Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

Cushion-Cased Orient Watches

cushion case: it's not quite square; it's definitely not round. It allows for a
wider stance than tonneau cases, which are typically only a little broader than
the strap; it's easier on the eye than right-angled tank cases; and to a
collection of round watches, it would add some visual interest and originality.

the above, cushion cases were not very common among Orient designs throughout
its history. It appears that they were reserved for "special occasions",
usually for dress watches. Indeed, while some brands like their cushion cases
big and robust like a Panerai, Orient preferred to use this style with thinner,
more elegant models.

look at some examples…

Orient Fineness, introduced in 1967 with caliber 3900, is a perfect example.
This was the world's thinnest day-and-date automatic movement at the time of
its introduction (and probably for some time after).

it in a cushion shape was a perfect way to present the thinness of the watch
(even though Orient also released traditionally round versions of the Fineness
as well). The unique shape provides further distance for the case to slope and
thus for its edges to appear as slim as possible.

line of models launched round about the same time as the Fineness was the
Deluxe Orient (DXO), equipped with different variants of the Cal. 49xx family.
Some of these DXO's were also presented in cushion shape.

a look, for instance, at the lovely blue dialed sample above, powered by
caliber 4941. The picture, courtesy of watch owner Anthony Leung
shows the effect of the shape on wrist presence. These watches were barely 36mm
wide, but the added visual weight of the metal in the corners of the case gives
it the appearance of a 38mm piece.

more recent example can be found with Orient Star ref. WZ0011FH and WZ0021FH.
These were the
first of Orient's Open Heart watches
, presented in 2003.

again, a cushion case is used to provide an appropriate framing to a new
movement (here, caliber 46S50) and a new design style. Despite this model being
far from slim, at nearly 13mm thick, the shape of the case makes it look
elegant and distinguished.

fact, more cushion-cased Orient Stars were probably presented around the mid-2000s than
during any other time in the brand's history. These included references in the
ER line (time and date), EZ line (power reserve and date sub-dial), and NR
(smaller versions of ER and PF models, for women or young buyers).

for instance the reference WZ0221ER pictured above. It's a beauty for sure, and
we'll dedicate a blog post to it, soon. For now, look at the low profile of the
sides of the case: The overall thickness of the watch is almost three times the
height of the case side, but viewed at an angle, where the thickness would
normally be very obvious, it just disappears. The watch presents a perfect
slip-under-your-cuff slenderness, just like a dress watch should.

current line up does not include any cushion case models. Would you like to see
a new cushion-cased Orient Star dress watch? Tell us what you think, in comments
below, or on our Facebook page!