Orient Star is an upper range automatic dress watch from the Japanese brand. Here, I’m going to write about the Orient Star Retrograde review, an exotic looking beautiful and quality timepieces which comes at surprisingly an affordable price.
Looks great, in-house movements, quality construction and affordable to most people are the reasons why I like the Orient brand. Some of their models that I’ve reviewed (Mako, Mako 2, Ray, Bambino) are just downright affordable, with some even more affordable than Seiko.
The Orient Star Retrograde reviewed today features the retrograde day indicator made possible by Orient’s inhouse 40A50 automatic movement and is a seriously good looking dress watch.
Orient Star Retrograde Specification
Diameter: 39.5 mm
Thickness: 14.25 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Lug To Lug: 46 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Dial: 2 color options: Black or white dials
Dial Window: Anti-reflective Sapphire crystal
Hands: Dauphine hands with lume
Markers: Index markers
Subdials: Power reserve indicator (top), Date indicator (left) and Day indicator (bottom)
Movement: Orient Caliber 40A50 Automatic self-wind movement with 22 Jewels, hacking and manual winding features
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Water Resistance: 100 m or 330 feet
Other Features: Lume on hands and markers (pips), Power reserve indicator, Retrograde day indicator
Best Place To Buy: Amazon
Close up shot on the retrograde day indicator
Retrograde? What Does That Mean?
Retrograde literally means moving backwards or go back in time. In watchmaking world, retrograde is a term to describe the movement of any function that automatically moves backward instead of just running one full circle. In this watch, the retrograde feature is applied on the day indicator at the bottom.
Notice that the day indicator is in an arc shape. Typical watch movements goes in circle (the main hour, minute, seconds hands, the date indicator subdial at left side of the watch) because they actually is being moved by gears which are rotating (see this post on how automatic watches work to understand the insides of an automatic watch).
But the day indicator at the bottom of this watch is arc in shape, and after Sunday, the indicator will automatically moves to the left at Monday which require a special movement to do it.
To tell you the truth, it’s not actually rocket science. This type of retrograde indicators has been done from decades ago and does not bring any significant impact in my opinion. But I think the main objective why watchmakers created retrograde movements are because to make the dial much better looking, especially for the day indicator.
There are only 7 days in a week and to have a full circle subdial for day indicator does not really look nice. I kinda like the semi circular arc shape of the day indicator on this watch as it feels more natural and unique.
A zoom in on the dial will show how finely textured the dial actually is
Beautifully Designed Dial
The dial of this Orient Star automatic watch is quite busy but still looks elegant, as expected from a dress watch. Orient releases 2 colors for the dial: black and white. A great detail was done by Orient to the dial in which there are multiple textured lines on it which are very small and have to be looked at closely to notice them.
The markers are silver index markers while the hands are big dauphine hands. In my opinion, I prefer the white silver version as I really like the usage of silver stainless steel hands on the white dial version. It’s really complement and in harmony of each other.
Notice how the silver stainless steel hands and markers just sort of “blend in” with the white dial version of the Orient Star Retrograde
The big dauphine hands are designed to make sure the wearer can clearly see tell the time despite all those elements on it. Orient also put some lume on the hands and lume pips above the markers for added visibility in low light condition.
Just don’t have high expectations on the lume though as I’m sure the brightness of it is not too much as this is not a diver watch after all. The dial window is made from sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on top.
3 Subdials Added To The Complexity, Beauty And Fuction
Visible on the watch are the 3 subdials: Power reserve indicator (top), Date indicator (left) and Day indicator (bottom). These 3 subdials really adds to the complexity of the dial while also increasing its attractiveness and functionality.
The top and bottom indicators are designed to be semi circular arc in order to complement each other. Due to the difference sizes of these subdials, this watch is not symmetrical at all which might be disliked by some.
In my opinion, even though the dial is not symmetry, it is done in such a beautiful and unique way. And you just can’t ignore how these subdials will be a very helpful features to you. The power reserve indicator is just a great feature to have.
It has markings to show how much power reserve the Orient inhouse 40A50 automatic movement has from 0 to 40 hours. I’m gonna tell you that this is very important for those that don’t wear their watch everyday as you will know the amount of power reserve left in your watch at any time. That way you can either pick it up to wear it or just give it a few manual winding to fill the power reserve. No more dead automatic watches any more!
On the left of the dial is the date indicator. Instead of the usual date indicator in a changing box, Orient uses a full circular subdial to show the date which is unique. The bottom of the dial is the day indicator with the retrograde function. Same as the date, this indicator is unique and different than typical automatic watches out there. These features increases the value and aesthetic of this watch to gives it a more up-class feeling to it.
Solid Stainless Steel Case With 100 m Water Resistance
This gorgeous watch is encased in a stainless steel case with impeccably quality and craftsmanship. The case is brushed and polished with some layering in between that is really detail and well made. It is circular in shape at 39.5 mm diameter and 46 mm lug to lug width making it quite small – perfect for a dress watch. It’s quite thick though at 14.25 mm.
The case also is water resistant up to 100 m or 330 feet, though I would not suggest you to swim with it. The bracelet is a very nice looking stainless steel bracelet with layers of brushed and polished links giving it a very nice look. It’s definitely more eye catching than traditional 3 link bracelets.
But for those that don’t really prefer a stainless steel bracelet, you can always order a leather strap from Amazon. I’m sure this watch will look gorgeous with a brown leather strap =)
Orient Caliber 40A50 Automatic Self Wind
Inside it is the Caliber 40A50 automatic self wind movement made inhouse by Orient. This is where the Japanese (Orient, Citizen and Seiko) differs with their Swiss competitors. The Japs are still producing their movements inhouse while the most of the Swiss brands outsource their movements from movement production companies such as ETA and Sellita.
Only a few of Swiss brands still make inhouse movements (like Rolex, etc) and these brands are much more expensive. I’m not saying that ETA and Sellita movements are bad though. They have been used for decades and some of them like the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement is just a great workhorse to have.
But then to own a watch with an inhouse movement has quite a different feeling… a pride in a sense that you are wearing a watch that has legacy in it.
The 40A50 caliber has 22 jewels in it, hack-able and can be manual wound. The accuracy of the movement is a standard +-15 seconds per day with 40 hours power reserve. The specialty of this movement is in the retrograde day indicator which apparently took Orient 2 years to perfect.
Watch the review above to see the Orient Star automatic watch up close
Want To Buy This Orient Star Retrograde? Get It From Amazon!
I think Orient really wants big profits by listing the MSRP of this watch is at a hefty $1010. The watch is great, but to pay 1 grand for an Orient is just a bit too much for me. And I don’t think that’s the best strategy when you want to expand your brand.
But fortunately, you can always grab these gorgeous Orient Star automatic from the gray market at Amazon. Click the links below to check out the best prices at Amazon.
This watch is without a doubt a good looking dress watch. It has a beautifully designed dial, with the two arc subdials at the top and bottom which will surely catches people’s attention from the first glance. The power reserve is definitely useful while the day and date indicators are just unique and unlike the normal window indicator of other watches. If you are looking something out of ordinary for your dress watch, then I strongly suggest for you to consider this watch seriously.
I hope this Orient Star Retrograde review is beneficial to you guys. I’ll be happy to answer any comments or questions regarding this watch.