on July 25, 2012
I ordered it Monday (7/23/2012) and received it today. Then again I used expedited shipping from Long Island Watch. Packaging was sufficient and secure. Will order again from them in the future.
First impression: Wow! Opened the box and I was really amazed how beautiful the watch is. Over the past couple of years I have been passing an Omega dealer saying to myself "One day I will get that Omega Seamaster". Frankly, this is as close you are going to get but for 1/20th the price. This is my first Orient & diving watch. I am not an expert or a watch collector. This watch is heavy even heavier than my Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium. As for quality, 'time' will tell. You can dress-down or dress-up with it. Close to a James Bond look I think.
I will update this review later on but I am really amazed.
Update July 13th, 2013
I have had this watch close to year now and it is working perfectly. No complaints. It does speed-up a little but by a 1-2 minutes every 2 weeks which is not bad for a mechanical watch. I wear this EVERYDAY, for the office, leisure and dressing-up but not for running of course. I have hit this watch on walls by mistake several times and guess what...still works like a charm albeit several scratches on the metal links but no big deal. Looking forward to owning this watch for years and years to come.
Update: September 21st, 2015
It has been over three years since I have bought this watch. I still wear it everyday and yes it still works. Here is what has happened so far.
The pin holding the metal strap/link to the watch broke twice. The first time is because I was dumb enough to let a toddler play
with it and she literally slammed it to the ground. I was horrified but guess what? No scratches on the time piece and it was working
perfectly. The second time was because I was carrying something really heavy, a 100 lb Kettlebell, and I think the tension in my
wrist was just too much for the pin link. Took it those two times to a watch repairer in a mall (kiosk) and got it fixed for 10 dollars.
The past month or so I have been eyeing the Tag Hauer Aquaracer. Amazing nice watch but costs 10 times more and only has about 65% 5 start rating on Amazon as opposed to this Orient watch that has over 80% 5 star rating. I mean seriously, Orient could have just jacked-up the price and I would have still bought it. As time goes, you will really appreciate this watch at least I have. Not sure when and if I will replace this with a European brand but it does seem hard to justify spending over $1,500 and get a so so experience from it. I will stick with my Orient for the time being.
on August 9, 2014
For starters, the pictures here do not by any means do this watch justice. I had tried to find as many amateur photos online as I could before I ordered to get a better perspective. Even still, when it arrived, I was FLOORED. The deep blue color of the watch face and bezel is mesmerizing, and the stainless steel case is bright and shiny. I have to keep it under my sleeve while driving lest I stare at it the whole time! Luminous paint is incredibly bright, it's easy to forget about it while at the office or in a bright room all day, but then when you head to the parking garage or other dark place, the lume really pops right out at you. The six tick per second sweeping second hand is beautiful to watch as it quickly putters around the face. I ordered from Long Island Watch and their service was impeccable, it took less than three days to get here and everything was included in the package, they are definitely worthy of praise.
Some folks have complained the band is ill-fitting and makes a clacking or clinking sound when in motion. I have never experienced this issue and my advice to those who have is: size your band so it actually fits! If the band is comfortably snug around your wrist, it shouldn't be moving around enough to be clinking. Some have also noted the rotating bezel tends to stick and is difficult to move. I would prefer it that way so I don't bump it all day at the office, but that's just me. Unfortunately, the crystal is mineral and likely prone to the same scratching risk as any other mineral crystal. I've had mine two weeks and already gotten a tiny scratch near the 20min edge of the crystal. I figure I will wear this watch everyday and not concern myself with it getting banged up, then after a few years just replace it with a sapphire crystal.
In conclusion: you CANNOT find a better watch for the price. It is beautiful, functional, can be dressed up and down, and I get compliments all the time on it. I look forward to buying a dressier watch from Orient next, perhaps and Bambino or Symphony. Enjoy! You won't regret this purchase.
on June 2, 2014
READ THIS BEFORE BUYING ANY AUTOMATIC WATCH! There are three reasons NOT to buy any automatic mechanical watch such as this Orient Ray, a $15,000 Rolex or any automatic in between. Reason one is you need a watch to keep perfect time and you find any inaccuracy stressful. Reason two is you want a watch that you can lay down and expect it to have the correct time when you pick it up three days later. Reason three is you don't move around much as these require motion to wind them. If any of these three things are true then you should buy ANY quartz watch instead because you'll never be happy with any automatic at any price. Automatics are a different animal and are based on 1940's old school technology.
