The Japanese watchmaking brand has started selling its new Orient Sporty-Automatic Open Engine Sports CDB02004B self-winding wristwatch with a popular “open heart” dial cutout that gives you a birds-eye view of the engine that makes it tick.
There seems to be a constant stream 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 young professionals, the design makes a timekeeper’s dial look more alive and, in some (extremely) rare cases when a watchmaker actually spends a dollar or two into finishing the balance wheel and its bridge with anything more elaborate than some basic perlage, 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 period of 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 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 is able to store just enough energy to keep the watch working for only 40 hours even despite its balance wheel beating at relatively low frequency of just 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour.
Also, the mechanism doesn’t have neither 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 watch to start working,) nor a hacking second function, which basically 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 the dominating window.
Even if it was technically unfeasible to modify the movement in order to turn it 30 degrees counterclockwise, the watch’s 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 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.
Build Quality: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
See also: Marvin M126.96.36.199 open heart watch
Orient Sporty-Automatic Open Engine Sports CDB02004B watch 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 material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, mineral crystal
Case 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