Orient Star Retrograde (DE00002B/W) Automatic Watch Review

orient-star-retrograde-white

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

 

orient-star-retrograde-review black

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.

 

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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.

 

orient-star-retrograde-review-white-bracelet

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.

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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.

->Orient Star Retrograde White Dial DE00002W<-

->Orient Star Retrograde Black Dial DE00002B<-

 

Conclusion

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.

Cheers!

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

Chronographs are one of most popular complications that people loved. To be able to make your watch as a stopwatch is a great tool. Watches after all are a tool for us. But the mechanism to make a chronograph can be quite complex, which will make them costs substantially more than your normal automatic watch.

This is due to the amount of mechanism in the watch and the many subdials to record seconds, minutes and hours of the stopwatch timekeeping. Fortunately Tissot has released the Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 which is an affordable, yet high quality and Swiss Made model of this very useful tool. Let’s take a look at Tissot Couturier review shall we.

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Specification

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 14.84 mm
Weight: 127 g
Case: Stainless steel case
Caseback: Solid caseback with aperture showing balance wheel
Strap: Leather strap with butterfly clasp

Dial: Black dial with silver index markers and date display
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal with non-reflective coating
Hands: Dauphine shaped hands with lume
Subdial: Chronograph subdials: 30-min subdial at top and 6-hour subdial at bottom. Running seconds hand subdial at left position.

Movement: ETA C01.211
automatic chronograph movement with 15 jewels. 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second
Power Reserve: 45 hours
Movement Features: Chronograph function, date display, hackable and manual winding

Water Resistance: 100 m or 330 feet
Other Features: Tachymeter scale at edge of dial, non-screwdown crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

 

Sharp And Elegant Looking Watch

Looking at the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph and one can’t resist to comment on its good looks. The design is nothing fancy – just black dial with silver white hands, markers and signatures. It is in this very simple design and color usage that the watch looks tremendously gorgeous and elegant.

After all, black dial with silver stainless steel watch are just so cool looking right? Put that on a leather strap and you get a very sharp and dressy looking watch, the kind that every guy need to have.

The diameter of the watch is 43 mm with a rather thick 14.84 mm thickness. I honestly do not like the thickness, but it can’t be avoided as a chronograph automatic movement will be bulkier than their normal automatic sibling. The lugs are big and bulky, which shows that very masculine look. You can also notice that the crown is signed with Tissot’s “T” logo.

The chronograph pushers are at 2 and 4 o’clock positions. They are not like normal circle pushers but instead have an oval shape which will give better feel when using it.

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

On the back of the watch is a unique caseback. Tissot uses solid caseback with a small aperture (or opening) just to show the balance wheel. At first I think it looks nice until it hit me – why didn’t they use a full exhibition caseback?

A full exhibition caseback will be totally gorgeous to have as we can see the back of the C01.211 automatic chronograph movement in full instead of just an opening. It’s really a design decision which is not welcomed at all.

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

Subdials And Silver Markers/Hands

As you already notice, the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph has 3 subdials on it. The top subdial is to record minutes for chronograph. The bottom subdial is for recording hours for chronograph (until 6 hours). The top subdial scale is until 30-min. Once the chronograph goes 30 minutes, the bottom subdial will move to mark half an hour.

The left subdial is a running seconds hand. This means the main second hand will not be moving at all. It will only move when using chronograph function to record seconds. It’s a shame actually to not be able to enjoy the sweeping second hand but it seems that most automatic chronograph has this sort of movement restriction. For a truly beautiful sweeping second hand with perfect chronograph function, I suggest you check out Bulova Precisionist (but it’s a quartz though..).

At the right of the dial is a circle that housed Tissot’s signatures, as well as the date window. These 4 subdial circles gives this watch a perfect symmetry design. Everything on the black dial is made of silver and white in color, giving a very nice contrast.

The markers are index shaped and bold. At the edge is the tachymeter scale. The watch uses dauphine shaped hands which have a little bit of lume on it.

 


  A video showing the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 upclose. You can also see how to use the chronograph function. Notice also the running second hand is at the left subdial and not the main second hand.

 

How To Use Chronograph / Stopwatch Function?

