Orient Defender Review – Unique Looking Military Watch

Orient Defender Review – Unique Looking Military Watch

Hi there! Today’s post is going to be about Orient Defender review. It’s an automatic self-winding with military or field watch styling. But the big difference is on the dial design – it has these 2 subdials for 24-hours time and day indicator – making it a very interesting military style watch while being very functional. And it’s quite cheap for a full automatic watch! Read on for the full Orient Defender review.

Orient Defender Leather Strap

Orient Defender Specification (ET0N002B/K)

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug to Lug: 48 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Matte stainless steel case
Strap: Leather strap with pin buckle

Dial: Matte black or gray dial
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal
Hands: Sword shaped hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume
Subdials: 24-hour subdial (left) and Day display subdial (right)

Movement: Orient Caliber 46B40 Automatic self-wind movement
Movement Features: Japanese made movement, 21 Jewels, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Non-hacking
Power Reserve: 40 hours

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Luminous hands and markers, Date display, Day subdial display, 24-hour time subdial, Screw down crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon at $250

 

Origin Of Field Watches or Military Watches

For those of you that are not aware, field watches or military watches are those watches that have this distinctive simple and easy to look styling. Their name “military watches” comes from the fact that these are the kind of watches used by army men during the first and second world wars. An interesting fact is these military men are those that initially popularized the usage of wrist watches.

 

Shown above is the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer (left) and Seiko 5 SNK809 (right), two examples of military watches. Notice how the similarity of their styling (also with the Orient Defender) with the rugged look and clear visibility to make it easy to tell time

In the earliest days of watch, it is used more as a pocket watch. Wrist watch is rare and only worn by women but as a “bracelet watch” for the simple reason that women don’t wear jackets with pockets to store their pocket watch. Men only limit their watch to pocket watches as it’s considered to be more gentlemanly to wear one. But around this time (18th century), watches are considered jewelry of high value (most are hand-made mechanical watches) and can only be afforded by the most affluent people.

During the war periods, the army men discovered the importance of synchronizing attacks without relying on hand signals which can give your position away and are not reliable (in the dark for instance). Thus they begin to use wrist watches as we know it today and the popularity of watches continued to boom afterwards.

Nowadays, I’m sure most military men would use prefer a digital quartz watch as they offer more functions (backlight to tell the time in the dark please!) so these military watches with analog are not having that much military time anymore. But the simple styling and vintage aesthetic look of it continue to win people over and it’s still in demand nowadays.

Orient Defender Gray ET0N002K

Orient Defender Gray ET0N002K

Unique Military Watch Dial With 2 Subdials

The dial of this watch is very unique and different than other military watches. Right off the bat we can see the two subdials on top of the watch face. The top left subdial is dedicated for 24-hour time display which I really love. The problem with analog watch is we don’t know what time it is (am or pm) as the hour hands only display 12-hours. This is not really important but I find it a bit annoying when I have to restart a watch from stop – since you don’t know what time (am/pm) the watch is in, more often than not you are going to encounter the annoying problem of the date/day displays change at noon. That’s very inconvenient and downright embarrassing when you are one day ahead of everyone.

The second subdial at right position (3 o’clock) is for the day display. It uses a circle instead of a normal day display (something like the date display at the bottom of the dial) which is quite unique I would say. At the bottom left is Orient’s logo and signatures. These elements make the dial unsymmetrical but very practical and unique. The 24-hour GMT subdial, day and date displays are very useful and make the watch highly functional.

Orient Defender Black ET0N002BOrient Defender Black ET0N002B

There are two colors for this watch: black and gray. Both color variations comes matte. The same design is also applied to the matte stainless steel case – a true military watch cannot be shiny because it will attract attention in battle field. It also make the watch look more tool-like and vintage. The markers are big and bold to assist in easily reading the time. The same is with the sword shaped hands. Both of these got lume applied on top of them to help with visibility in the dark. There are clear minute markings at the outer edge of the dial for more accurate reading of time.

Orient Defender Lume ShotOrient Defender lume shot

All in all, the dial is far from the simple and rugged styling of typical military watches. I believe Orient designed this watch with the intent of making it stand out from normal – the usage of 2 subdials and asymmetry dial make the look more interesting and busy but still following the standards of big bold markers and hands with matte finishing of military watches. It’s also very functional with the 24-hours time, day and date displays.

 

Matte Stainless Steel Case

The case is made from stainless steel with matte finish. This finishing (instead of the ordinary polished or brushed finishing) and the solid construction are clearly to make the watch more rugged and suitable for actual usage in harsh environments (war zones, mud, etc.). The usage of screw down crown and caseback also gives credibility to this. Because of this, the watch is rated up to 100 m water resistance. Since it has a screw down crown, there is no issue of using this watch underwater – you just got to be sure to screw it in properly beforehand. The case also is simply constructed without any complex case designs – it’s a $250 watch after all.

