Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics
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  1. #1
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    Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

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    The Orient Star GMT Mini Review
    Product ID: DJ00002W and WZ0051DJ
    (aka "Star Seeker" on Orient USA)

    I received this watch yesterday morning, and have been wearing, and examining, it since. It is my first Orient Star watch, and my second. This aims to be a short review with my initial observations and feelings. Feel free to ask questions, and I'll do my best to provide answers.

    This watch has been around for a couple of months, but a similar version, the WZ0021DJ, has been available in Japan for about a year. I believe the movement is a new one, and a version of it is also being used in a standard Orient, the DJ0020xx. This movement, unlike most standard Orients, does hack and hand-wind.

    Specs
    Width without crown guard: 41.5 mm
    With crown guard: 44.4 mm
    Lug-to-lug width: 49.4
    Height: 14 mm
    Lug width: 21mm
    Solid bracelet, solid end links, tapers to 18mm at clasp
    Beat rate: 21,600 bph
    Weight: 174 grams with full bracelet (158 after sizing)
    Water resistance: 100M

    Features
    Date
    GMT or second time zone with independently adjustable hand and bezel
    Power reserve indicator
    24 hour inner markings ring

    External Links for this watch
    GMT ORIENTSTAR | ORIENT WATCH
    WZ0051DJOrient StarþʾҲåꥨȻ
    DJ00002W | Orient Automatic Watches & Reviews | Orient Watch USA

    Impressions
    Dial & Case
    There is nothing like lots of shiny applied bits to catch the eye on a watch, and this watch definitely delivers on that. The hour markers and the power reserve scale are nicely faceted, with a mix of satin and polished finishes that create nice flashes of light as you move the watch face. The dial itself has a very nice satin finish that softly reflects light. It is a fairly cold white color, but the reflectiveness means it generally looks like a warmer color.

    The 24 hour inner bezel for setting a second time zone is a different finish and slightly different color. They go well together, and I didn't notice the difference until seeing the watch in a specific room lighting.

    The biggest difference between this watch and other Orients (and other affordable watches), is the number is different levels and separate pieces. Including the 24-hour second-zone bezel, the dial has 5 different levels, giving the watch a great amount of depth. This continues on the exterior with a bezel that is set down into raised lugs, and a separate crown guard, attached with two inset screws.


    With all of this going on, it could certainly get busy, but, IMHO, it is not at all, and keeps a clean overall look. I've had no problem at all reading the time.
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    The watch is fairly heavy, which fits well with it's solid looks and feeling of depth. I'll weigh it later and replace this bit with the actual weight. It feels like the head (watch without bracelet) is might be a bit heavier than my Orient CFD and is similar to the couple of Swiss watches I have.

    Display Back and Movement (what is visible)
    The case back screws on, and has a display window for viewing the movement. This is another point where this one stands out from standard Orients, and many other affordables; the movement is decorated and the balance wheel is gold colored. With so many Japanese watches, the display back provides a look at a very drab movement, this one isn't ostentatious, but it does look good. There are Ctes de Genve decorations on the rotor and the visible parts of the movement, as well as "Orient Star, Japan" on the rotor in gold.
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    The rotor is made from two pieces. That can look cheap, but in this case, it works pretty well. The arm/plate is decorated, preventing it from looking cheap, and the two-pieces fit with the layers and component construction of the dial.

    I believe the rear crystal is mineral glass (and the water test appears to confirm this), which is a bit disappointing.

    Bracelet
    The bracelet is a very nicely built solid stainless one with solid end links. I initially thought it had screw-link connections, but it turns out they are pins, with splits in one end, spreading them out to keep them in. I was a bit surprised at this, as my Orient has screw pins, but it doesn't bother me as these seem to be easy to remove and insert, but still very secure. The clasp is a clear step up from the standard Orient, with nicely machined parts. It uses a double button that feels quite secure.
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    Lume
    When charged, the lume on the hands is fairly good. There are also small dots at each hour marker. The lume on these aren't as strong. I haven't had a chance to really test it, but it seems that they maintain their level fairly well for at least a couple of hours. It doesn't appear that it keeps a charge well through the night, so this is probably not a watch for lume freaks.
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    On the Wrist
    The first thing you notice is that the watch doesn't wear as high as the 14mm might indicate. The back is domed, and sits down into the wrist well. The watch really grew on my when I first put it on my wrist; I'm not sure why, but it looks better on the wrist than off of it.

    I normally find my sweet spot to be 36-40mm, but this one doesn't look big at all. The lug-to-lug width is reasonably compact, but they really curve down, so it looks like even less. With the inner and outer bezels, plus the steps, the dial feels a fair amount smaller than on most watches. Put those things together and it really wears more like a 40mm, or even a touch smaller, watch.

    The weight is similar to other watches I own, and I never notice it once it is on.

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    Fit & Finish
    I can't find a single mark, blemish or mis-aligned element. It really appears to have been carefully made and checked over. It is certainly on the level of much more expensive Swiss watches that I've handled, including Omega and Rolex.

    Setting the Watch
    There are two crowns on this watch, the one at 2 is the primary one, used for setting the time, date and the 24 hour hand. The second crown, at 4pm, is used only for the rotating inner bezel. It seems to me that having them reversed would make more sense, but it hasn't ended up feeling odd or difficult in my playing around. Both crowns are a good size and have ridges that make them very easy to grip. Neither is signed.

