Last summer the Japanese watchmaker has started selling the beautiful Orient Fashionable Automatic Happy Stream (Ref. DM00001W) automatic ladies watch.
When we think about mechanical watches watches that have even a slightest touch of luxury and refinement about them, the famous “Swiss Made” label is the first that comes to mind. This is absolutely normal, though: after all, local watchmaking community paid dearly trying to fight its way through so called “quartz crisis” when their only path to survival was to make a mechanical watch -previously a mundane time measuring device that was suddenly made obsolete by a new breed of dirt-cheap quartz-powered devices- a thing of luxury.
In fact, the strategy was so successful that these days young men and women all over the world often prefer a simple mechanical timekeeper that was assembled in a European country to a lot more sophisticated -but a lot less hip- quartz watch made in Japan.
Now, major Japanese watchmakers that are also capable of creating beautiful, precise and reliable timepieces have to find new ways of attracting customers. Often borrowing design ideas from their almost defeated Swiss rivals, they sometimes make more original pieces. Most of them are equipped with different versions of quartz movements, but some also sport mechanical calibers.
Orient, for example, offers a great variety of automatic timekeepers, both sporty and dressy.
Their new Orient Fashionable Automatic Happy Stream ladies watch offers a gorgeously decorated mother-of-pearl dial and a cute small complication that will certainly be appreciated by your loved one.
As you can see, the Happy Stream’s dial depicts a bird sitting in golden cage. There is not one, but whole seven birds printed on a rotating disk: one for each own day of the week. Although the birdcage comes without a door, there is a small key on the timekeeper’s face that also happens to decorate the simple date aperture at 3 o’clock.
To make things look even more interesting, the Japanese company has also decorated the glass with nice floral pattern that comes in different color combinations depending on the dial’s color.
Of course, the timekeeper’s legibility suffered a bit due to so many elements sharing so little space. However, at least when it comes to this particular model with rose gold-plated hands, you can read time without putting too much strain on your eyes.
The movement that powers this timepiece is a relatively simple Caliber 48Y40. Beating at rather slow frequency of 21,600 vph and built on 21 jewels, the mechanism is operated via the aforementioned setting crown that allows you to change current date and time. The single push-piece at 2 o’clock is here to operate the days of week display.
At 36.2 millimeters in diameter, this watch has a relatively large case and, together with its thickness of more than 12 millimeters, is certainly a massive one (although the watch itself doesn’t weigh too much). This may become a problem if your (or your loved one’s) wrist is too thin, so it would probably be a good idea to actually go to a real brick and mortar shop and try this one on her wrist: although the element of pleasant surprise will be spoiled, you can always compensate for it with a late dinner in a nice restaurant.
Yes, you don’t need to equip the watch with a tourbillon or an equation of time complication to make it unique or, at least, less boring.
Build Quality: 4.5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Orient Fashionable Automatic Happy Stream (Ref. DM00001W) ladies watch specification
Price: $200 (Retail)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 48Y40, 21 jewels, 21,600 vph, Made in Japan
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, days of week
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Steel, rose gold-plated
Bezel material: Steel, rose gold-plated
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 36.20 mm
Lug width: N/A
Case height: 12.30 mm
Dial: White mother-of-pearl
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: White leather
Crystal: Convex crystal glass
Case back: Solid, with cutout