I love the sweep second hand that mechanically beats over half a million times a day! My particular watch runs about 8 seconds fast/day, and to put this into perspective, that's 99.9907% accuracy!
This watch looks so much better in person, and I was very pleased from the second I opened the box. Finish is very well done, the watch has heft and a quality feel, the crowns/button feel precise, and for the cost the band is pretty good aside from the clasp. Not that the clasp does not work well, and have a safety catch, just that it feels less substantial compared to the rest of the watch.
My bezel was stiff at first, but purposely working it for awhile made it smoother. The screw down crown and day pusher are very smooth and have a quality feel, as does moving the hands; there is very little backlash and feels precise and not sloppy. The watch is extremely quiet, and unless held directly to my ear, I can not hear it run. Illumination is pretty good, and lasts for many hours after charging. My watch as received fit an 8" wrist.
Some things to consider:
- The second hand does not "hack" when the crown is pulled out.
- There is no ability to hand-wind.
- Unless the fine adjustment of the clasp yields a proper fit, you/watchmaker will need to size the bracelet using tools.
Some niggles I experienced:
- There was some sort of light smeary, streaky substance UNDER the crystal.
- Hit or miss customer service replies via email.
- The dial color in my example is more a dark charcoal, than black. I wish it were a deeper black.
- No lume on the second hand.
Final thoughts: I really like this watch, and will probably buy another Orient product in the future. If you have to have quartz accuracy, please DO NOT buy a mechanical watch and then realize it's not as accurate. Some mechanical watches will "settle in" after a month or so of use, so give your new watch some time to see how it actually performs while worn before passing judgment.
*** UPDATE: 4 Sept, 2010 ***
A couple months after my review, the watch started running erratically. It would gain nearly a minute a day, loose this much or more, and finally it simply stopped running. I contacted Orient watch with an initial email to the address listed on the warranty card for an RMA number, and heard nothing after several days. Tried another email to another address with "Joey" in the address, and got a reply asking if I had dropped the watch, and no RMA. I reply it had not been dropped, it simply stopped, and 3 days from my initial email I get an RMA number.
Watch was confirmed sent to their CA facility shortly there after, and now nearly 6 weeks later, I still do not have my watch. This is far too long to wait for repairs, or replacement, and I hope at least when I do receive it the repair was done well, and w/o damage to the case, scratches, gunk under the crystal, etc... Since sending in my watch I have read of some bad repairs/CS at Orient Watch USA, and it seems in my case these reports are at least partly true. This situation has genuinely soured me from any further purchases as it stands, and wish it were otherwise. I will update this review as the situation warrants.
on August 30, 2010
I'm suprised by the build quality of this watch for this price range. No plastic parts, solid stainless steel construction, beautiful and very masculine design. Check out the user uploaded photos I've posted.
200m water resistant, in house fully mechanical automatic movement.
This will be a great watch for everyday wear and can probably handle certain degree of abuse.
Only down side is that the watch is a bit on the heavy side and a bit too thick (I have a small wrist) and may look oversize to some's taste.
on September 18, 2015
I have owned many watches over the years and this watch is by far my favorite. Coming from a Citizen Atomic Eco Drive watch, this watch is a fair competitor. First off, if you are looking for an accurate automatic watch, look no further than the Orient Mako. Below are a few of the pros and the cons that I have found over the past few months of wearing the beautiful Mako and I hope that this review appeals to both new watch owners as well as our seasoned friends.
1. Price: At $142.50 as of 9/18/15, you can’t beat it for a beautiful, automatic watch. For the bang for the buck, most other automatics around this price range are likely to run much faster or slower than the Mako and will have sub-par components attached to it.
2. Accuracy: Without self-regulation, my watch tends to run about 1-2 seconds fast per day. I had a Bulova dress watch that was about 3X the price and would run about 20 seconds fast per day. Finding it a pain to adjust my watch once a week, I quickly put it in its case and wear it on occasion. If you are not into self-regulating your automatic, you should look into it. I have found that while set crown down, my particular watch runs about +1 over the course of about 8 hours. Set vertically, 12 o’clock high, the watch will run -4 seconds over 8 hours. And set on its back, the watch will run +4 seconds over the course of 8 hours. Using that information, I can keep the watch +-2 seconds from atomic time throughout the day, every day.
