Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B
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  1. #1
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    Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    After reading many threads about Orient's (often) amazing movement accuracy, I decided to buy one with some money I received as a gift. I wanted an affordable "Swiss-looking" watch with a steel bracelet and exhibition caseback--not easy to find on Orient Watch USA's web site. After much research and web surfing I found skywatches.com.sg and watches88.com, which have good selections of foreign-market Orients that are much more to my taste. I chose the "SER02002B" despite not being able to find much information about it or many pictures. Hopefully others who are interested in this watch or the similar SER02003W will find this review informative/interesting!

    THE BASICS
    316L polished stainless steel case, 50M water resistant
    Sapphire top glass with (I assume) regular glass exhibition window
    41mm case diameter, 44mm with crown (based on eyeballing with a ruler; the Internet disagrees about its dimensions)
    Movement: 48749 (487 "ER"?), 21 jewels, 21600 BPH, no hack or handwind
    Polished and brushed stainless steel bracelet with fold-over clasp, solid links, very slightly tapered

    THE STYLE
    Clearly a dress watch but I think the large dark face gives it a modern/youthful edge. Between the bracelet design, the applied hour markers, and the style of the disk with the minute markers, the watch definitely "feels" like a TAG Carerra. Personally I think it looks great.

    DIAL, HANDS, CRYSTAL
    In the pictures online, the dial is a deep black, but in person it's more charcoal. It has two textures--an inner disk with vertical stripes and an outer disk with tiny concentric grooves where the hour markers are applied. Depending on how the light hits it, the center texture can be extremely prominent or completely invisible.
    The hands are "sword" style, very thin and dressy, no lume. Frankly they are often extremely difficult to see depending on the light, but I can always tilt my wrist a couple degrees so the light catches them differently and I can see the time clearly. The white dial version with blue hands is probably very legible but I'm happy with the style tradeoff.
    Compared to my Victorinox, I would guess that the crystal doesn't have any AR coating. It's a minor disappointment but I didn't buy this watch for maximum legibility.

    BRACELET
    I love the style of the bracelet, the combination of polished and brushed links looks upmarket to me, and the links are solid. Unfortunately it rattles and squeaks a lot when I handle it, although it's pretty quiet on my wrist, which is what counts, I suppose. I get a low-quality feel from it, although looking at it, I can't point to any reason for that feeling.

    MOVEMENT
    The movement is a "48749" which seems to be more commonly known as a 487 or simply "ER." I can't really find any information on it other than what I listed above. The rotor has Tokyo stripes which look great. Otherwise the movement is undecorated. The rotor spins freely and is very quiet. The seconds hand has a smooth, consistent sweep except for a tiny amount of roughness around 3 o'clock that could just be my imagination. Setting the time is extremely smooth and feels great.
    Since I've only had the watch for a day and a half I can't say much about its accuracy but so far it's running +9 seconds/day. Based on other forum posts I expect this to settle down to +4 or +5 after a few weeks. I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't have miracle accuracy like many people seem to get with their Orients out of the box, but I'm still satisfied with +9.
    As for the lack of hacking and handwinding, I used to be interested in these things but realized that I just don't care. I'd say it arguably does hand-wind since I can hold it in my hand and swirl it around to wind it. As for hacking, since it's a mechanical watch it's usually going to be off by several seconds anyway so what's the point of the seconds hand pointing at any particular number? These features seem to just add more parts/complication to the movement, i.e., more things to break, for minimal practical value. I have an $80 Kenneth Cole skeleton watch with a Sea Gull movement that hacks and handwinds so it's not anything super special, and its movement doesn't "feel" as good as the Orient's.

    FIT AND FINISH
    Terrific fit and finish. I found some (literally 2) tiny imperfections with the brushed steel finish on a bracelet link near where it connects to the bottom of the case. You can see this in the picture I took of the watch resting on its side. There's also what looks to be a tiny amount of adhesive residue on the moment, right near where the rotor is connected, which I'm sure doesn't affect how well it works. Otherwise the watch is absolutely perfect, and really, I can't imagine most people would even notice these issues, much less care.

    PACKAGING
    The watch came in a simple thin cardboard box with a warranty card and no manual. The opposite of luxurious but I don't care. My Victorinox came in amazing packaging that I've been meaning to throw away because it just takes up space.

    DEALER
    I bought the watch from watches88.com and it was an excellent experience. The watch was sent from Malaysia via Fed Ex Express for a reasonable fee and arrived in less than a week.

    MANUFACTURER
    A couple years ago, I had the hazy impression that owning a luxury Swiss watch meant that you paid some elderly men in Switzerland thousands of dollars and they went to the attic of their house in the Alps and made you a watch based on secret craftsmanship skills that were developed over a dozen generations. Now I realize how ridiculous that idea is, and that these luxury Swiss manufacturers are just large faceless corporations with tens of thousands of employees who design robots to make watches and pay George Clooney to wear them.
    The more I learn about Orient, the more they seem to fit my first impressions of what "luxury" watches should be. They're apparently a relatively small company, only ~600 employees, that does all their own design, engineering, and manufacturing in-house. (I know they're owned by Seiko now, but I've read that they are still independently run.) From watching YouTube videos it seems they do a lot of the work by hand too. And they have an excellent reputation for quality, accuracy, and reliability. They are basically unknown in the US and I think there's something novel about telling people your nice mechanical/sapphire/etc. watch was made by a small Japanese company they've never heard of and it had to be imported from Malaysia. I'm really happy that I found out about Orient and bought this watch vs. buying a TAG Carerra for 10 times as much, which anyone can do at their nearest upscale mall.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Very nice review! This is one of the best looking Orient's I have seen. I just started getting into higher end watches, and was thinking of getting a Stowa for my first automatic, however, after learning that Orient makes their own movements and seeing how affordable they are, I may just have to go with them.

