My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review
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  1. #1
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    My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    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.)

    THE BASICS
    Who am I kidding, everybody already knows all about the Ray, right?

    THE STYLE
    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.

    BRACELET
    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.

    MOVEMENT
    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.

    DEALER
    I bought it from "Island Jewellers" via Amazon. The whole process was smooth, as I've come to expect from Amazon.

    OVERALL
    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?!
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  2. #2
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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    Just got back from a trip where I wore this watch. I think it's a great travel watch--relatively inexpensive (wouldn't mind it being damaged or stolen), easy to read in all situations (huge hands, hour indicators, lots of lume), day indicator, easily dressed up or down (if James Bond can wear a dive watch like this with a tuxedo then so can I), good conversation piece if you start talking with somebody about watches (since it's mechanical and most people haven't heard of Orient), and accurate enough that I never had to set it or worry that it was off by more than a few seconds.

    About the accuracy--I've been tracking it and the watch has settled into losing about 2 seconds/day. And it's never off by more than 3-4 seconds from this pace. Excellent accuracy. If I set the watch about a minute fast then it will be accurate to the minute for about 2 months. Not bad at all.

    Two minor quibbles that I noticed during the trip though:

    1) In two cases, the crown for the day pusher came unscrewed, seemingly by itself. I don't know if it's loose or there's something about the natural motion of my hand that gradually unscrews it, but it is a little annoying/concerning.

    2) Minor stylistic quibble. With most watches I've seen, the end links are designed to try to make it look like a regular bracelet link is coming out of the watch case, but with the Ray, they tried to sort of contour the end links to match all the angles/curves of the lugs, which in my opinion gives it a bit of a "puffy" or "marshmallowy" appearance. This has been bothering me a very small amount and I expect I'll get over it in a week or two.

  3. #3
    Member GTR83's Avatar
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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    With issue #2, it seems Orient did it to make the watch appear larger when on the wrist. Great review.

    Cheers,
    George
    GTR stands for George The Rabid. Fanboy of COSC (Casio - Orient - Seiko - Citizen, in that order )

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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mot524 View Post
    2) Minor stylistic quibble. With most watches I've seen, the end links are designed to try to make it look like a regular bracelet link is coming out of the watch case, but with the Ray, they tried to sort of contour the end links to match all the angles/curves of the lugs, which in my opinion gives it a bit of a "puffy" or "marshmallowy" appearance. This has been bothering me a very small amount and I expect I'll get over it in a week or two.
    I totally get this. My Seiko solar is the same way, but the saving grace is that it's only a 38mm face. I just ordered my Orient Ray (same color) and I think I'll hedge this concern by getting a fabric or leather strap.

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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    I'd be interested to know what you think. Hope you like your new watch. I'm still loving mine.

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    Member Southpaw1925's Avatar
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    My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    I too picked up the blue ray. I'm sooo grateful to have found this forum which enabled me to find out about Orient. It was either the Blue Ray or the Black Mako. I liked the black Mako bc it's classic and black matches with everything. But there was something bout the Ray I just loved. I like the numbers on the bezel better than the Mako and the Blue is amazing. It shimmers at every angle and its dark enough that it comes off black. Very versatile.

    I cannot believe the price of this amazing watch. I've never been so happy with a purchase until this one. It's my favorite watch and I am planning on wearing it for as long as I could !

    Mot524, GTR83, Alex DK and 3 others like this.

  8. #7
    Member modsupremo's Avatar
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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    This is a beautiful watch. i am hunting for one but so far no Blue Ray around the net!
    Any thoughts where I could get a brand new one with reasonable pricing?
    Thanks and God bless!

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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    Quote Originally Posted by modsupremo View Post
    This is a beautiful watch. i am hunting for one but so far no Blue Ray around the net!
    Any thoughts where I could get a brand new one with reasonable pricing?
    Thanks and God bless!
    Yeah, I noticed a couple months ago that Amazon started running out of the bracelet version (they did have a rubber strap version) and now they don't seem to have anything. Watches88 doesn't seem to have any anymore either. Orient Watch USA is selling them but the price is $295. Even with the 20-30% discount code you can usually find online, that's too much. Skywatches seems to still have some:

    SEM65009D EM65009D Orient Automatic Scuba Diver Mens Mako Watch

    I've been wondering why supplies seem to be running so low. The Ray has been selling for ~2 years now. Long enough that I can't imagine that they're sorting out any manufacturing problems and short enough that I can't imagine that they've restyled the model and are trying to run down inventory before selling the new one. So I'm confused. I'd be very interested to know what's going on, but I suspect we will never find out...

    An update on mine: I set it 50 days ago and it has lost 44 seconds. So it's running -0.9 seconds per day. Absurdly, ridiculously accurate. Sometimes I think about buying another watch but I realize that whatever I buy, it will almost certainly be a disappointment in some way compared to my Ray.

    Also, I realize that WISs would never ever mistake it for a Rolex, even at a distance, but it turns out that a lot of "regular" people do. It's gotten back to me over the last several months that at least 3-4 people I know just assumed I've been wearing a Rolex. I have conflicting emotions about this. On one hand, it feels good to get that kind of respect. On the other hand, I don't know if I want that kind of "respect," and obviously not if it's due to a misunderstanding. Also, I feel a little indignant that my nice Orient watch is being mistaken for a Rolex, as crazy and backwards as that sounds. :D
    cfw likes this.

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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    An update on my Ray's accuracy:

    I've had this watch since basically the beginning of the year. Up until a few weeks ago, it was running pretty consistently at -2 seconds/day dial-up. As of a few weeks ago, it switched to +2 seconds/day dial-up. (No idea why?!) It has always run about 10 seconds slower crown-up.

    End result is that I can now "regulate" the watch by leaving it crown-up once every few nights. So it has been showing basically atomic time for the last few weeks without being reset and with pretty low effort on my part. Not bad for a mechanical watch!!

    I do wonder what caused it to switch from consistently running slow to fast...

  11. #10
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    Re: My Orient Blue Ray (CEM65009D) review

    Thanks for the review! I have had the blue Mako for almost 5 years now and I think I might have to switch over to the Ray for a "fresher" look.
    Just one more watch...

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