Orient Day Date CEV0J002B

Orient Day Date CEV0J002B


I had my birthday a couple months ago and received a watch. It was not quite me, so I went ahead and bought this one instead. For years I really admired Orient’s homage watches. Sadly, since Seiko now controls Orient, they politely told them to stop producing the Rolex homage watches. This is good and bad. Orient produces some really unique, mechanical watches and I am glad their in house design team is up to the task of producing their own designs. The down side is Orient made a damn good homage watch that could pass for the real deal and in some ways surpassed what they were an homage to. Invicta makes homage watches, but they really stick to the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster lines. In the sub $300 range, there are not too many Datejust or Day-Date homages with sapphire crystals and solid build quality. So, I finally snapped up this watch before they run out of stock.

The dial of the watch is a black sunburst, which is a pattern I have not seen before. The hour markers are sapphire, and are at all hours except for the twelve and three o’clock position. They do look like diamonds and are set into gold, applied markers. The minute chapter ring is a simple affair, printed in gold on the dial. The full day of the week window is located between the eleven and one o’clock markers. The date is at the tradition three o’clock position. Both day and date wheels are white, with black printing. The dial is not verbose, which I like. I hate when the dial of a watch is printed like a novel. There is the Orient name with dual lion logo at twelve o’clock; at the six o’clock is Automatic SAPPHIRE 100m in muted gold printing. The hands are simple, gold plated sticks. I wish all three were a little longer, but they are still very visible against the dark dial. The reason this watch is not a fake or slavish homage is the fact the combination of black dial, diamond markers, jubilee bracelet, day-date was never done by Rolex.


The crystal is sapphire and flat. There is a cyclops magnifier over the date. It looks to be about a 2.5x magnification. The bezel is gold plated and fluted. Not quite as sharp as the real thing, but very well done.


The case is oyster style and very close to the original. It is a small, for modern standards, 36mm. Thankfully the case is also thin, at 11mm, it slides easily under long sleeves. The top of the case is brushed, the sides are very highly polished. The crown is gold plated, deeply knurled, and screw down. There are no crown guards. The threading on the screw down feature is very well done. All of the screw down Orient watches I own share this feature. The case back is solid stainless steel and laser etched with Orient, movement and case name, stainless steel, and 100m water resistance. The case back is screw down and has imitation Rolex style case back grooves, but also has the traditional 6 notch indentations for opening the case back. The movement is an Orient in-house design, automatic, with quick set date and semi-quick set day. It keeps excellent time and has over 40 hours of power reserve.


The bracelet is very very high quality, solid link jubilee style. Most jubilee bracelets I have encountered are folded links in the center, this has solid links everywhere except the end links. The center of the jubilee is gold plated. The steel is brushed on top, polished on the sides, identical to the case. It is very comfortable to wear and does not rattle or squeak. The deployant is a two button design with no safety. The clasp is embossed with the Orient name and twin lion logo. There are only two adjustment holes, but with the small links, it really does not matter. It defiantly has a better bracelet than most older Rolex watches.

I am very happy I was able to acquire this model before it disappears forever. It cuts very close to the original, but is not a fake. The build quality is amazing and it feels a lot more expensive than it is. If you can find this model, or one of the other combinations, grab it while you can. For Rolex lover’s out there who don’t want to pay for the style, this is the way to go.

Case: 36mm x 11mm, stainless steel, 100m water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down, Orient makers mark, water resistance and serial number.
Crystal: Sapphire, flat, with magnifier.
Movement: Automatic,  Orient in-house design and manufacture.
Complications: Full Day of Week, Date.
Other: Solid link bracelet. Sapphire markers.

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Apple Watch

A couple of days ago, Apple announced the Apple Watch.  To be honest, I think they are just the ugliest things out there, but I wanted to do a more objective comparison of what you get when you buy an Apple watch, as opposed to a Seiko.  Since Seiko’s line is so huge, I decided upon the most popular automatic watch line available in the United States, Seiko Diver’s and Prospex Diver’s.  I could compare to a 5 or Presage, or Superior line, or even Grand Seiko but I wanted a line or type of watch that went from entry level to professional.  Apple has 3 tiers:Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition.  For Seiko I chose SKX, Prospex 200m Diver’s aka Sumo, and the Prospec Marinemaster 300M Automatic.  I was tempted to do the Springdrive, but I wanted to go with conventional, mechanical watches for all three Seiko.  All are readily available.

