So I ordered the STI 2010 NBR Racing watch with the leather strap and red contrast stitching and I am just blown away at the watch!!
First off since I read so many negative post on Mark and Orient USA I have bought three watches from them and they have all been perfect and delivered in a day. Literally overnight! I live in L.A. where OrientUSA is located but free shipping overnight essentially is pretty cool in my book. In literally minutes after I ordered I got a confirmation e-mail and tracking number. Pretty impressive service IMHO!!
Now to the watch. I will post pics later so do not critisize just yet!! I just got it and do not ahve a camera with me.
So the watch comes in a very nice Orient black outer cardboard box with a nice custom inner box with the carbon fiber look and STI logo. Very nice packaging-Seiko could learn a thing or to about presentation that you get with Orient.
So I paid $200 for an automatic with a sapphire crystal and I think that is a very good deal.
The watch case is simply finished to a standard you would pay thousands to get with any Swiss or German brand. I bought a Jacque Lemans dive watch with an auto movement for $200 on a special sale and it is an amazing watch for the money (but that is a review for another page) although the finishing on the watch is very good it is not as good as this Orient. It is a $1495 retail watch vs. a $400 retail watch?? I think the Orient is just such a better watch in terms of finishing and dial and better auto movement.
So one thing I want to say before I go onto the review is I see so many people judge their experience on Orient by the MAKO as the "standard" but it is not the "standard" and in fact is a low end dive watch but because Orient puts such good quality in all of their watches many think it is a higher standard than it is. I say go off the beaten path and spend $200 or more and maybe not just a diver although the air diver is one of my all time favorite watches and judge their watches. You will feel the difference. The watch I just bought could easily retail for $600 easy. So I want to say a BIG thanks to Mark Kim and Orient USA for making these awesome watches available to us in the states at such exceptional prices. I would just say forget the freebies and keep up the sale prices!! I will buy more watches at the current pricing. I know it is scheduled to go up but try to keep it close to what it is now. Your pricing is truly a great value as is your service!
Now to the watch. Sorry but I had to say the above.
The first thing you notice after you open the nice packaging that says this is a "special" watch is the dial and case. Both just pop out at you. The case size is 40mm by 12-13mm and is respectable but not huge as the trend is today and I am so happy for this. The watch is by no means small and the dial really shows this. A bigger watch would only be uncomfortable and would not add to any function or look in my opinion but I am getting tired of huge heavy uncomfortable watches but that is another story. So the watch certainly has very good wrist presence. There is no way you would not see it on the wrist. It makes a big statement while not being offensive or gaudy.
The case has brushed and polished highlights throughout in a Omega-esk look that really enhances the case look to me. I think it really adds a level of sophistication to a sporty watch which I really like a lot! The finishing on the case is what I would expect from a watch costing in the thousands not a couple hundred dollars. I am very impressed with the case and it wears very comfortable too. The crown is all polished and un-signed. I would have liked to see an Orient logo but it is nice and is not a screw down crown. I prefer screw down but this is no dive watch so I really do not see the need. It will go 50meters under water for lswimming in a pool which is about all I would do any way!
The dial is what really stands out on this watch and it has multiple layers to it. There is the outer ring where the numbers are which is a flat dark black and a silver ring and a lower center circle that has the carbon fiber dial with the Orient and STI logos. Orient at 12 and STI at 6. STI is in red. The outer chapter ring with the minute and second hashes are in orange ecept from 9-12 o'clock where it says 2010 nbr challenge. I wish it was not there and would have preferred just a regular chapter ring without the text but it is not bad. Makes it more sporty but dates the watch which is already outdated.
The hands are a combination of white and black for minute and hour and solid white for the seconds hand. The hands and arabic numbers all glow and the 10 and 11 are replaced with 50 and 55. Those elements on the dial make it unique and show its true nature of being a racing watch.
The crystal is a flat sapphire which at this price point is simply awesome. It is not very reflective for a sapphire but I can tell there are no coatings on it. Happy to have a sapphire crystal and that was one of the reasons I bought the watch.
The case back has an exhibition showcasing the movement which has a decorated rotor and the movement clearly says Orient on it. I generally do not like exhibition case backs but I have never seen an Orient movement before and I am surprized how nice this one is finished. There is wording on the case back with the limited edition number and other info on it. It is a nice case back for an exhibition type.
The leather band has a dark black leather with red contrast stitching that compliments the dial. The band is very soft and comfortable. I like it.
I was unsure if I was going to like this watch or not as I generally buy dive watches. I also did not know if I would like the sporty limited edition type changes on the dial and I do not own a Subaru but I have to say I am very impressed by it. Generally your first impression of a watch will determine if it is a keeper or not and I just love this watch out of the box. I bought it for the lume, good auto movement, sapphire crystal and reasonable price and I got more than I expected which makes me very happy. Add to it the excellent service and price from Orient USA and Mark Kim and I am a really happy customer. I have very high expectations and it is not easy to please me so Orient did a really good job with this watch.
I hope to add an air diver to my collection soon. I will certainly be back for more, specially if the pricing stays low. In this economy we are all barely making it or art least a lot of us are so it is really nice to get a very good value for your purchase. I do not care about a lot of marketing ploys but I know it needs to be done for new customers but I really like low prices and great service and excellent products. That is what I keep getting from Orient USA.
No I do not work for Orient USa and will get nothing out of this but saying the truth for me. I know everyone has their own experiences but I just like to point out not everyone has problems and some are very happy with OrientUSA and Orient watches, I know I am