Mr Jiro Miyagawa, President & CEO of The ORIENT WATCH Company, is very clear on his company’s product strategy. “In response to shifting contemporary trends, ORIENT has continually introduced numerous new products to the market,” he says. “Its consistent focus, however, has been the development of mechanical watches. While it provides quartz watches with the high level of quality and multiple functions that overseas customers typically expect of Japanese manufacturers, it also continues to focus on its core products, mechanical watches, in defining its corporate identity.”
The cornerstone of ORIENT’s mechanical offering is the ORIENT STAR collection, which was first launched back in 1951. The retrograde model, which has been on sale in Japan since 2008, is now offered with a new retrograde hand for the day of the week. The calibre 40A50 self-winding movement drives this model, offering a circular date counter at 9 o’clock, a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock and the retrograde hand for the day of the week at 6 o’clock.
A GMT model was presented late last year in the ORIENT STAR collection. It features a new movement, calibre 40P50, a self-winding movement with a 24-hour GMT hand and a power reserve indicator at 11 o’clock. The collection is completed by the “OPEN HEART” model, which reveals the workings of its 40R53 calibre self-winding movement through an opening on the dial at 9 o’clock. All models in the ORIENT STAR collection have a stainless-steel case and bracelet, a sapphire crystal and see-through case back and are water resistant to 100 metres. Their self-winding movements operate at 21,600 vibrations per hour and offer a power reserve of 40 hours.
ORIENT STAR “RETROGRADE”, ORIENT STAR “OPEN HEART”, ORIENT STAR “GMT”
ORIENT has also announced that it will launch a new ORIENT STAR Skeleton model in the summer of 2012, featuring a hand-wound mechanical movement with a 50-hour power reserve that has a dual-layer dial that elegantly shows off the workings beneath. In fact, most of the left-hand side of the dial is left entirely open to show off the balance oscillating almost in splendid isolation. Nevertheless there is still room for a blued small seconds hand at 6 o’clock and a power-reserve indicator (also with a blued hand) at 12 o’clock, in addition to the blued hour and minute hands.
In spring 2012, Orient will also present a new model in its M-FORCE sport collection (the “M” standing for mechanical). The M-FORCE 200m inherits the features of the model that was first released in 1999 and the new model has already been dubbed “The Beast” by aficionados of the brand. It is a true diver’s watch, water resistant to a depth of 200 metres and with an imposing 52mm by 47mm case with a distinctive guard that surrounds the bezel. Naturally, it also has a screw-in crown with protection, but it is unusually located in the left-handed 9 o’clock position. A simple red indicator on the crown that lines up with a red marker on the lower protecting element also allows the wearer to see at a glance whether the crown is screwed in or not—a simple yet highly practical feature. The M-FORCE “New Beast” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock (for a power reserve of at least 40 hours) and has a clearly readable dial (available in black, navy blue or red) with luminous hands and hour markers. A pushbutton tri-fold clasp on the stainless-steel bracelet completes the all-important diver’s watch features.
ORIENT STAR “SKELETON” (Prototype), “M-FORCE” SPORT COLLECTION
The youthful Disk line enhances the brand’s “STYLISH & SMART” collection with an original way of displaying the hours by means of a rotating disk with a small opening that points to the hours and changes colour as the disk rotates, while the minutes and seconds are indicated using a conventional hand. The vibrant colours behind the disk that are revealed through the opening as the disk rotates give a high level of readability against the background of the black dial and the black-coated stainless-steel case.
ORIENT’s calibre 48743 self-winding mechanical movement powers the DISK series and is visible behind a transparent case back that is tinted blue or yellow, depending on the model (blue representing water and yellow representing the sun). The movement operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 40 hours.
These models cover a wide variety of styles, from classic elegance and contemporary function to robust sports watches and fashion pieces. And the mechanical movements powering all of them show that ORIENT is serious about following the vision of its CEO.
Source: Europa Star April - May 2012 Magazine Issue