The competitors, entry level:

Apple Watch Sport, Aluminum on Silicone.


Seiko SKX007 on silicone rubber.


The first comparison is the cheapest Apple Watch Sport vs. the cheapest SKX007 on silicone.


Attribute Apple Watch Sport Seiko SKX 200M Diver’s Advantage
Price $349 Rubber $156 Rubber, $167 Steel Seiko, half the price
Size 33.3×38.6×10.5mm 42.5mm x 45.5x13mm round Personal preference
Material, Case Coated Aluminum 316L Stainless steel Seiko, longer lasting, Corrosion resistant
Material, Crystal Coated boron-silicate glass Hardlex Seiko, probably.  Unknown in real world
how Apple glass performs. Hardlex is well proven.
Weight 72grams 2.53 oz 149.7 grams 5.28 oz, on rubber Apple
Band Silicone, Proprietary interface Expansion Silicone, 22mm standard Seiko, thousands of off the self bands.
Water resistance 1M, short immersion IPX7 200M Divers, ISO 6425 Seiko
Power reserve/battery life 18 hours 40 hours Seiko
Recharge/wind Daily, attaches to back Winds while being worn, no charger needed. Seiko
Expected Life 2 to 3 years.  Obsolete in 18 months. 20 years without service, lifetime with
service.  In production over 20 years.
Required Accesory iPhone 5.0 or above $549+$50 month plan. None Seiko
5 Year cost $(349+549)x2+60×50=$4796 Assume replaced ever 2.5 years. $167 on steel, about the same one rubber. Seiko

The only category that Apple won in was the weight, but even that is debatable when it comes to personal preference.  I like a heavier watch.  What really stunned me was the 5 year cost of ownership. A watch you just buy, that’s it.  If you like the band or bracelet it came on, that is all you will have to pay for.  If you are anal retentive, you can get the watch serviced every 5 to 7 years, but even that is less than $100.  So, at least for the entry level, the Seiko wins hands down for being used as a timepiece.  It can be debated you can do a lot more with an Apple watch, but dollars and cents wise, it is hard justify that kind of expense.  There are things the Apple watch can never do, like go swimming or diving in, or run for years without winding or charging.

Next up, the 42mm Apple Watch, steel case, on steel bracelet.


Seiko SBDC001 on Steel


Attribute Apple Watch Seiko SBDC001 Sumo Advantage
Price $999 steel link $499 steel Seiko, half the price
Size 35.9mmx42mmx10.5mm 45mm x 52mm x 13.5 Personal preference, Sumo is a BIG watch.
Material, Case Stainless Steel, unknown ANSI number. 316L Stainless steel Draw.  Stainless steel is a traditional watch material.
Material, Crystal Sapphire Hardlex Draw, Hardlex was chosen for impact
Weight 125grams 4.49 oz 210 grams 7.4 oz Apple
Band Link steel, Proprietary interface Stainless steel with Diver’s extension, 20mm
Seiko, the Sumo’s bracelet is almost
Water resistance 1M, short immersion IPX7 200M Divers, ISO 6425 Seiko
Power reserve/battery life 18 hours 50 hours Seiko
Recharge/wind Daily, attaches to back Winds while being worn, no charger needed.  Can be hand wound.  No battery. Seiko
Expected Life 2 to 3 years.  Obsolete in 18 months. 20 years without service, lifetime with
service.  In production over 10 years.
Required Accesory iPhone 5.0 or above $549+$50 month plan. None Seiko
5 Year cost $((999+549)x2+$50×60=$6096 Assume replaced ever 2.5 years. $499 on steel. Seiko

Again, the Seiko is ahead on many counts.  Even though the Seiko almost tripled the price of the humble SKX, Apple did the same between the Sport and the Watch.  The Sumo is a massive watch, so it will get just as much attention on the wrist as the Apple Watch will.  The 5 year cost of ownership is creeping towards Rolex territories, and already above many TAG or Omega watches.  At $101 a month, you can buy a new SKX every two months or a new Sumo every year and still be cheaper!  The 5 year cost is over 10 times higher.


