This year marks the 70th anniversary for Orient, a mainstay in the value oriented segment, and a brand that has to be near the top of the list as a recommendation for new enthusiasts just getting into mechanical watches. The Japanese brand offers a really impressive (and in-house) product with watches in a variety of styles that are priced incredibly competitively. To celebrate their 70th birthday, Orient has plans to release a number of watches in what they’re calling a “Revival Collection,” and it starts with this reissue of the Weekly Auto Orient King Diver, a watch which debuted in 1965. Let’s take a look.
Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary Edition
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Dial: Blue, red, green, gold
- Dimensions: 43.8mm
- Crystal: Mineral
- Water Resistance: 200 meters
- Movement: Calibre F6922
- Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet
- Price: $ 475
- Reference Number: RA-AA0D01B1HB, RA-AA0D02R1HB, RA-AA0D03E1HB, RA-AA0D04G1GB
- Expected Release: July 2020
For this iteration of the King Diver, Orient has stayed remarkably true to the original. This is a dual crown diver with an internal bezel and a unique day-date display that puts the day of the week at the bottom of the dial near 6:00, with the date at the more traditional 3:00 position. This arrangement has a real old school character and charm to it that is pretty uncommon with modern watches – I particularly enjoy the subtle curve to the aperture for the day of the week, which gives the watch the impression of a smile.
The King Diver is available in blue, red, and green colorways, with a limited edition gold gradient dial also available later this month. Like the watch’s layout, there’s a fun vintage inspired appeal to these colors, particularly the gold with its gradient effect. The red sunburst finish is also nice, and matches the red text of the day of the week display.
These watches run on the Orient caliber F6922, an automatic movement that can be hand wound and hacked. The case is 200 meters water resistant, and measures 43.8mm in diameter, which according to Orient is only one millimeter larger than the original, so this truly is a fairly accurate representation of the vintage watch, being only modestly upsized, likely as a necessity to accommodate the movement.
List price for the new King Divers starts at $ 475, which is a pretty competitive price point for a watch with an in-house movement and a fairly unconventional design. There are, of course, options in this price range from Seiko, Hamilton, and others, but the Orient offers something genuinely unique in terms of design that I think is worth considering. Orient