Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

Orients with Rectangular Cases

I posted some stories before about Orients with particular case shapes: triangular,
and barrel
cases. Now how about rectangles? They're angular and sharp, not soft like
cushions, and harder to swallow than round watches (there's a reason why no one's
making square pills!). Love 'em or hate 'em, square-cased Orients exist. Let's
look at a few examples.


The Good Old Days

And by "good old days" I mean, the 1960s. Round watches were
the more popular option back then, just like nowadays, but Orient did produce a
few rectangular models.

In the early-to-mid 60s, it was the Olympia model that ruled the Orient line-up.
Orient produced a bunch of square Olympia
models, as well as Olympia weekly versions (which included the day wheel in addition to the date).

A few years later the "AAA
" joined the party. AAA's were actually made in a broad variety
of shapes, and naturally, a rectangular case was introduced as well.

If you are looking to buy any of these vintage models, keep in mind they
were quite petite: the Olympia cases were around 30mm, and early Deluxe models
around 29mm; later models, like the one with the black dial above, were around
32mm. Narrow rectangular cases in modern watches work when lug-to-lug is longer,
40mm or more, but these older models were not that long.



In the 1980s quartz became dominant in Orient's product range, and among
those quartz watches it seemed rounded cases were almost falling out of
fashion. Many had tonneau cases, some almost square, and some – unashamedly

In particular, it's worth noting the EQ line of quartz models. There
were some pretty cool designs there, including this very fancy-looking piece.
Do note, though, it too is a small watch, and while back then it was designated
as a unisex model, today it would be clearly seen as a women's watch at 26mm.

Later, more modern models with larger cases joined – like the nice
chronograph at the top of this post.


Return of The Machines

Toward the late 1990s, the automatic movement took back its position as the
centerpiece in Orient's line of products. Over the next two decades, numerous designs were introduced that featured rectangular cases. Such were
(shown below, from left to right) the "Galant", the
"Noble", and the "Producer".

The versions featured above are only a few examples – each of these models
was available in a number of dial colors, strap options, etc. They were not
small watches, with the common case size around 36mm wide and 45mm long –
which, for a bulky square shape, wears pretty large.

More recently, however, rectangular cases have almost completely disappeared
from Orient's catalog – along with cushion cases and most non-round designs. The
only two square cases now listed on Orient's global website are a couple of Multi-Year


Pictures that appear in this post were taken from old catalogs and
sale ads.