Orient Defender Review

It’s properly sized to most wrists with a 42 mm diameter and 48 mm lug to lug which is totally inline with today’s trend. It’s not too big for small wrists and not too small for bigger wrists. It’s also only 12 mm thick and quite light. Again, as a full military watch, the weight of the watch is important to be kept as low as possible. Our military men are going to have to carry those heavy equipments all around the battle field and it’s more beneficial to wear a light watch. The positioning of the screw down crown at the 4 o’clock position instead of the normal 3 o’clock also helps with making the watch more ergonomic. I find that the normal crown position will hinder our wrist movement to flex upwards and the unorthodox 4 o’clock position is much better (just that it look a bit weird though).

The Orient Defender comes with a leather strap attached to its 22 mm lug width. By having a normal lug width, it’s fairly easy to find a replacement strap if anyone don’t like the strap it comes with. I’ve seen a lot of owners pair this watch to a black or brown Nato straps and it look amazing. At the back is a normal screw down caseback and the top comes with a mineral watch crystal. I’m not a fan of mineral crystals as it’s not really scratch resistant and lack the ability to be polished (like acrylic does). But for a watch that comes in this price point, mineral is the standard. You guys can read my post here introduction to watch crystals for more info.

Overall, the stainless steel case is a tough and rugged case designed for actual field works. The matte finishing is meant to make it more functioning – no military men in their right mind would wear a shiny timepiece on their wrist which will blow their locations to enemies. The usage of matte finish of the dial is also because of the same functional reason. I like how it has a screw down crown that helps with its 100 m water resistance rating. A watch that can be used in and above water is very versatile for its users.

Orient Defender On Wrist

Orient 46B40 Automatic Movement

Inside this watch is the Orient 46B40 automatic self winding movement, Orient’s own in-house movement. Orient has been known to only use in-house movements for all their automatic timepieces – something that most Swiss brands can’t say the same. The usage of in-house movements give them the flexibility of altering or modifying any movement to suit the design of the watch. A simple change in the movement can be done by using parts that they have in hand. This makes Orient able to produce variable watch designs at lower cost than other watch companies.

The movement comes with 21 Jewels and vibrates at 21600 per hour or 6 beats per second. It’s non-hacking and has a 40 hours power reserve. In short, it’s a normal Japanese quality movement except with the addition of 24-hour time and day display subdials. Many reviews online about this movement has praised it to be quite accurate, with some even +-6 seconds per day. Though I would suggest if you want to get this watch, don’t expect very high accuracy for it. It’s best to downplay our expectations of accuracy for any non-COSC chronometer watches to about +-15 to +-20 seconds a day.

As I’ve written in this post here on difference between automatic and quartz watches, automatic watches is the less accurate, by a lot of times. Even a chronometer (the most accurate automatic watch) will gain or lose up to 6 seconds per day. A quartz will gain/lose that much in a MONTH. That’s a lot of difference in accuracy between these two and you will have to reset the time once every few days.

I believe it’s important for those joining wanting to buy their first automatic watch to know this fact to avoid regretting buying the watch. But in return, you are getting a piece of old technology that is kinda romantic, unique, has gorgeous sweeping seconds hand and very different than those boring and common electrical powered quartz or smartwatches most people wear today =)


Watch this video review for upclose view on the Orient Defender

 

Conclusion

It’s not hard to tell that this is an interesting and unique watch. The dial design with 2 subdials for 24-hour time and day display is not common after all. This with the applied lume on top of the hands/markers make this military watch very functional for day-to-day use. Not only that, the matte stainless steel case also lend some toughness and rugged look to it. With a slim body and light weight, it’s comfortable watch to be used for outdoor activities. Having a 100 m water resistance and a screw-down crown gives it’s owner more confidence too. For an interesting take on military watch, Orient’s little timepiece here surely impress.
I hope you guys like this Orient Defender review. If there is any questions or comments regarding this watch, feel free to drop it inside the comment section below.

Cheers!
Isaac

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Get Orient Defender On Amazon

Wanting to buy the Orient Defender? Amazon currently is listing it inside their website. It might be tough to find Orient watches at normal brick and mortar stores because not many carries them. So an online store like Amazon is the perfect place to shop these little known Japanese watches. Click the link below to check out the best deals on Amazon.

 

->Orient Defender ET0N002B (Black Dial) On Amazon<-

->Orient Defender ET0N002K (Gray Dial) On Amazon<-

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