Thursday, April 14, 2011

Orient CER1A002D -- You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune for a Nice Watch

You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune for a Nice Watch.

That’s right. You shouldn’t and you don’t have to. Sure there is a LOT of junk at the $100 price, but look a little harder and you can find some gems.

I’ve had this Orient Diver model number CER1A002D for many years now. By my records I spent $140 new from an AD and was easily found on eBay for $100 at the time. Everytime I wear it I think to myself, How can Orient manage to put such a nice package together for about $100? I have no idea, but I’m not about to complain.

There were three variants of this model which differed by dial color...Blue CER1A002D, Black CER1A002B, White CER1A002W. This model is sometimes referred to as the Dolphin because of the engraving on the caseback. The similarity of this model to the Orient Mako (CEM6500) is obvious and the extreme popularity of the Mako probably hindered the popularity of the CER1A. I did own a Mako for a short time and although I did like the form of its sub-style case, I preferred the CER1A so that is the one I kept.

The dial for this watch is an iridescent blue very similar, if not identical to the Mako. It has a gloss finish and will get a nice blue line through it when a strong light source shines on it. It looks really cool when my dining room chandelier with 6 lights shines on it. Dial numbers and major index markers are lumed and trimmed in chrome. Lume intensity on the hands and markers is pretty good. There is a date window at 3 which is also trimmed in chrome. The Orient emblem stands proud under the 12 and when viewed closely exhibits a surprisingly amount of detail and dimension.

The crystal is mineral glass and has a gentle dome to it. The curved shape of the crystal continues through the bezel. The bezel is a simple 60 click and can be a challenge to get a good grip on, but it sure looks nice. Unfortunately mine took a hit on the pool wall a couple of years ago with the insert collecting some scratches to what seems to be aluminium underneath the paint. Rather than replace the bezel, I have just been coloring in the scratches with a blue Sharpie marker which works for me.

The case on the CER1A stands out. Solid and heavy stainless steel. Retro looking cushion case ending in tapered lugs. Some nice finishing with a small bevel on the polished edge and brushed top area of the lugs. A decent sized crown screws down with no guards. Caseback has a nice engraving of two dolphins swimming in a circle. The watch is rated to 200M water resistance.

The bracelet is another surprise on this model with a solid link of about 4mm thickness. The top of the bracelet is brushed and the edges are polished. It is an oyster style with the middle link composing the majority of the width. The end links are hollow but fit the case well with no rattle. The clasp has a push button deployant with a fold over safety. Amazing at this price point Orient can find a way to deliver a forged clasp hinge. You reading this Seiko?

The movement on this runs well at about 5 seconds per day the last time I measured. My notes have it as a 48743. The ER in the model number also is a code to the movement and the ER was also used in several of the mid priced Orient Star models many years ago. I happen to have some pictures of the movement as I once had to open this guy up to clean the inside of the crystal. Completely undecorated and not much to look at, but I was surprised to find a metal movement ring inside.

So anyway, I don’t know if the world world will ever see much of the Orient CER1A diver since it is discontinued by now. It will probably get lost in time to the ocean of affordable diver models. But who knows? Maybe 30 years from now it will be “discovered” by whatever community resembles today’s watch forums and they will find my review. If so then, Greetings from The Past!

Nuts and Bolts
Case Number ER1A-A00T
Movement 48743
Crystal Diameter 31mm
Bezel Diamete 41mm
Case Diameter 41mm
Diameter to Crown 44.5mm
Lug width 22mm
Lug to Lug 47mm
Thickness 14mm


No comments: