When it comes to affordable automatic watches, few brands offer the same bang-for-your-buck value as Orient. Like Seiko’s more affordable automatics, Orient watches are often touted by the collecting community as a great way to get your feet wet with automatics before spending a larger chunk of change on pricier mechanical timepieces. That said, Orient watches are great in their own right, and their MSRP (or rather, their street price) often belies the true value of these great timekeepers. Having owned a few myself when I first began collecting watches, I can attest to their quality (In fact, I still regret flipping the 60th anniversary hand-cranker Orient released a few years back).
The Mako has been Orient’s flagship dive watch for a long time now, and it’s often a watch recommended alongside the iconic Seiko SKX007 diver. The watch’s popularity is undeniable, and in the eleven years since it was first introduced Orient has released numerous color ways and even created two spinoff models, the Ray and the Mako XL. The Mako USA is the next iteration of that theme, and it’s unique in that the model was largely designed with input from the online watch community. The design is new but familiar, and the build quality is a step up from previous models with the inclusion of a sapphire crystal, solid end links, and drilled lugs. It’s certainly a higher-end addition to the brand’s entry-level catalogue, but is it worth your hard-earned cash? Let’s take a closer look.