3. Face: Although it is stated that it is black, the face has a grey/black tint to it. While at first I thought this was a con, it has grown on me. It helps to cut down reflections from the sun on sunny days. As far as the hands go, the minute and hour hands have a nice sharp point to them so you have the feeling of owning a precise watch. The red and silver second hand has a nice sweep to it and gives the watch a sporty feel to it, almost like you are watching a tachometer rise in a nice sports car. The lume on the hands is surprisingly bright. I have found that wearing it in normal conditions around the house before bed, the hands and markers will remain lit for about 5-6 hours. Of course it does fade with time, but it is still readable throughout the night.
4. Crowns: Both the date and the time crowns are polished up nicely, although I am not quite sure why there is a crown for the day, since it is set once and left alone if you wear it daily. Both screw down with ease and hold a nice tight seal.
5. Case: The case is stainless steel and is polished on the edges, but if you look closely, you will notice the top of the case around the lugs is brushed. I like this feature because if you scuff the stainless on anything, it is likely to remain unnoticeable. As far as the weight of the case and the band goes, there are many out there who state that there is “heft” to the watch. I find that to be untrue. With other watches around the same size, I have found that it is quite light and unnoticeable on the wrist. I have had a cheaper RedLine watch in the past of similar size and found that it was like having a brick attached to your arm. In comparison to the Citizen Eco Drive and the Bulova Automatic, this is relatively light.
1. Crystal: Personally, I am not a fan of crystal as a lot of my watches have sapphire but I do have to say that the crystal on this watch has withstood normal wear and tear. I think that Orient could have gotten away with adding a sapphire face and charging more, but there are plenty of people out there willing to mod the face for you. As far as reducing reflections, the face is awesome although because crystal protrudes from the case, light gets refracted and occasionally casts circles of light across the face.
2. Band: Excluding the clasp, it is a very nice band. I have no complaints. It is not all too heavy and it withstands scuffing with everyday use.
1. Clasp: I love everything about the watch but the clasp. The first day of wear, the clasp had scratched to the point of almost not being able to see the Orient insignia on it. It did not fold down all the way which left the clasp protruding up on one side by about 1/8”. Although that doesn’t seem like a lot, it will begin to bother your wrist if you type or write. To overcome this issue, I simply ordered a few 22mm Zulu straps. This watch looks great in just about any color of strap you place on it.
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone that wants an accurate, affordable automatic watch. Do realize that it is your first automatic; it will not be as accurate as a quarts watch. Read other reviews and see how others love their Mako. Rating: 5 out of 5 for me.
on January 27, 2006
I love Orient watches because they are 100% japanese. They are not made in Singapore, Malayasia, Hong Kong, or China. Nothing wrong with that, but a product from Japan is top notch quality. The Orient 200m is Automatic (In-house movement). Has a nice finish. Mineral crystal. Day-date. Day only push botton changer. Honestly, this push botton doesn't make any sense. In any case, the push botton should be made to change the date, not the day. As you know some months carry 28, 30, and 31 days. If I wear the watch all the time, I will not have any need to change days, but the date you need to making you unscrew the crown, just like any other automatic watch. Solid bracelet without extension. OD: 40mm x 13.5mm. Weight: 168-grams. This watch is a dressy sub and in black looks serious. Nice luminous hands and markers. All I can say is that, I can't wait to purchase my next Orient.
on May 31, 2013
I ordered this watch from Amazon in April 2012. I've owned it 14 months now and wear it 5 days a week.
The watch is good looking and, keeping in mind it's a hefty dive watch, not too large even for smaller wrists.
About a month ago I noticed the time shown was about 10 minutes fast. I reset the watch, thinking nothing of it. A little over two days later the watch was again running just under 10 minutes fast.
Although this watch is durable and handsome, I can't recommend it due to its poor timekeeping after just one year -- just past the warranty period.
on August 20, 2006
This is the Orient CEM65001B (Black on Black), there's a Blue on Blue version as well: CEM65002D
This watch is a solid masterpiece. It is so solid, and so well-made, you won't believe how little you paid for it---a comparable Swiss piece would have cost at least $350.00 more.
It has proven itself reliable to me, and it's a dressy dive watch. Let me tell you about the lume--very bright green.
It's one of Orient's best, and so so affordable.
I am sure you will love it, and it makes the perfect gift.