I have used Seiko 5, Eterna and Hamilton automatics. This is my first Orient and I'm super impressed. The Eterna goes for ten times what the Ray costs, yet my Ray is just as accurate. I got started with automatics using Seiko 5's about 30 years ago. I've worn out 2 Seiko 5's wearing them as daily beaters and have recently obtained a third S5 to use as a daily beater. The Orient Ray is hands down worth the retail price. The Ray keeps time right out of the box for peanuts.
I ordered direct from Long Island Watch, but there's no real advantage in doing so as the price is the same. They were out of stock, so I went to their website to get on a waiting list there for a Blue Ray. As soon as I got the email they were in stock I ordered immediately from the site direct. The Orient Blue Ray is the number one selling watch at Long Island Watch. They kept me informed about my order and shipped within a few hours! No complaints at all with Long Island Watch. They even included a logoed microfiber polishing cloth.
Positives: 1. Right out of the box the Orient Ray is very accurate for an automatic of any price. This is a commonly made comment about Orient automatics in general. I've had it about 5 days and it has gained not quite 2 seconds total with daily wear. My Seiko 5's have been all over the place right out of the box so clearly accuracy is not a Seiko 5 strong suit. The Orient Ray's accuracy is quite incredible and on par with the Eterna. 2. Good packaging, the gift case is nice looking, but the white box the case comes in is very flimsy. 3. The manual is thorough. 4. The Ray is a really nice, substantial looking watch that at retail would be a good deal. 5. It comes sized at about 8 inches. The stainless bracelet is easy to size down yourself and is made of SOLID links, not the bent stainless like on the Seiko 5's. 6. It has a screw down crown at 3 O'clock and a screw down day of the week pusher at 2 O'clock. The day and date are easy to read. The date changes about midnight but it takes the day of the week window until about 2:30 AM to change, sort of like a Seiko 5. 7. The dial looks black in normal room lighting but under bright light or outdoors it is clearly a shimmering navy blue. There is a lot of lume on the Ray with the hands being nearly fully lumed which combined with the huge dots makes it super easy to read in the dark. 8. It is a 200 meter water resistant watch, which means you can submerge it for swimming or skin diving only, but not for scuba diving at depths greater than skin diving depth. That is true for ANY 200 meter watch, not just this one. For recreational depth scuba diving you want a 300 meter watch minimum and I'm not kidding about that. I don't know who came up with the water resistance rating system on watches in general but it is very misleading. 9. The bezel rotates counter-clockwise with one minute click stops.
Negatives: 1. The bracelet buckle scratches extremely easily, reminding me of the same grade of stainless used for the buckles on the entry level Seiko 5 buckles. I wore the Orient Ray to work on day one and inside of 3 hours the buckle was scratched and I was just sitting around a desk typing and talking on the phone. This watch deserves a better grade of stainless steel in the buckle. The rest of the bracelet still looks brand new and they should use the same grade steel for the buckle as the links. 2. Orient has a 1 year manufacturer warranty. Seiko is 3 years. 3. The Ray crystal is mineral crystal, not sapphire which would add a lot of expense. The Seiko 5 Hardlex crystals are more scratch resistant than standard mineral and that is one of the best things about a Seiko 5. 4. The Orient Ray is a not hackable, meaning the second hand just keeps moving all the time. I haven't ever been on a mission where we had to synchronize our watches yet, but you can do a "fudge" hack on this Orient Ray exactly like a Seiko 5. Just unscrew and pull out the crown to the set time position and then put a tiny bit of counter-clockwise pressure on the crown and the sweep second hand will stop and stay stopped without the minute hand moving. When the time on NIST or whatever source you use hits the point where the second hand is right, release the pressure. Then set the minutes and hour and it is "hacked."
I'm very glad I bought this Orient Blue Ray. I heard good things about Orient and especially their Mako series for years, but with no dealer around here I couldn't find one to see in person. When I saw this newer Ray model I preferred it. I hate numbers on a watch and prefer just bars or dots. The Ray is a gorgeous watch which runs at near quartz accuracy. I'd buy it again and I'm considering other Orients such as the Bambino dress watch. If it came down to this Orient Ray or another Seiko 5 then I'd take the Orient Ray. I actually think I may have bought my last Seiko 5. I'll wear the current Seiko 5 to save wear on the Orient when doing any sort of physical work, but I like the Orient much more! Not having to set the time the past 5 days has been refreshing! This might be one of the biggest automatic watch bargains around. If you like automatics, you NEED to get one of these!
In spite of the flimsy buckle/clasp, the mineral crystal and a shorter warranty for the money this is a 5 star value. I just don't feel right giving it 4 stars, I think four and one-half stars would be exactly right for this.
on January 3, 2013
I love everything about this watch--the design, the fit and finish, the quality and accuracy of the movement (timekeeping springs, gears, etc.), the price, and the company that makes it.
