As Seiko continues to reposition itself in the market, I think it is time to pass the crown of the value king to a different Japanese brand: Orient Watches. Let me introduce you to one of their impressive offerings.

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Specs | Case | Dial | Bracelet | Movement | Overall | Alternatives

Enter the Orient Kamasu. While the MSRP of this watch is $460, they are usually available for between $200 – $300. With a hacking and handwinding movement, 200 meters of water resistance, a screw-down crown, and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal, the Orient Kamasu is a great watch and a killer value proposition.

Orient Kamasu Specs

Case Dimensions:41.5mm x 47mm x 13mm
Lug Width:22mm
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Movement:Orient F6992 (automatic movement)
Power Reserve:40 hours
Price Range:$200 – $300

A Well Proportioned Stainless Steel Case and a Sapphire Crystal

The Kamasu has essentially the same case as Orient’s popular Ray II model. A crowd pleasing middle of the road size, this affordable dive watch is going to be right at home on a wide range of wrists thanks to the 41.5mm case diameter.. While there is nothing too fancy about the case finishing, it is well executed with a combination of brushed surfaces on the top and high polish surfaces on the sides. The lugs curve down gently which helps with the overall comfort of the watch on the wrist, especially with a very accessible 13mm case thickness.

The unidirectional bezel on this Orient diver has a coin edge that can be a bit difficult to grip. However, the 120 click bezel action is very smooth and consistent which actually makes it very easy to turn. The bezel insert is aluminum.

My only major complaint with the Orient Kamasu case is that the crown is too small and this, in combination with the crown guards, make it difficult to screw down (I usually have to use my shirt for extra grip).

The crystal is a flat sapphire, and this is where the value over Seiko really starts to shine. You won’t find a sapphire crystal in any Seiko diver at this price.

A Deep Red Dial with Nuclear Lume

The dial of the Orient Kamasu is killer. A wine red that reveals a ruby sunburst in direct light (it also comes in green dial, blue dial, and black dial variants). The applied indices seem to float above the dial, in part due to the lack of a chapter ring. The timepiece’s handset is pleasing, with a very long minute and second hand that reach all the way out to the dashed minute markings.

The day and date window is nicely framed and presented on the Orient Kamasu. Also, the Orient logo, with its splash of red, blends in nicely with the dial.

The lume on this watch (on the hands and hour markers) can go toe to toe with any Seiko diver. Not only is it flashlight bright, it is also exceptionally responsive.

A Fully Brushed Stainless Steel Bracelet

I appreciate the choice to go with a fully brushed bracelet. An oyster style with hollow end links, sizing is accomplished with standard split pins. The clasp is a double push deployment with a safety fold over. White the Orient Kamasu bracelet has a pressed metal clasp, I still find it secure when closed. There are four micro adjustment positions to help you get the perfect fit. The Orient Logo is etched into the clasp.

The watch is comfortable and feels well balanced on the bracelet.

In-House, Hacking and Handwinding Movement

The Orient Caliber F6922 automatic is an in-house movement that is based on the 46943. This new caliber was released in April of 2016 and first featured in watches like the Mako II and Ray II. It is great to have an accurate, handwinding and hacking movement in the Orient Kamasu. Due to how new this movement is, there is not a lot of data on how they will hold up over time. However, if I had to speculate, these made in Japan automatic watch movements will prove to be reliable. The BPH Orient F6922 is 21,600 and the stated accuracy is +25/-15 seconds per day.

Overall Thoughts

I think the Orient Kamasu is one of the best dive style watches you can buy for the price. It is an absolute spec monster for its price bracket. You will be hard pressed to find another dive watch with a sapphire crystal, an in-house hacking and handwinding movement, a screw down crown, 200 meters water resistance, killer lume, and a bracelet at this price.

Orient Kamasu Alternatives

Orient Mako II

With very similar specs and features, the Orient Mako II presents itself as a strong alternative to the Orient Kamasu. The Mako II’s design overall is presented as a more subtle and less agressive aesthetic due to the inclusion of longer angles and more rounded features on in the dial and indices. While the Mako II doesn’t feature a sapphire crystal (it has a mineral crystal), it’s also generally $100 less expensive than the Kamasu. You can read more on our full review of the Orient Mako II.

Seiko SRPD51 (5KX)

With the retiring of the original SKX007 and the releasing of the new 5KX lineup, Seiko created a design platform for a wide array of stylistic iterations and riffs. Within the entire 5KX catalog, you can probably find a watch you like. In regards to our discussion here, the SRPD51 presents itself as a great alternative to the Orient Kamasu in terms of price and functionality. The main factor that separates these two watches though is the fact that the SRPD51’s dial is slightly less crowded and a bit more balanced than what you may find on the Orient Kamasu. For additional details on the Seiko SRPD51, check out our full review.

19 thoughts on “Orient Kamasu Review: The Perfect Under The Radar Diver?”

  1. Thanks for mentioning the undersized crown…it’s disappointing they didn’t make it larger. I had a Ray II briefly and ended up returning it because I couldn’t screw it all the way in without needle nose pliers! That’s kind of a deal breaker, because I almost never bring needle nose pliers to the beach or pool with me.

    • Rob, not only is the crown undersized on the Kamasu, it’s quite wobbly when pulled out to the second position to adjust the time. I’m hoping that Orient hears the feedback from buyers/owners and corrects this in their next release. Besides the small issue I have with the crown on my Kamasu, I’m quite pleased with my purchase and enjoy this timepiece. For what I paid for this watch, I’m happy to look past the disappointing crown.

