Welcome to the UK Market Orient, Loving Your Work

It’s great news today as Orient officially enters the UK watch market. The brand is part of the Epson/Seiko empire and has been available online from eBay and other sites for years, but it’s nice to see an official UK distribution network and the back up on warranties etc that goes with it.

The bad news is that the prices have walked upwards with the Mako dive watch retailing at £307 on the new UK website, rather than the typical £150-£240 on eBay for example. Same brand new watch, with box and papers, just not an official UK Orient.

It’s a similar tale with the Orient Star skeleton, which is a cheeky £2002 on the UK Orient site. We found an older Star Classic skeleton at £1386 – brand new in the box – on Tuswatches, based in Lincolnshire and selling on eBay. Dial looks remarkably similar has to be said, only the crown looked different from the 2023 edition.

Orient watches are much better built than they were just a decade ago, when they were the poor relation of Seiko automatics in many ways. I’ve owned some older Orients and they weren’t as nicely made in terms of movement quality. Those three star Orients on eBay for £40 are cheap for a reason.

On balance it can only be a good thing that Orient are pushing onwards as a standalone brand in the UK. They have the potential to be a genuine alternative for Seiko and Citizen/Bulova fans. If we had to choose one Orient from the debut range that will be a future collectors item then the Neo Classic, with its 70s style dial and 200m of resistance fits the bill. Affordable too at £333. More here. 

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