Orient has started selling its new Sporty-Automatic Open Engine Sports CDB02004B with a popular “open-heart” dial cutout that gives you a birds-eye view of the engine that makes it tick.
There is a constant flow of relatively inexpensive timekeepers of late that feature an “open heart” dial design. Probably inspired by a sudden interest in “tourbillon” complication that is still completely out of reach for a normal working person and most of the young professionals, the design makes a timekeeper’s dial look more alive and, in some (extremely) rare cases when a watchmaker spends a dollar or two into finishing the balance wheel and its bridge with anything more elaborate than some basic circular-graining, actually interesting to look at.
Perhaps, a certain role was also played by an onslaught of high-grade quartz mechanisms that brought us a whole plethora of timekeepers that predictably managed to offer us a combination of high quality, extreme precision and, what’s even more important, great price making a serious dent into the $300-$500 niche that was for some extended time dominated by good mechanical timekeepers.
In this particular instance, a small cutout between eight and nine o’clock provides a good view at the Orient caliber 46A40 automatic movement, or, being more precise, at its balance wheel and, at some angles, its gear train. Although the parts don’t sport any fancy decor, they are still pleasant to look at thanks to the balance cock being mirror-polished (or is this chrome-plating? hard to tell) and showing-off two of the 21 sapphires that the mechanism is equipped with.
Being a relatively inexpensive piece of hardware, the caliber offers only basic functionality with the standard hours, minutes and seconds hands and its mainspring can store just enough energy to keep the movement ticking for only 40 hours even despite its balance wheel beating at a relatively low frequency of just 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
Also, the mechanism doesn’t have either hand-winding module (i.e. you will have to shake it for some time for the oscillating weight to pass the mainspring some initial energy for the caliber to start working,) nor a hacking second function, which means that you won’t be able to precisely synchronize the central-seconds hand with your computer’s clock.
As it often happens with “open heart” designs, the OES’s dial looks unbalanced with nothing to compensate for the dominating window.
Even if it was technically unfeasible to modify the movement to turn it 30 degrees counterclockwise, the logo could have been moved to 2 o’clock. Not brilliant, I know, but certainly better than the actual layout.
Like many other inexpensive pieces from Orient, this model is powered by their own Caliber 46A40 automatic movement. It must be also mentioned that the model is equipped with a solid display back that, too, sports a small cutout offering an unobstructed view at the balance wheel. Like there was something interesting to look at, right.
See also: Marvin M126.96.36.199 open heart
Build Quality: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Orient Sporty-Automatic Open Engine Sports CDB02004B specification
Price range: $310 (MSRP)
Movement: Orient caliber 46A40, Made in Japan
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Transparent back: Yes, mineral crystal
Size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 11.20 mm
Lugs: 22.00 mm
Dial: Black, “open heart” cutout between 8 and 9 o’clock
Hands: Stainless steel, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Mineral glass