Orient Monarch: Sovereign, Serene, Sombre

Orient is of incredible value for the not-so-deep pockets. Their solid build quality and reliable, in-house workhorse movements – all moulded into pleasing designs, the Orient Monarch are hard to argue against. You got three choices here and they are picked more often from the shortlisted. Pointing to the direction of affordable and well-built, mechanical classics inevitably bring a mention of the Monarch.

Orient does it exceptionally well. Dress pieces have been sort of a specialisation from the brand. Bambino, Bambino II, Railroad, Star and Classic…and we want to see where it leads to from the Monarch.

Early Fall 2015 saw the arrival of the Monarch. It’s unique in its assemblage of vintages.  Olden inspirations added up to create this one of the few manual winders in the current mechanical zone. Its domed mineral crystal slightly magnifies the components on the dial, making the dial look bigger than its actual size. Its exhibition case back shows elements not often seen on a watch at this price.

The stainless steel case houses an Orient Caliber 48C40 with Silver Sunray, white and black dials. They got no lume, but neither are they meant for the dark. It’s a great, modern-sized watch that looks good with its bubble-like shape. It sits on the wrist very well. It feels surprisingly smaller to the wearer because of the bulging shape occupying less surface are on the skin.

Immediately after the case details come the exaggerated ‘onion’ crown. The stem is within the small tube at its base. It gives a small protrusion the vintage pieces alike. For winding, you also get a much easier grip.

One of these Orient describes as an eggshell dial, which is silvery white with a discrete and subtle sunray finish. You don’t notice it immediately, but only after a close observation. Else, it appears just plain white, but not the flat- and plastic-type whiteness. It’s livelier than that.

The faces are ornate ones, enough to trigger a person’s soft spot to pull trigger on one. Orient achieved more with its subdued looks this time and brings back the classic style that’s ideal for making an entry to the dress domain. And you don’t get blue and bright Breguet hands all that often in the entry-level. They are the focal points of the watch-face.

Functional part aside, the power reserve indicator brings a nice balance to the dial. The 12 o’clock power reserve indicator is a well-executed set-up showing approximately 40 hours on a fully wound mainspring of the basic 48C40 driving the Monarch. But this 21 jewels, 21,600bph, hackable engine is wholly effective as a workhorse. It served the Orient pocket watches before, so that’s another exclusivity you may run after.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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