Quick reviews of Orient entry-level dive watches
Orient is known to make high-quality automatic timepieces, especially their dive watches for men. In the eye of the quartz revolution, Orient was among the few who chose to stay with mechanical movements, and interestingly, they made them in-house, not by outsourcing.
Despite having to keep competitive prices, Orient always manages to do the job better than the competition. Even the cheapest piece of Orient exudes a high level of craftsmanship. While the Bambino is Orient’s most popular dress watch collection, the Mako and the Ray are beautiful introductions to the brand regarding sports watches.
If you are planning to buy a budget dive watch, let’s look at these Mako & Ray, as they have plenty of recommendations from ordinary users and watch collectors as well.
The watch looks much nicer in person. The picture doesn’t do justice. Orient offers five variations of the Mako: the matte black, dark blue, orange, yellow, and Pepsi (blue bezel with a red portion) dial. The Blue & Black Mako are the two most successful versions. Each one is alluring in its way.
All the Orient Makos have a reflective mineral crystal that will attractively sparkle under the sunshine. The face might get less transparent, but it’s not a huge deal.
While the dark blue dial version radiates twinkling glistens when exposed to a direct light source, the matte black dial version remains cool and muted at any moment.
The Pepsi Mako is a stirring version of the radiant blue Mako, its red portion on the bezel is well matched to the red-tipped sweep hand.
The Arabic numbers at the 6,9,12 positions lend focal points to the face. The bar-styled hour indices also make the watch look more elegant than most other dive watches.
Some people said the Orient logo looks too outdated, but it’s the one factor that gives the Mako an attractive pseudo-classic appearance.
Unlike most other dive watches, which feature one crown for all types of adjustment, Orient dive watches always get an additional pusher at 2 o’clock for day adjustment. The watch might look nicer without the redundant button occupying the 2 o’clock position, but to be honest, this is one of the most realized differences in design between the Orient dive watches and other brands’ pieces.
The Orient Mako is classy-looking and appropriate for various watch bands. It uses a brushed stainless steel bracelet or a ribbed rubber strap. However, plenty of aftermarket watchbands can fit in well with the watch’s metal case. The watch looks hefty on a steel bracelet, looks vintage & genteel on a leather band, and is military-stylish with fabric NATO/Zulu straps.
The Orient Mako features the 46943 self-winding automatic movement with an oscillation frequency of 21.600bph (6 beats/sec). Despite being an entry-level auto mechanic, the 46943 is exceptional due to its accuracy and reliability.
Indeed, this Orient Ray is just the old Mako in a new dress. The Ray features the same 46943 caliber as the Mako. These two watches have some minor differences in design.
- While the Mako’s hour marks consist of Arabic numerals and straight bars, those of the Ray are luminescent dots and keystones.
- The lumed pip on the bezel changes from a triangle to a trapezoid.
- The number indices on the bezel also get bigger and more angled.
- The sword-shaped hour hand on the Mako transforms into a stocky one on the Ray.
- Although there’re no changes in case dimensions, the Ray looks chunkier than the Mako thanks to its cobby details on the face & bezel.
I prefer Mako’s appearance, except for the bracelet. Orient has made a minor but valuable change in the bracelet’s styling. While the Mako’s band is brushed from A to Z, that of the Ray has two thin shiny lines that go along the inner part. This is just a tiny change, but it’s one of the main reasons customers choose the Orient Ray over the original Mako.
The Ray has a version called “The Ray Raven,” which is black-coated from top-to-toe. This ion-plating gives a very cool look to the watch. Still, it will likely fade or accumulate minor scratches over time, so you should consider it carefully before purchasing.
Orient Mako XL – an oversized cousin of the original 40mm Mako
The Orient Mako XL is a 44mm dive watch. It’s much bigger than the original Mako and the Ray, which are sized at 40mm. It’s also more expensive, but fortunately, not too much! This XL is the simplified version of the small Orient Mako.
- The lumed pip on the bezel frame has disappeared.
- All the hour marks are keystone-shaped.
- The sweep hand features a luminous white dot replacing the red tip.
- The sword-shaped minute & hour hands transform into piercing spear tips.
The watch looks much more simplex than the original Mako. The enlarged lugs give the Mako XL a boxy shape. Thus it is a heavy-duty tool watch rather than a sophisticated, versatile timepiece like the small Mako.
I think 40mm is a perfect size to suit a wide range of wrists, so the Mako XL is made for a minority of users who prefer a big boxy-shaped watch with hefty finishing. The original might be too elegant for some.
Despite having a much larger case, the Orient Mako XL still shares the same automatic movement with the Ray and the original Mako, so in terms of timekeeping, they‘re no different.
Despite not being ISO6425-certified, these Orient dive watches for men are still worth your hard-earned money & your trust because they meet all the standards required for a pro diver’s watch. You don’t need a certification to trust Orient’s craftsmanship.
It’s hard to choose a dive watch that is affordable but also reliable and nice-looking. Orient is among the few who can offer cheap but well-finished timepieces like that.