Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Orient Mako XL CEM75001M - A Diving Watch Wannabe But Better Suited As A Workmen's Piece (Updated)

Way back in August 2011, I got myself an Orient Mako XL reference number CEM75001M. This is a Rolex Submariner homage but with more lively colour scheme. This watch was launched quite a number of years ago as a bigger brother to the very popular Mako dive watch.




This watch uses the Orient caliber 46943, a 21-jewel automatic movement. It comes with a day and date complication with a unidirectional bezel (60-click gradation). The dial is orange but not luminous. This watch has been rated to a depth of 200 meters. 


Although the New Mako is designated as a dive watch, there are a number of missing characteristics that one would expect on a dive watch. The first obvious observation is the the bezel. You will notice there's no luminous pip at the 60 minute mark. Under the ISO Standard 6425 which is the international basis for watches to be classified as a dive watch, the luminous pip at the 60 minutes mark is an explicit requirement. In fact, there's only the numeral 60 is there, not even an arrow or a pointer. This fact alone eliminates it from the category of diving watches. At best, it can be considered as a sports watch.


Moreover, as a simple timing device, the bezel it also difficult to use. The lack of indexes even at 5 minute intervals makes it extremely hard to tell the number of minutes that has elapsed since it is all numbers.

Another issue is the set button for the day/date on the watch. To set the day on this movement, users must activate a pusher at the two-o'clock position on the case. On the old Mako, this was done using a screw-down pusher, which looked a lot like a helium-release valve. On the New Mako, it's just a pusher without a screw-down.

When under water, what would happen to the watch if the button is engaged? Will it flood the internal workings? I suspect Orient must have looked into this problem. Nevertheless, I am not willing to risk it.

The luminous capability is not as good as my Seiko or Citizen dive watches. It is not that sharp and it doesn't last long. You can literally watch it fade. It certainly doesn't last the night. Actually, it is quite pathetic.




Nevertheless it sits beautifully on the wrist, perfectly balanced. The new Mako is 44.5 mm without the crown or 47 mm with crown. It is an all stainless steel construction, 13.3 mm thick, with mineral glass for the crystal. The bracelet is nicely made, with solid links, and a push-button diver's clasp. The oyster bracelet is also a true multi-link, so it's very nice on the wrist. The finishing of the case is nice as well, with high-polished and brushed areas. It looks a lot like an Omega Planet Ocean, but has it's own styling cues, like the cool, slightly folded hands.

The watch shape also makes it easy for it to slid under shirt cuffs.

It is a true workman's watch.








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