Orient FFD0F004W0 Vintage Modern

Orient Watch Review FFD0F004W0 Vintage Modern

orient_power_reserve_dial_2

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.

orient_power_reserve_dial

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.

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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.

orient_back

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

orient_deployant

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.

orient_buckle

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.

Features:
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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Seiko 5 SNK803 Beige Flieger/Pilot’s

Review Seiko 5 SNK803 Beige

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For years I have wanted this watch.  It was almost my first automatic watch, it lost out to my green military style 5.  It is a Flieger or pilot style watch.  It is a wonderfully clean design and has been made by many manufactures for many years.  This Seiko example, the SNK803 has been in production for many years and uses the (now classic) 7S26 movement.  My newest watch in my collection is about the most factory fresh models I haver ever worn.  It was made in September of 2013, and now on my wrist as of December 2013, so less than three months since it left the factory in Malaysia.  Interestingly, it is a 7S26C, not sure what has been updated, but the movement seems well finished and decorated for an entry level movement.  But, let’s start with the outside. The dial for this watch is beige/cream colored with stark, black printing.  The printing is Seiko perfect, with no flaws visible, even under a loupe.  The Seiko and 5 shield are applied.  What makes a pilot’s style watch unique is the emphasis on minutes instead of hours, instead of hours, like standard military watches.  The hour makers are contained inside of a clean circle.  The minutes are printed at 5 minute intervals, and have tick marks for every minute.  There is no chapter ring.  The 0 minute mark is a triangle.   As you can see, the hands are Flieger extended diamonds and the second hand has a red tip and a large, luminous tail.  The hands are filled with luminous material and show up well in all lighting conditions.  There is the classic Seiko 5 day and date window.  My only complaint is that, while there are luminous pips on every hour, there is no indication of what ‘up’ is on the watch in total darkness.  A small complaint, and not unique, as several of my watches have the same issue.  The bezel holding the flat, hardlex crystal matches the body of the watch well.  The crystal has very little glare and is typical of a watch in this price point.  Overall, a very clean, classic design.

snk803_crown_side

The case of the watch is bead blasted stainless steel.  The small, unsigned crown is at the 3:48 position, which is typical of most Seiko 5’s.  Since the movement can not be hand wound or hacked, the small crown is not a big deal and is slightly recessed.  The offset crown and the little projection make is very comfortable to wear and it never digs into your wrist.  The lugs are 18mm and slightly turned down.  The case is only about 37.5mm in diameter, so modern small for men, but good for those of us with smaller wrists, including women.  My wife tried this watch on, and it looked perfectly acceptable.  It is only 10.5 mm high, so it hides well under long sleeves.  The watch wears well is is fairly light on the nylon strap.

snk803_back_movement

The case back is a hardlex, display type showing the brand new 7S26C.  It seems a little better finished than the A and B version, and apparently, there are some other improvements as well.  It is a very tried and true design, a direct descent of the Seiko 5’s of 50 years ago!  It lacks hacking or hand-winding, but, if you are a classic 5 fan, they are part of the charm.  The watch winds quickly via your body motions.  This particular movement seems well adjusted from the factory, I have worn it more than a week and have not had to adjust the time yet, so it must be less than 5 seconds a day of variation.  As with every Seiko, it is all stainless steel.  No base metal here.

snk803_buckle

Last, but not least is the nylon, two ring, strap.  It is very heavy nylon with two steel keepers.  One is fixed, the other floats.  The buckle is signed Seiko and it, and the keepers are all bead blasted to match the finish of the watch.  It is comfortable to wear and should last for many years.

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Seiko_Box_Open

Probably the most remarkable thing about this watch is the price, less than $60, shipped, from Amazon.  At this price point, it is just a remarkable deal to get a Seiko Automatic for about the same price (actually, less than) a Timex or Fossil, or other fashion watch brands.  Seiko, unlike many others, is a true watch manufacture, with all in house movements and more than 100 years of watch making experience.   As you can see above, even the presentation box is nice quality.  No cheap, plastic box, but a good quality box and pillow. Try getting that with a $60 Timex.

This watch happens to be a replacement for my departed Timex field watch.  After its fourth battery change, the quartz module decided to strip some gears and not work any more.    It will be interesting to see what this watch looks like after 15 years of service, with no battery changes to wreck the seals and warp the movement.

Overall, this watch is a fantastic deal, looks great, and is a must buy for pilot watch lovers.  It comes in black, blue, and green as well, so if you want more of an authentic Flieger, Type B look, the black one matches up pretty well.  I am very pleasantly surprised by the accuracy so far, and I have already put it though its paces.  Shovelling snow with it on, going sledding, and doing ordinary daily activities without missing a beat.  If you need a practical watch that will far outlast the Chinese made specials, look no further than a Seiko 5.

 

Features:
Case: 37.5mm diameter, stainless steel, 30m water resistance.
Back: Hardlex exhibition back, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Automatic, 7S26C, Seiko in-house design. No handwind or hacking.
Complications: Day of week, Date
Other: Luminous hands and markers, Lumibrite.

 

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