One thing that cannot be denied about Orient watches is the impressive value for money they offer. We saw that very clearly with the new Bambino 38, which made a very positive impression on the team. Accessible and yet well built, they can be fun and cool at times. Well, the latest models to be released by the Japanese brand are definitely fixing this. Inspired by glorious models from the 1960s and 1970s, with an undeniable retro appeal and funky colors, the new Orient Neo Classic sports collection delivers the heat without breaking the bank.
The 1970s have long been seen as a bit odd in terms of design, with strange combinations of bright colours, bold (to say the least) patterns and slightly…odd use of shapes. For a long time, vintage-style watches were inspired by the late 1950s and early 1960s, a generation often considered the golden age of sports/utility watches. Classic, no-nonsense designs with an instrumental approach. The late 1960s and early 1970s completely changed this, adding a bolder, more colorful and adventurous design to all products, including watches.
The early 1970s was a time of high economic growth and dynamism for Japan in every field, and gave birth to fresh designs full of fun and cool. During this period, Orient gained many fans and established a distinctive style based on unique concepts. The Neo Classic Sports is a watch inspired by the iconic Orient models of the period, with a distinctive design on the dial and case, but with a modern twist elsewhere.
The new Orient Neo Classic Sports collection is not a re-edition of the previous model, but a mix-and-match of various elements found in the brand’s vintage watches, starting with a simple helmet-shaped case. Round, without lugs, with its strap attached directly to the base, such shapes were popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s and contribute strongly to the retro appeal of this new collection. On paper, the new collection feels huge at 43.5mm in diameter and 13.9mm in height. However, 46mm lug-to-lug will remind you that it’s certainly comfortable.
The Neo Classic Sports should be seen as a fun sporty/dive watch with its solid 200m water-resistance. It’s not as focused here as the Orient Star Diver 1964, but is still level enough to withstand underwater travel (note that it’s not an ISO-certified diver). The case is fitted with a fixed fluted bezel and is reminiscent of the King Diver of the 1970s. The caseback is solid steel and screwed down, so is the crown and watch topped with mineral glass. As you can see, there is an additional crown at 4 o’clock, which is used to actuate the inner rotating bezel.
The dial of the Orient Neo Classic sports follows the same principles and is all about funky colors and bold shapes. It has a complex block-patterned scale with thick hands and markings with loom on all elements. There is also a day-date function. And if the logo seems a bit big and baroque, it works in this case…
The collection consists of 3 models:
- RA-AA0E05B Multi-link stainless steel bracelet with non-coated steel case, black dial with white and orange accents and folding clasp
- DA-AA0E06B With bronze plated stainless steel case, black dial with beige scales, makers and hands with beige lume and brown leather strap
- RA-AA0E07B With black-coated stainless steel case, black dial with white scales and rainbow effect on markers and black leather strap. This edition, unlike the two previous models, is limited to 2,000 pieces
Inside the case, there are no surprises. The watch is powered by the automatic, in-house, Japan-made caliber F6922. A tried and tested movement, with a simple but reliable design, it runs at a frequency of 3Hz and stores a power reserve of 40 hours. Its accuracy is rated at -15/+25 seconds/day and it has a stop-second mechanism.
The Orient Neo Classic Sports Collection brings back the cool elements of the past and a funky design that is sure to be popular with fans of the brand, but also newcomers looking for a fun, reliable sports watch. And the price is reasonable, with three models retailing EUR 420. For more details, please visit orient-watch.com.