Apple The Edition



Seiko Marinemaster 300M SBDX001



Attribute Apple Edition Seiko SBDX001 300M Marinemaster Advantage
Price $9999 on leather $1999 steel Seiko, one fifth the price
Size 35.9mmx42mmx10.5mm 44mm x 50.3mm x 15.4 Personal preference.
Material, Case 18K gold. 316L Stainless steel, helium proof. Apple, maybe?
Material, Crystal Sapphire Sapphire Draw
Weight 125grams 4.49 oz 210 grams 7.4 oz Apple
Band Link steel, Proprietary interface Stainless steel with Diver’s extension, 20mm
Seiko, the Sumo’s bracelet is almost
Water resistance 1M, short immersion IPX7 300M Divers, ISO 6425 Seiko
Power reserve/battery life 18 hours 50 hours Seiko
Recharge/wind Daily, attaches to back Winds while being worn, no charger needed. Can be hand wound. No battery. Seiko
Expected Life 2 to 3 years. Obsolete in 18 months. 20 years without service, lifetime with
service. In production over 5 years.
Required Accesory iPhone 5.0 or above $549+$50 month plan. None Seiko
5 Year cost $((9999+549)x2+$50×60=$24096 Assume replaced ever 2.5 years. $1999 on steel. Seiko

This was the hardest comparison to make.  The Edition is a dress watch, the Seiko Marinemaster is a tool watch.  An expensive tool, but still a watch that was purpose built for professional, saturation divers.  The $10K price tag puts The Edition above a good chunk of timepieces.  What is disappointing is that there is no way this can be an heirloom watch, like a Rolex or Patak Phillipe. 3 years, it is junk, unless Apple has some sort of refurbishment plan.  The Seiko will last you a lifetime, the Apple won’t even get you through college. Another disappointment is the ‘movement’ of the Apple Watch really is no different across all the price points.  $349 to $14,999 essentially have all the same guts.  All the 42mm versions have the same hardware inside.  The Seiko (and all watch brands) increase the quality of the movement from one tier to the next.  The SKX use the entry level 7S26 movement.  The SBDC Sumo uses the mid level 6R15 that adds features like longer power reserve, hacking and handwinding.  The Marinemaster uses the 8L35 high end movement, beating at 28,000 beats per hour and is chronometer rated.  The guts of the watch are consistent with the price point.  It is like buying a Rolex with a Timex quartz movement.  Nothing wrong with the Timex, but you expect a hand assembled precision machine at that price point, not the same machine assembled electronics as a $25 watch.  That is exactly what you get with the Apple Watch.  Fancy case, same guts.

The five year cost is about the same as buying a car.  Other than showing off, I have no idea who this watch is aimed at.  Watch collectors stick to mechanical.  A Rolex, Panerai, TAG, Cartier, or Omega are just as much of an eye catcher.  Well, enough opinion.  From a utility standpoint, any other smartwatch does about the same thing at a far lower price point.  As can be seen, from the lowest to highest price point, a Seiko will win in almost every category.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Any watch collectors out there interested in the Apple Watch?  If so, why?

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Seiko Alpinist SARB017

Seiko Alpinist SARB017
The Grail.  For every watch collector, there is a ‘grail’ watch.  The one watch you have wanted for years, but could never justify the expense.  Some collectors shoot so high, they will never own that Rolex or Bell&Ross.  Me, I fell in love with the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist.  By no means a ‘luxury timepiece’, but still significantly higher priced than what most people would pay for a watch.  In this case, a little under $400.  For years I pined for this watch.  What made me pull the trigger?  Well, to be honest, I just left a job I spent 10 years at.  If I stayed on till later in the year I would of received an anniversary watch, but I know it was just a quartz watch.  Nothing I would pick for myself.  So this is a reward for finding a new position (that I really like so far) and actually having enough wherewithal to actually go through the whole process of changing jobs.  Enough of me, on to the watch.


