Have you ever seen a watch again and again but never gave it a second thought - until one day when you actually notice it and realize that you need it after all?
That's what happened to me with this watch. I'd seen the different models in this line before, the bike, airplane, car, and camera but never really understood the name or the concept of how Orient took their styling inspiration from iconic machines of the 1950's. I thought of it as a dress watch and because it wasn't a dive watch, it wasn't something I ever pictured myself buying.
Oddly enough, it was my budding interest in photography that made me take a second look at this watch, and I'm sure glad I did.
To my eye, the old-school camera styling perfectly compliments a mechanical timepiece. The domed lens-style crystal, the f-stop markings on the bezel, the aperture blade dial, and the shutter and film advance style crown guard, all give the impression of mechanical sophistication and quality.
While my divers were obviously designed to perform in water, I believe that this watch was built for the medium of light - it sparkles like a jewel. As you move your wrist, a reflection runs around the outer polished edge and inner brushed surface of the bezel and catches in the convex surface of the crystal, covering it like a slippery sheen. Under the crystal glint the polished hands and hour markers, a ring of brushed metal separating the inner black satin dial from its matching chapter ring. At 12 and 6 o'clock you have the power reserve and sub-seconds dial which are raised slightly with machined textured surfaces and polished edges. At 9 o'clock you have an "open-heart" inside a polished and beveled ring, through which you can see down through the balance wheel and out through the exhibition case back. Even the case has brushed horizontal surfaces, set a different angles with its polished vertical edges.
And speaking of the case, it is one solid chunk of steel. I believe that it is about 41mm in diameter and 14mm thick. That doesn't sound very impressive on paper but the shape and heft of this watch really adds to its presence. I don't think of it as a dress watch anymore; rather, I imagine this is what large, masculine watches used to look like back before some of the 45-50mm monsters of today.
The case has a comfortable curved shape that is matched by the four screw plate back, complete with a concave curved crystal that displays an attractive decorated movement and machined rotor.
The power reserve indicator winds to full-charge quickly and although the movement may not have settled in fully, it is currently running at -2 seconds per day. I have come to expect that sort of accuracy from Orient as commonplace, and I have to remind myself that it is actually quite an accomplishment.
I didn't get a good picture of the bracelet but it is truly unique. Each link is brushed and has a section of three vertical polished lines. Separating each of these is a half-link which is rounded in shape and has a large faux-pin in each end. After the first three links, the bracelet changes to 1/3 sized sections of the vertical lines, separated by the faux-pin links. (Haha, that is hard to describe, I will have to just post another photo of that).
In short, I feel that this watch more than deserves the art-deco "Orient_Star" name on its dial. Competing with a watch box of divers, this is a one of a kind, heirloom-quality timepiece that I plan on eventually passing on to one of my sons.
(ps - I forgot to mention how I am amazed that the dial can have so much detail and be so complex, while at the same time look classic and elegant. I have seen watches with half as much going on, that look "busy", while the Orient somehow avoids that.)