I have wanted a “jump hour” or dial watch for some time, but was rarely satisfied by the selection available… Lip, Nixon, Fossil and many more all make watches in this category, but they all fall short in some way; a styling cue, the price, etc… Then I stumbled upon this newly available Orient that, simply, really hit the mark for me. Often, watches with alternate read out styles get carried away with themselves and end up hokey or tacky, but the Orient Masquerade maintains a certain classic aesthetic that emphasizes the jump hour display while not screaming for attention. Furthermore, for about $135.00 (when bought with a coupon code such as NewOrientWatch50), the Orient, which sports an in-house automatic movement with date, is clearly the best deal for a jump hour.
This watch is great looking. There is a lot going on with it, and yet everything is well balanced and restrained. The face feels like a diorama (in a good way) that, when paired with the fact that this is an auto, really keeps you aware that you have a small machine strapped to your wrist. The case has a substantial thickness to it at 12mm, but feels nimble as it has a curved profile that minimizes chunkiness. The version I got has a black body with white accents, but it comes in other color-ways. The IP plated steel isn’t quite black, as it appears on the Orient website, but is rather closer to gunmetal or graphite. That is not to say it is unattractive, it is actually quite nice, I was just expecting a deep, stealth black. Regardless, the black and white two-tone styling is very attractive and can compliment both work and casual dress.
What really stands out to me is the sense depth of the face. Starting at the top, the crystal is screened with markings, logos and a crosshair at 9, which indicates the read out. There is a slight transparency to the white areas on the crystal that adds to the layered effect. The next tier is the minute disc followed by the hour disc. Both have black text printed on a transparent surface. The fourth level is a white face that is used as a backdrop to the hours/minutes and printed crystal. The fifth layer is the date numeral disk, which in contrast, has white type on a black surface. The overall effect is mesmerizing.
My only issue upon first inspection is the strap. The strap is a black padded genuine leather band with faux-croc patterning and black stitching. The Orient branded buckle has the same gunmetal coating as the watch body. It’s a nice strap, but I don’t feel like it matches the watch. For one thing, it is a deeper black than the body and the hard-wear, which takes away from the case. Secondly, the faux-croc pattern doesn’t mesh with the styling of the watch. There is a distinct cleanliness and modernity to the body and face that would be best emphasized with a less dressy strap, perhaps a simpler black leather or black canvas would do. I will certainly investigate strap alternatives, though the 25mm lug width presents a challenge.
Conclusions will follow after more time is spent with the watch.