Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

Orient's Clubman Models

Like many
watchmaking brands, Orient too have the occasional fling with car and racing
inspired themes. Someday we'll do a proper write-up about Orient's motorsports-related
watches. Today, we'll just look at one particular example, where racing was
little more than an abstract influence.

Clubman models were a bunch of sports watches, produced by Orient in small
numbers in the mid- and late- 2000s. There were basically two batches of
Clubman models: the "Model 1" and the "Flagship Model",
both under the "Orient Star" badge.

1 was a pretty typical Orient watch, released in 2005. Utilizing caliber 46G,
the movement driving the then-current generation of M-Force watches, and
encased in a tough-looking 41mm stainless steel case. What appears like the
winding crown at 3 o'clock is actually the date quick-set pusher; the real
crown is at 4.

sporty look of these Clubman watches stood out among most Orients, where
non-diver models did not have timed bezels like here. The water resistance
of these models was a fairly standard 100m.

not specified in Orient's press releases of the time, it was later mentioned
that the motorsport theme here was embodied in the colors of the different
versions, which could be attributed to different famous national racing color

black dial, black bezel version, ref. WZ0301EX, uses a color never associated
with a particular nationality, but it does emphasize the metal, or silver
color, associated with German racing. The red dial, red bezel version, ref.
WZ0311EX, represented Italy. The white dial, black bezel ref. WZ0321EX would
have represented Japan itself, and WZ0331EX with its green dial and bezel were
of course, the racing colors of Britain.

models sold for under 600 USD, and are fairly hard to find nowadays.

Clubman chronograph models, which Orient referred to as the "Flagship
Model" of its Clubman watches, were released a couple of years later, in
2007. We did cover those here on the blog, in our article referring to Orient's
automatic chronographs

these were much more expensive than Model 1 Clubman models, five times as much
in fact, at around 3000 USD. They did not share much really with the first
Clubman release, except for the  very general motorsports influences (even the bezel here isn't a real divers' bezel and does not rotate).

time Orient's press release was clearer in explaining their inspiration: the
dial layout, they said, was made to remind the wearer of the view from the
driver's seat, looking over the dashboard with the power-reserve supposedly
referring to the fuel gauge; the curved sapphire glass would be reminiscent of
the windshield. They even referred to the light blue color of ref. WZ0031DS, as
being "classical" blue – perhaps associated with French racing,
overlooked in the previous "Model 1".

after that, there were no more Clubman models. However these rare models
produced over a decade ago, occasionally pop up for sale, and as well made and
quite attractive as they were they make for an interesting proposition.