The Mako lineup from Orient has been a popular one for a long time, due to its diver styling (and capabilities, one assumes) combined with a very attractive pricepoint. It has been so popular that there have actually been three iterations so far – the original, the Ray, and the Mako XL. While I am not intimately familiar with those three prior models, it seems that this latest – the Orient Mako USA – takes bits and pieces from the earlier models and comes up with a sort of superteam of styling.
One of the most interesting things to note about the Orient Mako USA is the fact that the watch had design changes made based on input from the watch community at large. The brand could have easily said they were planning to go to a sapphire crystal, solid endlinks on the bracelet, and a 120-click bezel, and dismissed what folks were asking for. Instead, they embraced the feedback (at least, that’s how it seems to me) and built it in to a new watch.
What remains unchanged from the prior models is the movement. Here, we have the Orient Automatic 46943, which has shown up in the other Makos. I am a little surprised that this has not seen some upgrades as well. Sure, it’s claimed as an in-house movement. but it does not offer hacking (which means the second hand stops when the crown is pulled out) or hand-winding, and you have to use the pusher at 2 o’clock to adjust the day, rather than rely on the crown. Yes, these are issues I could point out with my own first-gen Seiko Orange Monster, but even Seiko has realized that the movement needed to be updated. Hopefully Orient will give the movement some attention going forward.
On the styling and materials front, we covered the highlights at the start. The dial is relatively uncluttered on the Orient Mako USA, and the indices are a generous size. Combine that with a sword and arrow handset that is appropriately sized, and you are set with a watch that should give you no problems reading the time quickly. While the day and date wheels are not color matched, there are enough other spots on the dial that the white shows up on that it does not appear to be a distraction.
Do I have some nitpicks for the Orient Mako USA? Sure, I do, but that is what I am here for, to look for the details that might be of concern to our readers. That all said, when you realize that the watch can be had for a relatively inexpensive $225 – on the bracelet no less – you become more willing to overlook some of the issues. If you are on the hunt for a new mechanical dive watch, you are certainly spoiled for choice. While I might give the nod to the current-generation of Seiko Monsters (with their hacking and handwinding movements, and unbeatable lume), the Orient Mako USA definitely makes a case for your consideration at the pricepoint. orientwatchusa.com
- Brand & Model: Orient Mako USA
- Price: $225
- Who we think it might be for: You’re looking for an inexpensive automatic diver, and are looking for styling a touch more restrained than the Seiko Monster lineup
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: For me, personally, no – the movement idiosyncrasies would bust up that deal
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Give the movement some love – at least handwinding and day adjustment via the crown, if not also hacking
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s hard to argue with the style at this pricepoint
Tech Specs from Orient Watch
- ORIENT Cal. 46943 Automatic Movement with 40 hr power reserve
- 41.5mm stainless steel case (13mm thick) with 22mm lugs
- Sapphire crystal
- 120-click unidirectional stainless steel bezel
- Screw-down crown
- 200m WR rating
- Nemoto LumiNova®