For those of you that don’t know, chronograph function means the watch can be used as a stopwatch. You know the thing the used to time Olympic races etc? Yes that’s the thing. For the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph, the chronograph is operated by using 2 knobs or pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock positions.

Pushing the top pusher will start the stopwatch. The main second hand will move with each passing second. Once it make one rotation, the top subdial will move by one mark signalling one minute has passed.

Unlike electronic stopwatch, this Tissot will only be able to record up to 6 hours of time. In order to stop the time, simply push the top pusher again. You can push the top pusher to continue the time. Pushing the bottom pusher will reset the chronograph to zero.

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

ETA C01.211 Automatic Chronograph Movement

Inside the Tissot Couturier is an ETA C01.211 automatic chrongraph movement. Words has it that this is a cheaper automatic chronograph movement designed by ETA for Tissot to use in their cheaper watches.

I’m not sure as to why Tissot don’t just use the ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement (as in the Victorinox Infantry Vintage), but it seems they want a new movement for this purpose.

Even though this is a “cheap” movement, but ETA does not disappoint here. The C01.211 movement has lower jewel count at 15 jewels and 28800 vibrations per hour or 8 beats per second for that pretty sweeping motion.

The lower jewel count might be one of the improvements done by ETA to reduce cost. It also has a huge 45 hours power reserve, hack-able and can be manual wind. One trade off might be its thickness which is quite thick resulting in big watches.

I was not able to get a published accuracy data, but knowing ETA, we can safely assume the accuracy of the movement to fall within 10 seconds deviation per day since it is not a COSC certified chronometer.

 

Tachymeter Scale For Measuring Speed

On the edge of the dial is a tachymeter scale to measure speed. The numbers on the scale will show the speed of any object in km per hour or mile per hour, provided the distance that object travels is known. For more example, you can visit Wikipedia.com for the examples.

In real life, I don’t think it has any significant usage as we have to know the distance that object traveled which is quite hard to know. But I can see that this can be real nifty for a sports event when you already know the distance of any runners or swimmers for example.

Thus it is quite easy to do the simple calculation to get the speed of that particular athlete. Another usage might be in a racing event.

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Pros And Cons

I’ve listed the pros and cons of this watch below for your easy reference:

Pros:
1- Beautiful, sharp and elegant looking watch with its black dial and silver markers/hands
2- Automatic chronograph movement at an affordable price

Cons:
1- Very thick at almost 15 mm
2- Will look substantial and big unless you have a big wrist
3- A full exhibition caseback is better than an aperture on the back

 

Conclusion

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph is a beautiful looking watch. With its stainless steel case and chronograph subdials, it looks sophisticated and elegant at the same time. Having a chronograph function is a big plus as now your watch is one step closer to the functionality most electronic watches have.

Manufactured by Tissot, the trusted Swiss watchmaker with one century of experience should give an assurance on the quality of the craftsmanship of this watch. All in all, this is a watch those looking for a dressy automatic chronograph should buy.

Hope you guys enjoy this Tissot Couturier review. Drop your comments or question on this watch below. Hope to see you guys soon.

Cheers!

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Looking to buy the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00? Look no further than Amazon. Amazon currently has the best price for it at their online store. Click the link below to go to Amazon and check its best prices and deals.

 

–>>Click Here To Check The Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Prices On Amazon<<–

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watches For Men Review

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watches For Men Review

Bulova is one of the few American watch companies with rich history. The Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watch is one of the few automatic watches the company made these days. Founded in 1875, Bulova traditionally produced mechanical watches for the masses in America, before inventing the “Accutron Watches”, the first electronic watch.

It then shifts to quartz watches due to lower costs and popularity and right now, Bulova’s line of watches are predominantly quartz. The company produces only a handful automatic self-winding watches these days and the 96A135 is one of it.

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watches For Men Review

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watch Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Dial: Black and grey dial with aperture
Subdials: 2 sub-dials: 24 hours and seconds hand subdials (very cool!)

