Automatic options around $400?
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  1. #1
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    Automatic options around $400?

    Still looking for something that checks my boxes and I think I found some old stock that comes close. Tell me what you think.

    I found one of these at an oriental shop (online) that checks most of the boxes I've been unsuccessfully searching for:
    SS case and band with Sapphire AR crystal
    power reserve indicator
    white dial (ivory, in this case) with sweep second hand
    hacking movement
    39mm case
    Simple, uncluttered design (no extra complications)


    A kinda negative is the date at the 9 o'clock position rather than the 3 o'clock, but I can live with that.


    Are there any better options that check those boxes for $400? I know this is an older design, but I seem to prefer the older ones and can't find any of the newer designs in stock anyway.

    WZ0291EL:



    Specifications
    Mechanical Movement :
    ORIENT caliber 40N50 Made in Japan
    Self-winding & Hand-winding movement
    22 jewels
    21,600/hour vibrations
    Date indicator
    Second hand halt mechanism

    Stainless steel case & bracelet
    Sapphire crystal with ORIENT SAR (Super Anti-Reflection) Coating
    Screw see-through caseback with crystal
    Water resistant to 10bar
    Diameter 39mm/ 41mm with crown
    Thickness: 12.31mm
    Band Width/ Lug size: 20 mm
    Weight: 145 grams

  2. #2
    Member OvrSteer's Avatar
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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    You won't have a ton of options. Seiko has power reserve versions of its new Cocktail Time series:

    https://www.longislandwatch.com/Seik..._p/sary081.htm


    And with time and patience you could probably get one in budget or closer to it.

    There are a few other Seikos with that feature as well, but perhaps even farther from what you're looking for:

    watches88. SEIKO PRESAGE Power Reserve Automatic SSA303J1

    There are some 6R power reserve movements: Watch this week | Seiko Presage multi-hand power reserve indicator but those are going way up the pricing scale.

    You've looked at the other Orient Stars, but those brands are going to be your other good options. It's hard enough to find a Swiss Made automatic around $400, and power reserve displays are often fairly high end complications for whatever reason when looking at Swiss watches.
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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    Double post sorry.
    Last edited by OvrSteer; May 13th, 2018 at 07:09.
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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    Thanks. Realizing that my options appear pretty limited, I went ahead and ordered that Orient Star. It's the best I've been able to find in that price range that checks most of the boxes on my list.

    Many of the ones that interest me are sold out or are no longer being produced. Is this a bad time to be shopping for classic watches like that for some reason?

    Edit: is this a JDM watch? If so, how can I tell? The date on the left at the 9 o'clock position?

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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
    Many of the ones that interest me are sold out or are no longer being produced. Is this a bad time to be shopping for classic watches like that for some reason?
    Not in general, I'd say. It's only the power reserve indicator that doesn't seem to be a big hit in the market. There is a fairly limited number of movements that have one:
    - from Asia, there are Seiko, Orient, Seagull movements and the Miyota 9100 (with full calendar and 24h dial, which you don't want),
    - from Switzerland, there are the Eta 2897 with PR at 7 and the new Hamilton H-13 with PR at 9.

    That's about it in the sub $1k market.


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    See the review of that last one here:
    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/hamilto...reserve-watch/

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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    When I asked if it was a bad time to be shopping, I was really referring to the fact that so many of the watches I found of interest were showing as 'sold out'. But yeah, that PR feature isn't as common as I might have thought it to be.

    Regarding the JDM question, I read on Serious Watches the following:
    "Any Orient model number that starts with ‘WZ’ is JDM, or in normal English: meant for the Japanese Domestic Market. That means Orient makes these models solely for the Japan market and refuses to distribute them outside of there. Any dealers that you see stocking them are either from Japan or obtain them through grey market dealers in Japan. The Star that are available internationally you can find here. "

    https://www.seriouswatches.com/pages...questions#glas

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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedlever View Post
    When I asked if it was a bad time to be shopping, I was really referring to the fact that so many of the watches I found of interest were showing as 'sold out'. But yeah, that PR feature isn't as common as I might have thought it to be.

    Regarding the JDM question, I read on Serious Watches the following:
    "Any Orient model number that starts with ‘WZ’ is JDM, or in normal English: meant for the Japanese Domestic Market. That means Orient makes these models solely for the Japan market and refuses to distribute them outside of there. Any dealers that you see stocking them are either from Japan or obtain them through grey market dealers in Japan. The Star that are available internationally you can find here. "

    https://www.seriouswatches.com/pages...questions#glas
    Watch production is very 'batchy.' A brand will make a large number of model X, distribute it around to various dealer channels and then see how it sells. It may be the case that they did one large run and it takes years to sell out. In most cases even for watches that are cancelled, you'll see new ones in the market for an extended period of time. Of course with very successful models, they may do batch after batch after batch but it all depends.

    The short version is that if you look in online stock systems, you'll see tons of models marked "sold out" from almost every brand due to the long tail in their supply chain. I can think of one particular model of Citizen that I bought right after it was discontinued back in late 2014 or early 2015, and sold it in 2017. I can still find that model in retail, now 3 years after it was discontinued.

    I wouldn't get too worked up about it being JDM except in cases where you really value first party warranties. Honestly most watches that fail are going to fail out of warranty or on the basis of damage which wouldn't be covered. IMHO it's probably not worth stressing over. The market in Japan knows that the rest of the world has a thirst for JDM models from every brand and you can get JDM watches pretty easily through 3rd parties or the gray market. You might not pay a price as low as you would if buying in Japan, but a lot cheaper than plane tickets to Japan, etc...
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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    Ah, very interesting about the batch manufacturing... and it does make sense.

    I ordered the watch in the OP and expect it to arrive sometime this week. It is a JDM model per the info above. Looking forward to getting it in. I imagine it was made around 2013 or so... at least that's when I think it was introduced. So it may have been sitting in stock somewhere for the last 4 or 5 years. I got it from watches88.com.

    Many I looked for I could not find.. not even on eBay.

  11. #10
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    Re: Automatic options around $400?

    The Orient Star is a great watch for the money and I think you chose well. The Orient Star Classic would also meet your criteria and is a great watch. I had this one and sold it, but I'm thinking about picking up another one soon. There are many variations of this, including several on a bracelet, all with the same dial layout, just different colors/metals. Available for just under $400, and should run the same movement. 38.5mm diameter. BTW, Long Island Watch has them here. They are a forum sponsor and highly recommended. Here's one on bracelet:



    OSC-1 by Russ, on Flickr

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