A few factors contributed to me buying this watch. I love wearing my Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire but frankly it was just too hard for me to read during day-to-day use. So what's easier to read than a dive watch, that's designed to be read a million feet under water?? Another reason is that over the past year I've met two people who had dive watches and I thought they looked great and wanted my own. But maybe the biggest reason is that I wanted a watch like James Bond's! (Doesn't everybody?)
(The first Bond movie I saw was Goldeneye. I know, I started late. Anyway, I loved Pierce Brosnan's Seamaster, and still do. I was going to buy one a couple years ago, before I really got into watches, but I just can't pull the trigger on a $4000 watch that's probably going to be stolen or get me mugged, plus it's supposed to be serviced every ~5 years and the service costs as much as two new Rays. I have a lot of respect for watches that cost so much but they're just not for me.)
Who am I kidding, everybody already knows all about the Ray, right?
The Ray strikes a brilliant balance between *reminding* you of a Submariner while actually not being very similar to a Submariner at all. It satisfies my lust for a Bond watch (especially since Sean Connery wore a Submariner) and at the same time it doesn't give me the awkward feeling that it's pretending to be something it isn't. It certainly can't be called an homage, any more than a Seamaster can.
BEZEL, DIAL, HANDS, CRYSTAL
All of the markings are big and weighty and in my opinion perfectly balanced. I love the red tip on the seconds hand and the day indicator is useful to me (something missing from most Swiss watches). The lume seems to work well and there's a lot of it. I don't think you could possibly make a watch that's easier to read.
The bezel on mine is pretty tight. People say it loosens up with use but I don't use it much. (It's 60 clicks BTW.)
The crystal is mineral glass and it isn't flush with the bezel. People say this makes it prone to scratching and chipping. I wish it was sapphire but the watch is so cheap that I won't mind if it gets beat up.
The blue on the dial is two-tone and that's the ONLY thing about the design of the watch that I have mixed feelings about. I associate two-tone dials with cheap, kitchy drugstore watches, although Orient has made the effect much more subtle. It's only really prominent in bright light. With indoor lighting it might make the dial seem "deep" and I think it looks good. I do wonder how the watch would look with a matte dial though.
I love this style of bracelet, simple, with the polished edges on the center links. Basically the same style as almost any TAG, or Speedmaster, or pre-Bond Seamaster. Basically just "expensive and Swiss."
It has solid links and hollow end-links. The clasp is stamped and made of loose fitting parts that rattle when off the wrist and give a cheap feeling, although I don't get any rattle when it's on the wrist and that's what counts to me.
For as common as the 46943 movement is, it's unfortunately hard to find much information about it, although it's supposed to be more or less the same design as the Seiko 7005 from the 70s, which you can read about here:
What Drives a Workhorse - Servicing a Seiko 7005
I'll assume everybody knows about its features already and I'll skip directly to accuracy--which, for mine, is nothing short of amazing. I set mine 5 days ago and now it's 2 seconds slow, i.e., less than half a second slow per day. (!!)
My other Orient slowed down a little (4 seconds/day) after a break-in period. Hopefully the Ray will stay eerily accurate. I'll probably write a follow-up post about this later.
FIT AND FINISH
Basically the fit and finish of my watch is perfect. It could not possibly be better. I am a perfectionist and immediately notice every tiny thing that's wrong with a watch and there is nothing wrong with this Ray. I thought for a second that the crown might be a LITTLE closer to the top of the watch than the bottom but then realized it's just because of how the teeth are lined up--that's how perfect this watch is. Everything is absolutely bang-on dead perfect aligned, including the bezel and the day and date wheels. Out of the dozen or so watches I own (including a $600 Victorinox) this one is clearly the best made.
I bought it from "Island Jewellers" via Amazon. The whole process was smooth, as I've come to expect from Amazon.
I love the design of this watch and mine basically has perfect accuracy and build quality. What more could you possibly want from a watch?!