Credits to various WUS members for the amazing pics. I couldn't take better ones if I tried.
After owning a Seiko 5 for a full year, I decided it was time to look for my 2nd time piece. I had been hearing tons of positive feedback on the Orient Mako, so I quickly decided to purchase one for myself. I had to see what the hype was about! If you would have asked me a year ago I would have told you that the Mako was atrocious, but my watch tastes have developed. I acquired a taste for divers as one acquires a taste for fine wine.
I have owned the watch for about 4 weeks now. It’s truly a beautiful watch, but a huge lack of customer service disheartened me.
Case diameter: 41mm
Case thickness: 13mm
Band width: 22mm
This watch is huge compared to my first Seiko, which was 38mm x 11 mm. I have come to enjoy the extra size and weight though. It feels solid as a tank and looks more like a real man’s watch.
Case/strap: Stainless steel
I had absolutely no problem with Seiko’s Hardlex mineral crystal. It held up to crazy abuse, so I’m hoping this crystal will be able to do the same. The stainless steel strap is already sporting some scratches, but I don’t mind it at all. It’s really inevitable.
Simply put, this watch looks amazing. The matte black dial is very nice. I feel like you could dress this watch up or dress it down just as easily. It’s been called a chameleon for good reason. The attention to detail is evident in every nook and cranny. From the carefully applied lume paint to the awesome Orient logo on the crown, this watch is a looker. I love the style of the 12/6/9 numerals, I love the roman sword hands, and I love the Orient logo on the strap. Hell, I just love the Orient logo in general.
This is my first watch with a bezel so I have no point of reference for comparison. I think it feels solid; it’s not too hard to move but it stays in place well. I like the thinness of it, I think the bezel it much too overstated it watches like the revered Seiko Monster.
I have heard many complaints leveled at the Mako’s strap, particularly dealing with the spring bars. So far I have had no problems with it in my 4 weeks of ownership. The bracelet feels very strong, especially compared to my previous Seiko 5. I love that the Orient logo is engraved into the closure. I know this is standard, but once again, Orient just has an awesome logo.
Apparently it utilizes an in-house Orient Caliber 469 movement. When I first got this watch it was keeping good time, however in the 2nd week it began gaining about a minute every day or two. I ended up taking it to a local watch maker because of Orient’s lack of customer service (I’ll get into that in a moment). It turns out that the watch had corrected itself just before I took it in to get checked. It is now keeping very good time.
The lume on this watch is excellent. Any normal lighting situation will charge it up to glow for about 5 minutes. A full charge won’t last too much longer. If the watch isn’t charged it is still readable at night, but barely. But c’mon folks, this isn’t Indiglo…
The day/date window on this watch is placed at the 3:00 position. It’s easily readable. The watch is water resistant to 200 meters. The major features on this watch are the screw down crown and day pusher. As others have noted, the day pusher would be infinitely more useful as a date pusher. I like the security of the screw downs though. Once again, it contributes to the solid feel of the watch.
Overall Build Quality
This thing is built like a tank, plain and simple. It both looks and feels the part.
I paid about $100 shipped for this watch from discountwatchstore.com. This watch is an excellent value as it stands, but that might not be the case if it ever needs servicing or if I have a warranty claim.
Customer Service and Final Thoughts
Here is where my experience with Orient went downhill.
My watch started gaining about a minute every day or two shortly after I purchased it. I’m not sure exactly what caused this, and as I said it fixed itself within a week.
Contacting customer service at Orient USA was a nightmare. First I emailed them; over a week went by with no response. During that week I called them every day for about 5 days straight, with no answer. I left them a message and they called me back once, but I was at work. I called them back and left them another message, this time telling them callback hours when I would be available. They didn’t call back a second time.
After complaining on the boards here, member MarkKim sent me a private message. He said due to my poor experience with customer service, Orient USA would fix my watch for free even if it had been magnetized. He told me to just email Joe at Orient USA again because my first email probably went to his spam box.
I emailed Joe again and he replied this time within a day. However, Joe stated that there would possibly be a charge for repairs, and I would need to make a preliminary $35 deposit for this contingency. This was not in line with what MarkKim had told me.
At this point I just gave up and took my watch to the local jeweler. So if you’re lucky enough to get a watch that’s not a lemon and you never have any problems with it, the Orient Mako is a fine choice.
If you want to buy from a company that can actually help you if your watch is problematic, you have been forewarned.