  2. Kind of dramatic don’t you think? Especially considering that both brands are under the umbrella if the Seiko group.

    • Hey, Aerowind:

      Orient is owned by Epson and Epson is part of the Seiko Group. Seiko Group is a holding company that also owns the appropriate companies that are responsible for Seiko Watches. However, the two brands don’t have any shared corporate direction or any type of related nature. They’re totally different companies that happen to exist under the same Holding group. An example for comparison would be how Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company that owns GEICO auto insurance and Dairy Queen – they share a holding company but have no shared corporate structure that impacts their day to day decisions or large scale creative direction.


      • Thanks for the added info! I had this very same talk with a sales rep and went in circles for a while on it. If only Seiko’s name wasn’t in the holding company’s name, there would be far less confusion. When it comes down to it, they are clearly totally independent companies.

  3. I appreciate your review. Having been the proud (and impressed) owner of both the SKX009 and SKX013, I had turned into a bit of a Seiko fanboy. However, I was reluctant to pull the trigger on the “5KX” for the same reasons you listed. After a good bit of research, I came across the Kamasu. After a little waiting and shopping around, I got a decent deal ($199 US). I could not be happier! I have a very large collection of divers, but I frequently wore the SKX as my “beater.” Given the recent discontinuation, I’ve now retired them in favor of the Kamasu. If you’re like me (perhaps a bit of a watch “snob”), and never gave Orient a shot, the Kamasu is true bang for the buck. AND…no misaligned chapter rings here!! High quality…exceptional value…great diver.

    • J Jackson…… I couldn’t agree with you more. The deep maroon Orient Kamasu is a great dive watch and offers a lot of bang for the buck (USD$280) and offers exceptional quality / value for what you pay. The maroon dial is really beautiful in both a dressy or casual setting. I have a number of Seiko watches but I think Orient has really captured my attention recently. The only one complaint I have with the Kamasu is the crown. Once Orient hears the feedback from owners, I’m sure they will improve on it in their next release.

  4. Loved the review. Could agree with you more on the dial color and finish. I have the Ray II in blue and it’s one of my favorite every day wear. Love the size and color. I am looking to buy the Kamasu in either the green or the red but looking at your pictures and that rubber band combo, it is a KILLER!

    If you don’t mind me asking, where did you buy that rubber/silicone band? Looks amazing.

  5. Worth a look at the new Orient Triton/Neptune without PR, ISO and divers extension if the crown and bezel action bothers you. Although the new tritons (some call them triton lite?) are a bit of a downgrade from its predecessor, the price is similar to the kamasu. It’s a bigger watch at 43mm DIA and 51mm L2L but the crown is proper sized and the bezel action is great, everything else is pretty much straight up kamasu anyway. It’s a shame as I prefer the sizing of the kamasu but also couldn’t get on with that crown. I may have e to get this red one for occasional use though as it’s beautiful!

  6. I Just pulled the trigger on the kamasu ray 3,I have this spec killer in the teal green, talk about a talking piece I have been getting so much positive feedback on the looks I think orient should be giving me a kickback as 3 of my mate’s have already ordered one feels good snorkeling body surfing, and just as comfortable when I Wack on a suit and hit the casino “$220” Aussie dollars “up to the minute buy of the year” also I’ve been collecting and repairing watches for 40 year’s and have not come across better Lume on another watch as good as kamasu period. I’m stoked!

  7. Found this in a Tokyo dept. store on sale at an insane markdown. More than 75% off msrp and 50% below what it is usually going for online.

    I had ignored it up until now because the 47mm lug-to-lug scared me and my scrawny 6-inch wrists away, but when I saw it on sale for the price of a nice bracelet, I asked to try it on and was asking to be rung up within seconds.

    The lugs were a bit longer than what I would normally feel comfortable with, but I pulled the trigger and am happy that I did.

    Slapping it on a NATO and now a perlon strap and pulling it up just a bit higher on my wrist has eliminated the lug concerns.

    I echo the other comments that the crown is too small / difficult to grab, but otherwise there is not much to complain about.

    The positives just keep on coming: nice polished/brushed case, GORGEOUS dial, framed day/date comp., applied indexes, applied logo, great lume, sapphire crystal, accurate (in my experience) in-house movement, 22mm lug width makes it a true strap monster.

    In addition to the crown, my only other recommendation for any Orient employees who might see this would be a version with no day/date comp, so we can see ALL of that beautiful sunburst dial.

    But even as it is, if you can find it for less than $300, I would say it is definitely worth considering and for under $250, you shouldn’t even think twice.

    • If they hadn’t bizarrely left out the lume dot on the bezel (no pip!) and the useful minute gradations in the first 15, for god knows what reason, I’d be wearing it now. I actually use my timer all the time, and besides it just looks silly not meeting the ISO and JIS requirements for something so simple. I do have a Mako 1.2 or “XL” , which has the “60” in place of the triangle, and that is just enough out there for it to be its own animal that it doesn’t bother me. But omitting it and leaving a blank triangle….. yeah I’m ocd, but I think it looks cheap.

      And the Mako 1.2 / XL beats it too since it has a multilink bracelet (unsure if that;s what its called for real), where each row of links is truly independent, and you can fold it up like a Jubilee and even with the crappy tinny end links, it’s nice and comfortable enough for me to say I don’t mind it. But I haven’t even seen a Kanno with a stock bracelet, so far, and the supplied bands, while better than the mating dolphins Ray one, don’t come flush to the case.(IF What the designer of the Kano was trying to do, was piss off OCD watch weirdos, he’s a genius…)

      Sadly, the Kano’s predecessor, Mako 1.2 or XL is now being sold for ridiculous prices, AND there are a shite ton of aftermarket / screwed-with colorways that aren’t authentic originals, (although I hear they finally improved the pisspoor lume! Go figure!)


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