Monday, February 20, 2017

ORIENT Automatic MAKO II (or 2) Diver FAA02002D9 (similar to FAA02001B9) – The watch wears well, the size is just nice as to not overwhelm any wrists, A Review (plus Video)

Finally, an Orient MAKO 2 in the bag. I have been searching this model for some time and finally I got it. It will make a fine edition to my earlier MAKO 1 and MAKO XL.

I got this watch at Solar Time in Mid Valley. The MSRP is RM1,100 but I was able to get it for RM770. Quite pleased with the acquisition at it means my MAKO collection is currently up-to-date.

The specific model that I got is the FAA02002D9, the blue dial and bezel version (the other option available is the FAA02001B9 with the dial and bezel in black). This is the latest iteration of the MAKO 2 launched in mid 2016. This latest version comes with a new Cal. F6922 in-house movement with winding and hacking capabilities (more about this later).

The latest iteration of the Orient MAKO 2 diving watch remain similar in dimensions as per the original MAKO 2. It is 41.5 mm wide (excluding the crown). The lug width is 22 mm while its thickness is 13 mm. Lug-to-lug length is 47 mm. The watch is made out of 316L stainless steel and comes standard with a stainless steel bracelet as well. In addition to the new movement, the model also gets a new 120-click rotating diver-style bezel (prior models come with a 60-click system). The cases are still water resistant to 200 meters and the crystal is mineral glass.

Similar to MAKO 1, the dial on the MAKO 2 has a combination of Arabic numerals (6, 9 and 12) and rectangle with one triangular corner hour markers. Painted with a new luminous paint recipe called ‘Nemoto Luminova’, this new version offers better illumination and legibility on the dial. A polished beveled two-slot aperture located at the 3 o’clock position housed the day and date complications. The hours and minutes hands are broad and painted with luminous paint while the seconds hand is thin with the arrow head and tip painted red.

Interestingly, there are minute markers on the watch. However, instead of pointing on the dial itself, Orient opted to put it on the sloping chapter ring which is also painted blue like the dial.

There are six rows of graphics on the dial, equally divided to the northern and southern portions. The first is the Orient logo, followed by the brand and the word ‘Automatic’. The next three lines consist of the words ‘Water Resist’, ‘200m’ and manufacturing coding (in extremely small font size along the dial perimeter).

The unidirectional bezel is also painted blue with a mixture of markers and Arabic numerals every 5-minute intervals. Like most dive watches, the first 10 minutes also includes minute markers and an illuminated pip at 12 o’clock. This is to conform to the ISO6425 diver watch global standard. What I appreciate is the choice of a thin bezel which makes for a bigger surface area for the dial. This creates a deceptive visual impression of size vis-à-vis other watches in the same size range.

Instead of making the mineral crystal glass flushed with the bezel, Orient also incorporated a bevel slope to the edge of the glass. Again, another visual delight when you view dial as the bevel surface creates interesting optical cues at different angles and light conditions.

The screw-down crown is located at the typical 3 o’clock position. It is well protected by steel shoulders when in the screw-down position. The etching on the crown head of Orient’s logo makes it extra special for a watch at such a low price point. However, the size of the crown is where I find issues with and should be redesigned. Currently, the crown is 5.5 mm wide and 4.0 mm tall. For such small dimensions, the crown it is rather difficult to manipulate. This is especially so when trying to find the screw-thread when screwing it down to the lock position. It took me a number of tries to get it secured.

Below is a photo of the dial taken in the dark. The new luminous paint called ‘Nemoto Luminova’ is definitely brighter than the previous versions.


Apart from that, the crown has three positions; position one which locks the crown securely; position two which enables adjustment of the day and date complications; and position three which enables adjustment of the time.

Compared to MAKO 1 and MAKO XL, MAKO 2 dropped one unique feature present in the earlier two models, the day adjustment pusher located at the 2 o’clock position. The change in the movement from the Cal. 46943 automatic to the current Cal. F6922 automatic allows the elimination of such pusher button in the MAKO 2. I believe this is a big step for Orient (it should have been done years ago) as it shows that their movement design can incorporate more complex gearing like other manufacturers.

The solid screw-down case-back of MAKO 2 has a small design at the centre plus some basic information about the watch. Underneath this case-back lies the latest Cal. F6922 automatic. Unlike the previous Cal. 46943 automatic, the Cal. F6922 movement offer both automatic winding and hand-winding. Also, as highlighted in the previous paragraph, the new caliber eliminates the need of an extra pusher to adjust the day function. Now, the single crown can to adjust the time, manually wind the watch, and adjust the day and date complications. It is a 22 jewel construction and operates at 21,600 BPH or 3 Hertz frequency. It also has 48 hours of power reserve in the main springs at full coil.

Compared to MAKO 1 and MAKO XL, the bracelet on the MAKO 2 is much improved. It has solid end-links which actually fits tightly to the casing (the MAKO 1 and MAKO XL examples in my collection failed miserable in this aspect – it rattles annoyingly when moving). The triple-locking clasp is secure but lacks any space to incorporate a divers’ extension. Hopefully, this is one area of design which the engineers in Orient will be looking into in the future.

The Wearing Experience

MAKO 2 looks like a really proper looking contemporary dive watch. Having ‘cleaned’ the casing by consolidating all the controls to just the crown (compared to the other MAKOs), it feels genuinely nice to finally wear a MAKO and not see an extra pusher next to the crown.

The watch wears well in all situations, even at formal functions. The size is just nice as to not overwhelm any wrists.

Below is a video of the watch on my wrist.

Photo Gallery

Orient Mako 2Orient Mako 2

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