The dial.  The dial of this watch is what really makes it.  A sunburst emerald green shifts in color with different lighting. In all my years of watch collecting, I don’t think I have ever encountered another emerald green dial.  The markers are gold plated, Arabic at the even hours, triangles at the odd hours.  Very easy to see.  The minutes chapter ring is white with 1/6 of a second tic marks, with luminous pips on each hour.  The outer chapter ring is a compass that is turned with the crown at the 4 o’clock position.  It turns easily and north is marker with a red arrow.  A gold pated Seiko is at noon, and Automatic Diashock 23 Jewels 20BAR is at the six o’clock position.  The date is displayed at the traditional 3 o’clock position and has a black background with white Arabic numbers.  The dial is not cluttered at all and has a field or military air to it.  The hands are cathedral style, very traditional and have a healthy coating of luminous material.  This watch has very good lume and appears to have a high grade of lumibrite, that glows for at least 4 hours.  It rivals my Seiko Diver’s and Omega.

left_side right_side

The crystal, bezel, and case.  The crystal is sapphire and flat with anti-reflective coating.  As you can see in the photo above, it is almost invisible in some light.  The bezel is a high polished stainless steel and is chamfered to 45 degrees.  The crystal is about the thickest sapphire I have ever seen.  This is probably due to the 20 bar water resistance rating.  That’s right, it is a sport watch that you could swim and dive with.  The case is a classic ‘oyster’ style with down turned lugs.  The fit and finish are nothing less than amazing.  The crown is at the 3 0’clock position and is signed, deeply, with an S.  It is a screwdown and threads and unthreads easily.  The crown at 4 o’clock turns the compass bezel.  Both crowns have deep teeth and are easy to turn.  There are no hard edges and the polish is about the best I have ever seen.  All stainless steel, of course.  Even on leather, the watch feels quite substantial, and feels like a diver’s watch.  The lugs are 20mm, so a lot of options when it comes to straps and bracelets.

A word on the included band.  I have to agree with other reviewers, it is pretty awful and I just don’t understand what Seiko was thinking.  I replaced it immediately with the calf skin strap seen in the photos.  I also added a deployment as well.  You can get it on a oyster style bracelet, but I like the look of leather.

backCase back and movement.  The case back is solid, as with every Japan domestic model Seiko I have encountered so far.  The center is embossed with the Alpinist logo with 3 mountains.  The watch is Made in Japan and is the first Alpinist made in July of 2014.  It has a 0001 serial number.  The case is this and heavily built and the watch wears much larger than the 38mm diameter would lead you to believe.  The movement is Seiko’s mid grade 6R15 with 50 hour power reserve.  Considering it only has one spring barrel, that is a lot of power reserve.  Right now it is running about -4 seconds a day, which is acceptable for any mechanical watch that is not chronometer rated.  The movement also hacks and hand winds.  It has 23 jewels, anti-magnetic, and has Seiko’s Diashock protection.

With the exception of the included band, the watch is nothing less than amazing.  I have worn it almost every day and quality wise, I would say it rivals my Omega.  It exceeds the Omega for water resistance and the lume is just hair better as well.  The accuracy out of the box is excellent and everything about it screams quality and attention to detail.  It is easy to get lost just staring at the green dial.  It can be worn with a suit or a t-shirt, so a great everyday wear watch.  It has a style that only borrows the oyster case, but little else.  Everything else is all Seiko style.  I really love this watch and I feel like it was money well spent.

Case: 38mm diameter, stainless steel, 20 Bar water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal:  Sapphire, flat, anti-reflective coating.
Movement: Automatic,  6R15,  Seiko in house design, Japan Made.  Hacks, hand winds, 50 hour reserve.  21600 BPH.
Complications:  Date, compass bezel.
Other: Luminous Hands and markers.

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Sad day for affordable watch lovers

I  just read that the owner and founder of the Poor Man’s Watch Forum was shot and killed.  I don’t know all the details, but it is very shocking.  The PMWF let me know you don’t have to break the bank to collected mechanical, new watches.  He shall be missed and I hope the forum goes on.

