Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

The Solid Gold Royal Orient Ref. WE0011EG

something about a solid gold watch that's hard to describe. Is it the weight of
the precious metal? Is it because of how shiny it is? Or maybe it's just the psychological
effect of knowing, the piece you are holding or wearing isn't just gold plated
– it's the real thing.

gold watches are generally quite expensive and reside well outside the price
bracket where brands like Orient usually roam. Most brands' gold models start
at the high four figures (in US Dollars), or five figures if we're talking
luxury brands. There are very few entry-level brands that offer gold watches that
one might refer to as more accessible, say around 4-5,000 USD, and these would
often be very plain looking pieces (and let's not name names here, okay?)

Royal Orient, and its promise to deliver proper luxury (or, if one hates the
overuse of the term luxury, call it "a very exclusive combination of
rarity and quality"), with designs that are anything but plain, at relatively
affordable prices.

the modern era, Orient has produced three references of solid 18K gold watches.
The first was ref. DN00-A0, a 33mm wide piece with a beautiful dial, released
around 1998. That model used a famed Swiss hand-winding movement named Peseux

years later, the brand introduced a new gold model based on the in-house
caliber 48A40. At first it was released as "Orient Star Royal" ref.
WZ0061EG – and then, as properly re-branded "Royal Orient" ref.
WE0011EG. Today we'll take a closer look at the latter one.

about this watch whispers pure class. Case dimensions are 35.5mm wide (without
the crown), and 41mm long. I've seen some online websites mentioning case
widths ranging from 33 to 36mm, but trust me, I've taken measurements myself…

it small? Yes. Is it too small? Well, not really. Dress watches are at their best
measuring between 36-38mm wide. And honestly, a 35.5mm gold case has the wrist
presence and visual impact of a steel watch a couple of millimeters larger. So
this really works, and it wears perfectly even on my wrist, the same one that
not too long ago hosted the 48mm beast that is the Orient

case is beautifully polished, and this really brings out the glitter of the
metal. I've actually skipped a few options to buy this model that seemed to
have too many scratches in photos, before buying this one. Gold is soft and
scratches easily (though it can be buffed just as easily, so hairline scratches
do not necessarily mean a polish is required). The piece I ended up owning arrived
in mint condition, which added a lot to the wearing experience.

face is just as exquisite as the case. You get a finely textured dial, golden
hands and markers (not sure if solid or gold plated), and that beautiful and
rarely used Royal Orient logo. I have to admit that while finding the
"Star Royal" version (that had the Orient Star logo) was easier, I
knew I had to get this reference. The golden royal logo may seem like a small
thing, but it adds so much.

made of 18k gold in this watch are the crown, and the folding buckle. Together
with the high-quality alligator leather strap, the result is impressive. Take
away the logo (just for a moment, right, because we love the logo and want it
back), and you'll be able to fool any watch snob into believing this is the
product of some Swiss luxury watchmaker.

what about the movement? Well, Orient has nothing to be ashamed of here. Caliber
48A40 is a beautifully decorated mechanism, offering 50 hours of power reserve,
+10/-5 seconds a day accuracy, and a very sweet winding action. And what it
lacks in pedigree, it surely more than makes up for with Japanese reliability.

watch has non-gold sieblings encased in Sterling Silver, ref. WE0031EG and
WZ0031EG, which are also beautiful. The version that I do not like as much is
the one that has the silver case and gold markers – ref. WE0021EG – which lacks
the purity of the all-silver model.

silver versions can be found at around 1500 USD, give or take, depending on the
condition of the watch and the mood of the seller. The solid gold reference can
be valued at anywhere between 2-3K USD, again depending on its condition.

this might sound like a lot in the context of most Orient watches; but compare
it to other gold watches, and you'll be hard-pressed to find anything offering
this level of watchmaking in this price bracket. Personally, I consider this to
be not just a good acquisition but a great one. This Orient is an eye candy, a
conversation piece, and an absolutely perfect dress watch.