De Fifth Wrist.
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The Times They Are a-Changin’. Watches are by no means a necessary instrument in today’s world – tool watches, even less. And when an item is no longer a necessity, it starts becoming luxury. The watch industry is a prime example of this and with even Seiko steadily increasing their prices and pushing into Swiss territory, the landscape of affordable timepieces is starting to look increasingly bleak. Which is why I felt the need to share my thoughts on my most recent purchase.
My affection for Orient watches has been well documented on this site, but I think that I won’t be exaggerating if I say that this one is my favorite to date. I’m talking about, of course, the venerable Orient Triton. Or, if you’re from the USA – the Neptune. Or, if you’re a fan of Orient’s uninspired labels, the RA-EL0001B00B. But your preference for Greek or Roman mythology aside, you have to admit, it’s a watch that grabs your attention. Immediately, the Orient connoisseurs will notice that it shares a lot with the lineage of the venerable Saturation Diver. The case shape is the same, but shrunken down to a much more manageable 43.4mm. The date in an unusual position and the power reserve indicator is also there. And for a good reason – the Triton in fact uses the same movement (40N5A) with its much more expensive older brother. The lume is outstanding, the crystal is sapphire and the bracelet has solid end-links. The crown and the caseback are engraved. But enough rambling about numbers and specs and things anyone can read by themselves online. Why am I actually so fascinated with this watch? The things that impressed me the most are things that the average wearer (i.e. non-watch enthusiasts) would probably never notice or know, even if they had the watch for years. Let me give you an example – the lume pip is covered by a tiny sapphire crystal, which sits flush with the bezel- so it doesn’t get damaged or just fall off. The actual sapphire sits a fraction of a millimeter lower than the bezel, so that the bezel bears the larger portion of the impact in case you bump your watch against something. The black gasket on the crown is actually there to remind you to screw down your crown after you’ve adjusted your watch. The power reserve hand is lumed as well, so you can tell how much juice is left in your watch even in the dark. The lugs are drilled for easier replacement of straps. Orient didn’t have to do any of these things – 99% of people would be none the wiser and Orient would’ve saved a couple of bucks. But they did them anyway – because it was the right thing to do from a design/purpose standpoint and because they genuinely value the opinion of the 1% – the small community of watch enthusiasts who obsess over details like this. And that’s why I love Orient and the Triton.
I can’t help but feel that this watch truly marks the end of an era – a time when watches were built to be tools and not luxury items, a time when anyone could afford to buy a well-built, reliable, quality product that can be used for its intended purpose without fear or simply strap in on the wrist and not worry about it. And with even Orient announcing that they would be pulling out the higher grade movements with power reserve from all their other collections and keep them for the Star line, I really feel that the Triton is the swan song of the affordable dive watch for the entire industry. To end on a more positive note – the Triton is an incredible value proposition and it’s miles ahead of any other watch in the same (or even higher) price range. It’s a piece that feels like it was made by watch enthusiasts for watch enthusiasts and it’s a real joy to have on the wrist.
- Probably the best value proposition on the affordable side of the dive watch market
- The devil is in the details – and these details will please the watch enthusiast
- A uniquely designed dive watch that’s a pleasure to wear
- The clasp is pressed steel and the clunky diver’s extensions makes it a bit cumbersome
- There are rumors that the the current variant will soon be discontinued
- For the first time, I’m struggling to find a third con!
- Quality 0%
- Style 0%
- Value 0%
- Wearability 0%
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