New information:  The PMWF will probably be no more soon, but it has moved, in spirit, to the Wallet Friendly Watch Forum.  I am sure it will do well and there are a lot of great people who post on the forum.   Head on over if you want to post what you are wearing, or are just interested into getting into watch collecting without breaking the bank.

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Oyster Upgrade


One way to make a good watch into a great watch is to upgrade the bracelet. A watch I really love is my Seiko Pepsi. It is one of the first watches I purchased and looks awesome on the wrist. The downside is that is came on pretty flimsy folded link bracelet. It looks okay, with a brushed top and polished sides, but it rattles, squeaks, and sometimes pulls hairs. It is also a complete bear to take extra links out. Shame, really, the actual watch is pretty fantastic.


For the past few years, this have had this watch mostly on leather or NATO straps, but to get the original submariner feel to it, the watch deserves a heavy, quality bracelet. So, I decided on an “oyster” style bracelet. It matches what originally came on the watch, and closely mimics the modern bracelets used on Rolex submariners. For a non watch collector, spending $40 to $50 on a bracelet seems crazy, but when it is just a fraction of the price of a new, quality watch, it is worth it. To put it all in perspective, a single link on a solid gold watch costs over $250!

Putting the bracelet changed the whole feel of the watch. From too heavy at the watch, to well balanced. The squeaks and rattles went away, and the whole watch now has a very solid, expensive feel to it. The whole bracelet is brushed, but that’s okay in my opinion. It is easy to re-size and moves well with my wrist. The only compromise I had to make was is I had to use the original end links that came with the watch, the ones that were included were intended for Seiko SKX real diver’s watches, not this diver’s style, SKA.


The deployant is push-button with safety clasp. The bracelet has 3 adjustment holes. The overall fit and finish are very good and truly change an ordinary watch to an amazing watch. I wish the end links were solid, but, for the price point, it was perfectly acceptable. The ability to upgrade a bracelet is by no means limited to diver’s watches, you can just as easily update a dress watch is a solid bracelet or fine leather, or take a casual watch and make it dressy. Try it if you want to save some money, but want a whole new look.

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New shoes for Father’s Day


As a surprise gift, my wife and son surprised me with a new NATO style 22mm watch band. I am a big fan of NATO straps. When they are well made, like this one, they are very comfortable (in the heat and cold) and can change the whole look of a watch. They are also affordable and easy to swap out to mix and match. A nice feature with true NATO straps is the length. You can wear the watch over your clothes, which is why they are so long. Where I work, I have to wear a static dissipative smock, so I do actually wear my watch on the outside of the sleeve. You can see why outdoors-men, divers, and astronauts like NATO straps. Sometimes you have to wear your watch on the outside of your uniform or spacesuit.

One other feature not advertised for NATO straps is that it keeps the watch away from direct contact with your skin. This can be a big deal to people with nickel allergies, since 316L stainless and most plated base metal contains nickel. Luckily, I don’t have that allergy.


This band is really well suited to my Seiko Diver’s 200M orange bullet. The orange is a very good match for the dial, and the black compliments the bezel. There is also the grey stripe picks up the stainless steel of the watch. At 22mm, it also can be used for a lot of my other watches, including my Seiko Compass, Pepsi, and Pulsar Chronograph. My orange bullet was on a black leather band, with orange stitching. That band will find a new home on my Pulsar Chronograph.

It was a great surprise and a great, affordable gift idea for any watch lover and the next best thing to getting a new watch.  Thank you!

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Orient FFD0F004W0 Vintage Modern

Orient Watch Review FFD0F004W0 Vintage Modern


For my birthday I wanted a dress watch with a complication that I have not had before. In this case, I really wanted a dress watch with a power reserve indicator. I ended up getting an Orient FFD0F004W0 automatic watch with power reserve. It has all the styling of a classic watch, but with modern sizing and proportions. It also has the modern touches, which I will visit below.


