Inspecting the Orient Star 200M Diver RE-AU0307E Timepiece

An Orient Star reference RE-AU307E Japanese diver's style watch is truly exotic where I live in the United States. I am not aware of any local retailers that sell Orient Watches, and the United States Orient Watches distributor seems to carry very few, if any, of the more luxurious "Orient Star" models. In order to acquire one, one must first become aware of the existence of such a watch, and then either make the effort to travel to Asia (which has been out of reach for most of the world for some time), or to one of the few other locations where such timepieces can be purchased, or to be lucky enough to discover one for sale online.

There will be many satisfied watch collectors because the timepiece is both stylish and reasonably priced. However, for some, the quaintness of this timepiece is in the irony that comes with its purchase. I can't give you an accurate retail price, for instance. The RE-AU307E watch is unmistakably featured on the Orient Star website, but there is no indication of cost. In my research, I found that this specific timepiece can be purchased for as little as $660 USD from a Singaporean dealer, and as much as $1,099 USD from another Singaporean dealer. Sellers in countries like Malaysia would then re-ship the product to Japan at a price somewhere in the middle.

This doesn't surprise me or bother me very much. Retail prices are not determined by Orient Japan. From what I've gathered, the company's retail model gives individual countries selling the watches the freedom to set their own prices, adding a profit margin to the wholesale cost. This was the norm "back in the day," but with the internet's "flattening effect," information about price differences across countries can be accessed with a few clicks, this is much less common than it once was.

Also, visit: Orient M-Force Dive Watch

This Orient Star 200-meter diver is a steal at under $1,000, making it a popular choice. While Orient is now owned by the same parent company as Seiko watches, their history as a separate entity means that their operations and production are quite different from Seiko's. And that's less than the price of the Orient Automatic Saturation Diver 300m CFD0C001B, which I reviewed in 2009 and is widely considered one of the best Orient watches ever made, despite its advanced age.

The Orient Star line of timepieces is meant to represent an upgrade in quality from the brand's regular offerings. Although I believe Orient Star's origins are in formal wear, the brand has expanded into more casual settings with watches like this diver's model. 

It's true that not all Orient watches are created equal in terms of aesthetic appeal. In some cases, Orient watches don't seem to be made with watch enthusiasts in mind, but other times, the brand really nails the design of a brand-new offering. The RE-AU0307E (I wish I had a better name to call it) is an attractive timepiece that stands out from the crowd.

The case's large weight is understandable given the product's retro-chic tool-watch vibe, and the metallic green dial and matching bezel are genuinely attractive. The AR-coated flat sapphire crystal sits atop a water-resistant stainless steel case that is rated to 200 metres. The case measures 43.6mm in width, 14mm in thickness, and 51mm from lug to lug. The extra-tall unidirectional rotating bezel has an intriguing inward slope on the exterior, which helps to visually scale down the watch.

A steel metal bracelet with a Seiko-style triple locking fold-over Deployment is attached to the case in a three-link style (uses single links, but with a polish that really does create a three-link effect). The bracelet can be adjusted to a precise size, and there is a small diver's extension that folds out. Unlike the Orient 300m Saturation Diver I referenced above, there is no micro-adjustment feature for use in real time.

There's a swaying going on inside the 200-meter diver that would make the 300-meter Saturation Diver green with envy. Even though it was an automatic mechanism, winding it by hand was impossible. This timepiece is equipped with an automatic Orient calibre F6N47 movement that displays the current time, date, and power reserve in-house..

Once upon a time, ten years ago, buying a JDM (Japan domestic market) watch was cause for excitement and a trip to Japan (or any number of other items). Since then, many of those neat products have begun offering official international shipping, which may have the unintended consequence of making them less desirable in the eyes of some buyers. Though of course they can be bought online, Orient has kept its products' exoticism alive (though, for many, they are still shipped from afar).

The Orient Star RE-AU0307E 200m Diver Automatic is a modern Japanese diver's watch that combines good value with style. Its appealing, slightly retro aesthetic and hip colouring may also catch the eye of experienced watch enthusiasts on the hunt for a unique "beater watch." Don't be surprised if you still have it on your wrist after you've gone swimming and done some gardening. Price ranges between $800 and $900 USD normally.

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