Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

Orient Kamasu Hands-On Review

This blog often likes to look at some of Orient's more unusual watches: rare
JDM releases, Orient Star limited editions, vintage unicorns. This time
however, we will do what many of our readers might actually very much appreciate,
and review one of the brand's current mainstream offerings: The Kamasu.

Orient "Kamasu" (Japanese for Barracuda) is one of the brand's
latest iterations of the iconic dive watch configuration, alongside the
slightly larger "Kano". These replace the highly popular Ray and

In this review we will take the liberty of ignoring the previous
generations of Orient divers, and simply judge the Kamasu for its own merits.
In addition we are going to look the truth in the eyes and make a small confession:
we are not divers. And we are not judging this as a diver's watch. We see the
Kamasu the same way most of its owners would: as a daily, sporty, versatile
watch that can take a splash.

The watch we received for review is the blue dial / blue bezel model,
officially Orient Sports Diver Style ref. RA-AA002L. Its steel case is 41.8mm wide (without the crown), 46.5mm
long (lug to lug) and 12.8mm thick. It comes on a 22mm wide steel bracelet that
locks with a push-button deployant clasp. Inside is Orient's caliber F6922
automatic, which hand-winds and hacks, and features a central second hand, date
and day. Its "dive watch" features include 200 meter water
resistance, a screw-in crown, and a 120-click unidirectional bezel.

How It Looks

The Kamasu looks good. The dial is deep sunburst blue, and tends to play
on the range between navy and almost black, depending on the light – however,
this effect is fairly subtle and does not detract from legibility. The large
hour markers are clear against the dark background and nicely proportioned, as
are the hour, minute and second hands. The red tip of the second hand would be
the only different color most days of the week, except on Sunday – that's when
the weekday is also printed in red.

The case is simple and nice, polished on the sides and lightly brushed
on the upper side of the lugs. This blends well with the bracelet which is
likewise, polished on the sides and lightly brushed on top. The bezel looks
good, with an insert in the same blue shade as the dial, and dotted all around.
The case back is solid, and engraved with a picture of two dolphins. While the
dolphins are a classic case-back image, I'd have expected a barracuda…

All in all, no complaints in the looks department. It's a classic dive
watch design, wearing a handsome color scheme.

How It Feels

The Kamasu feels, for the most parts, a solid piece of metal. It's got
nice heft and presents itself rather convincingly as a robust watch that does
not ask to be handled too gently. It's not too shiny or glitzy, and coupled
with a sapphire crystal and Orient's reputation for making reliable watches at
this price range, it definitely passes as a proper tool watch.

Some loose ends remain though, in the form of hollow end links (although
as such they too seem fairly solid), and a slightly wobbly crown – a known
feature in some of Orient's dive watches (as well as some other brands). The
crown wobble is rather restrained in this model though, and limited by the
crown guards, so it is largely unfelt.

Other than the end links, the steel bracelet feels solid, and so does
the clasp. None of those is particularly sophisticated or aiming to imitate a
luxury product, instead they are made to be simple, functional, and apparently
– long lived.

How It Wears

The Kamasu wears well. The case dimensions are just right – not too
small, not too big, and should fit the majority of wrists (and the people
connected to these wrists). On my 7.25" wrist, it seems perfect.

The underside of the watch, including the clasp and crown guards, is very
smooth throughout – and comfortable. I've had experience with cheap clasps that
felt very irritating on the skin, but here it's all good. The crown too, is not
too big and should not bother even people who like to wear the watch very close
to the edge of the wrist.

How It Functions

The first thing most people would play with when getting a new watch is
the bezel. Bezel action on the Kamasu is excellent. It presents just the right
amount of resistance to turning, with almost zero play and a good healthy

Next is the crown action. Unlocking is easy enough, however screwing the
crown back in does occasionally take a little playing around to engage. Winding
feels somewhat rougher than I expected, and pulling the crown to the second
position (to set the date) was a little tricky and usually had me pull the
crown all the way to the third position (time setting) before pushing it a
little back in. If working the crown had been something a person does more than
once a day (at most) it would be a weak point for the watch, however as it
stands being an infrequent operation – it is no big deal.

Once wound and set, the watch works well. As mentioned it is highly
legible, and boasts decent amount of lume paint on the hands and markers, so
reading the time in low (or no) light is easy.

We have measured a deviation of +5 seconds per day on our unit – well
within the -15, +25 specs. Also it's worth noting that while hand winding via
the crown felt a little rough, the auto winding is smooth and quiet, with no
unwanted rotor noises.

The Bottom Line

The Orient Kamasu is officially around 400 USD on bracelet (and around
360 on rubber). Most stores currently offer it online at around 280 USD. For
this price you get quite a lot of watch, considering the 200m rating, sapphire
crystal, ample lume, decent automatic movement and overall specs and quality.

While looks are subjective, everyone who saw the watch we reviewed
seemed to like it. It is classic, mostly mainstream one-size-fit-all type of
design, with some features that elevate it even higher, primarily that cool
blue dial and good looking hour markers.

The only noticeable drawback we noted was the crown action; other elements
that could be improved upon, such as the hollow end-links, are all
understandable and expected given the price point.

The blog's verdict: another excellent dive watch from Orient that should
satisfy anyone looking for an everyday wear that's nice enough for the office,
and tough enough for most other daily activities. There are alternatives at
this price point (from Seiko, and several micro-brands, for example), but the
combination of looks, specs, and well proven reliability of the brand's
offerings, rank the Kamasu fairly high among them.

The blog would like to thank Orient – Epson Europe for providing us this
blue Kamasu for review, and Ralph Hason, for the excellent product