Movement Calibur: In-house 469
Case material: Brushed solid stainless steel casing
Case dimensions: 40mm in diameter without the crown, 43mm in diameter with crown; 13mm in thickness
Bezel: Stainless steel
Crystal type: Scratch resistant mineral crystal
Crown: Screw in crown, screw in date pusher
Water resistant: 200 meters
Face color: Black
Lug size: 20mm
Band type: Brushed solid stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp with push button
Band length: 8.75 inches including the watch, sizable down to 6 inches
on November 17, 2015
I originally purchased this watch in April of 2010 and have worn it almost every day since then. It does most everything with me at work and at home, has been ridden pretty hard and come out no worse for the wear. Swimming, yard work, water skiing, chopping wood, working out, even went diving with me a couple of time to about 20m…It was a wonderful purchase and I’m still, 5 and a half years later, very happy with it. Other than a few busted end pins on the bracelet and one lost end piece to said bracelet (an end pin broke and the segment flew off as the bracelet hit the ground) I have no complaints what so ever! I have begun to replace the end pins (whether showing wear or not) every 6 months, just to be sure I don’t break any more…
The case, movement and the bracelet are in great shape considering how hard I am on this watch, and the crystal and bezel are still in reasonably good shape with minor wear. This piece keeps REASONABLY good time, but be aware it is not (just as most automatics) perfect. Mine runs a bit fast (obviously better than running slow) and I usually only need to reset the time every other month when I inevitably screw it up changing the date. I figure it adds less than 2 minutes in 60 days....yeah, I'll take that!
Honestly I’m considering buying another for when this watch inevitably dies, because I love the look and feel and my Orient has served me well for better than half a decade!
on June 12, 2012
This watch looks great and has a very appealing dial that is easy to read. The day change "click" button sometimes gets pressed addidentally; however, it is very easy to change/correct the day. By the way, you have your choice of two languages for the day. Fortunately, English is one of the choices. Not being able to wind the watch in the traditional fashion with the winding stem is not a problem. If you want to wind the watch, move it back and forth in one hand about 10 to twenty times and it is wound. This is actually easier than winding with the stem. When I first got the watch, it gained about 20 seconds a day; however, having worked on the traditional, mechanical, balance-staff watches 30 to 50 years ago (as a hobby) I know how to further adjust these watches for better accuracy. To adjust, remove the back (the back screws off counter clockwise, and some special tools are needed--watch repaid tool kits are available through Amazon)and you will find the arm that is the anchor point for the hair-spring that is attached to the balance staff (a little wheel that rotates back and forth). On these Orient watches there is a + or - indicator. To slow the watch, move slightly to the "-" side, and to speed it up move toward the "+" side. This back and forth process could take several attempts. Note that the indicator is on the other end of the lever you move. Be careful not to damage the watch, be particularly careful not to damage the balance staff or hair spring. I now have the watch adjusted so it gains only 4 seconds per day. I will probably stop at this accuracy. I also have 3 quartz movement watches that set automatically each day by radio signal from the NBS atomic clock in Fort Collins, Colorado, so gaining 20 seconds per day was unacceptable to me; however, I really like the automatic watch and not having to change a battery periodically. Note that the setting stem on this Orient watch screws down, and you have to unscrew it to set the time and date. The threads on this stem are small and could easily be damaged, so be careful not to get it cross-threaded and do not over-tighten. The watch has 21 jewels, i.e., the balance staff and several other shafts run in "jewels" so there is no metal-on-metal friction. Overall, this is a great watch for the money, and I really like it. I recommend it as a good purchase if you understand what you are getting. Good luck with yours if you buy one.
on July 20, 2015
This is a very nice watch considering the price, and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
It's substantial, but not heavy; the case and bracelet have a nice combination of brushed and polished finish (polished on sides). The bracelet is nice, but does has a little play (to be expected for the price). The clasp is a double locking fold over with 3 micro adjustments, and is stamped with the word "ORIENT" and their trademark logo. The screw down crown is stamped with the Orient logo and is used to set the time and date (no winding and non hacking). The screw down pusher at 2 o'clock is used to set the day of the week. Both the screw down crown and pusher are nicely done. The bezel rotates nicely; it's nice and clicky, lines up perfectly with the markers, and is not too hard or too easy to rotate.
The movement is an in-house Orient automatic movement that appears to be quite accurate. After wearing it for a day, and letting it sit a day, it was still ticking away and set to the correct time. I can't speak to how many seconds fast or slow it was.
The textured grip around the bezel is the only thing I really don't like about this watch. I don't like the way it feels to the touch. The texture feels rough (almost sharp) and just feels "cheap" to the touch (in my opinion). Although this is minor, and definitely not a deal breaker for a watch in this price range, I did deduct a star for that and the play in the bracelet.
After owning and wearing this watch for a few months, it has become one of my favorites. It still looks incredible considering the amount of bumps it has been subjected to, and mineral crystal is still flawless. I wore it to a water park for 2 days, were it was subjected to hours of wave pools and water slides, and it continues to work flawlessly. This is a great go anywhere do anything watch.