I first learned of the Orient brand about 3 months ago when I first became seriously interested in watches and found the WUS forum. It seemed to have a pretty good following and through a couple of Deal Of the Day deals from Orient, I bought a blue “multi-eye” and a pepsi Mako. I thought these were nice watches for the money, but they weren’t especially outstanding in my opinion. After receiving one of those 50% off codes from Orient a few weeks ago, and seeing some pictures that are much better than what Orient puts on their websites, I decided to get a CFA05002B PVD world time watch. I figured that it would fulfill three things I do not yet have in my mechanical watch collection: PVD coating, GMT functionality, and power reserve meter. With the 50% code, it seemed like a good deal and I pulled the trigger.
Once I receive the watch, I was immediately impressed with the upgraded packaging over the standard white/aluminum foil packaging that my past Orients came in. This watch came in a large black cardboard box with a nice black presentation box inside. The boxes are easily at the same quality as a few Swiss brand boxes that I’ve handled such as Tag Heuer and Longines. Upon opening the box, I was pretty blown away by the actual watch. It looked so much better than what the pictures show on Orient’s website it’s alarming. Basically I had expected something a little bit more refined than the Mako, but this watch literally looks like a higher end Swiss timepiece and is, in my opinion, leaps and bounds more refined looking than the Mako. I will breakdown the review in several categories:
This watch has a 43mm case (not including crowns) that is finished in PVD black. It is not especially thick at about 12mm and wears very nicely on my small 6.5” wrist. It has two signed crowns at 2 & 4 o’clock. The 2 o’clock crown screws down while the 4 o’clock crown does not. The crowns seem a bit small and may be a bit difficult to operate if you have large fingers. The 2 o’clock screw down crown is easier to accidentally cross-thread than my divers, but isn’t a big issue if you’re careful with it. The crowns are protected by protrusions from the side of the case. It has a screw case-back that has a display window made of sapphire. The crystal is also sapphire and is flat. I believe it has anti-reflective coating on the inside. The case has a somewhat unique shape and I think it is brushed underneath the PVD coating.
I think the case looks pretty good and is well finished all around. Other than maybe the size of the crowns, I don’t have any complaints about the case.
The bracelet is PVD coated with solid end-links. The bracelet itself felt a little on the thin side to me, but I think that’s because I’m more used to the rather thick bracelets that come with divers such as the Seiko Monster and Benarus Sea Devil. While the Orient’s bracelet is on the thin side, it is very solid and well made. The links are very pliable and fits the wrist very well. It comes with a signed buckle with a flip-lock. The buckle has 3 micro-adjustment positions. The bracelet has 5 sections across and the middle 3 sections are polished. This is visible even with the PVD coating and provide a two-toned look to the bracelet. I believe the PVD coating is done with the bracelet assembled as you can see the area between links to have less or no coverage. This area is very small and does not visually detract from the bracelet at all.
I think the PVD finish on the bracelet will probably show some wear eventually, but after a couple weeks of part-time wearing, it has held up pretty well. There is a little bit of the finish scuffed off at the edge of the buckle (not sure how that happened), but no desk-diving scratches on the area of the buckle that would make contact with desks and other things, which leads me to believe the PVD is a little tougher than I thought before (remember this is my first PVD watch).
Some wear is visible at the edge of the buckle
Area between links
This is the highlight of the watch. The dial exudes class and fine workmanship. It consists of a two-layer main dial with applied hour indices and two inner bezels for the world time and world city names. The main dial has a base layer with a glossy square texture that looks a little bit like carbon fiber. A matte black layer with multiple cutouts for the power reserve meter and date dial is overlaid on the glossy base. The hour indices are applied polished/chrome pieces with lume painted on the center. These indices are highly reflective and when there’s ambient light, they really make the dial “bling”. In fact, despite all the black on the case and dial, this watch is probably the most “blingy” looking of all my watches thanks to those indices. The hands (hour, minute, second, power reserve, & date) are also polished/chrome and I think they are of a very high quality. It’s hard to explain, but I find that while many watches have polished/chrome hands, you can tell pretty easily if the quality level is different when comparing side-by-side. The polish/chrome finish on this Orient is approaching my Breitling SuperOcean in terms of finish quality and is much better than something like the Mako.
The lume on this watch is pretty good. I would say it's maybe slightly above average. The lume is applied to the hour indices and the hour and minute hands. When charged up it is very legible in the dark. I'm not sure how long lasting it is, but it appears to be at least legible for a couple of hours, which is about as much as I can say for most of my watches. The only issue I have is that it doesn't make any distiction between the 12 o'clock indice and the other indices. However if you hold your wrist parallel to your line of sight, the 12 o'clock indice is at the top, so probably not a big problem for most.
The two internal bezels have the same matte black as the dial. The numbers on the inner bezel and the city names on the outer bezel are very cleanly printed and legible. The 24 hour dial rotates with the hour hand and can be adjusted in 30 minute increments via the 2 o’clock crown. The city bezel is adjusted via the 4 o’clock crown. To set the world time, you basically just align the city bezel to the correct hour on the 24 hour bezel. For example, if it is 3AM in Chicago right now, you align “Chicago” on the city bezel to “3” on the 24 hour bezel and all of the other cities will be aligned to the correct time. Day light savings time does throw this off, but it otherwise works well. In theory, the 24 bezel really doesn’t need to be adjustable, but if you want to make it easier to read a certain time zone, you can adjust the 24 hour bezel so that the city you want to read easily is always at the top of the dial instead of a more difficult to read position such as the bottom of the dial.
My one and probably only complaint with the watch does lie with the adjustable city bezel. The 4 o’clock crown used to adjust this bezel turns fairly easily, which means it’s pretty easy to turn the city bezel accidentally. From my experience so far, it works fine when it’s on my wrist, but it’s pretty easy to nudge the 4 o’clock crown when handling the watch, say before putting it on or taking it off. It would have been nice if they designed it such that you need to pull out the 4 o’clock crown before you can turn the city bezel. But I would say this is a pretty minor complaint.
The hour indices are very reflective
This watch uses Orient’s 46K40 movement. It does not hand-wind or hack. Normally I really like to have these features in a mechanical watch, but I find that the lack of these features in this watch isn’t that big of a deal. The reason no hand-winding isn’t a big deal for me here is due to the presence of the power reserve meter. Since I do not use any watch winders, for automatic watches that I want to keep running, I like to have the hand-winding feature so I can give it say 40 turns or so and be reasonably assured that it is close to full power reserve. Because this Orient has the power reserve meter, I can easily tell how much power is left and I can swing the watch until the power reserve fills up. For me this effectively replaces the need for hand-winding capability. As for the hacking function, I’m finding that unless a given watch is extremely accurate, as in well within COSC chronometer specs, it’s usually off by a minute in less than 2 weeks, so it’s not all that important to be able to hack the second hand since it’s going to be off from the atomic time rather quickly anyway. Speaking of accuracy, this watch is pretty respectable right off the bat. During the first couple of weeks of ownership, I’m observing +7s/day from this watch, which is very good for a mechanical watch.
This movement features a power reserve meter, date dial, and 24 hour world time. The power reserve meter not only allows you to see the remaining power, you can also use it to see how fast it charges to full capacity. From my observations, it takes about half a day of normal wearing to fully wind it. I think that’s pretty efficient. The date dial is pretty hard to read, since the 31 days are crammed into a rather small dial, but it is there, and I guess that’s better than nothing. I’ve explained how the 24 hour bezel works in the dial section of this review.
The display back allows you to view this movement. It is nicely decorated with some Geneva waves and machined swirls on the movement. I wish the rotor had the Orient twin lion logo on it, as seen on a few of their other watches, but that’s not a big deal since you don’t look at the back of the watch all that often anyway.
This is probably the second most satisfying watch I’ve purchased behind only the Breitling SuperOcean (my collection is listed in my sig). That’s saying something since I’m putting it ahead of the Oris F1 chronograph. Even at full MSRP, I feel that this watch is definitely worth it, and at the street price of around $400, this is a great value. I really think this watch compares well with Swiss made watches that cost a lot more. And I’m a fan of nice Swiss timepieces. I do think Orient needs to take better pictures of many of their watches because what they’ve got really doesn’t convey the level of quality for some of their watches. The Orient CFA05002B is simply a great watch and really changed my perception of the Orient brand. I highly recommend it.
Size comparison (L-R: Benarus Sea Devil, Orient CFA05002B, Citizen Calibre 2100, Breitling SuperOcean)