Home Brands Orient REVIEW: Orient Ray

REVIEW: Orient Ray

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Yesterday, we saw our initial foray (at least for this blog) into the Orient catalog, taking a look at the popular Mako.  Today, we’ll have a look at another very visually similar model, and see how it differentiates itself.

Today’s model is the Ray; to look at it side-by-side with the Mako, you see some very similar DNA between the two models.  First, you have practically identical 41mm cases with the same crown/pusher layout, indicating that the movement (Orient Caliber 46943) is also shared between the two watches.  So, mechanically and functionally, these are very similar watches.

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It’s when you start to take a closer look at the design elements that the Ray stands apart from the Mako.  First off, take a look at the dial.  Most obviously, the Ray sees a changeover to indices, dropping the numerals used on the the Mako; also we see circles in use here.  Second, we have a slightly different handset, with the Ray seeing larger hands.

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Next, you’ll notice that the numbers on the unidrectional bezel are larger on the Ray; the 12 o’clock position marker on the bezel is also slightly different.  And last, but certainly not least, we have a very nice metallic finish on the dial.  It’s not quite to a sunray pattern, but it does catch the light nicely, and adds some dimension to the dial that the Mako doesn’t have.

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Aside from the dial, the other major difference in design comes with the 22mm stainless steel bracelet.  While it’s still solid link (and, as an aside, one of the easiest ones I’ve had to pop the pins out to resize) with a brushed finish, you have some polished touches added in to the finish on either side of the center row.  As to which one is better, I can’t say – that’s just really a matter of personal preference.

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And that brings us to our final difference – pricing.  On the stainless bracelet, the Ray has an asking price of $230 (again, you can get 30% off with fall2012); if you go for the PVD case, the price jumps up to $325.  For the base stainless models, the $15 difference is negligible in my book.  While the design changes added up to me preferring the Ray, it’s largely a matter of preference for each buyer.  Either way you go, you’re getting a nicely built watch at a great price.

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If you’ve bought one of these, or are considering one of the two models, let us know in the comments which way your decision is going (or went).

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6 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a fantastic value for the money. While I like the mineral crystal it was replaced with sapphire for a more durable beater/daily wearer. Also if you’re inclined to switch out the hands, as I did, Seiko hands are compatible and can make for quite a variety of custom looks.

    • Good info to know! Did you do the work yourself, or your local watch maker? Oh, and what was the approximate cost on the crystal swap?

  2. It didn’t cost too much but relative to the cost of the watch it was a good bit- around $80 total for the crystal, hands, and labor. I took it to a local watchmaker who did the work, and ordered the hands from Yobokies. (He quoted around $60 for the crystal only including ordering the crystal and labor.)

    • Good to know. Yes, relative to the cost of the watch it’s steep, but overall that doesn’t seem to be too bad of a project, especially if you damage the stock crystal.

  3. I also compared this Ray variant of the Mako with the latest “XL” Mako with the 44.5mm case, and in both instances I preferred the simpler style and look of the Ray face. I also preferred the polished link touches on the Ray bracelet and the larger digits on the bezel. The larger Mako looked a little out of proportion with the width of the bracelet that was used. I just felt the Ray was the more balanced watch. In my research I also found out the the lume in the Ray is a tad better than its compatriots. Just waiting for delivery now!

  4. Really late to the table but I bought an Orient Ray when I was looking to buy my first automatic watch. The choices for me were between the Mako or the Ray, also considering the Bulova Marine Star (I’ve really become addicted to the submariner-type indices.) Marine Star looked so nice, as I was looking at a model with an orange accent marker I believe, but it was Quartz, and for the same money I was looking at the Ray. It arrived, and it’s a great watch. 60 click unidirectional bezel which is occasionally hard to turn but I haven’t needed to use it. The bracelet is nice, but squeaks occasionally, but I don’t see the huge deal since there’s not much play once you fit it to you. I actually found resizing to be a pain with this watch, I really had to struggle to get the pins back in. The bracelet itself feels solid, however. As for lume, it’s extremely strong. My only complaint with the lume is that most of the time the hour and minute hands seem slightly green now. Great movement, an intuitive day/date window, and the orient logo is raised and set in along with the indices, which leads to a really classy look. The only thing I really haven’t tested is the depth, which I hope to try some time.

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