    BTW, how wide is your wrist? I have a 6.5" wrist and am wondering if 42mm will be too big for me.
    Last edited by narin; August 16th, 2012 at 07:01.

  3. #3
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Hi Narin, glad you liked the review. I am still really enjoying the watch. Just FYI, one nit that I didn't notice when first reviewing the watch is that the date wheel seems to be slightly off center and the numbers are showing up towards the top edge of the date window. Kind of a bummer but for a $200 automatic watch with sapphire glass I'm willing to overlook a lot. On the plus side the watch has slowed down a bit and is now running +4-5 which seems very good to me.

    My wrist is 7". I don't have any idea about how the watch would look on your wrist but I will say that the most common Swiss watches these days from Omega, TAG, etc. etc. are all around 40mm, so I would say just go for it. The Orient does appear big for its size because it's all-face but I quickly got used to it.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Very good review there! I particularly enjoyed what you said under Manufacturer. It is but 3 days from when I bought a citizen diver but it looks like i'll be adding an orient to my collection very soon!

    Cheers
    Sam

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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Quote Originally Posted by Mot524 View Post
    Hi Narin, glad you liked the review. I am still really enjoying the watch. Just FYI, one nit that I didn't notice when first reviewing the watch is that the date wheel seems to be slightly off center and the numbers are showing up towards the top edge of the date window. Kind of a bummer but for a $200 automatic watch with sapphire glass I'm willing to overlook a lot. On the plus side the watch has slowed down a bit and is now running +4-5 which seems very good to me.

    My wrist is 7". I don't have any idea about how the watch would look on your wrist but I will say that the most common Swiss watches these days from Omega, TAG, etc. etc. are all around 40mm, so I would say just go for it. The Orient does appear big for its size because it's all-face but I quickly got used to it.
    I just saw your reply. I ended up ordering the watch from skywatches and received it today! It looks and fits great but I do seem to have the same issue with the date as you. It isn't a huge deal, but it IS noticeable if you examine it very closely.

    Here are some pics of mine.

    Did you end up trying out any other straps with it? I'm thinking either a black or dark brown gator band would look good.

    Also, I found it a little strange that I could not find that model number anywhere else besides on skywatches and watches88. To make things even more weird, the guarantee booklet that came with it has a handwritten model number, FR02002B0, which I also could not find anywhere. It also says sold by Click-a-watch. Very confused, haha.
    Last edited by narin; August 21st, 2012 at 19:21.

  7. #6
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Quote Originally Posted by narin View Post
    I just saw your reply. I ended up ordering the watch from skywatches and received it today! It looks and fits great but I do seem to have the same issue with the date as you. It isn't a huge deal, but it IS noticeable if you examine it very closely.

    Here are some pics of mine.

    Did you end up trying out any other straps with it? I'm thinking either a black or dark brown gator band would look good.

    Also, I found it a little strange that I could not find that model number anywhere else besides on skywatches and watches88. To make things even more weird, the guarantee booklet that came with it has a handwritten model number, FR02002B0, which I also could not find anywhere. It also says sold by Click-a-watch. Very confused, haha.
    Nice pics. Looks good. I haven't tried any straps. I prefer metal bracelets and the look of a watch's bracelet is very important to me--that's one reason I like this watch so much, it has a very "Swiss-looking" bracelet (in my opinion). I like the durability of a metal bracelet (they don't get dry and cracked) and how easy they are to fasten. I hate tugging at leather straps to fasten a tang-style clasp.

    As for not being able to find the watch elsewhere, one frustrating thing about Orient is that it seems very difficult to get information about the company and their models in English. I assume it's all available in Japanese. But if you only speak English you seem to be limited to a handful of resellers and importers and the models they choose to carry. It's kind of annoying, but then again, it seems like it can only make the watch more exclusive--I'd be surprised if I ever run into another person on the street with the same watch. :)

  8. #7
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Nice review. I just bought the very similar ER27009B. I particularly like what you said under your "Movement" section. I feel the same way in that many things added to the watch tend to unnecessarily complicate them, for very minimal, practical gain. It reminds me, I have just been shopping for refrigerators as well, and I finally decided that the huge energy guzzling ice makers that complicate the machine and add to costs vis purchase and maintenance are OUT. I can put an ice tray in a damn refrigerator, haha. Simple, no frill, good looks, high quality.... that was what drove my choice (although I kinda bought it on w whim without thinking too much is the truth, lol).

    Thanks for the review!!

  9. #8
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Quick update. I trade off between wearing this watch and my Victorinox. The Victorinox is a much more expensive watch, and in my opinion, more eye-catching (tachymeter, chronograph, etc.). But I regularly receive compliments from strangers on the Orient, maybe once per week, and only one person has ever noticed my Victorinox.

    So if you like people noticing your watch, the Orient is definitely the way to go!!

  10. #9
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Nice review!

    This watch looks like the Tag Heuer Carrera I own.

    Name:  IMG_9973.jpg
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    I am considering to buy the black one.

  11. #10
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    Re: Orient Classic Automatic Sapphire SER02002B

    Sorry about the double reply. The forum web site seen to be quite slow now.

    Nice review.

    This watch looks like the Tag Heuer Carrera I own:
    Name:  IMG_9973.jpg
Views: 7385
Size:  56.7 KB

    I am considering to buy the black one.
    Last edited by Overmind; January 13th, 2013 at 22:11. Reason: Double reply caused by web site poor performance

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