191 of 200 people found the following review helpful
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!
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
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.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
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.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
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
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2010
I decided to get the Mako as a daily tool watch that I don't have to "care" about very much. It's been promoted... not only is it so functional and legible that I am using it as a daily wearer, but it seems to be fairly tough and very sleek. There's a few things that I could find good info about online that I would like to comment on. The back-hacking works perfect on this watch and I can get it on the second when needed without any trouble. The luminescence on this watch is FANTASTIC, though it may not be an orange monster, it is MUCH more practical with the printed numbers instead of disorienting glowing dots. Without added charging (just using normal ambient light without attempting to enhance the lume), I find that this glows amazingly for well beyond normal expectations (very bright for a good 20 mins, can make it out in complete darkness for well over 6 hours almost). The watch literally has not left my wrist for over a week so far and it's 4 seconds off.... I honestly don't know what to say about that, and I don't think I need to say more about it. The red second hand is a nice touch since I use the second hand quite a bit.
The bad- if you've looked up this watch at all you'll already know the bads of it... the bezel is fairly difficult to turn out of box. I actually removed my bezel to trace the cause... even messing with the ratchet ring, though that had nothing to do with it... the cause is actually the NEW o-ring that binds the bezel in place. If you read other reviews on this you'll see that it generally loosens up after a month or two (mine has already loosened up dramatically just by playing with it). Also the DAY function takes about 4 hours to turn over, so if you work the graveyard don't put faith in it (about 11pm-3am).
To sum it up, I had to give this thing 5 stars because well... it's simply better than a rolex if you're looking for a fantastic time-piece; it's more accurate (by a long shot), it feels SUPER solid, it has a day, the lume is fantastic (only second to the seiko OM imo), it's elegant... etc. Only bad stuff is it has a mineral crystal, hollow end-links, and non-dedicated hacking (but back-hacking is great). For $90 it's a steal.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
I purchased this watch because of the quality of the automatic movement. That, in itself, makes the relatively low price tag more than worthwhile. However, the external craftsmanship is relatively poor. I have had the watch for 1 week, and the paint on the bezel is already scratching off, the numbers on the bezel do not line up perfectly with the face, and the stainless-steel band is squeaky.
As a note to first-time screw-down crown watch purchasers: after unscrewing the crown, do not be concerned about the crown/stem seeming wobbly or loose. This is so you can accurately line up the crown's thread with the case before screwing it back in.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2010
Note if you do not want to read my boring story skip to ** where my review starts.
I've been searching for an affordable alternative to my Seiko Kinetic to wear everyday. I refused to look at quartz; tired of replacing batteries. I searched through overstock.com and saw boring Seiko 5 automatics and over priced Invicta watches. I noticed Orient brand watches received good reviews. I went about my day not thinking much off it. I had never heard of Orient.
While trying to find the maker of Daniel Craig's suit in the film Layer Cake I found an askmen.com article on affordable sub $300.00 watches. One of the watches listed was an Orient. Out of a three part series of affordable watches an Orient was recommended twice (the Mako being one of them).
While reading askmen.com there was a column written by "The Watch Snob". He answers questions on high end watches (usually $5000+ and Swiss) and gives general advice on avoiding being a watch "knob". Pretty entertaining read. Most people however cannot afford $45,000 watches made by magic Swiss elves. The watch snob however also repeatedly told readers to by a real watch with an in-house movement by the dependable Japanese company Orient.
I found Orient has a cult like following in the U.S. Though not widely known Mako watches have an excellent reputation for their quality. They are owned by Seiko. Been in Business since 1950. Unlike other affordable automatics Orient does not outsource their movements; they make them in-house in Japan.
**When Amazon had the Black Mako on sale for less than $130.00 I bought one.
This an impressive watch. You cannot appreciate the look of the watch by pictures alone. The watch looks amazing. I looks like it cost three times what I paid for it. It is heavy but it feels durable. The bracelet looks great I especially like the Orient logo. It keeps excellent time; running 45 seconds slow in the last seven days. The illumination on the watch is incredible. If worn outside in the sun the lume is exceptionally bright; brighter than my Seiko. Though the lume does fade fairly quickly. I like the design of the Mako. I didn't want a Rolex Submariner homage. The Mako looks unique. The sweeping second hand has to be seen. Jerky quartz movements look awful in comparison. If the watch is problem free I'm going to buy a blue Mako. I have small wrists so the original Mako looks good. If you have large wrists maybe the New Mako (Mako II) or Hogrider would look better; the New Mako would look huge on me.
There are some negatives mostly unrelated to the watch. The bezel is hard to turn, though some people say all dive watches need to be lubricated. Amazon did not ship my watch with much care. If I had spent $500.00 I'd be upset. The watch was not protected adequately. The outer Orient box looks like it came from Japan on a rowboat. It is pretty rough looking dented and dirty (the inner box is fine and the watch is immaculate). If I sold my Mako the buyer would think I treated my watches carelessly. Finally the U.S. distributor for Orient has a horrible reputation. I hate to judge a company I've never dealt with but many people claim Orient USA is a pain to deal with. I hope Orient's record for reliability means I won't have to bother with a warranty claim.
I'm very satisfied with my purchase. The Mako is a great automatic watch. It certainly lives up to it's reputation.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.