Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ORIENT 21 Jewels Diamond Cut Crystal Automatic - Very retro looking dress watch, A Review

For my third time of buying a watch via eBay I decided to aim to get a vintage Orient (see the vintage Citizen and Seiko 5 that I got earlier). I was intrigued by this particular Orient because of the unique crystal glass it uses. More about this later.

The watch that I got has a reference "IT469702-6A CU". It is estimated to be a late 1970s watch. This watch was shipped from India. Below is the package that I received.

As this is a used watch, it did not come with a watch box, instruction manual or guarantee. The watch was packed in Styrofoam plus a short printed note about the seller (see below). I must say the packaging does its job well even if it looks fragile.

This is the style of Styrofoam packing I got - ugly but effective.

What suprises me is a small gift that I got with the watch, a small pearl. In terms of value, it is not that much (a number of defects were noted such as the shape etc.) but the gesture was nice and appreciated.

The watch that I got was supposed to have been made in the 1970s (late). It has a turtle shell shape watch casing with blue dial and matching bracelet. It has a 38 mm wide watch face and comes with a date and day window situated at the 3 o'clock position.

The crown is at 3 o'clock and is flushed with the watch case when in the push-down position. There is a another button at the 2 o'clock position which helps to adjust the day.

Apart from the 'Orient' brand and logo, there is also the words "Crystal" and "21 JEWELS" on the dial. The dial is blue with strips of black running down from top to bottom. There are luminous dots beside each marker. Both the hour and minute hands are also lumed.

The watch is not new. It has been used but the outer casing is clear of deep scratches (small swirls were noted).

Coming back to the reason behind the word "Crystal" on the dial, I suspect that this is one of the first few Orients to have a glass crystal instead of acrylic. Hence the need to make it obvious.

The uniqueness of this particular glass crystal is the diamond shape cutting made on it. The photo below shows you what I mean. This is the reason that I chose to get this piece for my collection. It is just unique.

In the following photo is the bracelet. Stamp and roll construction, the bracelet looks very retro.

The solid screw-down case-back. The Orient logo and some basic information about the watch. It says its made out of stainless steel and is water resistant. Interestingly, I cannot find the serial number for the watch. I suspect it is printed inside the watch.

The actual water resistant level for this watch is also a mystery.

The clasp is wide and only the word "ORIENT" was sand-blasted on it.

The wearing experience is sublime. For someone liking heavy sports watches, this Orient is like a feather. So light, I can even notice it is on my wrist.

This watch, when it was first produced until now remain a very retro looking dress watch.

It does not look to small not it is too big. The size of 38 mm is just nice.

Overall, if Orient was to reproduce this watch again, I bet there will be a lot of demand.

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