I think it’s easy to forget that Orient has a long and incredibly detailed horological history. But every now and then we’ll get little reminders in the form of design reissues from the brand’s catalogue – the most recent of which is the newly offered Orient Start Diver 1964.
This new Diver 1964 release is based on the original Orient Olympia Calendar Diver, which was the first 40m dive watch with a bezel that Orient ever produced. When comparing the modern Orient Star Diver 1964 to the original Calendar Diver, we get a design ethos that’s true to it’s origin with some new technological features under the hood.
For example, the original Orient Olympia had a WR rating of 40m – the new Orient Diver 1964 has 200m. The original watch was most likely using one of the Orient LCY hand wind calibers while the modern Orient Star Diver 1964 is using the new automatic F6N47.
What’s not drastically different actually is the sizing – at approx. 40.2mm in diameter the Orient Star Diver 1964 is only .4mm larger than the original 39.8mm case size. So for me, it looks like it’s hitting that really perfect 39/40mm diver size (at least on paper). They’ve also stayed very true to the original handset of the Olympia Calendar Diver (with the exception of the second hand, which is actually an improvement over the original with the lollipop seconds sweep).
We also do have the addition of the very emblematic Orient Star power reserve, which tends to be a pretty dividing feature.
The new Orient Star Diver 1964 bracelet is a large departure from the original Olympia Calendar Diver. The newer model features more rounded angles and (frankly to me) a bit less personality than the original bracelet. Check out the side-by-side below.
Orient Star Diver 1964 (RK-AU0501B) Specs:
|Case & Bracelet||Movement||Features|
|40.2mm x 49.6mm x 14.5mm||In-house Cal. F6N47 (21,600 VPH)||Limited to 500 pieces|
|20mm lug width stainless steel bracelet||50 hour power reserve||WR 200m|
|Stainless Steel Case and Diver Bezel||Automatic, Hacks, Hand Winds||Power reserve indicator on dial|
|Screw down crown and case back||+25 / -15 seconds per day||Ref. RK-AU0501B|
|Sapphire crystal with AR Coating||22 Jewels|
Overall, I think this is a very interesting release, but one that’s likely to get forgotten given how “under the radar” the design here is in comparison to some other recent Orient Star dive watch releases. The other issue is the quite hefty (for the brand) price tag.
That said though, the Orient Star Diver 1964 has a lot of potential to do some heavy-lifting towards being someone’s everyday wearer. This release is limited to 5oo pieces (numbered case backs) and is priced at ¥ 143,000 (approx. $1,250 USD).
Kaz has been collecting watches since 2015, but he’s been fascinated by product design, the Collector’s psychology, and brand marketing his whole life. While sharing the same strong fondness for all things horologically-affordable as Mike (his TBWS partner in crime), Kaz’s collection niche is also focused on vintage Soviet watches as well as watches that feature a unique, but well-designed quirk or visual hook.