Let us start with the dial.  It is a richly textured champagne colored dial.  The center, which is just a touch wider than the hour hand radius, is a woven texture.  The area between the woven center and the chapter ring is concentric rings. Beneath the power reserve indicator it looks like tiny curtain bunting. The hour markers are applied trapezoids with a brushed top and polished sides. They stand out very well from the dial. The 12 o’clock indicator has two markers. The chapter ring used traditional Arabic numbers for every five minutes, and simple ticks for the minute markers. It is very reticent of a pocket watch I have as well. At the three o’clock position is the date indicator, ringed in brushed chrome. The date wheel is white with black numbering. The power reserve indicator is located between the eleven and one o’clock position. It can show up to forty hours of reserve. This is a new complication for my collection, it shows how many hours of wind are left on the mainspring. I have found it to be fairly accurate, the watch usually goes 42 hours on a full wind.

The hands are dauphin shaped and blued. The hour and minute hands have luminous material, but the markers on the dial do not. The second hand is a simple, blued stick hand and is a nice length that extends all the way to the chapter ring. The power reserve indicator hand is also dauphin and blued steel. The dial of the watch is relatively free of verbiage. Just below the center of the dial is the Orient twin lion logo with e ORIENT AUTOMATIC and the two crystals indicating a sapphire crystal. In tiny print at the bottom of the dial is Japan Mov’t FDOF-CO-A. Overall, the dial is well proportioned with proper length hands and easy to see markers. The luminous material is the typical, next to useless Orient lume. I really don’t know why Seiko does not give Orient a couple of cans of Lumibrite to do Orient’s dials. Even the cheapest Seiko 5’s have much better luminous material. It is my only complaint with Orient watches. That being said, this is a dress watch and it is great in that respect. I would say the fit and finish of the dial and hands can go toe to toe with anything from Switzerland.


The crystal is flat sapphire, with anti-reflective coating. The bezel is brushed steel, sloping away from the crystal. The top and side of the case is brushed, but there are polished accents on the bezel, lugs and case of the watch. The case is a modern, 40mm in diameter. The crown is at the traditional 9 o’clock position and unsigned. It does not wind the watch, only sets time. The first position is the quick set date, the second is for setting the time. The lugs are 22mm and well proportioned to the watch. The inside of the lugs is highly polished. The overall case fit and finish is excellent.


The back of the watch is screw down, display type glass. The display back reveals a beautifully finished movement with cotes de geneve, or in this case, Tokyo stripes. This is the only modern watch I have that has a decorated finish, and I am very glad they put a display back on. The rotor is etched and filled in with color, Orient Japan Twenty-One Jewels 46N45 and even has the Orient two lion logo. The movement is very accurate, with less than 5 seconds a day gained or lost. It does not hand wind or hack, but it does include the power reserve indicator. All of my Orient watches keep excellent time. I believe they must adjust them better at the factory than their Seiko counterparts. The case is all stainless steel and 50M water resistance. Good enough for day to day, but I would not swim with it on. I would not recommend swimming with a dress watch on. T


Continuing on with the overall quality of the watch is the leather band. It is a genuine leather band, crocodile pattern, 22mm at the lugs and tapers 20mm. The watch came with a factory two button deployant clasp, a great touch class for a watch in this price range. The deployant has a high polish, stainless steel, and marked Orient. It works flawlessly and is very comfortable. I am sure it will extend the life of the leather band and it just looks cool when you take it off.


This watch, I am almost tempted to call it a timepiece, is a wonderfully balanced piece. No corners were cut. Everything from the finish of the case, to the sapphire crystal, to the high finishing of the movement just screams quality. I recently visited a jewelry store that sells Hamilton watches. This Orient had features that watches that cost five to ten times as much didn’t have, like a deployant clasp on the band and a well decorated movement. Even the finish of the watch dial is better on the Orient. Overall, I am very very happy with this watch. It is handsome, modern, and will look just as good in 30 years as it does now. If you are in the market for a dress watch, check it out. There are other color combinations and dials, black, white, and some come on a steel bracelet. For the price point, less than $400, you really can’t beat it.

Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel with display crystal, screw down.
Crystal:  Sapphire, flat, anti-reflective coating.
Movement: Automatic,  46N45,  Orient In house design and manufacture, Japan Made, decorated .
Complications:  Date, power reserve.
Other: Genuine Leather band, with two button deployant, Luminous Hands.



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