Polished designs with useful functionality were always meant for the rich till Orient jumped in. While the lean aesthetics made them great choices for almost every occasion, the high-end technology ticking inside turned them into treasures that even a low budget can buy. Yes, that holds even for the nitpicker, particularly for the watches that run on in-house movements. Orient’s in-house products are an embodiment of quality that cost a fraction of the luxury brands yet offers the same value and perhaps, bit more sturdiness so that you don’t have to plan ahead to wear it.

For example, take the Orient Mako. It is just an entry-level Orient diver watch but its reputation travels far and wide, sometimes even surpassing that of the luxury brands. It is also Orient’s most sought after mechanical model that comes with urethane, rubber and classic stainless steel bands. It looks sporty, offers fantastic functionalities for outdoor purposes and easily doubles up as a professional’s attire, especially for the 200m water resistance, a screw-down crown and the push-button, so that you don’t need to fumble with the crown to set the ‘day’ and the language (English/Spanish) it will show the day.

The Mako is one of the best examples of the ‘wear it and forget it’ styles but that’s evident from its ‘automatic’ status. No more turning the crown to wind it; just a few shakes and twists of the wrist is enough to keep it going for at least a couple of days. The timekeeping for an automatic is definitely less precise than it’s with quartz, but the 469 movement, set once every week, doesn’t let time to fluctuate beyond 20 seconds each side, every week. That is, if it’s ticking on the last few turns of the spring; unless you are an utterly sedentary character, your normal daily chores will keep the spring enough high strung to stay working properly. The usual is between 5 and 8 seconds a day.

However, those who are used to atomic timekeeping will not find the Mako too much of a precision instrument; also because its seconds cannot be hacked. This makes exact time syncing a bit of a challenge, but hey, even a commando doesn’t need things that precise unless he is on a mission. In that case, he will even turn down a Swiss-make and pick a much cheaper Casio to serve the purpose. But, the Orient is far more durable than the Casio unless it is a higher-end model; in that case, both will stand well against consecutive blows and bangs.

All in all, it’s a stylish beater that won’t make you cry a river even if you mash it up, unlike a $5,000 Omega or Rolex. Perhaps the only watch that compares to it is the Seiko Orange Monster, though it beats the Mako with its official ISO certification.  Orient must get one too, else it’s conveying wrong messages about a brand as good as the other Jap giants.