August 1, 2009
by Ariel Adams
What? I can’t write a woman’s watch review because I am a man? Sure I can. I would guess that half of all women’s watches are bought by men for women. Which is also actually probably true about women buying men’s watch for men. Plus, there’s the fact that most of you are men, so you wouldn’t be buying this watch for yourself. Unless you REALLY like the watch. This Orient Ladies’ Automatic (CDB01005W) is a really good watch for the money – which retails for $250, but goes for about $160 – $215 at most retailers. The design is modeled after some familiar women’s watches from makers like Hamilton (think the women’s Jazzmaster), Frederique Constant, and others like the Zenith El Primero Star Open watch series. The homage to these other fine watches is just fine, because Orient really does a good job of capturing a great look for a value price. The watches even have an Orient Japan -made automatic movement inside (the Orient Calibre 46A40). There are two views to the movement on the watch. This is sometimes called an “open heart” watch – as the window on the dial reveals the balance wheel and escapement in action (which is the “heart” of the watch). Another heart-shaped window on the rear of the watch provides another view into the movement.
The dial of the watch is the part that will attract women the most. It is mother of pearl, with various heart shapes on the dial that are lightly applied. You then have fun looking Arabic numerals in a rose gold tone that have been applied, as well as the open heart window into the movement. The chapter ring assists with legibility and the hands are nicely shaped and luminant covered. I would have like the chapter ring to not overlap on the numerals as it does a bit, but this is part of the design. Plus, I would have liked the open heart window on the dial to be a total heart shape – as right now it is an upside down tear drop shape while the rest of the hear is in rose gold tone. For women who don’t know a lot about mechanical watches the allure of the automatic movement peeking through the windows is a great touch adding a lot of emotional value to the timepiece. It is certainly more interesting than a standard quartz movement. Currently, all Orient automatic watch movements are automatic rotor winding only – not hand wound. Just something to know. Also, water resistance is 50 meters, so you things like washing hands, etc… won’t hurt the watch. Not really for any water sports though.
The rose gold tones of the dial and steel case are nice. The caseback is in polished steel. I would have liked for Orient to tone the caseback in the same color, but this is actually rarely done. The crown of the watch is very thin, but wide enough to use easily. I got back and forth between whether or not I like the thin crown as it helps keep the profile of the watch svelte, or whether I would like a more substantial crown. The look of the thin crown is growing on me, and is actually very retro is fashion. The watch case itself is 37mm wide – a great size for a women’s watch making it anything but petite, though not at all “massive.” It looks really nice on the feminine wrist.
The mineral crystal is domed a bit adding to the quality feel of the watch. It is really quite a looker to be honest. Something women will be proud to wear, and something you’ll be proud to give them. The strap really makes the watch complete. It is leather and brown on the edges and back. A almost patent leather surface in white lines the top of the watch. The white shininess of the strap goes well with the white shininess of the mother of pearl dial. The watch is also available in other colors – with brown, red, or another version with a white dial but black (instead of rose gold) colored numerals. In my opinion this Orient Ladies Automatic CDB01005W with the rose gold tones is the best of the bunch.
If it is for yourself or as a gift this is a good watch for the money. It has the style of much more expensive watches for around $200. This price is competitive with other nice Japanese watches such as Citizen and Seiko, but I think in a lot of ways this Orient watch has a lot more “worldly” character than some of the other women’s Japanese watches in this price segment. The best part about the watch is that is can really be dressed up or dressed down – a good fit for almost any occasion and I don’t think that women will need to try to hard to fit it into their style and personalities.orientwatchusa.com.