This was the time when my watch crazy hobby just started to take off. I already had a Seiko Orange Monster but the monster was like all tool and tough watch, so its not very dressy and suitable for formal occasions. I was in the market for diver watch (not that I go diving anyways just wanted the assurance of a 200m rated watch :P). I wanted something that was classic and elegant but would not burn a hole too deep in my pocket. I heard about the Orient Mako and apparently there are three variants, The classic Mako, The Mako Ray, and the Mako XL. Initially I was interested in the Mako XL for its size but the very poor lume deterred me. The Mako Ray is newer but didn't have arabic numerals (6,9,12). The Mako classic was the one for me but apparently its getting harder to find.
The Orient Mako Pepsi
On a business trip down south to Johor, I finally saw a Mako Classic "Pepsi" sitting nicely in the display cabinet of a watch shop. At first I was actually looking for a Blue Mako since many have commended how nice and mesmerizing the blue dial is. The Pepsi one had the same nice blue dial only with a different bezel. Putting it on my wrist and looking at it I was immediatley under its spell with the blue dial glowing in my eyes and just like that I told the shop keeper...."I'll take it"
I like the idea of being unique (not having the same watch as the other guy), so when I realized that the Pepsi Mako usually came on rubber starp and not on bracelet I just had to have it. (some other guy must have bought a black or other color mako previously but wanted it on rubber)
This watch is all is all quality...quality you can see and feel. Orient really got it right with this one. With its under 200 dollar (USD) tag and quality finish you really get a bang for your buck. The automatic movement is quite accurate and very easy to start up and wind thanks to its quarter-circle rotor disc. Orient uses in-house movement not borrowed movements like some swiss brands using ETA movements.
The dial and lume
Two toned Blue dial. Lume shot in total darkness.
Gorgeous blue metallic dial that reflects a two tone blue colour depending on how the light hits it. Aviator style arabic numerals with silver linings. Nice no nonsense hour and minute hands sword like with silver linings. The second hand has a nice red tip (too bad its not lumed). The day/date display is white with silver borders (nice). Lume is bright enough(not radioactive bright) and lasts while I sleep so that I can tell the time at 6:30 a.m.
Bezel, Crown and Pushers...
The bezel is uni-directional with 60 clicks and aligns properly at 12 o'clock and every other miniute marker. Some complain that the numbers on the bezel should be bigger. Orient addressed this by making the Orient Ray bezel having bigger numbers. The pusher that you see on top of the crown is for quick day change.(I really wished that it was a quick date change since that can be useful for 30th to 1st day of the month changes) It has a screw down lock so that you wont accidentally change the day. The Mako XL does not have a lock. The crown is a screw down type, well guarded and SIGNED!!! with the orient lions logo. This very nice and elegant since even some other more expensive brands only have plain crowns.
I like the bracelet. No nonsense, oyster style with brushed finish, polished sides and solid links. The only downside is that the end links are folded. (Solid end links would have been perfect). The clasp has a safety and machined with the Orient logo.
Solid links and machined clasp
This is 'The' watch that put orient on the map. Classic looks and I like the fact that even with the "Submariner" ish looks its a completely different watch with quick day pushers, arabic numerals and nice hands. If you wish to grab one, the Classic Makos are getting more and more rare replaced by the Mako ray. The Mako Ray has rectangular hour markers, large numbered bezel, fancier bracelet and some say brighter lume. If you happen to find a classic Mako do take the time and try it on your wrist.
A nice watch at the office breakfast table