Saturday, August 2, 2014

Orient Star Somes WZ0221EL Review

There's been at least 4 iterations of the Orient Star Somes model and this one having a center seconds hand and a traditional dial layout is by far my favorite.  The Somes models characteristically have a retro styled cushion case with a fantastic leather strap manufactured by Somes.  Once again, the Orient Star line impresses me with its incredible value for the money.




The first point of discussion about the Orient Star Somes has to be the leather strap.  Somes is a Japanese leather goods manufacturer with history in the fabrication of horse saddles and bridles.  For the Orient Star Somes, of course the strap is manufactured by Somes and it is a fantastic piece of material.  Built of serious construction yet wonderful workmanship and soft and flexible at the same time.  This is a serious strap, meant for wear and meant to last.  The overall design, like so many other things Japanese, is direct, purposeful and elegantly simplistic.  If you are fanatic about leather straps on your watches, you won't be disappointed by this one.

I should point out that the strap comes with only one keeper next to the buckle.  This particular example pictured here has two keepers because the owner who loaned it to me decided to install a second one from another strap.  The strap is so supple however, that once broken in, the second keeper is not necessary.








I continue to be amazed at the quality in case design, construction and finishing the Japanese companies can deliver for their relatively low cost, mass produced watches.  The Orient Star Somes case shows unique design, flowing lines and excellent finishing.  It shows a lot more polish than I've been used to lately, but it all looks wonderful.  The case is larger than the traditional Japanese dress watch and wears even larger due to the style, so it is a good option for someone looking for a larger watch that isn't a diver or other sport style.







The dial on this model is a gorgeous blue with a satin, sunburst finish.  Orient makes some of the nicest blue dials I've ever seen.  Unlike the Mako, the satin finish makes this one more subtle.  Not typical of many Orients, the dial field is very clean with a subtle display of the power reserve and the simple Orient Star branding logo.  Very nice.  The index markers and hands are impressively finished and both contain a light application of lume.















The movement is Orient's automatic winding movement capable of hacking and handwinding.  Some cosmetic finishing is evident and the performance is characteristically robust.





Once again, Orient Star does not disappoint with its Somes model.  Check it out especially if you're into leather and looking for something with a sporty look but isn't a diver.

Dimensions
Crystal: 32 mm
Case: 43.5 mm
Lug to Lug: 46 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Thickness: 13 mm

Thanks again to John for the review loaner.


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