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 watch and Orient for another. Let’s get to it.
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
While Seiko is known for classic designs, Orient will often take fanciful approaches with their formal wear
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
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.
Sure, modern Seikos don’t incorporate quirky complications like a moon phase as often as Orient does, but
Comparing Orient vs Seiko models
Let’s compare some Seiko and Orient models in the categories of budget, sport, dress, and luxury
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.
Black dial enhanced by luminous silver-tone hands. Gunmetal stainless steel case with a black leather band. Quartz movement.
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
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
This diver is highly revered, garnering respect from even the snobbiest watch buyers, and is the closest to a Rolex Submariner for under $200.
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
This watch is Seiko’s quintessential diver and its most popular, likely because it makes you look like a discerning collector!
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.
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 Bambino is one of Orient’s most popular watches and in 2022, they responded to a lot of fan requests by creating this 7th version with a 38mm case. This is more inline with the proper dress watch sizing, and isn’t too small for bigger wrists.
It features gorgeous lightplay that makes the
Seiko Spirit SZSB011
With a mix of light colors and high shine, this elegant
With the mix of light colors and high shine, this elegant watch is reminiscent of the Rolex Datejust. Its 23-jewel 4R35 movement is automatic, hacking, and hand-winding.
In conclusion, the Seiko Spirit is more understated than the Bambino, which many seek in a dress
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.
As horologically impressive and artistic as any Swiss hard hitter, Grand Seiko’s Four Seasons series are some of the most unique luxury timepieces out there. The Snowflake is hand-made, featuring a high-intensity titanium construction, and a stunning dial design inspired by the Japanese mountains. It runs on Seiko’s innovative spring drive caliber, which also has a 72-hour power reserve.
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
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.