The Orient Defender Levels Up to Gen 2

Orient has released a new iteration of its popular Defender series of watches. The original design, now 6 years old, was about due for a refresh, and Orient has made some subtle tweaks to give their fans a watch that maintains the practicality and usefulness of the original, with a slightly more contemporary look. Of course, the Defender is available in a variety of colorways to suit every taste. Let’s take a closer look at the second generation Defender. 

Orient Defender (Generation 2)

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue, green, gray, black, khaki
  • Dimensions: 42.4 x 12.2mm
  • Crystal: Mineral 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters  
  • Crown: Push/pull  
  • Movement: F6B22
  • Strap/bracelet: Bracelet, leather strap, mil-strap nylon
  • Price: Starting at $330
  • Reference Number: RA-AK0401L10A, RA-AK0402E10A, RA-AK0403N10A, RA-AK0404B10A, RA-AK0405Y10A
  • Expected Release: Available now

At its core, the Defender is a robust time and date watch, with added functionality of a day of the week indicator and 24-hour scale as well. The day indication and 24-hour subdial are located at 10:00 and 5:00 respectively and have reversed positions and sizes from the prior version of the Defender. It’s a matter of personal taste, I suppose, which layout you prefer, but I tend to think gen 2 is a bit better balanced and easier to read, on the whole. This version is very legible in all colorways available at launch, and at just over 42mm in diameter it’s a big watch, but I think you can forgive it’s slight upsizing given the amount of information you’re provided on the dial.

Under the hood, the movement has been updated to the newer F6B22, an in-house caliber made by Orient which features hand-winding and hacking. Orient is something of an unusual bargain in the enthusiast watch space in that they produce watches at a wallet-friendly price point but feature genuine in-house movements. The brand has been around since the 1950s, when it was a completely independent company, but has in recent years been rolled into Seiko to varying degrees, finally becoming fully integrated with the Japanese watchmaking giant in 2017. So, it’s a matter of perspective on whether you see an Orient movement as being in-house as it relates to Orient, or to Seiko, but either way, there’s a ton of value to be had and the reputation of two important watchmaking firms behind the product. 

The new Defender lineup is available now, and can be had in blue, green, gray, black, and khaki varieties, on bracelets, leather straps, and mil-strap nylon. For more information, and to order directly from Orient, check out their website. Orient Watches USA

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.