Hot Take: Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary An Exciting Reissue Comes from Japan by Michael StocktonFebruary 06, 2020 MIN READHot Take: Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary
We take a glimpse at the newly announced Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary models.
We’ve been doing our best to review a healthy mix of both new and vintage Orient models here on Fratello. As we’ve mentioned, we find the brand’s watches worthy of consideration if you’re in search of value and a lengthy spec sheet. We’ve also detailed the company’s somewhat confusing marketing strategy and the fact that there’s not yet a truly global product offering. But today’s subjects are exciting as the new Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary pieces will be sold globally. Of course, there will be JDM and “rest of world” offerings.
The Original Weekly Auto Orient King Diver
Let’s bring you back to a #TBT article published back in August 2018 about a 1960s Weekly Auto Orient King Diver that I’d sourced from Japan. I declared it to be large and very different from the many smaller Japanese watches during the era. I also mentioned that it, and the rest of Orient’s King Diver line to come, were pretenders in terms of being actual dive watches due to a scant 40 meters of water resistance. With a case that aped the famous EPSA Super Compressors, it looks like a real diver! These watches were technically interesting as they cribbed an IWC-style of automatic movement. Now, it’s 2020 and we have the 70th Anniversary of the Orient Watch Company as we know it today. With this comes a series of retro-inspired Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary models.
A New Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary Series
The Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary models are directly inspired by the watch that I own, which is a lucky turn of events. The originals actually debuted in 1965 and started what became one of their best-selling and most widely known lines. From the picture above, I think you’ll agree that the new versions are dead ringers for the originals. Naturally, I think that’s fantastic news.
Four Models with Updated Specs – JDM and Rest of World
With the Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary lineup, we get 4 variants on the theme for each market. In Japan, there’s a faithful black model (RN-AA0D11B), a red dial with black dive bezel (RN-AA0D12R), a green dial with a green bezel (RN-AA0D13E), and a funky bronze-coated case with a gold fumé dial (RN-AA0D14G). Each Japanese version is limited to 1,000 pieces. The bronze-coated piece comes on a brown leather strap with pin buckle while the rest are on bracelets with push-button folding clasps. You can see the bracelet above in the admittedly low-res image.
In Europe, the references for the Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary will be known as RA-AAD01B (black), RA-AAD02R (red), RA-AAD03E (green), and RA-AAD04G (gold dial). In Europe, only the gold dial will be limited to 1,700 pieces. Visually, the only difference will be an English date wheel in lieu of Japanese kanji. In all markets, the watches will come with boxes noting the 70th Anniversary.
Powered by the F6922 Automatic
The Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary watches are powered by the in-house F6922 automatic. It’s a 22-jewel automatic with roughly 40 hours of power reserve that can be hand-wound. Of note is a quick-set day and date that are shown on the dial. What’s nice here is that Orient opted for a screw-down case back using the same logo as on the original.
We don’t have word on whether the time-setting crown is a simple push/pull affair, but the watch is now water-resistant to a more practical 200 meters. Also, instead of the original boxed acrylic crystal, mineral glass has been chosen instead. I am perfectly fine with this as the originals always felt a bit fragile to me.
Keeping Similar Dimensions
One thing that didn’t change drastically on the Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary is the basic case size and shape. Orient chose a 43.8mm diameter and 50mm length on the watch. Thickness comes in at a robust, but not unreasonable 14mm. The lug width also remains at a practical 20mm. One little detail I love is the use of the old Orient “O” on both crowns. It’s a small touch that collectors will undoubtedly love.
Final Thoughts and Pricing
I really like these new Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary models. They’re a welcome look back on the brand’s history and I think they should pull in a few new fans as well. They’re available on sites like Rakuten in Japan for pre-order, but expect European availability from April. I also like the fact that these will be unlimited. I don’t love the odd gold piece, but the rest are really attractive. Best of all they retail for a truly approachable ¥45,000 in Japan with no official word on European prices (that price equates to around €375 at the time of writing). That’s less than half of what a vintage edition would likely cost, so this feels like great value. For more information on the Orient King Diver 70th Anniversary pieces, visit the official Orient Japan site.
Brand Orient ModelKing Diver 70th AnniversaryReferenceJapan: RN-AA0D11B (black dial), RN-AA0D12R (burgundy dial), RN-AA0D13E (green dial), RN-AA0D14G (gold dial)Rest of World: RA-AAD01B (black), RA-AAD02R (red), RA-AAD03E (green), and RA-AAD04G (gold dial)DialBlack, Burgundy, Green or Gold FuméCase Material316L Stainless Steel, (RN-AA0D14G with bronze color-coated steel case)Case Dimensions43.8mm Diameter, 50mm Lug to Lug, 20mm Lug Width, 14mm ThicknessCrystalMineral CrystalCase BackScrew-down stainless steelMovementOrient caliber F6922 automatic, 22-jewels, hand winding, quickset day and date.Water Resistance200 MetersStrapStainless Steel Bracelet with push-button folding clasp or Brown Leather with Pin BuckleFunctionsTime (HH:MM:SS), Day, Date, Internal Rotating Dive BezelPrice¥45,000Warranty1 YearSpecial Note(s)Available March 2020 in Japan, April in Europe Watch of the Week
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Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became… read more
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