Japanese brand Orient has always been at the top of the list of value brands here at aBlogtoWatch. Considering price point, you get a lot when you purchase an Orient. In-house automatic movement? Check. Quality finishing? Check. Sapphire crystal? Check (in a lot of cases). Fair price? You bet. With their successful flagship dive watch being the Mako, and its many later iterations, I was surprised to hear the brand was launching an entirely new dive watch called the Orient Nami and that it was going to be 46mm. Owning a number of Makos that have been my outdoor companions for years, I was both skeptical and intrigued.
Orient has had a successful run with the Mako line. Owned by the same parent company as Seiko, they’ve maintained a high standard for a daily beater that checked a lot of boxes for enthusiasts. Featuring an in-house movement, 200m of water resistance, sapphire crystal, high-quality finishing, and a modern style at a low cost for what you’re getting – the collection rightfully caught on quickly. I still have my original Orient Ray (the “Tumor” as it came to be called for the day-date pusher at 2 o’ clock). Up until March – when I banged it so hard against a rock while fishing that I broke the crystal and bent the bezel – it never let me down. It was rugged, fun to wear, and didn’t cost enough that I was overly upset about losing it. The Mako collection has evolved numerous times over the last few years with the addition of the Mako XL, Ray and Ray II, and Mako USA and USA II. The Mako USA was actually very community-driven, with Orient taking suggestions from clients themselves and creating a watch around their wish lists – and that kind of attention to their prospects really helped me appreciate Orient as a brand.
When the whispers of a 46mm dive watch starting making the rounds, it was quickly assumed that it would be another large M-Force, a new version of the Mako XL, or perhaps a Mako USA XL. Instead, we got the Orient Nami, a dive watch detached from the popular Mako collection, and entirely unique among the rest of Orient’s diver catalog – while still maintaining a sub-$500 price tag. Named after the Japanese word for “wave” the Nami will find its place among those who prefer a bigger watch on their weekend hikes and dives, but can’t or don’t want to fork over the cash for a SuperOcean.
Being the outdoors type, and in need of a new companion for those excursions, I scooped up the Midnight Blue model in April – and overall, I haven’t been disappointed in the 3 months I’ve had it on my wrist.
Let’s address everyone’s biggest concern first. Yes, this watch is big. At 46mm wide and 13mm thick, I assumed this would wear like a hockey puck on my small-medium sized wrist. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. With the exclusion of crown guards and the sharp downward taper of the lugs, this watch doesn’t feel like 46mm. While it does wear a bit big on my wrist, I’ve never found it annoying, nor am I constantly banging it on door frames. With the inclusion of an integrated strap and flat bezel (more on those later), the watch looks great on the wrist.
The large case houses the Orient Cal. F6724 Automatic, one of the latest movements from Orient’s in-house manufacture. Also featured in the second generation Bambino, this particular movement supports hand winding and hacking seconds while also including a winding rotor – something that has not always been included in the Orient Divers. In addition, the date and time movement also features a 40-hour power reserve. This movement offers a lot more than expected in the price category it’s competing in, and that will be appreciated among established fans of the brand, as well as new enthusiasts looking for a solid dive watch you won’t have to sell a kidney for.