    The time-date crown pulls out two two positions. Each one is crisp and clear, and the crown feels very solid in all functions. Setting the time and date are very smooth. The 24 hour hand has a bit of resistance as it skips from hour to hour (a bit hard to describe, but it make sense and works well).

    The crown for the second time-zone/GMT bezel screws down. The bezel moves smoothly and precisely, making it easy to line it up with regular hour markers.

    The rotating inner bezel means is possible to track GMT, or a second time zone, and use the 24 hour hand with the 24 hour numeral markers. To do this, set the 24 hour hand to the current time, and the rotating bezel to the second time zone.
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    Performance
    [update] After 24 hours, the watch appears to be running about 6 seconds fast. That is well within specs, but quite disappointing for an Orient. I'll update this again when I've had a few days to time it. I'll also see if it settles in and changes after some time.

    So far, it appears to wind a little more slowly than my other Orient, but still faster than my ETA powered watch. With this, and the ETA, that isn't a big deal, as you can hand-wind. I'll update this when I've worn it during a more active day. I expect that the power reserve will fully wind during a short walk.

    Conclusion & Recommendation
    When you get to see and hold this watch "in person", there is no question that it is a very high quality piece. I've got a couple of quibbles, namely the lack of signed crowns (possible a design decision), average lume, and the non-sapphire display back, but those aren't things that are going to bother me. For the price, this is an exceptional watch, and I would highly recommend it (pending full accuracy results).

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    More pictures can be seen in this external gallery: Orient_Star_GMT pictures by travelling_scott - Photobucket
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    Last edited by ckot; December 1st, 2011 at 21:34.
    zippofan, hiro1963, Reno and 15 others like this.
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    my watches: Christopher Ward - Orient - Enicar vintage watches - Wenger - Seiko 5 - Orient Star - DOXA (vintage)

  2. #2
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Nice review. The Orient Star line are FANTASTIC watches and are seriously underrated.

  3. #3
    Member nmadd's Avatar
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Congrats on the watch and nice review.
    I normally find my sweet spot to be 36-40mm, but this one doesn't look big at all. The lug-to-lug width is reasonably compact, but they really curve down, so it looks like even less. With the inner and outer bezels, plus the steps, the dial feels a fair amount smaller than on most watches. Put those things together and it really wears more like a 40mm, or even a touch smaller, watch.
    Dang, I didn't want to read this. Now I really want one.

  4. #4
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Thanks, Scott, for this excellent write-up. This watch has tempted me sorely. Nice to learn that the large size doesn't feel too much (I have similar size preference to you.) I really like the detail - both the face and the decorated movement. I do have a question just to confirm: is this the hacking/windng higher end movement from the Orient Stars, or a non-winding mechanism like we may be more familiar with? Thanks again - RR
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

    "The new servant of the sun has aspirations to become its master. A prosthetic device, yes: worn on the wrist, watches tie people to the celestial clockwork. Hundreds of millions of them, lying in what pockets, on what wrists, under what sleeves, revolve in time with it. Yet although they watch the sun, watches have established a kind of independence. They tick as remorselessly through the night as through the day, through the winter as through the summer, as though their environment is not going through vast changes in each 24 hours and each year. These perturbations are part of the lives of all other animals, but people have been encouraged by their clocks to ignore the daily and seasonal cycles and to pretend that there is nothing to contend with but metronome-paced linear time. We appear to have caged the sun inside a machine." Michael Young, The Metronomic Society, p. 204

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    Member Will_f's Avatar
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    Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing. I've liked these since I first saw one.
    Owner of a bunch of cool watches.


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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Quote Originally Posted by skywatch View Post
    I do have a question just to confirm: is this the hacking/windng higher end movement from the Orient Stars, or a non-winding mechanism like we may be more familiar with? Thanks again - RR
    I did forget to mention that. It is a hacking and hand winding movement. Pretty cool to watch the power reserve go up as you wind.
    skywatch likes this.
    All that glitters isn't chrome.

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    my watches: Christopher Ward - Orient - Enicar vintage watches - Wenger - Seiko 5 - Orient Star - DOXA (vintage)

  7. #7
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Thanks. I'm trying to get the hang of using a DSLR for the first time. About half of these pics are with my "new" Olympus E-410 and a Minolta prime lens from my ancient SLR. The rest are with my trust iPhone 4.
    All that glitters isn't chrome.

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    my watches: Christopher Ward - Orient - Enicar vintage watches - Wenger - Seiko 5 - Orient Star - DOXA (vintage)

  8. #8
    Affordables Moderator zippofan's Avatar
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Beautiful watch, congratulations

    When I saw this (and the black dial) I was sorely tempted but wasn't sure how the size would work on me. My sweet spot is the same as yours, though in this particular case I'd love to actually see and try it in on the flesh before buying which isn't very likely given their distribution.

  9. #9
    Member typericey's Avatar
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Thanks for the comprehensive review. I'm looking for a GMT as my next watch (since I don't have a GMT yet) and this could fit the bill. I like that it is 41.5mm, as 42mm is my limit with my small wrist. The 5-level dial boosts its premium image. If there's one thing I'm not too hot about, it's the hour and minute hands. I dunno, they just don't look right, to me at least.

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  10. #10
    Member hiro1963's Avatar
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    Re: Orient Star GMT review and lots of pics

    Excellent review, Scott. Very nice watch. I like this model better than the older model as it doesn't have a cyclops window. Congrats!

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