The design might remind you of a Rolex Submariner but the Ray has its own character. It isn't a slavish copy of the Rolex like some other dive watches in this price range, and people won't constantly ask you if it's a Rolex. (That being said, I do like that it reminds me of the Submariner that Sean Connery wore as James Bond...)
The fit and finish is amazing for a watch in this price range, or frankly any price range. Everything is perfectly cut, polished, brushed, painted, aligned, etc. I'm a perfectionist and I can't spot a single flaw with the watch I received. Of course, you aren't getting the same "features" (e.g., sapphire crystal, solid end-links, etc.) that you would get with a Swiss watch costing 10-20 times more but I think the craftsmanship is at the same level.
Of course Orient has a legitimate watchmaker's pedigree and uses their own in-house movement for the Ray, instead of slapping white-label movements into fashion watches. Orient movements have a reputation for almost surreal accuracy and the one in my Ray is no exception. It's running about 1.5 seconds slow per day (over the past week), which is excellent accuracy for any mechanical watch.
A note about the color: the blue is pretty dark and can look like an inky black in dim indoor lighting. The dial has a finish on it such that under bright light, you can see "flares" of a much lighter blue. If you don't like this kind of finish, you might have better luck with the black model.
on December 21, 2014
I received my blue Ray on 12/18. Here are my initial impressions:
The watch seems to be extremely well made. The bezel aligns perfectly with the dot at 12:00 and, while a bit difficult to rotate at first, solidly clicks into place at each minute interval. The color is gorgeous. As other reviewers noted the blue is deep and only really comes out in sunlight or well lit rooms. Also the lume is fantastic compared to other watches I have in this price range (Casio, Citizen, etc.). I won't comment on the bracelet as I swapped it for a leather strap immediately (I just prefer that look on divers).
As for the movement it is obviously tried and true based on the experience of other Mako and Ray owners. My particular watch runs a bit faster than others (+20s per day) but is still in spec. While it's not quite as accurate as I'd like, it's only been 3 days and these watches are known to have a break in period. Even so, it's been very consistent in gaining just under a second per hour so regulation shouldn't be a huge issue down the road.
I will update if necessary but based on my initial impressions this watch is easily 5/5 stars for the price. Anyone looking for a great gift for a guy this holiday season look no further.
on March 26, 2015
If you’re an individual looking for a quality mechanical wristwatch and you don’t have or want to drop big bucks on a watch, you will be hard pressed to find a better automatic at this price point. I was somewhat dubious having never heard of an Orient before. It sounded like the brand name you might win at a carnival but this is a serious Japanese company, established in 1950 and part of the Epson Seiko Group. Also, Orient specializes in mechanical watches. I had been reading good things about the Orient Mako on various watch forums and many posters were fans of the Mako’s, Rays and Grand Divers. I had been eyeing a more expensive Seiko divers style watch but read so many good things about Orient, I decided to give one a try. I’m really glad that I did. The Ray I received is beautifully crafted from quality materials and Orient manufactures their own movements in house which apparently is both rare and a very good thing in wrist watch quality control. These are very well regarded mechanical movements known for superior accuracy. In the time that I have owned the Ray, it appears that it gains about 7 or 8 seconds per day which is really good for a mechanical watch. There are some compromises but very few considering this watch’s price.
The watch came well packaged in a real display case strapped to a little cushion. My first surprise was when I picked the watch up, it felt really solid. I shook it a little and it made a little grinding sound, a little like the sound of my Seiko Kinetic but quieter. The case is a perfect size as is the face. As others have mentioned the blue dial looks black. In direct light it, it takes on a blue hue like when sunlight hits a DVD. To my eyes the face appears very dark royal blue with a blue prism effect hovering over the area that the light is hitting, very pretty. The hour markers are spaced perfectly and the lume is the brightest and longest lasting of any watch I have purchased in the past forty years. I keep the watch on my nightstand and the lume is still faintly glowing when my clock goes off at 5:30 AM. The mineral crystal is one of the compromises, sapphire would be nice but at this price, really? The watch’s crystal is spring water clear and looks beautifully framed in the very dark royal blue bezel. The case itself is polished stainless steel on the sides and brushed on the top part of the case. The substantial bracelet is a combination of polished and mostly brushed metal. The crown is screw down for water resistance as is the date changer button that sits to the side of the crown. All the visual elements go together beautifully and the watch exudes quality.