Dial Window: Mineral crystal
Hands and Markers: Luminous roman numeral markers and hands
Case: Stainless steel
Band: Black leather band with butterfly clasp. 22 mm width band

Movement: Japan Automatic self-winding movement by Miyota (part of Citizen Watch Group). 21 Jewels
Water Resistance: 99 feet / 30 m
Other features: Exhibition caseback, Aperture on dial, 24-hour and seconds hand sub-dials

Best Place To Buy: Amazon with Free shipping for $220 and 2-year warranty

 

Bulova Automatic Watches For Men – Automatic Collection

Bulova is one of the major watch makers that I like because of its daring and gorgeous styling of its watches. Just take a look at its line of watches, all features futuristic and modern looking dial which are absolutely gorgeous. I’m always been a classic-watch type of guy, but having one of the Precisionist or the Marine Star definitely won’t hurt =).

The Automatic collection by Bulova is the only automatic watches in its stable, and is powered by a 21 jewel automatic movement by Miyota, a subsidiary of Citizen. You can say Miyota is something like ETA to the Swatch Group.

In case you don’t know, Bulova has been acquired by Citizen back in 2008. Quite a sad thing really, for an American company with a very rich history like Bulova to be bought over by outsiders.

But like Hamilton, the acquisition brought Japanese technology into Bulova. And as a result, it was been able to produce a high precision quartz movement that is featured in its Precisionist series of watches through technology transfer from its parent group. So, not really a bad thing eh?

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watches For Men Review

Beautiful Futuristic Dial With 2 Subdials and Aperture

The dial of the Bulova 96A135 Automatic is anything but simple. It has a normal roman numeral markers and hands on its black and grey dial. But what’s amazing is it has 2 sub-dials: one for showing 24-hours time while the other is for the seconds hand.

To have these two sub-dials at this price point is just fantastic! I really love the 24 hours sub-dial as it can show us the exact time it is now (am or pm). I believe that is a crucial thing that is missing in most automatic watch.

The seconds hand sub-dial is not really needed in my opinion though it does looks nicer to have two sub-dial instead of one. Again, I have to say again that to have these functions in a $200 watch is something sort of extraordinary.

On the dial also is a small aperture where you can see one of the wheels spinning inside the Miyota movement. Coupled with the exhibition caseback, the combination gives us a glimpse of the inner workings of an automatic watch which is really really cool.

Bulova really knows how to design a watch to make it look beautiful as well as gives the mechanical thing feeling through the aperture and its sub-dials.

 

 

Automatic Movement By Miyota

Bulova 96A135 Automatic watch is powered by an automatic movement by Miyota. There seems to be little info on which caliber it is using. There is no mention of it in Bulova’s website and nothing on Amazon too.

Regardless, one thing for sure is that a Miyota movement is something that you can be proud to own. Granted that it is not Swiss made or an in-house Bulova movement, but the movement is really robust and have good accuracy that can even rival the Swiss.

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watches For Men Review

Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watch Pros And Cons

Below are the summary of the pros and cons for the watch:

Pros:
1- Good looking watch
2- 2 Subdials (24-hour and seconds hand)
3- Aperture on dial
4- Exhibition caseback
5- Solidly built and quality watch construction
6- Leather band with butterfly clasp ensuring longevity of the band
7- Reliable automatic movement by Miyota

Cons:
1- Not enough information on the automatic movement caliber
2- Dial window uses Mineral crystal which is not as scratch resistant as Sapphire crystal
3- No date function

Bulova 96A135 Price? Get It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you are interested to buy the Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watch, you can get buy it at Amazon for the cheapest price right now, about $200. Check out the link below to go to Amazon.

–>>Click Here To Check The Best Deals Of Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watch On Amazon<<–

 

Conclusion

For a $200 watch, Bulova 96A135 Automatic Watch is definitely a bargain. It is an automatic watch by a very old brand, solidly built, features a gorgeous dial design with 2 sub-dials and an aperture.

The mineral crystal dial window is a let down but you can’t really expect much from this price range. Overall, a solid and gorgeous watch for the low-middle range price. A very good buy for your money.

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Hope you guys find this Bulova 96A135 automatic watch review useful. Share it on social media if you like it. That will really help me =). Subscribe to my blog by using the subscribe box inside the right sidebar for more awesome stuffs in future.

Cheer!

Isaac