When I started out in the watch business the watch to get if you wanted to get a real watch, from a real brand, with a real story, was Seiko and the go-to watch was the Seiko 5 – so much so that James Stacey writes below that the series “basically amounts to a cheat code” for a challenge like this. The Seiko 5 and its many variations then were and still are strong competitors, although Seiko 5 for modern Seiko more often refers to the Seiko 5 Sports series, which stylistically picks up where abandoned divers like the SKX007 left off. However, in the back of my mind was another brand: Orient, which could often be found in the hybrid wholesale and retail jewelry and accessories stores that lined Lower Broadway in the Flatiron District.
For this challenge I did a bit of hunting on Amazon and voila, I found this rather surprisingly beautiful Orient 3-Star Automatic, which has a very cool gradient brown dial finished with what is for all intents and purposes stripes. from Geneva. The stripes change their tone in a very eye-catching but not overly flashy way, and the watch has all the unassuming charm and exceptionally good value for money (if you like this style at all) that was once synonymous with the Seiko 5. Of course, nowadays an oriental watch is a Seiko watch, or at least a Seiko Epson watch. Orient started as an independent company in 1950, but became a subsidiary of Epson in 2009 and was fully integrated with Epson in 2017 – my 3 star actually says “Epson” on the back, and the movements are made in intern at Akita. Epson in Yuzawa, Akita, Japan. Yours on a surprisingly supple five-link bracelet with fliplock clasp for under ninety of your favorite dollars.