Orient CFT00004B

The Orient CFT00004B is a handsome, semi-dressy sport watch which incorporates Orient’s own 46R40 self-winding automatic movement. It has a great looking polished case and bracelet, a power reserve indicator, a slide rule, and an “open heart” skeleton dial that shows the balance wheel and the crown and stem assembly.

The Case

This is a well balanced watch with a 43.7mm case that sits 12.1mm off your wrist. The  case is polished and has a pleasant shine to it that compliments the fixed bezel and the nicely shaped dual crown system. The 9 o’clock crown is for setting the time while the 4 o’clock crown operates the internal slide rule. As a side note, before you decide to buy a watch with a slide rule, I recommend that you read up on how to use it, and make sure it’s something you really want. They are complicated and difficult to use, and tend to make the dial much busier than a simple dive-style timing bezel. The slide rule on the Orient CFT00004B is unique in that it’s internal (below the crystal) which means it’s operated by a crown rather than rotating it directly. Internal rotating bezels, or reflectors, are usually reserved for dive watches since you don’t want the bezel to get bumped and inadvertently adjusted; this is the first time we’ve seen one one a pilot style watch.

The dial and movement are sandwiched between twin sapphire crystals to give you a view of both the time and the technology behind it. The dial is cluttered but easy to read, thanks to the exaggerated arabic markers at the twelve and six o’clock positions as well as ample markers and long, wide hands. All the markers and hands have decent lume that lasts long enough to be usable, but don’t quite give Seiko or Ocean7 a run for their money. The Orient CFT00004B does not have a date feature which is one of my few complaints.

This is the second Orient I’ve owned. The first was the “Red Beast”, a boisterous diver that crowded your wrist and screamed out with its bright red face and massive hands.  The CFT00004B  seems to be more accurate than its diver cousin, and bears less resemblance to the Miyota automatics found driving Invictas and automatic Citizen divers.  This is a nice watch with an asian movement that keeps better time then one might think, given the price.

The Bracelet

The bracelet on this Orient bears a strong resemblance to the bracelet from the Tissot Seastar 1000 I reviewed last year, however I’d place the Orient’s bracelet slightly higher in terms of quality. It’s heavy, uses solid end links to interface with the case (we like SELs), and has polished center links. The Orient’s bracelet is much quieter then the Tissot’s which is guilty of making squeaking and rattling sounds, and has a far better Seiko-style push button deployment clasp. The fold-over clasp is nicely signed with the Orient name and their logo which adds a bit of class. I think the bracelet is nice enough that I would not consider the variations of this watch that come without it.

Packaging

This watch comes in relatively pedestrian packaging similar to many other watches in the price range: a plain marked box, hang tag, and an instruction booklet are all that accompany the watch itself. On a watch like this (which is not a special edition or a collectors item) the packaging is not a huge part of the experience, and I’m happy to see that they put more time into the fit and finish of the case, movement, and bracelet then the packaging (though nice packing always helps make a good first impression). Most watches of a similar style come in very similar packaging; it’s usually dive watches that get all the cool boxes.

Conclusion

This is a pretty slick little timepiece that really starts to grow on you. I miss the date complication, and the slide rule is lost on me, but I love the size and polish of the case, and the open heart dial adds some class and uniqueness. The bracelet will stand up to most competition and the lume is pretty good for a dress watch. In general, I like Orient a lot as they remind me of an Asian Tissot with many different styles and finishes to appeal to most buyers. The list price on this watch is $600 USD, but with discounts, you can usually find one for around $450 USD. At this price point, it has a lot of competition from Seiko and Citizen, but may win buyers over because of its  original look and novel brand.

By James Stacey

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