ORIENT STAR announces a new generation of its most emblematic model, the Skeleton, from its iconic Classic Collection. Featuring a new hand-wound movement with 70 hours of power reserve, this innovative new model combines classical design elements with the latest technologies to create a bold commemoration of ORIENT STAR’s 70 years of watchmaking.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
We recently became acquainted with Orient and their complicated corporate structure with relationships to Epson and Seiko. Our comprehensive review of the Orient Diver has more details on this (see the Competitive Landscape section) as well as our analysis of the watch. Orient Watch offers a higher end series in addition to their Orient branded watches. They call this series the Orient Star. With the status, the series is presented with only mechanical movements, all developed and manufactured in-house in their facilities in Shiojiri. This is a massive complex with wings dedicated to the design and manufacture of Epson printers as well as housing the facilities to produce the Spring Drive and Quartz movements used in Seiko and Grand Seiko watches. The same facility also houses the Micro Artist Studios.
The Orient star seems to offer the high end manufactured mechanical watch targeted at the entry level. Priced at below SGD 4k in a steel case, and with a full skeleton dial, it represents an interesting value proposition and bears comparison to its cousin Seiko and Grand Seiko products, as well as the new Series 8 from Citizen.
But from examining the photographs, the 70th Anniversary Skeleton looks quite interesting. They already have a standard series with skeleton, but those use the standard Cal.48E51 with 50 hour power reserve, but the Anniversary models use the Cal.F8B62 with 70 hours of power reserve. The regular model carries a lower price tag of about SGD 2,800.
Two Anniversary models are offered in two colour combinations: a champagne dial with gold colour movement and a white dial with a silver colour movement. Both models use 316L stainless steel for the case, and come with a crocodile leather strap.
We have not had the opportunity to examine the Orient Star products first hand yet, and will report back with our hands-on analysis with photography when we do.
New: Orient Star 70th Anniversary Skeleton
Retail price of the Orient Star Skeleton is SGD 3,700 inclusive of GST.
Since its birth in 1951, ORIENT STAR has strived to create mechanical watches that would become “shining stars”. Throughout its history, the brand has produced high-quality made-in-Japan watches which combine traditional craftsmanship with the latest watchmaking technologies. In celebration of its 70th anniversary this year, ORIENT STAR will be releasing new models with a unique combination of technology and aesthetic appeal based on the theme of “NOWHERE, NOW HERE” (meaning, it was nowhere else to be found, but it’s here now).
Semi Skeleton models show part of the watch’s movement through its open-work dial, while the Skeleton model shows detailed workings of the whole watch. Achieved by leaving just the base plate structure, bridges and components of the movement, its exceptional design is distinctive of mechanical watches, popular among watch enthusiasts all over the world. The skeleton movement first launched in 1991, and now in its 30th year, consists of more than a hundred precision parts, hand assembled by dedicated and skilled watchmakers in Akita, the home of ORIENT STAR.
The latest in-house 46-F8 series movements (F8B62 and F8B63), feature longer power reserves of 70 hours, surpassing the 50 hours of the current models, making them more practical than ever before. When the main spring is fully wound, the watch can be removed on Friday night and still have more than enough power to keep running until Monday morning. The longer running time is achieved thanks to the new silicon escape wheel which is lighter and processed with higher accuracy, improving the energy transfer efficiency of the escapement.
The new silicon escape wheel with spring mechanism is developed in-house and created utilising the MEMS technology also used in the manufacturing process of Epson’s high-precision printheads. The escape wheel visible through the watch’s skeleton structure uses Epson’s semiconductor technology to control the film thickness at the nanometer level to adjust its light reflection, resulting in an eye-catching blue. The vivid blue and a unique spiral shape evokes the Milky Way Galaxy, symbolising the universe-inspired design theme of ORIENT STAR’s 70th anniversary.
The intricate and sophisticated detail of the Skeleton movement, visible through the open-work dial, does not compromise the watch’s features and functionality. The new 46-F8 series movements have longer running time as well as a high accuracy of +15 to –5 seconds per day even with the ultimate skeletonisation. The movement part at the nine o’clock position is designed in the shape of a comet with two tails, again expressing ORIENT STAR’s theme of the universe.
There are also contrasting cut patterns on the front and back of the movement—a spiral pattern on the dial and a wave pattern on the case back, and delicately chamfered components add elegant sparkle. The incredibly detailed finishing represents the pinnacle of ORIENT STAR master craftsmanship and the anti-reflective coating on both sides of the dual-curved sapphire crystal allows the wearer to view every intricate detail of this high-quality movement—a true joy for every mechanical watch fan.
Orient Star Skeleton – Product Specifications
|Hand winding mechanical in-house caliber F8B62 made in Japan
|Hand winding mechanical in-house caliber F8B63 made in Japan
|＋15 seconds ～ －5 seconds per day
|Stainless steel (SUS316L)
|38.8 mm / thickness 10.6 mm
|Front: dual curved sapphire crystal (SAR (super anti-reflective) coating),back: sapphire crystal
|Genuine crocodile leather / trifold deployant buckle with push button / width 20 mm
|Colour of dial
|Water resistance to 5 bar, power reserve indicator,second hand hacking, 22 jewels, see-through exhibition case back