When you think of Japanese watchmaking, Orient and Seiko are likely two of the names that immediately come to mind. As two of the country’s heritage brands, it was a smart move on Seiko’s part to acquire Orient in 2009.
Orient still operates independently, its horological approach and brand identity unaffected by the merge. So even though they’re no longer market rivals, they often get measured against each other.
Today we’re comparing Orient vs Seiko. Both are known for craftsmanship and reasonable prices, so depending on what you’re in the market for, you may turn to Seiko for one style of
Which is Better: Orient Or Seiko?
Both Seiko and Orient have different strengths. Let’s start with Orient!
A lot of Orient’s mid-range mechanical movements are more complex than comparable Seiko movements.
For example, Orient’s in-house movement for the Ray II, Caliber F6922, is a 22-jewel movement with higher accuracy than the movement used by the Seiko SKX007 diver. Orient’s v4 Sun and Moon dress
I recommend Orient for mid-range mechanical dress watches. After all, they’re the largest producer of mechanicals in Japan!
While Seiko is known for classic designs, Orient will often take fanciful approaches with their formal wear watches, generally speaking. Seiko is the dignified older brother, and Orient is the spirited younger brother, similar to the relationship between Rolex and Tudor.
Moving on to Seiko! Japan’s premier heritage brand is known for classic designs, a history of innovations and achievements, and an expansive range of offerings far wider than Orient’s.
While Orient does well for itself with mid-range mechanicals, Seiko hits high marks in every range thanks to their focused sublines.
Grand Seiko’s 9R spring drive movements are unique, accurate, and exquisite looking. Like a luxury Swiss
Seiko’s is one of few brands that have mastered both mechanical and quartz watches. They’re equipped with the expertise to combine the torque of a mechanical with the accuracy of an electronic quartz.
As far as the brand’s achievements, they introduced the quartz movement in 1969, solar power
Moreover, Seiko has made Orient better.
For example, since they’ve been acquired by Seiko, Orient’s in-house movements now feature Diashock, a Seiko-built shock-resistance system.
Comparing Orient vs Seiko models
Let’s compare some Seiko and Orient models in the categories of budget, sport, dress, and luxury watches.
Budget Watches: Orient Flight FUNG2003B0 vs Seiko SNK805
Orient Flight FUNG2003B0
It’s an accurate quartz movement, which is rare for the brand. Despite being in the sub-100 category, it features cool details like the leather accents on the fabric strap, the demi-skeletal hands, and a 42mm gunmetal stainless steel case.
This is definitely the go-to Seiko 5 budget
Style-wise the SNK805 is a robust and legible field
This watch eatures a stylish and durable green fabric strap that closes with a traditional buckle. The watch's green dial matches its strap and boasts easy-to-read Arabic hour and minute markers. The dial also features silver-toned hands and a date window at the three o'clock position.
Overall, the Orient flight
Sport Watches: Orient Ray II vs Seiko SKX007J1
Orient Ray II
The Orient Ray II is considered one of the best Submariner homages, but is also a beloved classic on its own. It’s an effective tool
As mentioned, Orient shines in the mid-range mechanical department, and the Ray II’s F6922 automatic caliber is hacking, hand-winding, and day/date equipped.
Seiko Dive SKX007J1
The SKX007J1 features all of the same diver functions as the Ray II. However, its crystal is Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex which is more scratch-resistant than the Ray II’s standard crystal.
Seiko’s Lumibrite is also much brighter. Most importantly, this
The verdict here is that the SKX007J1 has a higher level of functionality on every front (and a higher price tag), except for the movement. The Ray II’s F6922 is more complex than the Seiko’s basic 7S36, and features hand-winding and hacking.
Also, at 43mm with a matte dial, the SKX007J1 has a slightly more tool-like aesthetic than the Ray II, which is 41.5mm with a beautiful sunburst dial.
Dress Watches: Orient Bambino III vs Seiko Spirit SZSB011
Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version III
The Bambino is considered by many to be Orient’s flagship dress
The dial is minimalist, with subtle complexities. The sunburst displays beautiful lightplay and is only noticeable depending on how the light hits it. There’s also a slight blurring effect on the sides of the domed crystal which gives the watch a different look at different angles.
It features gorgeous lightplay that makes the
Seiko Spirit SZSB011
With a mix of light colors and high shine, this elegant
In conclusion, the Seiko Spirit is more understated than the Bambino, which many seek in a dress
Luxury Watches: Orient Star Open Heart vs Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA211
Orient Star Open Heart
This unforgettable timepiece manages to be busy and elegant at the same time. Orient Star is one of the few lines that takes on the ambitious mechanical moon phase complication, and it’s definitely worth it.
Orient Star is one of the few lines that take on the ambitious mechanical moon phase complication, and it’s definitely worth it. It looks fancy next to the stately Roman numerals, and the open heart which showcases the 22-jewel 46SF7 automatic movement.
It looks fancy next to the stately Roman numerals, and the open heart which showcases the 22-jewel 46SF7 automatic movement. The dial itself features a classy monogram and electric blue hands, all protected by a sapphire crystal.
Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA211
This iconic stunner is made of high-intensity titanium, which means it’s stronger and lighter than stainless steel, and the dial features a textured pattern inspired by the snow on Japan’s Shinshi mountains.
A Spring Drive model with a high-intensity titanium case that achieves a true lightweight feel The SBGA211 is powered by Spring Drive, Grand Seiko’s unique caliber, which combines the motive force of a mainspring found with the high precision of a quartz watch. The case and bracelet are made with high-intensity titanium, providing a scratch and corrosion resistant finish, making it 30% lighter than stainless steel and a pleasure to wear
It runs on Grand Seiko’s innovative spring drive movement which, as we previously mentioned, brings the best of both the mechanical and quartz worlds. Hand-made and innovative, this
Again, Seiko gives us understated elegance, while Orient serves up whimsical sophistication. Visually, choosing between these two is a matter of taste. Functionally, Grand Seiko watches are definitely at the top of the Japanese watchmaking game, offering timepieces that can rival the Swiss.
The Final Verdict: Orient Vs Seiko
If you’re going for tried-and-true classics or want a wide range to choose from, Seiko is your guy. Opt for Grand Seiko if you’re looking for a high-quality investment piece!
If you’re looking for a mid-range mechanical packed with functions or a beautiful yet fun dress
Which Orient watches and Seiko watches do you love? Do you prefer one brand over the other?
At the end of the day, it’s really a matter of preference. Both brands have so much to offer, especially now that they’re in the same family.