Setting the time and date on the watch was easy. By gently turning the crown counter clockwise and releasing it, I found that it pulls out smoothly and clicks gently into position without much resistance. The movement of the hands are smooth and precise. After setting the watch to 6:00 to be certain the date change gear was not engaged, I unscrewed the date button and advanced the date to the day prior to today’s date, then advanced the hands to the correct time and date verifying the correct AM/PM setting. Since setting the watch about a week ago I have noticed that it has only gained about a minute or so. One odd quirk though, my Ray takes it's time about changing the date. It seems to start changing around 11:00ish and doesn't get fully finished on the new date until around 1:15-1:30. Not a big deal, I'm usually asleep. I don't know if this is common to this models movement but considering none of my other watches take as long to complete the date change and the minutia that some wristwatch people get rabid over, be forewarned.
Regarding criticisms, as others have mentioned, turning the bezel requires a bit of force, however, its rotation is smooth. Some have complained that the numbers are not etched into the bezel but do a head count on some of the most expensive brands and you will see that this criticism lacks merit. Also mentioned is the lack of an exhibition window on the rear of the watch. Although that’s a nice touch, I personally don’t really miss it. And finally, there are some criticisms that might be directed towards the band. The bracelet is attractive and refined like the rest of the watch. It’s links appear to be solid which is a rarity. The bracelet opens by lifting a secondary latch and pressing two tabs along the side which releases the main clasp. It is a good secure design but there is something that feels a little flimsy about the secondary fold down clasp. Perhaps it’s the presence of a tension pin which allows the clasp to pivot loosely when disengaged. Also, many true divers watches have an extension clasp which allows an additional section to lengthen the band to fit around a wet suit. There is none on this band. Having brought that up, this watch is rated water resistant to 200 meters but the designation is not D200 indicating it has not been ISO 6425 certified for actual diving. It actually means it might be alright to go to 200M for a bit but using it to dive is a gamble. I have not seen any official warning against using the watch to actually dive with but it is not certified for that purpose, just saying…
In summary, this appears to be one of the best most solidly constructed watches I have ever bought, especially in this price range. It is unquestionably from a cost basis the best money I ever spent on a watch. Love it!
on December 21, 2014
I've had the watch for about 3 days now and I absolutely love it. I can't speak upon the long-term reliability of the watch, but I will update later.
Very sturdy and well made for the price.
Great water resistance.
Perfect second hand movement.
Very good attention to minor details
When fully pulled out, the crown is VERY flimsy.
Bracelet is a bit squeaky but this could be an issue simply because the watch hasn't been broken in.
The lume doesn't last very long (10-15 minutes or so).
The blue face and bezel look black in low lighting.
Many of the cons are just me being nit picky because overall, this watch is an excellent value.
on February 8, 2013
I bought this to be my new everyday-wear watch and I really like it. It's one of those pieces that looks really nice, has a good weight and seemingly is well made. Also, if it were to get dinged, I wouldn't feel super bad about it - as I would a Rolex, Longines, Breitling etc.
A few miscellaneous thoughts after wearing it for a couple of days:
- it has a good weight to it. I wouldn't call it heavy, but it feels solid.
- the face is a deep navy blue - the pics do the color scheme justice.
- the face is a nice size for my wrist. To give some perspective - I had to remove a couple of links to make the band fit. On that sized wrist, the face size seems about right.
- the bezel isn't that easy to turn.
- a bit of a hidden, notable feature: the day of the week has 2 language options embedded within the watch. Mine came with English and Spanish. I suspect the languages offered are by region. When you choose the language you want - it goes to the next day using that language.
- the red tip on the second hand is a nice contrast.
- the clasp seems fine to me. I mention this as many have been critical of it.
It's a really nice watch and I'm glad I bought it. It seems like it would make an excellent gift and/or everyday wearable.
on October 8, 2014
I was looking for a new watch and was split between either this one, or the Seiko SKX007/173 that everyone seems to rave about. After reading several comparisons and reviews on multiple websites, I came to decide that I wanted this watch, mainly because I liked the look of the bezel, face, and the bracelet more so than the Seiko. Both movements seemed to have the same reviews in that they are both very durable and can keep very accurate time for this price point. So I decided to purchase this watch and after a few weeks I am still more satisfied than ever with my decision.
