Orient Star Retro-Future Bicycle Watch

Orient Place Blog's 5th Anniversary

Happy birthday to me! It's the blog's 5th anniversary. Yes,
five years have passed since the first post on the blog. And, 12 months since
the last anniversary post…

Over the last year, the blog continued to grow in popularity, with some
141,000 new views – more than 15% increase over the previous year – and 179 new
followers on Facebook, now totaling 839. So once again – a big thank you to all
readers, followers, likers, sharers, and commenters!

To celebrate the event, I ran a quick survey through Instagram
story polls to see how blog followers would respond to a few questions I
thought would be interesting – to me, and possibly even to Orient itself.

First question I asked was to find out what modern Orient that has been
discontinued would fans of the brand like to see reborn with a current
movement? I listed three models that did not have F6 movement – the caliber
46K40-driven GMT
model; the famed Saturation
Diver, which used cal. 46/40; and the cal. 40A50 Retrograde

As you can see below, the Orient Saturation Diver won by overwhelming
majority of 53% – and it's not surprising! I keep seeing posts on forums and
social media by Orient fans yearning for a new OSD…

Another question I asked was about the use of Seiko movements to add new
complications or capabilities to the Orient range – we've had a few such
examples in the past, most recently (but still a long time ago) with the
brand's mechanical

So, between the three options I gave, 46% wanted to see Seiko's hi-beat
movement revive the Royal Orient moniker; 29% hoped to see a new Orient
chronograph using Seiko's current automatic movement; and 25% preferred to see
a true (traveler) GMT watch by Orient.

Finally, I asked about the fan's choice of a vintage Orient that should
be re-issued next, following the very successful line of recent reissues. There
are many options, I chose three and could also have picked three others, there are still plenty of old classics that Orient can turn to…

The winner by small margin, at 39% was the 1962 Olympia Calendar Swimmer,
characterized by the "case-in-case" shape. 35% loved to see a remake
of Orient's first watch from 1950; and 26% voted for the 1970 Chronoace King
Diver, which is quite distinct from other vintage dive models previously
reissued by Orient.

On a personal level, I've added four Orients to my collection since the
last anniversary. Each one, I think, pretty unique: the mighty M-Force
"Delta"; the lovely
Olympia Calendar Speed Data; and the utterly exotic and rare "Polka
Dots" Royal Orient. Oh yes, there's also that cool "Bicycle"
Retro-Future, that story should be posted here next month.

These purchases, besides making me very happy and presenting the uniqueness
of both Orient's sportier and dressier styles, and in both vintage and modern
models, are also indicative of how accessible such a collection is. Yes, some
of these models are very hard to find, and can take a long while to acquire a
rare piece in good condition; but the prices are still super affordable, as
these four pieces cost me between 200 – 400 USD each.

To wrap up this festive post, I thought it would be interesting to
engage the hottest tech in town: Chat GPT.

The recent announcement of a new Orient
Star Avant-Garde Skeleton and movement caused quite a stir on social media,
so I provided GPT with brief info about the new release, and copied onto it
every comment I found from the various groups and forums where I posted the
announcement. GPT replied with the following insights:

"Thank you for providing the comments on the new Orient skeleton
watch. It seems that there are diverse opinions about the new model, with some
users praising its design, upgraded movement, and slightly smaller dimensions.
On the other hand, some are concerned about the legibility of the watch due to
the camouflage of the hour and minute hands, and some believe the price is too
expensive. Here's a summary of the key points from the comments:

The new movement with a
60-hour power reserve is seen as an attractive feature.

Some users appreciate the
slightly smaller dimensions compared to the previous model.

Legibility is a concern, as
the hour and minute hands tend to camouflage with the watch face.

The price is perceived as
expensive by some users, while others find it reasonable considering the

There are comparisons to
previous models, with some users hoping that the older models won't be

Overall, the reception of the new model is mixed, with some users
excited about the upgrades and willing to purchase it, while others have
reservations about the price or design aspects."

GPT further provided some recommendations to Orient, including these –

"Improve legibility: To address concerns about the legibility of
the hour and minute hands, Orient could consider adding more contrast or color
to the hands. For instance, they could use blue hands, as suggested by one
commenter, or any other contrasting color that enhances visibility without
compromising the design;

Maintain availability of previous models: Some users expressed interest
in the older models, so Orient should ensure they remain available, at least
for a certain period, to cater to those customers who prefer the previous
designs or lower price points.

Encourage user reviews and testimonials: By showcasing real-life
experiences of users who appreciate the watch's design, performance, and
upgrades, Orient can foster trust and generate interest in potential customers."

Well, I thought that was interesting. Oh, and the picture of the robot above was also done by Open AI Dall-e, in response to "a friendly robot checking the time on his wristwatch"...

That's it for now. Thank you all for following the blog, and keep
sending in questions and providing feedback!