First I'll describe this watch, hopefully to give you a consumer's perspective instead of a manufacturer's. The watch face is 41.5mm (I believe) wide. Physically, this may seem small, and with my ~6.5" wrist this is the case with me too, however the watch sits very nicely and the two crowns make the watch seem slightly larger than it is in my opinion. Both crowns are screw down, giving its water resistance a little boost in confidence, I would feel very safe swimming with this watch (although I wouldn't recommend diving with since the watch technically isn't certified for that like the Seiko is). The 2 o'clock crown isn't exactly a crown in the literal sense, it is a push button that changes the day of the week complication on the face. The day of the week is listed in two languages, English and Spanish, with Sunday (or Domingo) in red and all the others in black. The day/date complication is one reason I actually chose this watch over the Seiko, I think that the silver outline around the display give this watch a little extra class that the Seiko doesn't quite have, along with the silver borders around the dial indices and the hands. Also, the bracelet on this watch has solid links and looks quite nice, in my opinion, is nicer than Seiko's bracelet. That being said, the end links are hollow so there is a little bit of rattle, but nothing that personally bothers me. It is 22m and I bought a nice black nylon NATO style strap for it to give it a sportier look when I don't want the more formal look that the bracelet provides. Black goes really nice with the blue face.
The movement in this watch is a Japanese Orient 46493 movement with 21 jewels. This movement is made in house by Orient and I think that might lend itself to its durability and credibility. I don't really count the seconds it gains because I don't need absolute atomic caliber timekeeping on an everyday basis, but I have noticed that it runs fast about 30 seconds or less after 3 to 4 days. To me, that means that it is good enough. I like fidgeting with the watch any ways so setting it once a week (at the most) is no problem for me. The bezel has a nice click and almost no backwards movement at each click. I have heard that the Seiko tends to shift backwards (clockwise) once it clicks, but I have not found that to be the case with this watch. Also, I see that this watch is listed as having a 60 click bezel, but I counted 120 clicks on mine. Not sure if that was just a recent design change or what, but that's how mine is.
Now the lume. I used to own a Seiko Solar Diver (I believe it was the SSC series) and the lume on that watch was absolutely amazing. The thing would be still glowing like it was nuclear when I would wake up in the morning, even if I didn't "charge" the lume with a flashlight the night before. Compared to that, I think any watch outside of a higher end Rolex or Omega would pale. This watch, however, holds its own in my opinion. Sure it doesn't light up the room, but even without a charge at night I could still read this watch in the darkness in the morning. To me, that is all I can ask for. When charged, this watch glows just like the Seiko did, granted the lumed spots in this watch aren't as large as the Seiko's so that might add as to why the Seiko seemed so impressive. There is lume applied to the dial indices, the 12 o'clock bezel marker, the hour and minute hands, and a small amount at the end of the second hand.
I feel like my "pros" for the watch have already been listed above, so I will explain my very short list of cons:
1.) I wish the watch was just a little bit bigger than it is, but it is not something that I am overly concerned about. I think I may just be used to a larger watch.
2.) The other metal bands with the solid curved end links that are stated to work with the Seiko 007 on Amazon did not seem to work with this watch. The curve was just slightly different than the Ray allowed and this bugged me. I realize that the bracelets were stated to work with the 007 and not this watch, however based on the reviews that I read about them apparently some other people got theirs to fit. Maybe I am just bugged a bit more by those little things than them. Either way, it is nothing against this watch and was just a personal con for me since I can get solid curved end links for this watch, but in no way would I subtract a star for that.
3.) I kind of wish this watch was certified for diving. I know that a lot of people might just see the 200m and not realize that it isn't to the same specifications as the Seiko 007 is. However, the instruction book clearly states that they don't recommend using this watch for diving, so there's that.
4.) The lume on the bezel 12 o'clock position and the lume on the second hand are so small that they are very hard to read. The rest of the lume is great though, so this isn't too big of a deal.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this watch to anyone looking for a reliable watch with an automatic movement and don't have the money to spend on something as pricey as an Omega or Rolex. Go out and get yourself one of these.
on February 16, 2015
great look, quality feel. Just enough glint/bling. Lume is as bright as I've ever seen. Looks great on bracelet or leather. I'm not a stickler for accuracy but from what I can observe it's spot on. Bezel is tight but very useable. Feels just about the right size. I prefer slightly larger (44mm is ideal) but this fits right in the not big not small category (at 41.5mm).
Three "complaints" (feels too strong of a word) are:
1.) bracelet has hollow end links. Band links are solid though. It's not an issue really except I like to change bands a lot and it's just cheap feeling. Like I said not a big deal and at this price point this is an unrealistic expectation.
2.) bracelet scratches easily. Not excessively easy so not a big issue.
3.) had the date pusher come unscrewed on its own once in first two weeks owning. Not hard to correct but a bit annoying plus I'm not sure what being unscrewed does for water resistance ( and had I not noticed...) It hasn't happened again and I think it was related to the position I had it on my wrist.
Over all I love it!